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RE: Algae Winning

I was told to not fertilize for the first few weeks of a new tank.  The plants take a
little while to get settled in and do not use up the nutrients in the water as well
as they will later.  So fertilization should come after the plants have established. 
I think that the algae are quick movers and do not need any time to establish and can
start eating nutrients as soon as the tank is set up.  Therefor if you are a beginner
Jedi Plant Knight and do not understand how to use the force to prevent algae, you
have to starve the algae from the beginning.  The plants have reserves stored in
their cells or some even have bulbs to grow from, during the initial time, when they
may not absorb nutrients well from the substrate/water.  I think I have read
somewhere that plants grown emersed, may have leaves that do not work well under
water, and need to grow different leaves underwater.  Also recommended to me, was
fast-growing sturdy plants that will rebound from the shock of being transplanted
really quickly and take off immediately.  These will act like nutrient sponges and
soak up nutrients that the algae need to flourish.  The only problem with these is
that later, you may have a problem with them stealing nutrients from other, more
slow-growing plants.

I also do not believe that Ottos eat beard algae.  The "infamous" SAE does, and I
think some shrimp.  I am pretty sure the shrimp that Amano uses (Numa-Ebi Shrimp) eat
brush/beard/everything algae.  The only place I know of to get them is dad's fish at
http://www.dadsfish.com/p_w_fish.html.  When I asked him if he could ship them to the
US, he said probably.  They were really expensive though, so I would suggest ordering
SAEs through the mail (http://www.bestfish.com/sae.html) or looking through the
archives on ways to get rid of your algae.  I think some people darken the tank for a
few days and/or change the nutrients in the water.  A better description of your
algae and tank stats would give more info on how to get rid of it.  Some people can
actually tell without test kits which nutrients are in excess/lacking through what
algae and plants flourish/die, so I hope someone with experience with this algae
responds.  The Krib (http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Algae/) has some advice on algae
as well.  

I would recommend getting some fast growing plants and stop fertilizing.  But I am
also a beginner, so any advice has to be taken with a grain of kitty litter.

Jennifer Glover
Waldorf, MD, USA

> ------------------------------
> Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 16:51:29 -0800
> From: "Josh" <lewisc001 at hawaii_rr.com>
> Subject: Algae Winning
> I set a new 30 gal tank with Kitty Litter and silica sand and now just two
> weeks later I'm getting swamped with algae!  I'm not quite sure on what
> type I have, I think its the brown algae type, its brownish and forms long
> "beards" from leaves.  Its every where on the sand, glass, filter, it also
> turned the umbrella fern and cabomba completely reddish.  I ferterlize with
> ..25 ml of flourish about two times a week, and I also have yeast CO2
> injected.  I tried to solve the problem by adding 8 ottos, 1 pleco and
> daily 5 gal. water changes.  This is not working.  The only other thing I
> can think of is to much or wrong lighting.   I have 4 30 watt 36" bulbs,
> that stay on for 10 hrs.  I don't know if it matters but the bulbs are not
> "aquarium or plant bulbs" but bulbs I got at a hardware store.  Its called
> philips alto collection.  I need help fast.
> Thanks
> Josh

Hawaii, O'ahu