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Old 09-13-2006, 11:25 PM   #71
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The spot treatment with peroxide indeed seems the way to go. Dosing large enough amounts in the entire tank would be detrimental to the fish/filter/inverts present. But the small amount of concentrated (3%) peroxide directly treated on the affected leaves is such a small amount that unless the fish are sitting on the leaf being treated, they will suffer no effects. I do recommend doing this, as mentioned previously, with the water as calm as possible, and the tank lights ON. I would be much less comfortable (as well as the treatment being less effective) doing this with current in the tank and the lights off.

Let's hope others with algae problems would be willing to confirm are preliminary results so far so that we can have an N>2. I always like reproducibility.

As for Glutaraldehyde's effects on algae and plants I think the key thing would be to look at the plants that it DOES appear to cause damage too (anacharis for example). The structure and makeup of the leaves/stems and mechanism of feeding (primarily root feeder vs. leaf/stem/water column feeder for instance). My theory with hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and Excel is that the surface area exposed is so much lower in the plant than the algae, that even if the agent is somewhat damaging to the tissue, it cannot penetrate far enough inside the plant cell wall to cause plant death. Algae on the other hand is almost exclusively in the water column, and has an extremely large surface area to volume ratio, so an equal amount of time in a bleach dip, peroxide treatment, or mildly tissue fixing chemical will cause a vastly different result.

Many plants also have a waxy substance that would be more resistive to chemical reaction, while the algae again is much less protected.
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Old 09-13-2006, 11:40 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QTOFFER
[Glutaraldehyde (the readily available carbon source in Excel), is a mild tissue fixative - not nearly as bad as formaldehyde, but in the same chemical family. I wonder if algae are just more sensitive to glutaraldehyde attack than plants.
Excel also targets selectively non stomata bearing aquatic plants: Egeria, Lagarosiphon, Hydrilla and Elodea. It is about as effective killing them while supplying Carbon to pondweeds and most all other aquatic plants.

Unlike peroxide, it can be a nutrient and thus improve plant growth, making it unique.

The mode of action is on the cell surface where excel blocks and renders the CO2 uptake enzyme ineffective, plants with stomata, have not such issue and a different type of enzyme that apparently is not impacted by Excel.
Algae lack stomata as well.

When you make comparisions with algicides, peroxide, excel, copper, simzime etc, there needs to be a decent baseline for comparisions. Both with respect to nutrients and to the stage of the algae and plant growth.

So you need to be fair when you compare the nutrients to tank A vs Tank B. CO2, NO3, PO4, dosing, cleaning etc needs to be fairly similar, not precise, but at least close and in good shape.

Is that off topic? Having a control in any experiment and suggesting
it seems to be what is being implied here.

You not are looking at the causes, you have no data in reference to CO2, NO3, PO4 light etc, merely the killing.

You only see part the situation that way and have no controls in place.

That's why I made a point about focusing on the plants.
It's difficult to judge any algicide without some controls and a good baseline.

Management strategies should use "many little hammers" to supress and target weed, algae, pest. You'll get far more effectiveness out any peroxide, Excel treatment, copper, blackout, manual removal methods and have a much fairer comparison.

Now is that off topic?
I think not.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 09-14-2006, 02:30 AM   #73
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So if I followed that Tom, you are saying excel works by blocking the CO2 uptake of plant (and algae) that do not have "pores" under the leaves though which to respire. The excel tends to have a fairly quick effect (1 day). Is the affected algae or plant actually suffocating? or starving?
When fish are affected or stresed by excess excel is that from a similar action?
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Old 09-14-2006, 07:39 AM   #74
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and if i follow that tom barr, your saying this experiment was done incorrectly due to the fact that no controlls were put in place, a good baseline was not established, there is no data as far as co2, no3, etc...in other words, this endeavor is merely an experiment in killing.
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:13 AM   #75
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That was a very informative post. We're actually getting some info into the workings of Excel.

As for no data other than the algae killing I beg to differ.

