Re: Suggestion about restocking to fight algae

>    *  Subject: Suggestion about restocking to fight algae?
>    *  From: Alan Holloway <llabh at utxdp_dp.utexas.edu>
> I'm fit to be tied: I started ye olde plant tank two months
> ago, and it's looking ugly.  Parameters: 40 gallons, Tex-
> Blast gravel with Dupla K; water straight out of reverse
> osmosis; pH 7.5; GH 8; KH 4; temp 81; lighting, 2 Tritons
> and one Coralife 50/50 left on 10 hours daily; fish load,
> 3 mollies and a pair of Aequidens dorsiger.  I have green
> algae, hair algae and the ever-dreaded brush algae.
>I've used yeast culture CO2, but using KH vs pH extra-
> polations, I saw little reason to continue to bother.  I
> was using two one-liter bottles.

Figuring out what's wrong with your CO2 setup and fixing it is
probably the single biggest thing you can do to get your plants
growing.  You may have had a bad reactor or a leaky CO2 system.

> The plants cost way too much (well over $100 from TFP) yet
> aren't enough to outcompete with algae for nutrients.  Which
> brings up another factor.  I use Dupla's 24 fertilizer, or
> at least I used to, but now I'm mighty leery about feeding
> hungry algae.

What plants did you buy?  Hope you got lots of stem plants that grow
fast and suck up nutrients, not a bunch of expensive Crypts, Swords
and Anubias.  At least till the plants get established, you are right
about going easy on the nutrients.  Even when plants are growing well,
Dupla's recommended doses of fertilizer are too high for many people.

> So, I've decided to semi-tear down the tank, stripping the
> Amazons' leaves and plucking whatever else looks like
> doesn't belong in the aquarium.  I've ordered 50 corkscrew
> vallisneria from Aquarium Driftwood of Semmes, Alabama

You could also try some inexpensive floating plants like Ceratopteris
(Watersprite) that grow quickly.  Some other plants that also grow
fast are Hygro polysperma, Hygro difformis (Water wisteria), Rotala
rotundifolia, Ceratophyllum (Hornwort) and Elodea.
> What else should I do?  What irreconcileable mistakes have I
> made that others can avoid making?

You could get more algae-eating fish, and drop the lighting to 80 W
for now.

Shaji Bhaskar                                              bhaskar at bnr_ca
BNR, 35 Davis Drive, RTP, NC 27709, USA                    (919) 991 7125