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Re: Sean's Algae Problem

> Here is my problem...I have no more money available
> to add any more algae eating type fishes (honestly, 
> bills come first:( ).

If you have $1 left, I suggest getting a female black
molly.  The bigger, the better.  I bought a mature
female and she has been decimating the tufty, green
stuff.  She'll also pluck small hair algae.  They are
very active fish and this one is a personal delight to
have in the tank.  

I also have a population of Mystery Snails that cruise
the glass and keep the green spot under control. Two
of these came for free from the LFS that sold me a few
of the plants.  Thanks to nature, I now have about a
dozen.  My only serious algae problem was the slimy,
smelly bluegreen stuff.  That was cleared up by a 1/2
oz. per 10 gallon treatment of 3% U.S.P. Hydrogen
peroxide.  It was annihilated in 12 hours and has
shown no signs of returning.  I cannot recommend that
treatment strongly enough.  Bypass or remove the
filter--1/2 oz in 10 gallons will probably kill it.

> I have been changing 2-4 gallons of water a day for 
> over a month...stuff keeps coming.

I know it seems like a month Sean, but didn't you say
you set this tank up on July 17th?  Am I confusing you
with someone else, or is changing 20-40% of the water
every day so much of a chore that time doesn't pass
the way it should? ;) 

I think you're changing too much water too frequently.
 Some algae will survive the treatment process applied
by your water company.  These algae have evolved in
your local water's nutrient and mineral content.  The
plants you are trying to grow in the tank on the other
hand, have not.  This means that with every water
change, you are (likely) providing the algae with a
water supply they've evolved with.  The less
frequently I change the water, the less algae I've
seen in the tank.

Once the natural processes you've set on course begin
altering the water chemistry, the algae will probably
be left at a disadvantage.  When their nutrients are
used up and their mineral requirements are denied,
they die.  You can help that process along by meeting
the nutrient and mineral requirements of the desired
plants, and hiring inexpensive mercenary fish like

> 2 otto's
> 1 bunch water Wisteria 
> 1 bunch  Egeria Densa
> 1 bunch Sagitaria subluvata

In my estimation, that is not enough.  When I set up
my 10 gallon tank on the 4th of July weekend, I had
the following:

1 hydrocleys nymphoides
6 elodea canadensis
6 ceratophylum demersum
2 bacopa monierii
3 Ceratopteris pteridioides
1 Epipremnum aureum cutting w/4 leaves
1 Spathiphylum 'viscount'

The latter two are bog/houseplants.  The spathiphylum
has since been removed.  Both had their leaves out of
the water.  

Within 2 weeks of getting the tank set up and running,
I added:

4 stems Cabomba carolinia
16 stems Rotala indica
1 potted Echinodorus 'Oriental'
1 potted Cryptocoryne wendtii 'bronze'

The more densely you plant, the more likely that the
plants will acquire the nutrients.  Plants that have
access to atmospheric CO2 seem to do a better job of
this, especially at startup.  They're effective at
keeping algae down while the true aquatics grow in. 
If you have some houseplants suffering around the
homestead, try putting them bare root into the tank. 
Chlorophytum (spider plant), Calathea, Caladiums,
Peace lilies, philodendron, etc.  Anything that you
can root in water will grow for a while in your tank,
and while it's growing it's sucking up nutrients like
a sponge.  When the selection and growth of the
submerged plants have improved, you can take them out.

You said that you feared you may have used too many
Jobe's spikes.  I can speak from experience that
unless you have a dense substrate that contains at
least some soil (or soil component), even one of those
can be too much if the plants aren't there to use the
nutrients.  I used 1/3rd of a 6-12-6 spike.  The
result was a big mess.

The root tabs were the 0-0-3 Tetra Hilena Crypto,
right?  I know I'm adding to the bill here, but you
might want to get some FloraPride to go along with it.
 Potassium may be the limiting factor in your tank. 
Adding some to the water column can produce some
dramatic results in a short period of time.

> I can't get this algae under control.

Yeah you can.  You just need to give it time.  You've
only had the tank going for about 3 weeks.  The stuff
that happens in that short of a time frame can be
frustrating, but most of the bad stuff is temporary. 
In nature, the process is called 'succession,' where
one species moves in, does its thing, dies, and is
replaced by the next species, which does its thing and
dies.  Eventually, you're left with a (hopefully)
stable ecosystem that supports a broad range of plant
and animal life.

Not an expert, just a fellow newbie with some
experiences to relate...

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