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Re: Red Algae

>From: krandall at world_std.com
>What they
>all seem to have in common is that they thrive in situations of high
>nitrate and phosphate.

In my experience, red algae once established will thrive in an aquarium
with low concentrations of nutrients, provided that all are in excess of
all nutrients. This most often is a tank without lots of healthy and fast
growing plants. When the plants are not happy, they will not be able to
keep the N and or P totally out of the water column... or their
decomposition is constantly leaching nutrients into the water. In addition,
a tank CAN have happy fast growing plants (and little algae) WITH excesses
of N and P, provided that the water column is deficient in one or more
trace excess elements. Although this situation is less commonly seen, it
will not be a good environment for algae either. For higher plants to be
happy however, you must provide the higher plants with their own supply of
trace lements.... this can be via the substrate (out of reach for algae) or
thru period additions of TE fertilizer to the water... but just enough for
the plants to suck it ALL out and again keeping it out of the reach of algae.
Karen is right that most often red algae are found in tanks with high N and
P ... this usually signals a tank with generally poor conditions for
plants. This explanation may also be related to the observation that red
algae often attaches to slow growing or weak plants. The older leaves of
anubias and dying leaves of other plants are providing the algae with a
source of nourishment.

> I have some photos of some really attractive
>RED red algae in a soft water, low pH discus tank belonging to a friend.
>It was growing on some Bolbitis that was clearly deteriorating in the
>soft/acid water. 

This observation is interesting. I too have found some of the lushest red
alga Audouinella in soft/acid water. In fact, I have had it in my own
(pre-SAE) tanks. I speculate that they thrive in these conditions provided
that nutrients are available, including CO2 which may be more plentiful in
soft/acid tanks than alkaline (without CO2 injection.). BTW, Audouinella is
back in my low light/clown loach/Bolbitus tank despite the 2 SAEs. They
have grown old, fat and lazy (they are nowgoing on 5 yrs). I need to
replace them with a few young Crossocheilus which have the predicable
appetite for the furry epiphyte.

Neil Frank