[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: I may have stumbled onto something...

Kelly - interesting subject I have had some different experiences though

see imbedded
Chris Wells

cdwells @concentric.net

From: Kelly Beard <apistogramma at home_com>
Subject: I may have stumbled onto something...

I have a small outbreak of thread algae.  I've been studying each plant
to see what plants were most affected by thread algae.  I've noticed
that Barclaya Longifolia is almost completely absent of any noticeable
growth of thread algae.  If you squint hard, you can see a few threads,
but you have to look hard.  Old leaves, new leaves, it doesn't matter.
I wonder what characteristic prevents this plant from being overtaken?
Where some plants like Lugwigia repens are covered at the tops, Barclaya

is clean as a whistle.

[From C Wells - Which plants are growing the best?  I would wager that
it is the Barclaya Longifolia.  My experience is that the plants that
are growing the best are the most resistant to epiphytic algae - hair

I had the idea of taking some leaves from
Barclaya, drying and crushing them, then brewing them through a coffee
machine and pouring the contents into a tank (sans fish of course) that
was infected with thread algae, and observing the outcome.  What do you
think?  If it works out, I could bottle this stuff as an "All-natural
algae suppressant".

Here's a couple more observations:
1.  Thread algae definitely does not grow in the shade.  Only the tops
of stem plants and plants with exposed leaves like Aponegetons and Java
Fern are affected.  This makes me think that covering the tank and
leaving the lights off for a while will help - although I can barely
stand the thought of shrouding my babies in complete darkness for a

[From C Wells - I agree that it usually likes the light but I think it
degree of this depends on the species of algae.  I have some BBA that
will almost grow in the dark.  I would think that the grass green
Spirogyra would like a lot of light as does the nasty Cladophora I have
been fighting.  Also on Aponogetons - They grow very well in my tanks
and there is not a spec of hair algae growing on them.  I believe it is
the health of the leaf cuticle that makes the difference. A healthy leaf
has a layer of wax on the surface that keeps the algae from getting a
foot hold.  There are most likely some other compounds that also
discourage this growth.  Sure some plants may be more resistant than
others by there genetics and I have found the faster growing plants have
always have an advantage since you can just cut off the old growth.  My
slow growing anubias are so tuff that I just pull them out if there is
trouble and bleach them for a few minutes, dilute 1/20.  Note - I soak
them for a few days in clean water with dechlorinator in it before
returning.  I took a class on algae back in the 70's from a British
Prof. Dr. Brian Moss.  His specialty was epiphytic algae.  I'll try to
find him again and see what he has to say on the subject.]

2. Thread algae does not grow in areas of strong current.  I have a HOB
UV unit that pours water out.  Thread algae does not grow in that
current.  Nor does it grow in the area where the spraybar flows.
Neither on the glass or on the gravel.  Makes me think that having a
wave maker in a planted tank might be on some benefit - but I'm not
going that route.  I'm going to bottle the Barclaya extract instead.

[from C Wells - Again I think it depends on the species of algae.  BBA
and Cladophora absolutely love the current!!!!  I would think Spirogyra
would too.   I have had to slow down the flow to keep it in check.  Also
the UV output has nothing but sterilized water with dead algae coming
out of it.  So there will be no algae zygotes to populate this area.  If
you had just a power head circulating water I think it would be

Maybe this is one for The Krib!

Let's have some feedback on this one.