I keep track of my fert dosing, and fert levels to the best of my ability. That means nitrAte, phosphate, KH, GH, CO2 level, tank pH. Things I cannot measure but try to keep in acceptable levels are traces (CSM+B) and potassium. Things I cannot directly measure without an expensive kit such as the potassium I heavily dose so it is no longer a limiting reagent. This does not include CSM+B since I have read that high iron concentrations in water are a likely culprit for algae IF other factors are not perfect (and especially after algae has already gained a large foothold).

As for no controls, WHAT!?!?! The whole reason why spot treatment is so educational to me personally is that I can treat a localized area on a plant, monitor the effects, and be relatively sure that the other side of the plant was not affected. My control is the other half of the plant. That IMO is the BEST possible control since you will have near identical nutrient/light levels 5 inches away from the treatment group. You will never have this same level of variable reduction using 2 separate tanks (and frankly the same tank with dividers but to a lesser extent).

In the case of the bleach dip, yes I removed 2 java ferns from the tank, dipped them, and then put them back in the tank, but on the other side of the tank I still have 2 java ferns of relatively the same size that were left untreated (one if these is being used with spot peroxide treatment).

And if we're nitpicking, the peroxide liberates oxygen which can easily be omplexed with another oxygen (especially in a highly saturated environment such as a high light planted tank) which can be used as a nutrient to the plants, EVEN during the day when their dark cycle is active along with the light cycle.

I thank you again for posting such an informative post, but please realize we are not just dumping chemicals into the tank *hoping* we magically cure algae. There is most definately a justified hypothesis behind the method.
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:54 AM   #76
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Tom

As always, thanks for a hugely informative series of posts, and a professional manner in delivering them.

I always pick up a few new tidbits from everything you write.


7Enigma - a truly controlled experiment would have two separate, identical tanks, identical plants, and identical parameters that led up to the algae. localized H2O2 treatment isn't that localized..it will flow around the whole plant, much less of a spot treatment (if peroxide was colored jet black, you'd see the current quickly stir it up in the whole tank).

Also, as was already said, its not your place to tell another member they are off topic. We don't care if its a newb, or Tom Barr, or George W. Bush himself. If you think someone's driving a post off topic, report it and let the correct people (mods/admins) deal with it.
Taking it upon yourself ot chastise another member is a great way to get yourself kicked from your own thread.
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:57 AM   #77
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Thanks Malkore, that needed to be said a little more firmly.
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Old 09-14-2006, 12:23 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
7Enigma - localized H2O2 treatment isn't that localized..it will flow around the whole plant, much less of a spot treatment (if peroxide was colored jet black, you'd see the current quickly stir it up in the whole tank).
I disagree. In a stagnant tank (again I emphasized many times that NO current in the tank was to be present), with a moderately sized plant (my anubias is about 7" from one side to the other), I can be confident that no appreciable amount of peroxide is touching the leaves on the opposite side being treated.

Why? Because peroxide even at 3% is more dense than water. When applied to the plant leaves it will go down, that is fall off the leaves and down to the substrate. It will not migrate (concentrated) laterally across several inches of the tank in 30seconds. And this plant is directly in the path of my Aquaclear 50 HOB filter which has quite a bit of current behind it. My powerhead is also facing towards the far side of the tank (away from the anubias) and when this is turned on it causes a current away from the anubias which would pull any peroxide that moved towards the main portion of the plant away from it.

As soon as that 30seconds is finished, the concentrated peroxide is dissociated in the full tank volume. I'm treating with at most 8ml of a 3% solution into probably 17 gallons of water. This is done with the lights in the tank on, and there are a lot of dissolved organics in the water. The peroxide will lose reactivity extremely quickly, and the minute concentration will make this a moot point.

I feel like this thread has turned away from a series of experiments attempting to understand the affects of different algae treatment options on several types of algae in relation to tank flora/fauna, into a free-for-all on why we should be trying to grow plants instead of asking questions about algae.

My intention of this thread is to explore ways of KILLING algae, not outcompeting it with properly dosed ferts and appropriate lighting, nor with the more traditional way of blackout or manual removal of the infected leaves.

I have been on this forum now for a quite a long time and have never once yet seen a topic such as this present. I've seen bits and pieces, and anecdotal evidence that something worked, but never a concerted effort by a group of members to analyze a hypothesis.

