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black brush algae
You could leave a rock covered with black brush algae dried up and in
the dark for a year and if you put it into a sterile aquarium (with
nutrients), it would grow again. Putting it in the dark won't kill it.
The only other treatment that might be worth mentioning is the peroxide
spot treatment. Again, this does not eradicate the algae entirely; small
bits of it remain and will regrow if/when conditions are right. BTW,
conditions are right when your other plants grow.
SAEs can eat the worst invasion of BBA to almost nothing if given time
and less food than they like. Again, the remnants remain but if you keep
a few SAEs in the tank, you should never again have a major infestation.
The Krombholz bleach treatment can eradicate it permanently from an
aquarium when you set up a new aquarium. BBA cannot reinfect the tank by
spores in the air but it can potentially come in on any plant or
aquarium fixture which has not been given a 4 minute dip in bleach
solution (1:19 bleach:water). It can also live in the digestive tract of
an algae eating fish for several days. New fish should be quarantined
for a week in an algae free, dark tank where they don't have any
filament algae to eat. The algae in their digestive system will pass out
in the feces after a few days and drop into course gravel in the bottom
of the tank for that purpose.
I don't think BBA is the worst filament algae at all. In fact it is the
easiest to deal with (although not the easiest to prevent). Green
filamentous thread, hair or cotton algae can spread all over an
aquarium; I think only the Flagfish and Yamato shrimp are effective at
eating certain kinds of this. If you had cladophora, which is a thick
filamentous algae like horse hair in texture, I'm not sure even Flagfish
would eat it. Its tough and requires 5 minute treatment in bleach
solution to kill.
Oedogonium is another nasty one which no fish will eat that I know of.
It covers all the plant leaves with a fine fuzz. Its very easy to kill
with bleach needing only a 2 minute bleach dip and even most delicate
plants survive a quick 2 minute dip without any trouble. Last time I got
Oedogonium in a tank, I tore the entire system down and redid it from
scratch bleaching every plant and fixture. It was horrid stuff; I fought
it for months before going "scorched earth".
Fortunately, none of the filamentous algaes can travel as airborne
spores, only on affected plants, in water along with fish or inside the
fish. Few people make an effort not to introduce filament algae into
their aquariums since it is commonly believed that its impossible to
prevent the algae from getting in. Its not impossible, it just requires
discipline and sometimes its very difficult to get a delicate plant to
survive the necessary bleach treatment.
Currently I have no filament algaes except BBA in my main tanks; I have
that because I wasn't careful enough and it snuck in. Thank god for
Steve Pushak Vancouver, BC, CANADA
Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page" http://home.infinet.net/teban/
for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!