Bleach Treatments-The Results
I have been fighting a nasty case of brush algae for about three
years now. I have managed to fight the algae to a stand still using a
combination of large water changes, floating plants, less lighting (time),
less lighting (watts), and SAEs. Note: SAEs are available from Africa
Northwest, they supply the vast majority of fish stores in the NW, as
Algae Eating Sharks. Your dealer should be able to order them for you
easily and you can expect to pay US $3.00-4.00.
Back to the algae. I was intrigued by the bleach treatment
conversations that went on last week and decided to try it. I am very
happy with the results.
I mixed 100ml generic bleach with 1900ml tap water in a bucket. I
set a timer for three minutes and placed three Anubias (barteri,
gigantica, and lanceolata) in the bucket upside down so the roots were not
in the bleach. In about one minute the algae turned gray and in two
minutes it was snow white. Three minutes later the plants were removed and
rinsed completely for 2-3 minutes under running tap water. I tried to rub
the algae off with my finger but it was still quite attached. I then
replanted the three plants back in the original tank.
The, now white, algae was still there, but much less noticable.
When the tank lights were turned on last night, I was amazed to see that
only tiny remnants of the algae remained on the plants. I do not know if
it fell off on its own or if the fish ate the, now dead and softer, algae.
Neil Frank had mentioned that, in his experience, brush algae grows faster
in soft water. The water here is much harder than my old place and the
algae grows much faster. After a little research, I am now convinced that
brush algae blooms are related, not to hardness, but to phosphates. I
believe that the algae grows faster in my new place, not because the water
is harder, but because this is an agricultural area. The fertilizers that
run off the wheat fields are high in phosphates and soak into the local
water supply. Anyway, I will experiment with brush algae and phosphate
levels and let you all know what I find. Special thanks to Neil Frank for
his advice/ suggestions.
Froze to the bone in my igloo home. Counting the days till the ice turns
green in Pullman, WA.