A Very Odd Question
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:30 PM   #1
cjyhc4
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A Very Odd Question


This question is going to seem backwards.... How do I grow algae?

I have never had a major algae outbreak in any of my tanks. I'm not good at neglecting them....

If, for whatever reason, I wanted to grow a bunch of algae in a 5gal tub. How would you recommend going about it?
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
farrenator
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TONS of bright light. Put the tub in bright sunshine during the summer.

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Originally Posted by cjyhc4 View Post
This question is going to seem backwards.... How do I grow algae?

I have never had a major algae outbreak in any of my tanks. I'm not good at neglecting them....

If, for whatever reason, I wanted to grow a bunch of algae in a 5gal tub. How would you recommend going about it?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farrenator View Post
TONS of bright light. Put the tub in bright sunshine during the summer.
Lol, ok. That will work in a few months.

For now I have a small space in a corner under a desk and a clip lamp with a 13W CFL (I could probably swap it for a 15W or 17W).

Long light hours (or constant)? Fill it with fish tank water? Or dose with ferts (I'm thinking Miracle-Gro Liquid Houseplant food)?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:08 PM   #4
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You take houseplant fertilizer, dump the appropriate dosage into your tub and then let it sit in bright sunlight. You'll mostly get green water though. Filamentous stuff must be seeded.
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:12 PM   #5
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Long or constant light is good. I'm not sure how Miracle Grow will work, never tried it - but the water does need to be fertilized as if you were intending to grow plants. Seed the tub with whatever algae you want to grow, if you have a preference.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:30 PM   #6
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When phosphates are 1ppm or higher, algae is likely to grow. Ideal is 0.05ppm.

Other things that cause an increase of phosphates (and algae) are. uneaten food, especially flake food that uses phosphate as a preservative. Plant decay, dying algae, fish waste, dead fish, aquarium salts, KH & pH buffers and of course tap water can all contribute to algae growth.

You might want to test your tap water for phosphates before using ferts thou. But, PO4 test kits only test for inorganic phosphates, so it's always a guess as to actually how high phosphates really are. The "presense" of any algae type is a "red flag" warning that your phosphates and or silicates are climbing. Sometimes large water changes only make an algal problem worse is because some water companies use phosphates in their water to protect the pipes. FWIW, the only real world answer to controling algae seems to be a phosphae absorber chemical like API Phos-Zorb, or similar.

Also, algae is a real hog for O2, so you may want to use some sort of aeration. And as far as light is concerned, from what I know already, a dimmer amount of light seems to grow "brown algae" or diatoms. Green algae goes nuts with too much light, especially light in the bluish spectrum. But again, it's the slow build-up of phosphates that will set the algae growing.

And since high levels of phosphates are harmless to fish is probably the reason not many test for it. Good water quailty also means low phosphate levels. In other words, plants like nitrates and algae like phosphates and organics. We really need to test and control / limit all three.

Hope this gives a more complete picture.

Last edited by Ed's Fish Tank; 02-25-2013 at 10:43 PM.. Reason: Added information
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:49 PM   #7
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It would always grow in my RO stystem in the last filter, it was near the garage opening and would only get light in the evening, when the sun was in the western part of the sky. I could never grow it on purpose with a container of water in direct sunlight, maybe the water got to hot or somthing but grew great in the garage in a water tight container.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:08 AM   #8
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latchdan, Here are two links that explain how to control algae.

I have also read that "canister filters" are the best type of filter to grow algae in, if they're not cleaned well, that is.

http://freshaquarium.about.com/od/wa...phosphates.htm

http://www.liveaquaria.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=6

Last edited by Ed's Fish Tank; 02-26-2013 at 02:16 AM.. Reason: Edited / added information
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