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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
> Subject: Re:BGA
> Something to think about:
> Now if all the water changes in the world, manual removal and 
> cutting down all nutrients did not work, why would you cut 
> the amount of TMG recommended doses down to 1/2? Reduction 
> did not help to begin with, why would it now? You tried to 
> starve the algae and it kicked your butt.
> Now do you think you got algae due too much OR too little of 
> a nutrient?

Tom, thanks for your response.  As I mentioned, when the blue green
slime started running rampant, I eventually got desperate, and tried
different things, all to no avail.  The reason for half-dosing of TMG at
the moment, is that (even though it's not technically a new tank), I am
treating it as a new tank, because when I initially moved it, I pretty
well tore it apart, cleaned it and started over, and that's when the BGA
got worse.  Whether fertilization or lack of it, influenced this, I
don't know.  However, Tropica recommends dosing a new tank at half the
usual rate.  Just to clarify: I am not suggesting that half dosing of
fertilizer will eradicate BGA.  Perhaps mentioning it in this context
was misleading.

Anyway, I wouldn't presume to say why I got BGA in this tank in the
first place, but it went crazy once it was introduced.  I am guessing
that it got introduced somehow (new plant?) and that indeed the
conditions were favourable enough for it to spread very freely.  Who
knows, another possibility is, that it's normally present in all
aquaria, but that some "good" bacteria usually keep it under control.  I
don't know whether this is really known.  As you know, BGA is not really
an algae, but cyanobacteria.

> Just keep this in the back of your mind when dealing with 
> algae, poor plants growth = algae. 
> All the reduction in PO4, Traces, NO3, etc really do slow 
> down the plant growth. As you saw, reducing the nutrients did 
> not do much to stop the
> algae.   
> Consider another approach (grow the plants well).

Yes, the plants are quite healthy, but most of them are slow growers.  I
had considered adding some faster-growing plants to this tank.
> A number of things tend correlate well with BGA, too low 
> NO3/absent being one of them and dirty clogged filters etc 
> being the other. Stagnant surfaces and fine needled plants 
> near the surface also are good place and along the front of 
> the glass below the gravel(also an area of low 
> flow/disturbance but enough light).

You are right, I have read these things before.  In one of my other
planted tanks (a larger one) I have a little BGA below the gravel line,
and it has been there for a couple of years, but it keeps itself in
check and never spreads.  That tank doesn't have any major problems of
any kind, and hasn't had any for a couple of years.  It's a very easy
tank to maintain, and keeps itself in more-or-less equilibrium (by the
way, regardless of the dosage of fertilization or lack of it, and
without CO2).

> Dropping a blanket over the tank and killing the lights for 
> 3-4 days with water changes, filter cleaning(if needed) and 
> manual removal before and after the blackout and then 
> correcting the issue(most often adding KNO3 or more CO2) 
> takes care of any BGA infestation I've dealt with every time.

I don't doubt that there are other approaches to the problem.  I
described the approach I used.  I don't use CO2 in this tank and don't
plan to.

> No voodoo or antibiotics. Hey, it's a free method, 
> antibiotics are not. Don't worry in a few weeks there will be 
> more BGA waiting. Your not going to kill it off once then 
> never worry thereafter about it, unless you address the cause 
> in the first place. Those spores will re colonize your tank 
> in due time.

Well...there may be more BGA lurking in this tank...but there may not.
Since BGA is a bacteria, not an algae, that's why it definitely does
respond to antibiotics (no voodoo here).  As I understand it, bacteria
reproduce via the cell's DNA and RNA, not spores.  If I didn't kill all
of the BGA, or if I reintroduce it from another source, then it is
possible it will take hold again.  So far, so good...

> 95% of the algae problems can be dealt with in this manner. 
> Some GW issues require diatom/UV's which can also help other 
> algae issues as a supplement if you have these handy. The two 
> biggest issues for folks with algae issues or chronic 
> reoccurring problems: CO2(not enough most often) and NO3(too 
> little or too much + NH4 from too many fish).

This is interesting, I have heard that diatoms help with green water,
but I hadn't heard that they help with BGA.  I'd like to hear more about
it.  I had considered the fish waste and/or dead plant matter as a
possible contributor, so I have been careful about this.  The fishload
is fairly light and I remove dead leaves, etc.

> You might be able to kill BGA with antibiotic but if the 
> cause is not corrected, all this means is that you'll get a 
> NEW algae that cannot be killed with antibiotics. Growing the 
> plants well is the only reasonable solution from everything 
> I've seen. Works every time.

As to the issue of antibacterial resistance, that could occur if the
antibiotic dosage were not high enough, or not long enough in duration.
I am hoping that is not the case, and I am thinking that if it were the
case, I would be seeing at least tiny signs of it by now.  I do know
someone else who used erythromycin against BGA, and never had the
problem again.