And here's the part I just don't get.
The people who say that the health, growth, and mass of plants in their tanks is of utmost importance, are the same who will gladly let them continue to be parasitized (#1), or chop them up and discard them (#2). But they are reluctant or unwilling to consider or suggest #3, the option that can often return plants to health most quickly!
That is a fundamental contradiction to me.
There is a time delay between the trim and the recovery, the algae is now gone and while biomass is low, so is algae biomass
the relative % is less for the algae, but as long as
good care, frequent water changes and work are done after the algae bloom........then the system can have restore ecosystem functioning.
ADA espouses this, as do I and anyone else worth their salt.
I might even toss out the entire batch of weeds and start with fresh plants from another tank etc.
Sometimes it's not worth messing with, eg: moss infested with green algae.
Maybe pick a small amount very very clean and restart.
My issues are more with pest plants: Bladderwort, Riccia, moss, duckweeds......no cure but labor and trimming for those.
When I occasionally slip up, I first correct the problem. Then, if I feel that directly attacking the algae can be accomplished safely and will return my plants to health faster than other approaches, then that's exactly what I do.
I do not think there is anything wrong per se with your suggestions here, but the focus is still on growing the plants, that goal never changes.
A dip or a spray to kill some small amount of algae? No issues, I still do not bother, I just trim since.......as you suggest....it's just a small amount correct? Large amounts of algae are more plant growth issues no?
Again, we cannot have it both ways, a trim will take care of small amount, but the issue is more growth related otherwise for the bad infestations.
Excel dosing I have no issues with, but folks over dose this stuff often and kill livestock often it seems. It grows plants though.........I would say folks think that more is better and that they are very impatient with resolving their algae issues, and anything something seems to work fast.......it's typically some other cause. Hobbyists, we like to rush to judgment
And what if I, or any number of struggling newcomers, are willing to attempt to correct the problem, but are simply unable to immediately identify and correct it? Use a "crutch".
But as someone helping them.....should be keep telling them to do this, or find the underlying root cause so they can garden better? Or both? I might tell them to use Excel....... I suppose lower light is also an aligcide as well.
Or good CO2?
Adding enough ferts?
I generally tell them to do a little of both, not just one thing, but I still focus mostly on growing plants, not killing algae.
Newbies are very likely to look for algae cures.............rather than fixing the root issues, we all have done this path to some degree.........and if you can produce a nice looking tank today....then you know it was 95% growing the plants, and very little chemical cures for algae........... Are we being honest with what helped us be successful here????
Chemical control: under 1% for myself.
There will always be people who use "crutches" continuously, rather than addressing the root problem. If they abuse this knowledge, I say that is their problem, not ours. Neither our community, nor any other, can limit themselves to knowledge safe for the lowest common denominator; and still hope to excel and advance.
Yea, at 1st glance this sounds all warm and furry........but then these same folks run around telling every other newbie to do the same cotton picking thing.
.........and then you end up with folks not growing plants very well if at all..and spouting off how great chemical controls are.........
We do not exist in isolation and ignoring them ain't going to make the issue go away
We have to follow the advice up with good focus on root issues and while they will tell others about the silver bullet............there is more to helping them achieve their goal than merely having the algae gone.
So other folks can post about growing plants better, add more plant biomass, CO2, light, algae eaters, and not just the quick......the easy..."add a pill or 5 mls of this and you will be cured and Angels will sing from Heaven." type response.
Many do not want to prune and trim, that takes work, many are not familiar with pruning. Good care really is most of the answer here. Put another way: I do not get algae in my tanks because I fail to add algicides
I think teaching them more about growing plants, gardening, scaping and care is a better approach, they will get a lot more from it and stay in the hobby longer/be happier. Simply treading water by not having algae is not the best goal(but better than the alternative of having algae). We wish to garden and scape and grow plants. Why settle for less? Non CO2 methods have a very high success rate also, so I often try to match the goal with the management method.
I think given the alternative of having algae or not, then you can make the case for chemicals in some cases. But most all of the effort should be teaching to focus on the plants. No pill or miracle in a bottle will teach anyone good horticulture or how to scape well.