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Red Algae

Dave Whittaker wrote:

>I've been trying to deal with red algae (brush/audouinella) for more
>than a year in my 30 gallon. It thrives on low pH/CO2 injection and
>bright light and grows almost as well as the plants.

Dave, it's not that simple.  True, it grows well in the presence of
bright light, but it also requires an excess of nitrate or phosphate.   I
am injecting uncontrolled DIY CO2 and have VHO lamps operating
11 hours a day on a 20 gallon tank and have no red algae at all.
None.  Believe me, when I first started out I had a terrible outbreak
because of something I added to the water that I shouldn't have, so I
know what it looks like and how hard it is to get rid of.


> Since I don't test for iron, levels may be a bit high.

Excess iron would more likely give you an outbreak of slimy, green
Cladophora thread algae in the presence of bright light.  Also not

 >I do keep nitrates at 3 to 10 ppm

Are you absolutely sure about this?  I just had a discussion off line
with somebody who thought that he had low nitrates, too.  Don't
forget that if you are using the LaMotte nitrate kit, and probably most
of the others,  you are measuring something called "nitrate as nitrate
nitrogen".  In order to determine the actual level of NO3 in your
water you must multiply the results of your test by a factor of 4.4.

>and I doubt that one could detect a phosphate atom in the tank.

Again, are you sure?  If your nitrate levels are really as low as you
say they are, then I can only think of an excess of phosphate as
being the source of your troubles.

>We found cessation of the CO2 injection, or prolonged light
>deprivation to be somewhat effective. It doesn'tdo much for the
>flora though.

Drastic steps that you should not have to resort to if your nutrients
are in balance.

Have a nice weekend,

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