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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1437

| Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 22:48:32 -0800
| From: "Grant Miller" <grantmiller at home_com>
| Subject: Black dots on my bulb plants
| Hello!
| I have subscribed to the mail list for about 7 months and now I need
| someone's help. I've checked the archive on something going on in my tank
| and I'm not sure whether it is a disease or not.

Looks more like algae to me.....which really is not a disease although one
could view it like a disease sort of like Dunlop's disease, the tire
company.  You know, my belly has Dun-lopped over my belt!.....anyway.....

| My bulb-type plants have an ever-increasing number of black dots that are
| hard to the touch and cannot be scraped off.

It looks to me like black-brush and/or beard algae, I get confused as to how
to distinguish between the two.  Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus
siamensis) or SAEs  have been know to eat this (if fed very sparingly).  I
would look at increasing light levels from your current <1w/gal.  Add a
singe or double strip light with a good full-spectrum bulb(s).  I would add
a double strip light with two GE Sunshine 6500K bulbs or even better you
could add a couple of 55w power compacts.  With the addition of light your
tank dynamic will change requiring a new balancing between
CO2/fertilizer/maintenance.  But the idea is to increase plant growth
utilizing most of the water-column nutrients (like excess Fe maybe in this
case) and starve the algae.    In addition you may consider that your photo
period is too long (15+ hours). After about 12 hours a fair number of plant
types "shut-down" photosynthesizing however algae will continue to grow.
This has long been a problem for me as well because I am a night-owl and
love to tinker with my tanks till 1-2am.  So I don't turn on my tank lights
till 12 noon or 1:00pm.

What is the current Co2 level in the tank? Assuming your kH is predominately
from carbonates the kH/pH/CO2 tables would indicate ~15ppm.  With bottled
CO2 you may be experiencing wild fluctuations in CO2 over periods when CO2
production is low.  When this happens,plant growth is limited and nutrients
in the water become more available to algae.  Vigilant yeast-method CO2
should keep production fairly consistent.  You can also check to see how
well your plants are metabolizing nutrients by measuring CO2  right before
the lights are turned on in the morning and then towards the end of your
photo period and compare the two.  If their is a drop in CO2 between the
morning measurement and toward the end of the photo-period (and typically an
increase in pH) you know your plants are working away and hopefully
nutrients.  If not, something is limiting your growth. My guess is you lack
of both light intensity and spectrum.

You should also try to remove the effected plant leaves (as much as you can
without killing the plant), and if you are really pissed try reading Neil
Frank's column (http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Algae/red-algae.html ),  and
mount a frontal attack using his bleach-method.

What/how many fish do you "feed sparingly" ?   It has been my experience
that increased CO2, lighting (not duration of lighting), reducing Fe (and
possibly Nitrates),  with the addition of SAEs, maybe some Otocinclus sp.
and a bristle nose cats  will help send this type of algae in to remission.

| As I am new to plants in aquariums, I don't have all the names for the
| plants, so here is a picture of the plant in question.  It can be found at
| http://members.home.net/grantmiller/myplants.html. Any help with this
| question would be of great help.  I've also included pictures of all of my
| plants. Is there anyone who could name them for me? I buy them from a
| wonderful little Chinese lady here in Vancouver, BC and I can never
| understand the names she gives me - with the exception of my Java Fern!

Plant identifications:

1 Hygrophila polysperma (possibly "sunset" if it has red pigments like
Tropica's "Rosanervig") see www.tropica.dk

2 This looks like a bog/terrarium plant possibly Neanthebella Palm
(Chamaedorea elegans)
3 This is definitly an Aponogeton, possibly crispus or ulvaceus
4 My guess is Crinum thaianum (onion bulb looking plant)
5 Hard to see but looks like a Ludwigia possibly repens
6 Nice setup, keep working and enjoy!

Here are my tank stats for your diagnosis:
| - - 48 gallon community tank with tetras, clown loaches, etc.
| - - no snails that I know of
| - - I have a DIY co2 injector (pop bottle variety)
| - - 1 40w power glow fluorescent light
| - - PH is 6.6, ammonia 0 ppm, nitrites 0 ppm, kH 2, gH 3.
| - - I do a 1/3 water change each week and add 2 teaspoons of liquid plant
| fertilizer at that time (Aquatic Stuff Plant Fertilizer)
| - - I feed the fish only once a day
| - - The light is on from 7:00 am to 10-11:00 pm.
| - - Temperature is 26C or 78F
| Thank you so much.
| Grant Miller
| grantmiller at home_com
| (an enthusiastic Newbie to aquatic plants)

So try increasing your water changes to 50% for a couple of weeks, increase
light output, reduce the time your lights are on, cut out the algae infested
leaves, reduce your Iron (but not potassium(K)), gets some SAEs, Ottos and
keep CO2 production at a good clip.