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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And it contradicts everything you guys say about black out etc.

First we need to understand that algae can not be starved to death. The theory about nutrient competition between algae and plants is false. Even if we get demineralized water, water with no nutrients, algae will still grow in it.

Another theory is that CO2 kills algae. Well, it doesn’t. I placed algae in small amount of water in a sealed jar with only CO2 and waited, and waited. The algae never died.

Another theory is blackouts, covering aquarium with blankets for few days. Then we uncover the aquarium and see, it looks like it did something. Well, the blackout weakened the already fragile plants and did nothing to remove the cause of the algae infestation on the first place. So algae will certainly come back.

Another theory is high PO4 phosphate. Phosphate is usually associated with algae because it is found in high levels mostly in poorly maintained aquariums and therefore already infested with algae. There are algae free aquariums with high PO4, so PO4 does not cause algae either.

There is more theories...but ...

Let’s get to the question how to combat algae. We know it can be done because there are algae free aquariums. How is it done? It is done by providing the right conditions for the plants. When plants get what they need (see Plant Requirements), they suppress algae all the way to the point where algae melt, go dormant or die.

How do plants do it? There is clear evidence about plants releasing chemicals to negatively alter other plant species. Unfortunately not much research has been done for aquatic plants yet to prove it. Nevertheless, if we look at it from years of experience, plants suffer, die and melt in algae infested aquariums. On the other hand, algae suffer, die and melt in presence of healthy plants. So let’s put science aside and assume this is it… Then, suddenly we know how to steer planted aquarium to success.
 

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Carpe Diem
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Sorry, friend, but I do not see any new revelations here: that had been said over and over again but people still look for a quick fix.

v3
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know haha. But it just seems alot of people still suggest the black outs and quick fix's. No quick fix's, only to get to the root of the problem and stop it from happening. Which could be a multiple of things.
 

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And, though it's not fair/nice to say which one..there's a thread up here right now
which follows the quick fix direction.
I laugh when "people" put statements like the one quoted in an article without providing ANY evidence that a word of it is true/proven.
I have sucessfully used blackouts, but did the work of adjusting the ferts and light period before doing the blackouts so the algae didn't come back.
 

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So where did you find this article exactly? Hard to imagine someone is that off :hihi:.
But I don't understand what the importance of this thread was? A friendly reminder? :hihi:
But first of all, there are no algae free aquariums - I find most people get thrown off the learning curve and get more disappointed because of people saying there are such things as a algae free aquarium. Every aquarium has algae, it doesn't matter if you don't have to do maintenance or scrub, there will always be algae - just because you don't see it doesn't mean they're not there (damn ninjas).
Also what algae is this article talking about, are they generalizing?
I've personally had great success with the blackout method to get rid of BGA once and have heard even better stories using it against green water. I've also had along with many others had great success with excel and h2o2 - does that make me a cheater who uses quick fixes? :icon_smil
I've had aquariums where I don't scrub at all because there are non on the glass, but I get a BBA or two on the rocks that don't spread, what is the root of the problem there?
It is a balancing act that few understand, You get your obvious ones: lights and co2, but how do you have a set amount for fertilizer? Wouldn't it be variable depending on growth? In which it always changes and you will always have shortage or surplus, so that is almost impossible to fix unless you spend tons of $ and time on tests, and even then you just won't be so off. However I think people usually forget one factor and that's algae itself, why fight it when you can use it to help you. I've had SW tanks and I love refugiums, so I've used that approach for FW as well - I let some algae (usually GSA) grow out of sight somewhere in the back, and this keeps away the painful ones like BBA.
Also I'm pretty sure if you poured a liter of phosphorus into you tank, you'd get a lot more algae after, so I guess it can cause algae :hihi:
I'm just being an arse :icon_smil
 

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And just for what it's worth...I am planning a sump for a 10g...just because I can...and
partially for that reason, but mainly to get my whole tank back as I've been tinkering/w built in bio-only filters which take up room in my tank.
I didn't mention in my first reply that I now cultivate algae in my tanks cause it's
"natural"...LOL...I've been doing it for a couple of years now to the point where I can
grow it "at will" either only on the rocks or the rocks and the wood or if you like I can include the glass or not. That's GSA and hair algae. Hope I don't make a mistake and import some BBA cause I wouldn't have a clue about that. LOL...
 

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So the moral of the story is......

Focusing on growing healthy plants instead of trying to eliminate algae.

Also I have to agree with Default there is no such thing as a algae free tank. All tanks have algae to some degree.. Whether it becomes a troublesome eyesore is another story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
https://sites.google.com/site/aquaticplantfertilizer/home/water-changes
I got it from this website wich if I remember right is linked from gla website about there pps pro ferts.

I agree, there mis no such thing as an algae free aquarium. But in rare occurrences there can be streaks where algae is not present for some time, rare occurrences.

The purpose of this thread was to help some people understand that they need to get to the root cause of the algae, and not look for a quick fix because it will just come back without the root cause being fixed. Yes a blackout will weaken the algae and make it easier to get you or tank back in balance, but in no way will it be a permanent fix.

Sorry if there was any ill will meant about this thread, I should have clarified last night, but it was a late night and I was practically a zombie 0.o
 

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Ok, so I might be a noob in the planted aquarium world but I am an environmental scientist with a special interest in plants, so I do know a bit about botany and there are literally hundreds of thousands of species of algae on the planet (not plants btw) but only a tiny fraction could live in the very specific environment of a fish tank. Given that, however, it makes sense that with a class of organisms that varied and specialized each species requires very specific conditions to thrive, so what might work for one species might not work for another. This fact might also support the idea that there are no algae-free aquariums. One other point is that I've seen blackouts recommended for blue green algae, I have no idea if they work but many say they do, but BGA is not even algae, it is a photosynthetic bacteria so any advice directed at getting rid of algae would be pointless in this case. I guess my point is: know your organism (enemy?) and you will be better able to keep him in check.
 

