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32 Prophylactics for Algae




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This article is from the Aquaria: Disease, Algae and Snails FAQ, by Elaine Thompson, Thomas Sasala and George Booth

32 Prophylactics for Algae

Algal spores are everywhere and will always be present in an aquarium
unless drastic measures are taken. For fish only tanks, a properly set
up ultraviolet sterilizer will kill algal spores in the water and
prevent them from gaining a toehold.

For planted tanks, this is not a good solution since the UV light will
also oxidize trace elements needed by the plants and will limit the
plant's growth potential. Unfortunately, conditions that are good for
growing plants are also good for growing algae. Fortunately, plants
will usually out-compete algae for the available nutrients. However,
if there is an imbalance of nutrients, algae will opportunistically
use whatever is not used by the higher order plants. Different algae
will utilize different nutrients, causing sporadic outbreaks of new
algae types in apparently stable tanks when a temporary imbalance
occurs.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To avoid introducing
a new algae type to a planted tank with new plants, a simple bleach
dip seems to work well. Mix 1 part bleach in 19 parts water and dip
the new plant in it for 2 minutes. Immediately rinse the plant in
running water, then immerse it water containing a chlorine remover to
neutralize any remaining bleach. This will kill the algae and only
temporarily slow down a healthy plant. Plants in poor condition may
succumb to this treatment, but they probably would not have lasted
anyway.

 

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