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to bleach or not to bleach, that is the question


>Return-Path: <olga at arts_ubc.ca>
>From: olga at arts_ubc.ca
>Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 09:32:46 -0700
>To: Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com (Aquatic Plants Digest) (by way of
olga at arts_ubc.ca)
>Subject: to bleach or not to bleach, that is the question
>Blair wrote:
>>> I'm setting up a 15 G plant tank and I'm trying to keep out the algae.
I was
>>> told to dip the plant's in a 19:1 bleach solution. ...<snip>
>then Stephen Pushak wrote:
>>I hope that you are only putting sterile (bleached) plants into the new
>>tank. Otherwise, the algae on the other plants (even what you cannot
>>see) will only re-infect. Bleaching plants is pointless IMHO unless you
>>are setting up a clean tank. That also means bleaching the tank,
>>filters, ornaments and all. And using new soil and aquarium gravel. You
>>can bleach gravel but it took me months to get the bleach smell out of
>>it enough to re-use.
>later "Jeff" wrote:
><snip>  Recently, one of my friend came to have a look at my tank, after
>>hearing all my effort to clear my algae  , he suggested that , mybe my
>>plant is not strong enough to fight with the algae for the neutrient.
>>        After hearing that, I decided to strengthen my plant for war. <snip>
>I haven't had time to read my APD mail lately so I missed these when they
>were first posted. I have to add my two cents here.
>Blair, I don't recommend that you bleach your plants. It only wreaks havoc
>on the plants and won't prevent algae in the long run.
>Steve, it's true that tearing down a tank and thoughly sterilizing it etc.
>etc. (which is VERY drastic) will get rid of the algae to start with but I
>am of the opinion that that is a waste of time. It will be impossible to
>NEVER allow one drop of foreign water that just may contain an algae spore
>to get in your tank. What if you get a new fish? Are you going to bleach it
>to make sure that every drip of water on its body is algae free? And even
>bleaching plants to the point of death is not a guaranteed way to kill
>algae. I've had red algae on a rock recover after many minutes in bleach.
>Jeff, I agree with you one hundred percent. The best way to fight algae is
>to balance the nutrients in the tank properly. It is frustrating and takes
>time but it works. I only wish that I had photographed my tank a few months
>ago -- it was an algae disaster. I set out to cure it with fertilizer and
>test kits. The algae is now gone. My nitrate is at 4, my iron at .1, KH at
>4 and CO2 12 - 15. It took a couple of months but I didn't bleach a single
>plant. I still have some red (black) algae here and there but I am watching
>it slowly turn grey. And, Jeff, I think algae does like warmer water
>because in the summer it is always harder to control it.
>If I get a chance I am going to run an experiment on "infecting a tank with
>algae". Trouble is I have to get another tank. I just sneaked in one more 5
>gallon tank with only a mild grumble from the mate. I'd prefer a larger one
>but maybe I can experiment with the little tank. I'll keep folks posted.
>BTW I don't want to start a war. All the plant bleachers out there should
>go on doing their thing. If it works for you, great -- but if that's what
>you rely on, I predict algae in your future.
>in Vancouver