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RE: Flourish causing algae?

Paul Secinaro said, in a recent issue:

> Also, I've been fertilizing the substrate with Flourish tablets, and I was
> using liquid Flourish and Flourish Iron for a time, but that only
> seemed to
> encourage green thread algae.  On the advice of several people, I
> will start
> experimenting with some CO2 (even at my lower light levels) along
> with very
> small additions of micronutrients.  I'm also going to remove the rockwool
> from around the roots and maybe replant them in pots with some
> potting soil.

I'm using both Flourish and Flourish Iron in a tank with a Flourite and
Flourish Tab substrate, and I can assure you that properly dosed, they do
NOT encourage green thread algae (or any other type of algae, for that
matter). Like you, I use R/O water and R/O Right for reconstitution. This
tank has been running for only two months but the plant growth has been very
good and I have not had ANY problem with algae (I do add supplemental CO2
and the tank gets 2 watts/gal of full spectrum lighting).

But if you are experiencing algae in your tank, I think that I can point to
the culprit for it's cause - rockwool. Many stores now sell plants in
rockwool. It is a great hydroponic medium and is becoming increasingly
popular, but your are supposed to remove it from the roots before you put
the plant into your substrate. Rockwool will be loaded with nutrients which
can leach out into the water column. Just pick it carefully off of the roots
before you plant.

Remember as well that plants need a balance of things in order to grow -
nutrients AND light. If you provide plenty of nutrients but shortchange them
on light, they can't take advantage of the nutrients. Algae, on the other
hand, are opportunists and there are species which can grow in very little
light, sucking up whatever nutrients that are available. Additional CO2 is
only of use (in my experience) when you have sufficient light (at least 2

> Thanks!  This is turning out to be quite challenging, but at
> least it keeps
> me off the streets :):).

I'm all for safer streets. ;-)

James Purchase
Toronto, Ontario