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Test tube algae 'experiment'

erwin123

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
253
Location
Singapore
test tube.jpg

My local "$2 shop" (Daiso) sells 3 test tubes and a rack for $2, ostensibly for plants. So I wanted to experiment whether I could 'rehome' my excess cuttings in these test tubes, and which species will adapt to 'test tube life' better.

I filled 3 test tubes up with fish tank water, slotted in unwanted plant cuttings and left them in the open where they got plenty of direct sunlight.

I would top up the water lost from evaporation with fish tank water but did not do any 'water change.' This is the result after 14 days.

The leftmost testtube (now replaced with a new Bacopa cutting) had a bit of algae because the cutting didn't adjust to the test tube well and was clearly dying. There is still some of the old algae left at the bottom, want to see if the algae spreads in the next 14 days. This 'result' is consistent with the wisdom in this forum that organic waste (eg: from dying plants) is a primary trigger of algae.


The middle and right test tubes (P. 'Sao Paolo') , there was good emersed growth, and hardly any algae. The dark green of the emersed leaves is consistent with the plant getting quite a bit of direct sunlight. I had expected 2 weeks of direct sunlight to at least result in some GSA spots on the test tube (the water came from my fish tank, so there are probably loads of algae spores in it) but there weren't any.
 

Robbie X

Member
Joined
20 Mar 2014
Messages
338
Location
South Wales
View attachment 174696
My local "$2 shop" (Daiso) sells 3 test tubes and a rack for $2, ostensibly for plants. So I wanted to experiment whether I could 'rehome' my excess cuttings in these test tubes, and which species will adapt to 'test tube life' better.

I filled 3 test tubes up with fish tank water, slotted in unwanted plant cuttings and left them in the open where they got plenty of direct sunlight.

I would top up the water lost from evaporation with fish tank water but did not do any 'water change.' This is the result after 14 days.

The leftmost testtube (now replaced with a new Bacopa cutting) had a bit of algae because the cutting didn't adjust to the test tube well and was clearly dying. There is still some of the old algae left at the bottom, want to see if the algae spreads in the next 14 days. This 'result' is consistent with the wisdom in this forum that organic waste (eg: from dying plants) is a primary trigger of algae.


The middle and right test tubes (P. 'Sao Paolo') , there was good emersed growth, and hardly any algae. The dark green of the emersed leaves is consistent with the plant getting quite a bit of direct sunlight. I had expected 2 weeks of direct sunlight to at least result in some GSA spots on the test tube (the water came from my fish tank, so there are probably loads of algae spores in it) but there weren't any.
Looks very nice and an experiment to boot. Looking forward to how this progresses 🌱
 

erwin123

Member
Thread starter
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
253
Location
Singapore
Thanks. I'm from Singapore but there are many Daiso branches here. I plan to get some more test tubes since I have excess plant cuttings every week. Maybe another set of test tubes I will do 100% water change every week, while the rest no water change, just top up water, to see whether that has any impact on algae

i.e. the working theory is that for the test tubes with no water change, eventually the plant in the test tube will produce enough waste to trigger algae....
 

erwin123

Member
Thread starter
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
253
Location
Singapore
tt1 08 oct 21.jpg


tt2 08 oct 21.JPG


tt3 08 oct 21.JPG


tt4 08 oct 21.jpg


Update. Test tubes are placed in the balcony where they get morning sun. Temps can exceed 30 degrees celsius in the shade. No water changes, only topping up fish tank water for evaporation.

The P. 'Sao Paolo' are dying. For comparison, I have a Sao Paolo planted in my low tech tank Hang on back filter and its doing ok.

For the other plants there is evidence of new growth. The dominant algae if any, is thread algae. No green spot algae on test tube glass, no green dust algae.

I labelled some of my test-tubes with the NO3 label because I liberally added ferts to them, I think given the tiny test tube size, there's probably a few hundred ppm of Nitrates in those test tubes. But there was no algae explosion. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to distinguish test tubes where ferts were added and those that depended on whatever was in the fish tank water.

I have now added Excel to some of them, and H2O2 to others, to see which is more effective in combating green thread algae.
 

Robbie X

Member
Joined
20 Mar 2014
Messages
338
Location
South Wales
View attachment 175194

View attachment 175195

View attachment 175196

View attachment 175197

Update. Test tubes are placed in the balcony where they get morning sun. Temps can exceed 30 degrees celsius in the shade. No water changes, only topping up fish tank water for evaporation.

The P. 'Sao Paolo' are dying. For comparison, I have a Sao Paolo planted in my low tech tank Hang on back filter and its doing ok.

For the other plants there is evidence of new growth. The dominant algae if any, is thread algae. No green spot algae on test tube glass, no green dust algae.

I labelled some of my test-tubes with the NO3 label because I liberally added ferts to them, I think given the tiny test tube size, there's probably a few hundred ppm of Nitrates in those test tubes. But there was no algae explosion. In fact, one would be hard-pressed to distinguish test tubes where ferts were added and those that depended on whatever was in the fish tank water.

I have now added Excel to some of them, and H2O2 to others, to see which is more effective in combating green thread algae.
Looking forward to more data from this experiment 👍
 

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