Dusko's Algae Guide

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This article and the subsequent thread has been THE single most helpful source of info I've found. I'm a low tech/Walstad fan and want to know if the same principles of water changes and dosing apply for my three tanks. I change monthly but have noticed brown algea and hair algea creeping into the: picture. Plant growth has all but stopped. Can I resume weekly 50% WC and dose with sea hem flourish? I know Walstad tanks are not supposed to need this, but I just don't have success without water changes.

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*seachem*

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dw1305

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Hi all,
I'm a low tech/Walstad fan and want to know if the same principles of water changes and dosing apply for my three tanks. I change monthly but have noticed brown algea and hair algea creeping into the: picture. Plant growth has all but stopped.
Yes, change more water. I'm <"a great Diana Walstad fan">, but I like some water flow (mainly for improved gas exchange) and <"regular water changes">.
and dose with sea hem flourish? I know Walstad tanks are not supposed to need this, but I just don't have success without water changes.
I would go with a complete fertiliser, rather than "Seachem Flourish". Plants need about x10 more nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) than they do phosphorus (P), and more P than any of the other nutrients.

You can either dose 1/10 EI, or you can use the <"Duckweed Index">.

cheers Darrel
 

Marc Jackson

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Why doesn't somebody on here conduct tests to either prove or dispel the causes of algae blooms? The UK Aquatic Plant Society should have definitive research on a problem that can affect so many aquascapes. I know one thing though.... don't ever believe what is written on the side of commercial treatments as manufacturers will say anything to get a sale.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Why doesn't somebody on here conduct tests to either prove or dispel the causes of algae blooms? The UK Aquatic Plant Society should have definitive research on a problem that can affect so many aquascapes
It is really difficult to get the replication and standardisation required to conduct scientific trials, and unless some-one is offering a very big grant it isn't going to happen.

Because we are in the realms of ecology there often aren't definitive black and white answers, it is very much a <"shades of grey"> world. There are also some issues with the term "algae", it isn't a biological or taxonomic entity and one group (the green algae) are <"very close taxonomically ndd physiologically"> to all the higher plants.

Have a look at @AndyMcD's <"What causes BBA"> threads, that is probably as near as we have got to a proper study.

You could conduct a meta-analysis study on the threads that mention a specific type of Algae, or perhaps most usefully its absence.

I don't ever get much BBA on any of the plants or hardscape, with two exceptions and those exceptions are the filter intake sponges and the filter out-flow.
Again it may purely be co-incidence, but they are two places where Ramshorn snails don't graze.

cheers Darrel
 

Marc Jackson

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I hear what you are saying but the average aquarium owner isn't looking for double blind, scientifically controlled case studies. At the moment you can read books and search the internet and find a myriad of conflicting theories and conjecture. All I know is that us human beings have a gift for taking a fairly simple idea and making far too complex than it really needs to be.
 

LondonDragon

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Will you fund it?
There are so many variables that would be impossible to get a conclusion, people should start with a low tech setup, learn how to keep low tech plants alive and master maintenance of the tank and only dose macro nutrients, once you have achieved this then add CO2 and then add micro nutrients, see the effect on those plants with CO2, once you have mastered that start adding some more challenging plants and then consider upping the light and flow on the tank. Once you are familiar with this then consider rescaping with an proper aquascape. Just remember as the plant mass grows you need to adjust everything, its a constant change and always best to start with a high plant mass.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
All I know is that us human beings have a gift for taking a fairly simple idea and making far too complex than it really needs to be.
I agree with Paulo (@LondonDragon), my suspicion would be that most of us have some idea about ways of managing our tanks that reduce algae, but not necessarily quite how, or why, they work.

I don't have much algae of any description and I have low tech tanks with snails (often three species), relatively low nutrient levels, variable amounts of light (and photoperiod), relatively few fish, a lot filtration and lots and lots of plants. I also have a fairly lassiez faire attitude to tank maintenance. As to what parts of that matter, and what don't, I'm really none the wiser.

Other people with hi-tech "algae free" tanks will follow totally different "rules".

My guess would be it is the plant biomass and snails that make the difference, but I don't have any proof of this, or really any scientific papers to go on.

cheers Darrel
 
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Tim Harrison

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Definitely high plant biomass and biological maturity, it usually equals huge biological stability; a negative feedback loop that inhibits algae. Huge plant biomass, may also infer some sort of allelopathic advantage over algae as well.
 
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I went to a local fish shop the weekend. Like Darrel sometimes says, it was growing gorilla fur from the substrate..very little lighting if any, high bioload, many sick fish...BBA everywhere.

What I also find interesting about BBA is that you can move a completely infested plant to a non-BBA tank and in a week no BBA is left on the plant. It magically falls off like it was never there.

I think that whatever increases the bioload, unhealthy plants or too many fish, or dirty substrate, etc.. is the trigger and whatever balances that bioload out is the solution, which can be getting the plants healthy, adding more plants, feeding less, remove fish, clean up more, etc..
 

alto

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but the average aquarium owner isn't looking for double blind, scientifically controlled case studies.
But then you just have more anecdotal reports
- which can already be found all over the web :D

Recently there’s much conjecture (& bold statement) that ammonia is the algae “culprit” ... if this were true, then no ADA Amazonia Soil aquarium would have minimal algae

As another Useless Anecdote I had an aquarium set up with a batch of ADA Amazonia where the ammonia levels remained in the 10-20ppm range for several months - plants were just fine, minimal algae ... but I wanted fish so eventually shut the tank down and tossed the substrate
 

Marc Jackson

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Has anyone looked at the role of heat in the equation? Also the collective noun "Algae" needs to be removed and each individual type should be looked at on its own.
 

Jayefc1

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So does aquarium gardens 22 degrees just warm enough for the fish but a good temp for the plants and I didn't see any algae in there tanks
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Also the collective noun "Algae" needs to be removed and each individual type should be looked at on its own.
That is definitely the way forward.
it was growing gorilla fur from the substrate
That shop is no more and I never got a photo. There is still the <"BBA carpet"> thread with some fairly impressive BBA growth, and some comment about taxonomy and "algae" as a term.
If a problem exists - there's money to be made by the honest and unscrupulous alike, now where's that snake-oil?
Plenty of it about, often to do with "magic ingredient X", which could be removing silicates, phosphates, nitrates etc.

The only thing that usually stays the same is "magic ingredient X". The magic bit is that it is a cheap chemical that magically becomes much more expensive when it is in its "algal killer" role.

cheers Darrel
 
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