Regarding recent discussions on the bleaching of aquariums to prevent algae
I am uncomfortable with this concept. It seems to me that it is near
impossible to prevent algae from entering the aquarium unless you start
with a sterile system, use tissue cultured plants, introduce no fish and
keep the system completely isolated from other non-sterile aquariums.
The bleach method seems to me to be flawed. If the plants survive a bleach
dip then what is to prevent algae from surviving the same dip? Algae seem
to be a pretty hardy little form of plant life.
Letís assume that the total bleach treatment does work. When you introduce
a new fish into the aquarium, even with quarantine, what is to prevent
algae spores from the quarantine tank from getting into your "sterile"
tank? I would think it would only take a spore or two to get things going
and those spores could journey across on your net, on the fish, on your
hands, etc... I don't know if any or all algae spores are airborne or not
but it seems feasible.
I have a Dupla-style high-tech planted tank. During its first 6 months I
experienced just about every form of algae one could imagine. Brush algae,
green algae, filamentous algae, etc. As if it was part of the natural
cycle of the aquarium, the algae came and went. In its place, other algaes
appeared. These too came and went (some faster than others). After a
while all but trace amounts of algae had disappeared! I still have to
clean the front glass of spot algae every week or two and what I believe is
"blue-green" algae lives happily in my skimmer cup. However, the plants in
this tank are huge, gorgeous and virtually algae free.
In my opinion the algae war cannot be won. I live by Karen Randall's words
of wisdom from some time back where she explained the importance of finding
that "steady-state" of your aquarium. The steady-state being the point at
which the correct balance of all requirements has been reached. Just the
right amount of light, just the right amount of CO2, and just the right
amount of nutrients.
I'm also in agreement with George Booth and rationalize that some algae
will always be around in a healthy, well functioning aquarium.
Mike Bateman <spine at stlnet_com>