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Re: Bleach

>From: "Dixon, Steven T. (Exchange)" <stdixon at ben_bechtel.com>
>Subject: Bleach
I think the reason many of us resist
>this approach is that we think extensive hair algae infestation (and
>significant black brush algae for that matter) is the result of poor
>aquatic gardening practices in the first instance. 

> I continue to goof around with
>various ideas, but the problem isn't nearly bad enough to uproot
>everything and bleach my plants. 

  People should remember that bleach is intended as a prophylactic, NOT a
cure. I beleive it is a useful chemical for aquatic gardening, but
definitely not a required one. 

  This is why I recommend it:
  Sometimes I acquire a new plant on my wish list covered all over with
attached filamentous algae (BBA or green fur). For a hard to find plant, I
take them as they come. My aquarium and aquatic gardening practice are
usually pretty good, but off and on, I will slip for a month or two. I
might miss a few water changes, or not notice that the powerheads for
circulation are not working, or I run out of my usual fertilizer and
temporarily switch to something else. The tank conditions have changed,
despite my usual (best?) efforts. If BBA was once introduced into a tank,
it may always be there... lurking in the shadows <g>.
  If a small tuft of BBA apears on the edge of one plant leaf, I supposed I
could snip it off (if I notice it that is <g>). This is what many people
do. However, I definitely don't want to take a good look at the tank one
morning (say after the 2 month lull) and see that there is more than one
spot on more than one leaf. Of course, I could introduce some SAEs, _if_
they are available at the shops, or I could put in a zillion numa-ebis. I
could also crank up the CO2/light/Nitrogen and hope to drive P or some
trace element out of the water column to help starve out the algae. Or, I
could just wait it out and hope that I did not let the tank get too bad,
and that my familiar fertilizer will soon arrive in the mail. I prefer to
keep things simple if I can. I prefer not to have to trim algae off my
plant's leaves and definitely don't want to change the whole apple cart if
I don't have to.  So, I don't take any chances, I usually bleach my _new_
plants. This way, I am reasonably certain that BBA algae or other nasty fur
algae doesn't get into my display tanks. This allows me to sleep better at
night. <g>