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I have a question about algae. I recently set up two tanks: a 40g and a
20g. Both were set up using the "Dupla" method (Dupla laterite in
substrate, dupla drops and dupla tabs at water changes) with the exception
of the undergravel heating cables. About 1/2 the water is changed once per
week and I use RO water since our well water is far too hard and high in
Boron to use in aquaria. I add one capful of Kent's freshwater essential
after changes too, since it contains essential minerals taken out by the RO
Both are heavily planted and have done very well. However, in seeking
perfection, as defined by really healthy plants and no algae, I have some
concerns. Neither tank has a bad algae problem, and yet both have some
algae in them. There are different species of algae in each tank.
However, both have a small amount of green algae and some red algae. I
have SAEs and Otocinclus in both tanks, along with other assorted tetras
and livebearers; the fish load is low-moderate in both.
Question is, perhaps the plants are not doing as well as they are capable
of, so that they can outcompete ALL the algae? I am particularly concerned
about the red alga in the 20g: it is the type with a "holdfast" from which
severl short (less than 1cm) filaments radiate. It grows on old or dying
leaves. I have a lot of Glossostigma in this tank and it was doing
fabulously for a couple of months and now has some yellow leaves and the
new leaves are smaller. The red alga grows on these dying leaves in
particular. It is spreading, thus the concern.
Could there be a slight nutrient deficiency? I reread the Sears/Conlin
paper from the Archives and am wondering if there is sufficient K in the
Dupla drops. There are fish in both tanks; I don't think N is a problem,
though I need to test it more accurately. I measured P, and it is
consistently below 0.05ppm.
Please note new email address:
Roxanne Bittman, Botanist Natural Diversity Database
Phone: (916) 323-8970 __o CA Dept of Fish and Game
Fax: (916) 324-0475 _ \<_ 1220 S St
Internet rbittman at kirk_dfg.ca.gov ( )/( ) Sacramento, CA 95814