[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Driftwood, Algae, Diatom Filters and More.

A while back I asked a question about several possiblities that may cause
steady continuous hair algae growth.   One of them whether Driftwood could
cause/contribute to this problem.  I've had this tank going for a couple of
years and have ALWAYS had a problem with hair Algea.  It would absolutely
cover the tank if you did not clean it back every week.   I had tried
everything I could think of to get the tank in balance.   Changed the
lighting, No CO2 More CO2,  different PMDD's and nothing seemed to affect
it.   Well in reading the archives someone had mentioned that Driftwood
would cause algea growth.   However there were 3 others that said No Way
this couldn't happen.    So I removed it from my tank and the next day
posted to the list the question about Driftwood causing it.    I believe it
was Tom Barr that said,  it could cause algae to grow ON it but not all over
the tank.   Well it has been two+ weeks now and I have not had any
additional growth of this algae in this tank since it was removed.   I am
feeling much better about this tank now.    Plant growth is very good,
everything seems to be much more in balance. 

There is still some hair algae in the tank,  tangled around the base of some
very thick corkscrew Val,  I have been unable to get down to it to free it
up but I can see it.   It has not grown since removing the driftwood.  

Now about this driftwood,   I found it in a nearby lake,  brought it home
and bleached it before I put it in my tank.    It was fragile,  not really
totally rotten but if you were not careful you could break it.  After I put
it in,  it was fairly small,  18"x 4"x4",  It got fairly grown over,
couldn't really see it and I had forgotten about it.   When I took it out to
clean it,  their were pieces that were really crumbling on it now(2 years
and countless algae battles later),  it was really starting to look and feel

I am convinced of the following things about driftwood. 

1.  In certain circumstances,  there are pieces of driftwood that can cause
major algae growth in a tank.

2.  Based on what others have said,  There is likely a large amount of
driftwood sold out there that is just fine and will not cause a algae

If you are having something like I have described above,  try taking out
your driftwood for a couple of weeks and see if it helps your situation.

During this time,   I also re arranged some plants,  I pulled out a root
ball from a sword that was probably two lbs and a foot long,   I had no idea
it was that big when I started to remove it or I wouldn't have messed with
it.  I also added a couple of new plants during this time.  

Soon after this,  My water turned cloudy,  I thought it was a bacterial
bloom and just let it hang around thinking it would clear.  Nope,  didn't go
away,  now this was a milky white colored cloud,   I got to thinking maybe I
had un-earthed a jobes stick or something that was clouding up the water.
I searched and searched for it,  didn't find anything.   Finally today upon
the advice of my LFS (We have two good ones),   I took out a gallon or so of
water,  put it in a white bucket,  and Wala,  It wasn't white cloudy but
green cloudy,   My lights were making it look white.   I have never had a
bout of green water,  and although over the last week or so I suspected it
may be it but could never fully convince myself of it.    It was !.

One of the symptoms was that it would really cloud up when the lights were
on,  when they were off for the night,  it would clear back up again.   This
should have told me right then what it was,   but since I had never delt
with it before,  I was hesitant to believe it.    I did a lot of water
changes which really helped it but over 2 or 3 days it kept getting worse.

I think the new plants introduced the Green Water algae to my tank and that
is why I had never had it previously

Now on with the Diatoms in my subject.   Upon reading the archives I decided
since it was green water the best way to handle it would be to diatom filter
it.  I have a Mag 350 and a Hot Mag 250.   Since the Hot Mag is easier to
deal with I started with it.   Not realizing there was a difference,  I had
diatamacious earth from another project,  I just used it.    After an hour
or more of doing nothing but making my tank REALLY cloudy,   I started
reading further into the archives and someone made mention that
Diatamaceious Earth and Diatam Powder were NOT the same thing.    They are
very correct.  In a Hot Magnum Diatamaceious Earth just passes right through
and does not get caught.  I got some Diatamaceous Powder,  Put it in the
filter and in about an hour,  the filter was full of green pea soup and the
tank was clean.

Once I figured out the difference in poweders,   I ran both the Mag350 and
the Hot Mag at the same time and the Mag350 picked up probably 10 times the
Green Algae than did the HotMag.   I was amazed that they were that
different.    I may not have had enough Diatom powder in the Hot Mag or
something so this was not scientific by any means.

I am not a fan of the Magnum filters,  However,  since I had them and they
were supposed to do Diatom filtering,  I tried them.   Somewhere in the
archives someone makes a comment about them not working as a Diatom Filter,
I disagree with this,  they work fine for this.   Maybe not for a long term
use,  however,  If you do USE THE DIATOM POWDER,   Not the EARTH and if you
do not use the cartridge alone without the powder,  they work fine.

Now,  Since it is obvious, that the above removing of the driftwood was not
the ONLY thing I did during that period of time,   I will post later if my
hair algae makes a comeback but based on ZERO growth in the last two weeks,
even with the green water problem,  I don't think this will be a problem.

Now the WHOLE REASON I am posting this is so that in the Archives will be an
account of my experiences,  maybe someone will get some help from them and
not have to re-live my problems.

Also,  I wanted to thank all of those that responded to my original
question.   Everyone was quite helpful.

Ken, in NW Arkansas, USE where it is Dark and 38 degrees outside.