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causes of algae growth

> Black hair like algae this is black/bluish belongs to the hair algae
> family.  This is usually caused by a compacted bottom, 

I don't see how a compacted substrate could have anything at all to do
with algae growth. This sounds like pure fancy. The primary CAUSE of
hair algae growth, is introducing it into your aquarium. It will grow
whenever conditions are favourable to it which is often a surplus of
dissolved nutrients, in particular chelated iron and soluble phosphates.

If you have been unfortunate enough to get "black brush" algae, (furry
short tufts) you can discourage the growth by keeping pH below 7. Its a
marine algae and flourishes at high pH. Also, SAEs are effective at
eating it. Removing affected plant leaves will help as will regular
water changes and maintaining sufficient and proper fertilization for
vigorous plant growth. See the Sears and Conlin paper on the Krib under

> to much fish
> food, over fertilization, dead and decaying matter on the bottom.  All
> in all it's an excessive nitrate and/or low o2 levels in the tank
> flourishes it's growth.  As for suggestions, do a partial water change,
> change the filter, increase o2 in the tank (a small bubble bar works
> wonders), introduce red ramshorn snails, japanese algae blittering
> (phodeus sericeus) or sagittaria in the tank, and clean the algae off of
> the plants as it will eventually kill the plant, lower temp to idealy
> about 77F is also effective

I doubt that increasing oxygen levels or lowering temperature will have
very much effect on "black brush". The former is an indication that your
plants are photosynthesising and growing well and is important for
certain types of cold water fish which need more oxygen. I don't think I
have ever heard of temperature as being useful for controlling algae
growth in planted aquariums.

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!