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Plant Bleaching

Olga wrote:

>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. 

I've had the same experience as Olga.  It has taken a few months on
occasion, but as the new growth comes in algae free, the old leaves
start to die off and can be pruned out.  After another month or two of
running in "balance" the tank is essentially "pristine" and algae free.

I've gone through a transition on this issue.  I honestly used to get
upset when I started losing an Algae War.  After all, I love the hobby
and I really want a pretty tank.  I'm not lazy (used to do 50% water
changes weekly hauling 5 gal. containers of RO/DI water from my LFS).  I
have all of Amano's books sitting on the shelf.  Why oh why is my tank a
stinking cyano/red algae mess!?!  #%$*&!

Then my wife looked at me one day "stewing" over the state of my
aquarium and said, "You wouldn't be in this hobby; you wouldn't enjoy
this hobby as much as you do--if it was easy.  Just keep working at it
and you'll figure it out eventually.  Relax."  Very good advice indeed.

With the Krib, George's site, the APD, Neil Frank's article on dosing
(for us non-scientists), and TAG, we have all the information we need to
figure it out.  Tropica MasterGrow, PMDD, KNO3, Epsom salts, Iron
supplements, CaCO3, a little Boron perhaps, K2SO4, good lighting and
some CO2 are the tools we have to work with to solve the riddle(s).  Of
course one should mention the all-consuming question of substrates too!

Same as Olga, if you're a card carrying "bleacher" by all means carry on
and good luck!

Cheers, Steve Dixon--in San Francisco where it rained last night for the
first time this season!