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RE Snails, algae... yay Ed!

> I'm sorry if you was offended in any manner by the conversation.

Nah, I just feel compelled to try counter some of the most often
repeated statements that begin to be accepted as fact because of the
repetition. If you haven't noticed, there's usually a little teasing or
joking hidden in my dissenting posts. Its important to remember why we
are motivated and what we really want to achieve. Otherwise we end up
being annoyed and that's no good. I used the same subject as Olga so
that the threads would be linked in the archive, not as a reaction to

> However when I responded the way that I did I was under the assumption
> that there would be less hazardous alternative methods.

Hazardous in what way? Using the bleach treatment might be hazardous to
your clothing if you spill bleach on them. If you read the instructions,
you won't be killing plants although in my experience, not all plants
can be bleached and survive so for some delicate plants, you need to
find an alternative method or don't use those plants. By alternative, I
mean growing the plant emersed or obtaining a clean culture from
somebody. When I get set up in the new house, I'll be able to set up
several emerse condition tanks for Crypts and fine leafed plants. They
have to be grown in very humid conditions (i.e. with glass covers).

>  Just so
> everyone knows we may be dealing with Cladophora :)  and from what I
> have been reading hair algae *CAN* and *IS* cultured by a wide variety
> of animal (the types i'm not sure about yet, still looking for that
> info)

I think you mean cured not cultured. I'm not just reading about hair
algae, I've worked (first hand) with a number of individuals who have it
in their aquariums. In some cases, especially with BBA, certainly you
can curtail an infestation but you can NEVER eliminate the algae totally
from the aquarium by using SAEs or other algae eating fish. So if you
say controlled, I would agree but not cured nor prevented.

> As for preventing algae the old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a
> pound of cure.  However there is no 100% sure method of keeping algae
> out of a tank, well unless you sterilize everything, put in plastic
> fish, plastic grave, plastic plants and seal it in a sterile enviroment
> :)  As for a real world enviroment I feel that it's alot easier to
> understand WHY there's an outbreak and treat the cause NOT the symptom.

There IS a 100% sure method of keeping filament algae out of a tank.
That is to use the bleach treatment method to sterilize aquatic plants
and to quarantine fish before adding them to the tank. You don't need to
sterilize everything, just those things which could have had algae grown
on them. For non living things, that's pretty easy. Just because certain
people keep repeating this particular chant over and over (you CAN'T
keep algae out of an aquarium) it doesn't make it true. You CAN keep
filament algae out of an aquarium. Big distinction. Unfortunately at
times it means you can't use certain plants which cannot survive bleach
unless you have access to clean samples (and still prevent algae from
infecting the tank by prophylaxis).

You imply that using a preventative approach is somehow not a real world
environment. More propaganda ;-)

Of course there are other forms of algae such as unicellular (green
water) and cyanobacteria (BG) which do travel as spores and you do need
to understand how to control these. It is much much much much easier to
prevent an infestation of filament algae by simply bleaching the plants.
Remember that the same SAEs that eat BBA also love to eat Mayaca,
Heteranthera zosterifolia and fine leafed Rotala species.

The old "treat the cause not the symptom" propaganda! This is purely a
diversionary argument. Surely if you prevent certain types of algae from
colonizing the aquarium, you are treating the cause. I can use the same
argument to say that you are treating the symptom by using algae eating
fish and by employing strategies to limit nutrients in the water column.
Of course, you STILL have to limit nutrients in the water column or
OTHER types of algae like green water, will bloom. But limiting
nutrients alone will never make a thick mess of filament algae die. If
you have a thick mess of Spyrogyra, its very very difficult to keep
other fish alive and keep algae eating fish hungry enough to consume the
mess. With tougher filament algae, its even MORE difficult to get
anything to eat it. What eats Cladophora? The stuff is like horsehair??
Most of the PLANTS in an aquarium are more palatable than horsehair

Ed, are you sure you aren't George Booth using a fake email address??
;-) Nah, George would never apologize for heating me up. ;-)

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!!!