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An algae story: boil that driftwood
I recently had the good fortune of a visit from Tom Barr, who posts here
frequently. A few things came out of this that make it worth posting here.
As a relative newbie (my first tank, a 50-gallon with Fluorite substrate,
PC lighting and CO2, has been up for only two months) I've been making all
of the right mistakes, and in the right order, too. <g> By the way, the
best piece of advice that I've gleaned from Tom and many others (thank you
Neil, Steve, Jeff) is, in a word: patience. Errors seem to show
immediately but systemic changes may take many weeks to tell whether
they've succeeded. Or failed. <sigh> Picking a simple regime and sticking
to it allows the tank to mature gracefully. I wish I had listened. ;-)
I thought I had about 9 different kinds of algae in my aquarium - some of
my snails are sporting mohawks. Tom looked at the "Staghorn" algae growing
at the base of all of my red wendii and started laughing - turns out the
silly crypts send roots UP once in awhile, and I thought they were Staghorn
algae. Down to 8 different kinds of algae. Tom showed me some gardening
techniques for removing old leaves and melted sword plantlets - down to 3
different kinds. Pick out the hair algae, scrubb off the green spot algae
and voila! All that's left is the blue-gray fuzzy stuff growing on my
driftwood - you know, the kind the SAEs won't touch.
Here's the non-bleach technique I used:
Remove the driftwood, holding nose to avoid the awful smell.
Cut off the Java ferns and Riccia (taking advantage of the opportunity to
pull out the Bladderwort).
Drop the driftwood, dense African root stock, into a 5 gallon bucket and
pour 4-1/2 gallons of boing water over it. Let stand for 30 minutes
Remove the wood with tongs, and hit briskly with a wire brush.
Tie the flora back on and return to the tank.
It looks fantastic, except for the the Java fern I inadvertantly tied on
michael at rubinworld_com