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Java Moss vs. Algae

>Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 13:55:18 -0500
>From: Jennifer Glover <jglover at autometric_com>
>Subject: Java Moss vs. Algae
>I know this may sound like a really dumb question, but can Java Moss
>resemble algae?
>I have this algae in my tank, that nothing in there seems to be eating,
>but I began
>to wonder if it was really algae, when I pulled some up.  It felt and
>looked (I
>didn't try tasting it, yuck!) just like Java Moss.  I had java moss in my
>75G tank
>for a while, but after it began taking over, I removed it and put it in a
>tank (29G).  The problem was that the power head was blowing little bits
>of it all
>over and pulling strands across the tank, so that it tangled in other
>plants.  The
>smaller tank doesn't have the same current flow, so now it all stays in a
>big ball at
>one side.  It was never really all that bad, but now I am finding little
>bits of this
>stuff growing in odd corners and niches in the 75G.  How resilient is java
>Will it take fragmentation and still keep coming back?  Am I being visited
>by the
>dreaded hair/strand algae?  The algae/moss seems to come in two forms, one has
>shorter strands (maybe half inch to inch) that attach to stuff like
>wood/gravel, or
>just kind of grow in a little clump. The stuff is course and comes up in a
>clump when
>you pull on it.  The other variety is really soft, silky and long and also
>comes up
>in a clump when you pull on it, but stays together better than the other
>stuff.  I
>took a better look at the java moss ball in the 29G tank and it seems to
>have a
>mixture of the two different kinds of threads, just like the two different
>kinds I am
>seeing in the 75G tank.  Did I end up buying java moss and thread algae
>mixed together?
>As far as algae eaters in the tank, I have 6 adult SAEs, 1 baby SAE, 5
>Ottos, and 1
>gold nugget pleco in the tank.  There doesn't appear to be a lot of algae
>in the
>tank, except for the hair stuff, so I think they fish are doing the job so
>far.  I
>have noticed the SAEs feeding pretty heavily on the fish food that I add
>for the
>other fish, so I am not sure they are eating algae at all, or are just really
>hungry.  Do SAEs and ottos eat java moss?
>Tank: 75G, heavily planted
>Lighting: 2 150 watt halogen bulbs: shop light
>Current: Fair amount, output of 2228 Prof. Eheim filter and 1 powerhead
>CO2 bottled gas injection to an aqualine reactor
>Nitrates/Nitrites: undetectable
>PH: 7.1
>GH: 4
>KH: 8
>Other stuff: no test kits
>Thank you for any help in figuring out what this stuff is.  I guess if it
>is thread
>algae, I give the SAEs a swift kick in the rear and start monitoring water
>a bit better and tackling that problem.  If this is java moss that just
>needs to be
>deported out of there, I will physically hunt it down and remove it.  I
>don't want to
>do the drastic measures people employ with thread algae, until I am
>certain that
>there is a problem.  Actually, it really isn't too pervasive, so maybe I
>will just
>let it live and prosper along with the plants.  Who ever said algae is all
>that bad?
>Jennifer Glover
>(equal opportunity photosynthesizing organism habitator)

Look at the strands of the organism, are they smooth threads or do they
have small short points that stick out of the thread. If they are smooth
threads, then I would guess it is algae. Javamoss has little "serrations"
in the thread.

Assuming it is Javamoss, you can pull it appart and spread it out to
different areas of the tank. Sometimes, I have a strand that breaks off and
starts growing elsewhere in the tank. The hair algae often grows in clumps
in the gravel or sends a long strand from one plant to another in the
aquarium. When you have hair alage, it's quite persistant and it grows much
faster than Javamoss. Shrimp work well, -especially the C. Japonica or
amano shrimp. You need a bunch of them though, I like to have 1 shrimp per

Julius Odian
From sunny Santa Babara California

On a side note, I agree with the idea of using real names. I can understand
if you hang out on alt.teen.sex or something to that nature but this is a
plant mailing list.