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Branch Algae was Ameca Splendens in Southern California
Roger wrote To: Aquatic-plants at actwin_com
Subject: Ameca Splendens in Southern California
From: RGORDONPF at aol_com
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 1999 19:09:35 EDT
Does anyone know of a LFS in the Southern California area that currently
stocks Ameca Splendens. I have a 100 gallon tank that is getting overrun by
an algae that my bristlenoses, SAEs, otos, and American Flagfish do not eat.
The algae is a form of hair algae. In the tank it looks grey, but out of
tank it is a dark blue-green. It forms threads that can grow up to ten
inches long. The threads do branch, but only every couple of inches or so.
The algae prefers to grow at the bottom of the tank, either in the gravel
(flourite) or on plant leaves. It doesn't grow on the acrylic tank sides or
on the bogwood. If it grows on a leaf you cannot get it off without
the leaf. The Amecas are my last hope before I tear down the tank and
everything. Since my plants are doing so well, I am extremely reluctant to
tear down the tank.
I am also curious as to why the algae is doing so well. Every time I
phosphate with my Seachem test kit, the reading is zero. I have dropped my
PMDD dosage so that my Seachem iron test kit barely turns a hint of purple -
which should equate to an iron level of .05 ppm. I add KNO3 to the tank
separately from the PMDD and try to keep the level between .25 and .5 N per
my LaMotte N-NO3 test kit which equates to 1-2 ppm of NO3. I used to keep
the NO3 at 5-10 ppm, but that encouraged green spot algae to grow on the
sides. Its nice not to have to buff the sides of the tank every week.
In reading through the Algae articles on "The Krib" I did see mention that
‘overfeeding' the fish can cause algae even if the iron, N and P levels are
okay. That may be my problem as I have a pair of breeding dwarf gouramis
a school of 30 neon tetras that I feed several times a day in the tank.
eat all the food - none drops to the bottom, but I suppose their feces add a
lot of nutrients to the water.
Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
San Diego, California
I could not find any Ameca Splendens here in the MD/VA/DC area either. Even
tried special ordering them from a LFS and the supplier they use could not
get them. Still trying to get them. I heard or read somewhere that Gold
Barbs may eat hair and/or branch algae....who knows??
Anyway, I have a similar problem occurring in my 125g planted tanks and was
wondering if your reduction of PMDD and lower N03/feeding has had any
effect. My Fe measured .6 this a.m. and I have cut my PMDD dose from 12ml
to 6ml per day starting today (Dose is based on 3ml PMDD per 100 liters/ and
I estimate my 125g is approx. ~400L/~100g of water with substrate and
plants). Nitrate are unmemorable using the Seachem Nitrite/Nitrate test
The algae in question is gray/green branching algae that is exactly as you
describe below. I have never had this algae in all my 5 years of planted
tanks!! I am able to pull a large majority out of the tank when I see it
spreading in and around my glossostigma on the bottom of the tank. Not much
anywhere else except on some floating Hydrocotyle leucocephala, which I just
cut off the leading new growth/tips where there is no branch algae and toss
the infected part. This stuff is a great floating/nutrient sponge if you
I am still convince this could be an overabundance of Fe or possibly P? I
put some Seachem PhosGuard in one of my canister filters a couple of days
ago and did a water change and have lowered P to between .1 and .2 ppm
measured this a.m. P may end up being the culprit here. Yours reads 0
Since switching from Tropica MasterGrow to PMDD and manual removal (using
12" tweezers) it seems to have slowed in it's growth but it is to soon to
Tank: 125g, 72x18x22, set up now for about 3 months, really no ammonia or
nitrite spikes because heavily planted from the start, lots of fast
Substrate: Dupla heating cables, DIY transformer, and Dupla temp.
controller, Dupla laterate bottom 1/3, fine gravel, maybe 3.5" to 4" of
Co2:Pressurized C02 and PinPoint C02 Controller, 20-30ppm Co2 depending on
time of day, plants exhibit O2 bubbling a couple of hours after lights go on
and continue up till 8-9pm.
Lights:3 x 175w Hamilton Pendants, Coralife 6500K bulbs (these are nice
fixtures/bulbs), 3 IceCap 175MH Elec. ballasts. Photoperiod 12hrs/day,
hanging 9-10" off the water.
Water: No ammonia, nitrites
pH 6.8 (Probe)
kH 1-2 (tetra titration)
gH 1-2 (tetra titration)
Fe: .4 (Seachem)
N: .5 (just a hint of color on Seachem test kit)
P: . 2 - .4 (Seachem)
Well water 1.5kH and 1gH out of the tap.....YES I know the water gods have
blessed me! I Add garden dolomite (CaCO3/MgCO3) for extra Ca/Mg but it
dissolves so slow I can never really raise gH that much, maybe 1 degree gH
after a couple of days. No signs of Ca deficiencies so I think it gets
mixed in the substrate and is extracted by roots??
Plants: Real heavily planted from the start. Used plants from other tanks
and plants ordered from www.AZgardens.com. I have pulled/reduced some fast
growers like hygro and water sprite in favor of some other stem plants.
Fish: (mostly from www.aquariumcenter.com Baltimore, MD WOW what a super
store, though 1.5hrs drive but worth it!)
2 Farlowella (Twig) Catfish (Not the Royal Farlowella)
2 Gold Barbs (PUNTIUS SACHSI ) One Jumped...oh no!
2 Black sailfin mollies (Molliensia velifera) (now I have 5+ more babies
20 Otocinclus sp.Sometimes referred to as "ottos"
20 Siamese Algae Eater (AKA "SAE") NOT Chinese Algae Eater (CAE)
1 Bristlenose/Spotted Plecos of the genus Ancistrus (small)
12 Rainbow shrimp
30 neon tetras
1 small dwarf/stunted turquoise/red discus (from 75g planted tank, this is a
tester discus, will move some adults into 125 in a month or 2)
2 spotted Corys
4 dwarf praecox rainbows
Lite feeding, the fish always act like my teenagers...hungry 24hrs/day...go
Was dosing Tropica MasterGrow (from Gromberg, thanks Dave!), but my PMDD
ingredients arrived from Homegrown Hydroponics and decided to try to get my
own handle on fertilizer concentrations. Now a week into PMDD.
Will keep you updated. Tell me where you are in your battle against the
dreaded gray branch algae, maybe we can jointly (and with the help from
other APDers) we can eradicate this stuff from our tanks!!
Comments appreciated in advance and thanks for your help!