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Re: treating BGA

> I'm starting to get some blue-green algae in my first tank, a 10G which is
> now two weeks old. Ammonia has peaked and is now immeasurable; nitrites are
> on their way down (~5ppm); nitrates seem to be pretty low (but is hard to
> tell with combo nitrite/nitrate Seachem test). I have read the archives and
> Krib about factors influencing BGA growth, and decided that nobody knows
> just what promotes good BGA growth.

You got a pretty quick start from the nitrifiers.  I think you're probably
right that we don't know what promotes BGA growth.

> My question is, should I go out and get some erythromycin now, and nip the
> problem in the bud, or wait to see if it goes away as my tank stabilizes?

This spring I converted an old paludarium to a planted aquarium and got
strong early growth of attached diatoms and BGA.  I expected that the BGA
would disappear when green algae made its first appearance, so I waited.
If I waited long enough, then maybe that would have worked out, but the
infestation got pretty bad and I needed to get on with further changes to
the setup that I figured would promote further BGA growth, so after a
month or so I reluctantly poisoned the tank with erythromycin.  It worked.

I don't recommend that.  If I didn't have a problem with some rather tight
scheduling then I would have spent more time looking for other solutions.
Antibiotic-resistent bacterial strains are a real and growing problem.
People are dying with resistent strains of Staf. aureus (spelling?).  I
read this weekend that strains that gained resistence from antibiotic use
on animals are now infecting humans through the food supply.  Its only a
matter of time before our use of antibiotics in aquaria result in
somethingorother that will be tough to cure.

So wait as long as you can for something to take over from the BGA, and
look for alternative treatments.  If nothing else, I found long ago that
copper sulfate kills BGA.  Copper can also kill or damage less tolerant
plants, so its use is a little risky.

Roger Miller