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Re: algae

> Well, I've been sitting on one type of algae for far too long. I haven't
> written about or inquired about this, because everybody's water is obviously
> different. How can you diagnose what another person may need?
Through lots of maintenance jobs and living in area with lots of different
water taps (RO to liquid rock. Lots of P - no P etc) and making more
mistakes than most folks ever have:) I suffered and suffered for a number of
years(about 5 or so) till I got lucky with one issue and then another and
finally started putting stuff together. I know folk's mistakes well cause
I've made most of them or know what a plant physiology needs are.

> I'm wondering
> if different algaes have different tastes, though.

> I have a 10 gallon green water tank. No matter that it's been up for over
> six months, has had the osmocote removed, the substrate replaced etc. It is
> still green. It remained green after I stuffed so many plants in there, the
> one betta has no room to swim in. It was green when there was _no_ fish in.
> There is no amount of plant growth that will clear this tank.

Try blackout for 3-4 days instead. Cover very well with a towel or thick
blanket so no light at all gets in. That magnum with some Diatom powder or
mulm might help. Do a water change prior to this.
> But now, my 29 gallon tank, where I placed 2 x 55 watts over it, has been
> green for quite a while. Initially it was great. Rotala macranda growing
> gangbusters, rotala wallichii & indica which have a tendency to show up
> stunted if they don't get what they want. In fact, no stunted looking
> leaves, despite the high light levels, everything was growing beautifully.
> Then it turned green. I let it go, I changed water now and then. It would
> ultimately turn green again. I decided to ignore it because I didn't have
> the time to attend to it. Just when I decided it wasn't going to clear up
> until I changed some water I woke up to a clear tank one day. Of course the
> tank was so overgrown, that it required a trimming. And then it turned green
> again.

Yak! I've had this happen with a tank I induced with GW. I have 110watts
over a 20 gallon which is even worse. High light tanks are certainly prone
to GW though. I had some problems in the past with a tank but a simple Hagen
filter cured it. But you have to get rid of the Green water first and make
sure the CO2 is stable. Then add a stable filter that doesn't clog. The
blackout method will work but you'll have to keep up on the filter cleanings
and the CO2 levels. If you do a blackout that will take care of the GW. The
rest is up to you:)

When you do a trim you are likely doing a big hack and you should do a water
change afterwards or do say 20-40% only of the tank and not uproot as much
if possible. Your crashing your tank when you do the big hacks.

> So it appears, at least with this tank, that the plant growth has to
> be so profuse as to either reduce the lighting (plant growth trailing on the
> surface) and eliminate the green water, or that that amount of plant growth
> is inhibiting and using the nutrients. Unfortunately, that level of plant
> growth is not desirable, and was not really attractive. So I'm considering
> re-wiring and putting in 2 x 40 watt bulbs. I've tried various methods,
> increasing co2, adding micronutrients, no3. The only thing that clears it is
> replacing the water.

Try adding no iron/fertilizer to the water column and adding root tabs that
are iron rich etc. Add fish food only. Daphnia work also but your fish
likely eat them. If you like a natural methods.... shrimps, snails and
daphnia are quite hard to beat. They will eat all of it except for BBA which
SAE's are suited perfectly for. Algae kind of needs beaten down and harassed
till it submits. If there's enough to get started and going it will overrun.
If conditions are good and there's still some hanging out, attacking it with
fingers, adding more herbivors, water changes with adding the nutrients back
but once you get to this level it has a very hard making a come back. If you
leave the job done 1/2 to 5/6 etc done often it's of little good. Try hard
using these notions for 3 weeks. Then see. I usually don't touch the gravel
when I move or the plants. It's just a big water day instead.

Maybe I gave you some ideas that are doable without extra cost etc. It takes
work at least for awhile to get thing back to normal but then it's not too
I've attacked more algae problem than folks really want to know about. It
really starts to be the same old, same old. There's a tiny bit of Green spot
or there's a tiny bit of hair algae etc but cronic issues are all solvable
without spending 1000$ or adding Marc Weiss's snake oil. Most slight
problems are best handled by critters. You can never have too many shrimps
and algae eaters since if any algae ever does thinking about appearing they
will gobble it fast before it ever gets a chance. Lots of plants, critters
from the start with good CO2. The rest is not bad.
Tom Barr      
> Sylvia