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Old 08-25-2011, 03:40 AM   #31
Sharkfood
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I've often been one of the first to point out that an aquarium is in no way similar to a natural ecosystem. If you've seen most natural ecosystems, they certainly aren't the way most of us would like our aquariums to look.

Personaly, I've spot dosed with exel many times in the past, and I have to magfloat the glass in my main tank every couple of weeks (In my defense I'm often away for days or weeks at a time, in which case my tanks aren't well fertilized or topped off/WC).

I can't speak for everyone here, but the main reason I tell people to avoid using "chemicals" as we call them is that I think they will find the results dissappointing in the long term.

I don't think most of us have an elitist aversion to using medications. In many cases we have tried these in the past and have found them not to be a viable long term means of control.

In a well maintained aquarium, even when algae is present, it's usually on the glass or substrate, and almost never growing directly on the plants themselves.

I would say if you are going to use something like an antibitotic, you would want to use it hard, as in medicinal practices. Any algae, bacteria, alien invaders that survive the initial treatment are likely to be resistant the next time around.

On a side note.
Cladophora has grown in containers to which I have only added dried Daphnia epiphytes and hair algae in tanks before I have added plants and fish. Or do those not count as filamentous algae? (I don't think I've seen hair algae mentioned so far.)

I would hypothesize that these algae likely flowed in from the tap.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:54 AM   #32
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Folks, hasn't this topic been beaten to death....i mean tomato tomaato or what?...To be frank, I really wish our forum gurus would spend their energy dealing with unresolved issues rather than philisophical arm wresting on this debate...
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:25 AM   #33
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Let me tell you guys what i did last sunday. You'll all think im crazy for doing this but I bleached an entire tank with plants in it. I had hair algae in my fisidens and just couldn't eradicate it.
I over dosed excell, I spot treated with h2o2 but it would always come back. Then i read a topic at APC about bleaching all your plants and then puting them back. Hair algae and other filamenous algea as i understand it, are introduced with plants or water from another tank. It doesn't grow from floating spores. If you totally eradicate it, you shouldn't have a problem with it again untill you introduce it again. I turned off my filter to prevent my bacteria from from dying then i dumped half a bottle of bleach into my tank waited 4 minutes and did 4 water changes, finishing the last change with declorinator. The recomended proceadure was to use a 20:1 ratio and bleach dip for 3-4 minutes. The way i did it, my plants got way more than 4 minutes because it takes time to syphon that water out. If i had to do it again, i would start syphoning as soon as the bleach went in. All my plants suffered but it's all groing back.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:43 PM   #34
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Nah, that's not too crazy. I'd do two things differently:

1) Remove the filter media and run the filters during treatment. This'll clear out algae in the plumbing during treatment, and help to circulate the dechlor.
2) Test for ammonia spikes for a few days afterwards, just in case. There is a significant amount of nitrifying bacteria on substrate and other surfaces, not just the filter media.

I recall seeing a fellow who wiped out algae in his plant/fish tank by just failing to dechlor his heavily chlorinated tapwater. Though I wouldn't recommend that at all. Even if the chlorine doesn't kill fish right away, the damage to their gills is reputed to be cumulative.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:16 AM   #35
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The reason people say that balancing a tank is more important than killing algae is simple. You don't have to kill algae.

Anything you buy in a bottle to kill algae is harmful to both your fish and your plants. It is especially harmful to shirmp, and they die, been there. Just because something doesn't kill your plants doesn't make not harmful.

I don't do Excel spot treatments anymore. I have melted enough plants to stop. I am willing to do H2O2 but it depends on what it is for. When I know what caused the algae (making adjustments, missing doesing, etc), I will use it as a quick fix to just get it out. If I don't know why it is there, I try to let it linger.

I have gassed my fish pretty bad too. I don't recall if I ever lost any, I probably have, but I defineatly made them suffer. I can admit that as well.

In general, when I started I made mistakes, for the sake of algae, that killed the animals (and sometimes plants) I was keeping. It's just not a good idea. Maybe you can get away with it if you are very methodical but with that approach, you are likely someone who is patient and can achieve a balance.

