Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #461

> Let's assume that you did not try the treatment. Speaking from
> the bleach treatment DOES work. Personally, I do not worry too much about
> spores getting into my tanks. Nets from a tank with nasty algae are
> story. Unless I am lazy, I try to dip my nets into weak bleach to
> them.

What about plants like Cabomba, Rotala Macranda and Java Moss?  I suspect
these plants would suffer greatly from a bleach treatment.  The evil
Filamentous algae just LOVES Cambomba and didn't seem terribly affected by
my bleach treatments.  I gave up trying to fight it and eventually the
filamentous algae went away.  It was the worst and the last of all the
algae I had to deal with in that first 6 months.

> I also watch some algae come and go in my "high tech" tank. However, I do
> not have much visible algae. (e.g. I rarely ever scrape the glass, and
> only when I need to take a photo).  

If you have to scrape the glass for photos then are you saying you have
algae on your glass? I thought the bleach took care of that.  >:)  Kidding.

I scrape my glass at least every two weeks simply because I hate seeing
spots on the front and sides of the glass.  My main planted tank is part of
our decor and I want it to look clean and well kept.  

Heck, I've seen pictures from Dupla where you can clearly see the spot
algae on the anubias.  I keep my anubias in more shaded areas to prevent
spot algae from affecting their older leaves.

> But, the dupla style/ high tech tank is NOT the ONLY way to grow and 
> enjoy plants. While this approach, by design will keep algae under 
> control, other algae strategies are needed in other style aquariums.

I didn't say anything about Dupla-Style tanks being the only way to grow
plants.  I have a 58g "no-tech" tank that uses a rich substrate and a
couple of good Ultra Tri-Lux bulbs.  I keep mostly crypts in this tank. 
Granted I have more spot algae in this tank but that's about it.  Also, I
have never experienced the other forms of algae that I did in the high-tech
tank.  I do however greatly prefer the Dupla method and feel that anyone
can succeed quite easily following their methods**(See below). 

> Reaching the steady state IS victory. The algae war is only lost when it
> takes over.  However, to achieve the desired steady state (even for the
> tech tank), it doesn't hurt to include some algae eating fish to help
> the needed balance. And why not give the system the proper initial
> conditions by starting with healthy, algae free plants. Eveything else
> equal,  I always opt for including new plants that are NOT covered with
> algae. <g>

Start with healthy plants?  Bleach treated plants can hardly be considered
healthy.  It has taken weeks for plants to recover after I've bleached
them; even after shorter, weaker bleach treatments.  Also, I'm still not
convinced that ALL of the algae (of any type) can be killed without turning
the plant into mush first.  I don't deny that bleach treatments probably
slow the algae down by reducing the volume of algae but I think it is the
"steady-state" that keeps the algae from returning, not the fact that
you've "killed" it all.
I prefer to start with mature growth provided by other successful plant
Even emerse grown plants take awhile to acclimate to submersed growth.

I certainly did not advocate adding plants that are "covered" with algae. 
That would be asking for trouble.  However, I don't quarantine my fish, nor
do I use bleach treatments and I don't suffer from algae problems.  This is
the source of my concern about bleach treatments.  I guess if you
absolutely can't stand looking at algae I guess you can resort to bleach
treatments.  Or you can wait until your aquarium has balanced out and the
algae will subside on its own.

Also, I'm not against algae eating fish, don't get me wrong.  I have and
enjoy my SAEs.  I just don't think they are the only answer to getting rid
of Red Algae.

> Yes and No. Yes, algae is going to be in all but the sterile laboratory
> aquarium.  But, No, it doesn't HAVE to be a visible or even major part of
> the aquascape. I have seen many tanks (including some of my own) where
> is essentially invisible in the tank.  Why tolerate a "little" red algae
> the older leaves of slower growing plants like Anubias, when none of the
> leaves need to have it. I also do not consider "trimming" to be a
> part of the steady state. 

I didn't say that I believe algae would always be VISIBLE and I know I
certainly didn't say algae would always be a MAJOR part of the aquarium.  I
simply stated that in a healthy aquarium algae would always be PRESENT.  If
you have achieved a steady-state then the algae will be kept at bay.  I
hope to have photos of my aquariums scanned soon so I can share them (I'm
quite proud of them) and I can assure you there is VERY little to no
visible algae.  Sure there is a tuft of red algae that shows up on the
older leaves of my E. quadricostatus but these old leaves are usually
yellowing by this time and need to be removed anyway to keep things looking
nice. Also, I don't trim to maintain a steady-state, I trim so that I can
maintain the arrangement and so I can see all of the plants!  My M.
pteropus 'Tropica' is attempting a takeover.

** Note:  Using Dupla's methods is not a cheap route to success mind you
but for us techno-geeks it provides for a great mix of gadgets and
aquariums. :)

Mike Bateman <spine at stlnet_com>
St. Louis, MO