Bleach & algae
> What about plants like Cabomba, Rotala Macranda and Java Moss?
Some plants have soft, thin leaves but thick stems and although they
suffer from a 3 minute bleach, the stems and some leave usually survive.
You need to get a clean piece of plant. Unless you have cladophora, I
would only recommend a 2 minute bleach for the more delicate plants.
For plants like Elodea, even two minutes of bleach will probably kill
the plant. For this plant, choose a 3 inch piece from the growing tip
of fast growing specimen and drop this into a jar with clean aquarium
water (i.e. fertile) and grow it in sunlight for a week or so. If no
brush or thread algae is present, you have a clean specimen. In a tank
which is not overrun with thread algae, it's pretty easy to get a
You don't eliminate all types of algae with this method, just some of
the most pernicious ones which can't be controlled via snails,
otocinclus, diatom filters and a good balance of nutrients etc.
While you can sometimes control the advance of thread algae by
controlling phosphates and iron in the water, you can't eliminate
it. One accident of over-fertilization and boom, your tank has a
major problem and you just can't get rid of the stuff easily. If
you only had red (brush) algae I'd say you don't need to resort to
a complete tear down and bleaching; it can be controlled very effectively
with CO2, pH, SAEs and/or Platys.
If you have a clean tank (no obvious algaes), I recommend you to
bleach all but delicate plants. As has already been mentioned,
don't introduce outside water that came from other aquariums since
small filaments of algae can be in it. For delicate plants, its
best to use quarantine procedures.