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Algae The Obvious Vs. Less Obvious


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  • Regular Member

Lets break this down thru an answer to an algae question posted on this forum- but it applies to everyone;

Basically the brown algae is under lower light conditions - The greener algae is under higher light conditions - but I believe we have skirted from the real issue here-

NITRATE - if your water quality is good and your Nitrates are almost non existant - Algae will grow as slow as oak trees grow. You mwntioned feeding algae wafers- and then the algae did, what we call, bloom. It stands to reason. The algae wafers have a tendency to cause more excretion by way of how the fishes body breaks it down, developing toxins such as ammonia - your cycle must be running properly - because the primary source of food, by algae - is Nitrate - so you have gone thru the Ammonia, nitrate to nitrate cycle. However - this also shows signs of Toxin spikes- it already occured.

I use a patch of algae to tell me how the regulation of nitrate is occuring in the tank - algae growing to fast indicates I am feeding to much or poorer water conditions. step up your water changes and smooth out the feeding process. You will be better for it - Remember the algae will not bloom like that unless you give themn a food sopurce - all the light in the world will not produce more algae in your tank unless you provide them with the Nitrate food source.

This is not unlike a case where I was called in to survey a problem in Luray Caverns. Blooms of algae were occuring on the wall where visitors were comming to view the caves - really affecting the natural beauty. When I got there; they were taking bleach and frantically treating the walls of the cave to destroy the algae. But in the process - various creatures were dying in the small pools of water from the high concentrations of chlorine. They could not figure out the problem. But in my profession the answer was simple. During the previous 6 months they dramatically increased the lighting of the visitors areas. By doing this - they used bulbs that provided the wavelengths of light in much greater intensity that algae thrive on. So in this case they completed the circle of needs. - Nitrates in the water and other nutrients - and now the high intensity wavelength needed for the specific algae that was ravaging the caves. We stopped the chlorine. We changed the lighting wavelengths - like the choices you have in your aquarium bulbs - and the growth stopped. the color of the new bulbs was actually more appealing than the stark white, to the tourist, and brought the conditions to a closer realm of nature - though no light was the untimate in cave conditions.

Your maintaining the tank to ultralow Nitrates by frequent water changes, in the same way, breakes that natural cycle as changing the wavelength of light does.

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  • Regular Member

My B.S.; Horticulture - M.S.; Genetic engineering and doctorate; area - in a large nutshell -manipulation of/ and use of - organic compounds and naturally occuring biodefense machinisms such as TH - 6040 (Dimilin) as alternatives in Pest control management. My "trek" to the Union Carbide situation was due to my appointment as an FMC Corp; agricultural chemical division emergency response team specialist in the area of Methylisocyanate use in the production of the insecticide development programs for the industrial production of Sevin.

The TH-6040 studies led me down a lenthy path of aquatic studies in that -depending on how and where it was used (sandy soil, etc...) we needed a clear fix on developing a timley breakdown process - so that by the time it reached - say Chesepeake bay - from the crop areas of New Jersey (very sandy soils) iots effects were mitigated by subatantial breakdown. This was especially important for affects on Crustacean.

Now you know why my answers tend to be long and quite detailed - almost to the point of "overbearing". LOL

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