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Hair today, gone tomorrow (revised)


Just thought i'd give everyone an update on my battle with hair algae.
So far it's hair algae 0, me 2 :)  Yes I get two points, 1 for combating
it successfully and one for a learning experience in future battles to

What I did was threw out my nitrate test kits I bought from the lfs
(discovered they was grossly out of date, oh about 1/2 year!) and bought
a tetra nitrate kit, before this I did a series of 50% water changes
weekly (for about 3 weeks in a row) cleaned the substrate with a vacuum
and introduced hornwort (have heard they are high consumers of
nitrates)  Well now the nitrates are down to 25, the plants are looking
alot healthier, the algea looks like it's almost dead, the fish seem
abit more active, new plant growth is more noticable

Now for the interesting part, the learning experience.  I have learned
from this several things.  Water quality for one :) how nitrates play a
important part in the ecosystems of the world (i.e. can relate to this
in the dive sites where I have been scuba diving at, seeing very similar
things), what I need to do in the future to keep this under control, and
of course signs to look for in the tank.

This made me question a few things.  If algae thrives in a high nitrate
enviroment then why can't we create some hybrid plant that will also
thrive heavily on nitrates, phosphates and the other 'bad' stuff and
introduce that into poluted areas to help clean the earth up?  Another
thing that started me wondering was what is it about nitrates that makes
algae thrive?