Horizon Nursery and Brown algae?

Subject: Horizon Nursery

> Has anyone dealt with this company?  They had advertised in the 
> as the licensed US Tropica dealer (they just use the tropica met
> are located near San Diego, and I will be going to the zoo next 
> thought I might stop and check it out.  From what I understand, 
> them hydroponically, so if I buy anything I should expect a larg

As I and several other people have said numerous times on this 
list and elsewhere, there is _nothing_ wrong with aquarium plants 
being grown hydroponically.  This is a normal phase in the 
amphibious lives of many of the plants that we use in the 
aquarium.  They travel better than submerged growth, they are 
never infested with algae or snails, and they adapt readily to 
submerged life in your tank.  You _will_ see that the older 
emergent growth will die off, but it will be replaced faster than 
it dies off with submersed growth if the conditions are suitable 
for the plant.

The only negative I've heard about Horizon Growers (aside from 
their misleading advertising<g>) is that their plant "assortments" 
contain a number of non-aquatic, hydroponically grown "house 
plants".  If you are choosing your plants in person, this should 
not be a problem.


Subject: Brown algae?

> About two weeks ago I set up my 48"x18"x18" tank and right now a
> plants are covered in some brown coating and some also has hairl
> brown growth and there's lots of brown particles in the water.  
> someone tell me if the brown coating is brown algae?  How can I 
> of them?

Sounds like diatoms.  A herd of Otocinclus will clean them out in 
no time.  Make sure you buy at least 6 at a time, and make sure 
their bellies are well rounded at purchase.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA