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Re: Algae problem, please advise (2nd attempt)

    * From: "Barbosa, Diego" <DBarbosa at AkinGump_com>
    * Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 14:54:47 -0600

>.....First of all, I'm having some trouble identifying the algae in question,
>it looks like green fur- balls, like little cheerleader's pompons, growing on
>my plants, driftwood, tubing etc. What kind of algae is this?, I know it's not
>rare, I just don't know the name.........

By copying the above portion, I probably have violated that ferocious
disclamer at the end of your message, but please spare me, and don't sue!

The alga sounds like Cladophora, and it is very persistant.  I don't think
that manipulating nutrient levels can get rid of it, and I know that
cutting down on light levels won't hurt it.  I have seen it last for years
in a tank only lit by dim room light, less that 20 foot candles.  Maybe
SAE's will eat it; I don't know.  It has an unpleasant smell.  It can grow
into huge green masses that cover and kill plants.  It sticks to gravel and
plant stems as the expanding mass comes in contact.

You can keep it from taking over by weekly removals, but you could never
get rid of it all that way. The bleach treatment can get rid of it, but you
have to bleach everything---the plants, the tank, all tank fixtures, and
the gravel.  You have to have a new tank free of the alga set up and ready
to receive the treated plants.  Fish from an infested tank should be put
through one or two water changes in a temporary tank before they are moved
to a new planted tank.  Four minutes in 5% liquid bleach with agitation is
the minimum treatment to kill this toughest of all the hair algae when it
is attached to aquarium plants.  A majority of aquatic plants can survive
the 4 minute treatment, but they will be injured, and should be immediately
placed in good growing conditions.   Of course, the tank, gravel, and
fixtures should be treated with diluted bleach for a day or two just to
make sure.  I recommend 2 cups for 15 gallons, cover the tank tightly and
let it stand a few days.  The fumes should kill stuff above the water
level.  For the gravel, drain, rinse all the mulm out, drain and then cover
with  10% to 20% liquid bleach.  Let it sit at least overnight, rinse well,
and then dry.  You don't have to worry about persistant traces of bleach.
It rinses off well, and remaining traces escape to the atmosphere or get
converted to harmless compounds in the same way that chlorine in tap water

Good luck!

Paul Krombholz, in central Mississippi, getting a strong warming trend