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Majority of the time I see people recommending blackouts is for green water and BGA outbreaks. And I've personally seen them be effective for both.

Of course blackouts aren't the greatest for the plants... but neither is all that algae, and unless you do *something* to kill it, it would just keep causing issues.

All that being said... I've never been a huge fan of blackouts since they do nothing to address the imbalances that are usually the cause of the algae outbreaks in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Everything everyone wants usually is a quick fix. And then wonder why there tank is covered in algae within a week after the tank was treated.

A quick fix is great, if you fix the issue and imbalance before you do the quick fix.
 

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And it contradicts everything you guys say about black out etc.

First we need to understand that algae can not be starved to death. The theory about nutrient competition between algae and plants is false. Even if we get demineralized water, water with no nutrients, algae will still grow in it.

Another theory is that CO2 kills algae. Well, it doesn’t. I placed algae in small amount of water in a sealed jar with only CO2 and waited, and waited. The algae never died.

Another theory is blackouts, covering aquarium with blankets for few days. Then we uncover the aquarium and see, it looks like it did something. Well, the blackout weakened the already fragile plants and did nothing to remove the cause of the algae infestation on the first place. So algae will certainly come back.

Another theory is high PO4 phosphate. Phosphate is usually associated with algae because it is found in high levels mostly in poorly maintained aquariums and therefore already infested with algae. There are algae free aquariums with high PO4, so PO4 does not cause algae either.

There is more theories...but ...

Let’s get to the question how to combat algae. We know it can be done because there are algae free aquariums. How is it done? It is done by providing the right conditions for the plants. When plants get what they need (see Plant Requirements), they suppress algae all the way to the point where algae melt, go dormant or die.

How do plants do it? There is clear evidence about plants releasing chemicals to negatively alter other plant species. Unfortunately not much research has been done for aquatic plants yet to prove it. Nevertheless, if we look at it from years of experience, plants suffer, die and melt in algae infested aquariums. On the other hand, algae suffer, die and melt in presence of healthy plants. So let’s put science aside and assume this is it… Then, suddenly we know how to steer planted aquarium to success.
Science............supports the so called contradictions.
There's few disagreements among Scientist in the field of aquatic weeds.

It's the hobbyists and internet that's much more the problem.
This is not new, it's been occurring for a good 20 years now almost on the web. A good myth is hard to kill.

That's a human problem, not an aquarium problem.

There are many goals that aquarist have, and no one single method will meet all goals. So you need some background and see what they have and what they want, not what you want.

Folks might start off with one approach, then tweak it to better suit their routines or labor input. Goals change for folks over time in the hobby, THEY CHANGE also.

Still, the underlying focus is aquatic plant horticulture.
 

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Not sure how CO2 can kill algae since just like plants, its their oxygen. Bombarding the aquarium with O2 and limiting the CO2 would be more effective.

(To my understanding) Dosing CO2 makes the plants stronger thus more capable of utilizing the available nutrients and out competing the algae. Algae (and algae like bacterias) are opportunistic organisms. This makes them susceptible to better organisms that are better suited for the environment.

This is my understanding anyway. I could be wrong.
 

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Mr. Barr already weighed in but I was going to say that he (and others) have been saying darn near forever, to focus on growing plants well rather than fighting algae. It seems like this is all that is being said here in the OP...

For arguments sake, some info must be out there and available as there are algaecide products out there that people are using and work...I've yet to use any but we all know they exist. How/what do these chemicals do that we can't naturally?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry guys I didn't mean to start a debate or anything I just wanted people to be aware of this topic and to find the underlying cause of the algae to lessen it in there tank and to stop looking for quick fixes and becoming upset when there tank is infected with it again
 

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I am new to the planted tank and fish keeping hobby, this thread is very helpful indeed. I have small bits of algae in my tank some bba some diatoms some green hair. i am working on getting my plants to thrive to avoid more algae growth.

tossing around different ideas is good for the community and will help to resolve many problems. we need debates to keep things moving nd keep coming up with solutions to different problems.

this is a good thread :)
 

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It's easy to forget we're dealing with an ecosystem when we're focused on getting a quick fix to our problem (algae). People see blackouts being discussed on the forum and they see a few people had success with it so they too assume they will have success. What they overlook are the 12 other steps the person did before the blackout to balance the ecosystem, which is what really solved the problem. Same thing with phosphates, nitrates, co2, lighting, etc.

I was in my LFS the other day when a gentleman brought in his water to be tested because his fish kept dying. One of the employees tested the water and noticed the nitrates were high (25 ppm) and immediately concluded his fish had died because of the "high" nitrates. If that were really true why is it I, and many others on this forum, have nitrates at +30 ppm in my tank and all my fish are thriving? Fortunately for the customer the owner overheard the convo as he was catching my paleatus corys and pointed out the nitrate was likely a biproduct of over feeding and what had likely happened was an ammonia spike killed the fish.

This is also why some people seemingly have their tanks on autopilot while others are constantly running into problems. The more you understand the better you are at avoiding problems before they happen. This is called experience. Unfortunately the road to that point is full of hurdles and pot holes, but that's what makes the hobby so rewarding.
 
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