RE: NANFA-- [Fwd: The Algae Wars] Corrected Links

John Bongiovanni (
Wed, 5 Mar 2003 8:33:08 -0600

Nick and everyone,
thanks for your input. Nick, what fish are trying to imitate in the latest AC ;-)
I've had the system set up for 1.5 years, its a 55gal. The algae looks like "some" of the same slimy stuff we find growing on plants in the lakes around here in late summer.

There was considerable disturbance by moving the rock and the driftwood. It likely sent a lot of decaying organic material (and sequestered CO2?) into the water column. Its been around awhile now. I have a large SAE in the tank, he's been there for over a year but he's adapted to eating the bloodworms and daphnia and less happy to go back to his salad days. I keep discovering I have several Ottos and Ammano Shrimp. I bought six in Nov '91 and they are still there! They have continued to outwit the madtoms.

The reason I asked if anyone knew the type of algae was it might give some clue as to the trigger of its growth. Awhile back I had a Black Beard Algae bloom. I read somewhere that it grows when there is an excess of Fe. I cut back on the Fe supplement and Bang! it was gone in two days.

Since my nutrient levels were undetectable (I'm doing water changes with DI) It was suggested offline that it is most likely a nutrient deficiency. I'm going with that assumption and I'll keep you all informed of the progress.

I'll give it a couple more weeks to sort itself out before I give up and completely rebuild the system with new substrate and all.

> John, how big is the tank? How long have you had the system set up?
If it has been set up for a long time (a stable couple of years?) I find it
> interesting that a small event such as you described is enough to cause the
> system to teater a bit (I am not doubting you, I just find it interesting).
> I think that we all would agree that the longer the system has been set up,
> the harder it is to kick it off balance. In reef tanks for instance, your
> parameters can seem to check out perfectly but the animals just don't seem
> to look right and you get funky types of algae growing. The only thing that
> I have been able to chalk it up to is a cycle that is occurring and it just
> needs to cycle out. I think the longer they have been set up, the less
> "cycles" a tank goes through. I wonder if in your case, the best thing to
> do would be to do a bunch of regular water changes, cut the light a bit, and
> get something that might eat the algae. Some animals were already mentioned
> but another one would be to pickup a (dare I mention an exotic on this
> list.....) flying fox. They seem to do a good job on this small stringy
> type of stuff. It may take several months for it (or them depending on the
> tank size) to really take effect, but it might do the trick for you. My
> guess is that when these events occur, the unwanted algae has a strong foot
> hold and is somewhat resilient to correction methods. Algae are wonderful
> organisms and I don't think that they have a narrow window of requirments to
> live by. I think that bio-control, at least for a while, is an under rated
> solution. That may help in breaking this unwanted cycle. I would hope that
> you are taking good notes of your observations. There is still alot that we
> all need to learn on these "stable" systems. As they say, just my $.02.
> Nick Zarlinga
> Aquarium Biologist
> Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
> 216.661.6500 ext 4485
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