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Re: Driftwood and algae

> 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.   

All I said likely was that it provided a substrate for attachment. Fast
growing leaves do not make for the best places for attachment in most cases.

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.

Well you simply added more plants. The driftwood had displaced the space for
plant mass. If you have algae issues etc, adding more plants will often take
care of the problem.
> 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
> rotten.

I use to be a driftwood freak, not as bad as the plant thing but not too far
off. I never used any "light weight" or rotting wood. I always cut any rot
or soft stuff off. I soaked it good in a trash can for a week or longer.
Then cut, sandblasted etc anything else off.

My favorite wood is redwood and coastal live oak that has fallen in the dry
almost desert like grass/woodlands in CA. The redwood is found along creeks
and is well washed. Never ever take live wood. Redwood roots are very nice.
Madrone oak is nice also but is heavy on the tannins(more a reddish color).
I often set the pieces I liked in a stream and place a big rock on top of it
and noted location. I come back in a month or so and the water has removed
the rot and the tannins. Hopefully the rains hadn't washed it away when I
came back.

Reservoirs are particularly good places due to the water level flux due to
seasonality to look for driftwood.
> 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.

If it's rotting.
> 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
> problem.

I would say most all driftwood sold. Some is very nice. Collecting your own
without trimming it up etc?

> 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.

So is it plant mass or the driftwood?
> 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.

Welcome GW.  

> 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 !.

Like I said.
> 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.

Think your going to starve an algae huh?
> I think the new plants introduced the Green Water algae to my tank and that
> is why I had never had it previously

No, try again. All that disruption and removal of the deep substrate where a
large reservoir of NH4+ is from the sword removal. you did that yourself.
The transported plant had nothing to do with it. I've moved plants from a GW
into a number of tanks, no GW. The spores are already there. They just hang
out till there's some NH4 and light. Once they start your SOL on trying to
starve them.
Try doing a nice big water change right after the big hack or sword removal.
This will prevent this in the future.

> 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.

Just keep up on maintenance and nutrients. If you do a big hack etc, use the
magnums to clean up afterwards along with a water change.

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

Tom Barr