Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #78

Christine Martens <Christine_Martens at qmgates_affymax.com> wrote, May 17:

>Question for Paul K.:
>You have often recommended the 5% bleach treatment for what you call "beard
>algae" or "hair algae." Does this treatment eliminate other kinds of algae as
>well? My biggest problem is the black stuff (sorry to use such technical
>jargon). As I am building up a new tank now, I'm wondering if I should bleach
>everything that goes into it to avoid this particular annoyance. (I'm really
>trying to do everything right on this tank..........)
>in cloudy, rainy Palo Alto where it "never rains in May"

The 5% bleach treatment works on all the "hair" algae.  by this, I mean the
tough filamentous types that ramshorn snails don't eat.  It does not get
rid of green water (planktonic single celled algae), green spot algae (I
never thought green spot algae was much of a problem; ramshorn snails keep
it under control.), or cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae).  But it really does
get rid of the hair algae, and then the only source of hair algae that you
have to worry about is new plants and possibly new fish.  Treat the new
plants before you put them in your hair algae-free tank, and put the fish
in a quarantine tank for a few days.  That should do it.  The black stuff
has also been called black beard algae.  I have never had an infestation of
it in any of my tanks, but I have bought plants that had a lot of it
attached, and the bleach treatment has gotten rid of it permanently.
Remember, it is important to have a tank ready with good growing conditions
to put your treated plants in.  They are already injured by the bleach and
can go downhill fast if they are left sitting in a pan for a week or two
after treatment.

Paul Krombholz                  Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS  39174
In hot, humid Mississippi where the Bermuda High has set up shop early and
kept away the rain.