Anyway, more of my point is this. When I started, I was using everything under the sun to try to keep algae at bay. Not only was it a ton of work, my tank eventually just crashed. My next tank, it never crashed but it just was never in the state I wanted.


After that, I really challenged myself to do non CO2 tanks. Not necessarily low light, defineatly not "low light plants". I used stems that are said to need CO2, massive amounts of ferts, and crazy amount of light. I successfully kept 3 tanks without a major algae outbreak. In fact, the little ones I got were always from an experimental perspective.

I would add light and see how much I could use before something bad would happen. I don't think I ever got more than some algae on the glass. I would reduce light (most were using screw in CFL bulbs so that was easy), and things would go back.

I unintentionally learned that lighting can control every other factor. Before, I was trying to use CO2, ferts, and anything else to control both growth and algae, while having too much light. I did have a long run with 108 watts of T5 lighting over a 29 but it crashed. My non CO2 ones never change.

Now I am learning to apply this to high tech tanks. It's a much more delicate balance (IMO). But, the same rules apply. Honestly, one great thing is that we have so much information on algae. I have found that algae is a "telling sign". I now am able to understand by research what I lack in my tank and make adjustments (one by one, never doing an "algae war"). I learn something each time I get algae and successfully get rid of it.


At the end of the day, I may use H2O2, but that is it. It's not to mask the problem, it's to save time. I do have one tank right now that isn't balanced, and I get more algae than I would like. I am playing a game though. I am seeing if I can get away by adding plants. I have put a screen under the light and in 3-4 days, my algae was cut down so significantly, it was shocking to me. I don't mind experimenting, but I like to know my "way out", not constantly working towards an unachievable goal.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:30 AM   #36
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I think you're the assumption I'm just starting this out (;. I've got a decent amount of experience under my belt and I can proudly say my algae problems are limited to a few tufts of bba that have been there and done nothing since day 1. My goal is to explore new routes for our hobby. Although this project is on hold until I decide to set up a new planted tank and encounter problems(breeding fish really takes up some serious space). The goal is only unachievable if no one tries.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:49 AM   #37
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It sounds as though you've already found this balance you're so against...



edit, forgot smiley!
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:52 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverStocked View Post
It sounds as though you've already found this balance you're so against...
Just because I can grow plants doesn't mean I have to adhere to the method I've found to be successful. If anything that's more reason to do something different. I approach my tanks without any starry eyed ideas of a perfect harmony or anything. I understand the concepts that good plant growth = less algae whether due to competition or allelochemicals. They're little boxes with more tubes than an ICU patient keeping them up and running.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:59 AM   #39
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I think chemicals can be an acceptable way to help expedite the eradication of algae once the tank has been returned to/brought to a balance. However, if the tank isn't returned to balance (CO2, light, nutrients) then the algae will simply return. Sometimes though to save your plants, excel and H2O2 can be very useful tools to kill off large amounts of algae.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:14 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffww View Post
I think you're the assumption I'm just starting this out (;. I've got a decent amount of experience under my belt and I can proudly say my algae problems are limited to a few tufts of bba that have been there and done nothing since day 1. My goal is to explore new routes for our hobby. Although this project is on hold until I decide to set up a new planted tank and encounter problems(breeding fish really takes up some serious space). The goal is only unachievable if no one tries.
I don't know if you were referring to me but I think you were. I wasn't making any judgement on you, and read how you have been successful in improving the balance of your tanks.

I was just speaking generally, and posting my experiences. One key point (for me) I made, that I didn't make a key point is this though. If you are truly methodical on your quest to use chemical means to kill algae, you have the right mindset to just do things right. The only problem is, lights are expensive, CO2 setups are expensive, chemicals are not. So, if you pick the wrong light, can't afford a CO2 setup, you have a financial decision to make, assuming you can't raise the lights or turn off a bank of bulbs.



This is a whole other can of worms but I am going to make an assumption that I bet is true. If every light fixture on the market was dimmable, and perfectly from max light to none on a graph, more than half on this forum would not dim there lights and battle algae because of it.
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