I'm hoping we can have this in this thread.
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Old 09-14-2006, 01:08 PM   #79
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I think such intent is well intentioned.
But some semblence of control for the other factors should be done.
I can have wide ranging parameters and all sorts of algae and efficacy with many types of algae miracle cures, snake oils, copper, and useful general strong oxidizing biocides(Bleach, permangnate, H2O2, Excel and so on).

So in order to make a standardized soloution to such confounding factors, varibility, a standard parameter should be agreed upon and set.

A logical standard would be good plant parameters.
Which was my original supposition.

I may come off agressive, but it's never a personal attack, I attack an idea, not a person.
So I do apologize if you felt it was geared that way.

Thing is, when you maintain good plant parameters, now you no longer have much algae issues. So that, in and of itself, is a better cure as it addresses both the algae and the plants. But to fairly judge a algicide, controls do need to be in place and specific.

It does not have to be good plant parameters, it might be low CO2 issues and algicides/SAe's or what have you.
BGA + low limiting NO3 and antibiotics is another example

Or whatever the user is interested in. These are specific and as such more useful,to the aquarist seeking help/advice and also shows you what species of algae is present and why the algae is there at the root cause.

That's much more powerful information.

Otherwise all the work you do is muddled when comparing wide ranging aquarium conditions that often can have profound results.

We already know strong oxidizer kill algae and the proper dose response concentrations that will not do too much harm to plants/livestock.

I've worked a lot with algae in the past, learned such control methods the hard way. I hope others avoid such mistakes and pitfalls, and that's why I am quite passionate about helping others address things, learn from my mistakes.

For algae experiements, one thing you need to be able to do repeatedly: induce the particular species fo interest and get it growing good and then bomb it, squirt chemicals on it.

This might be a lot for the average aqaurist to chew and do.
But it's pretty speculatory otherwise and the hobby does have a lot of myths due to that same speculation. There's plenty we do not know, but we can try to figure out a little well along the way.

I agree there's some diffusion in a still tank, but it's still a better method to kill algae pipetting it in spot treatments, but that does take awhile for an infested tank.
Some argue that a small amount of algae epopping up can be addressed with H2O2 and that is true, but the algae itself is a good/excellent bio indicator that something is wrong with the plant growth also and should be addressed.

Plants generally will give signs of response prior to algae.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 09-14-2006, 01:57 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plantbrain
We already know strong oxidizer kill algae and the proper dose response concentrations that will not do too much harm to plants/livestock.
Excellent. I didn't know you had this information. This could save us a lot of time!

-What % of peroxide and amount is needed to spot treat staghorn algae? BBA?

-What is the maximum amount and % of peroxide that will not cause damage to the plant, but will kill algae?

-How long and what strength should the bleach dip be for anubias and java fern to ensure the death of BBA and staghorn algae, while not killing the plant?

-What % of excel and length of time is required to kill BBA and staghorn algae on anubias and java fern leaves?

All of the following questions I have asked myself, and am attempting to answer through tests. I was unaware anyone had already tested these parameters, so it would be great if you could tell us what levels will cause the death of the algae without causing massive damage to the plants.

See, unlike fert dosing, oxidizers are a near exact science. If the same concentration (%) and exposure time, and timeframe (new peroxide/bleach vs. year old peroxide/bleach) and temperature (of the tank) and light level (only applies to peroxide) of the oxidizer is used you will ALWAYS get consistent results using spot treatment. There is no other factors present that will greatly inhibit the reaction in a tank.

That means that myself, Tom, Malkore, or anyone else can bleach dip a plant and be confident that in a specific amount of time for the specific plant type and algae type, you will kill the algae.

Dosing ferts is an inexact science because we cannot readily understand the underlying cause of a deficiency. Is it even a deficiency at all? Too many factors are present and most of us do not have the ability to monitor/measure all of the fert levels. That's why its so difficult when someone says my leaf tips are brown, what's my problem?

An oxidizer chemically damages a tissue by donating electrons to it in a non-selective way. These free electrons chemically alter the tissue they interact with. In living tissue, be it plant or animal, an oxidizer will break cell membranes/walls causing the contents to leak. This destroys the ion channels that allow cells to regulate functions and ultimately leads to the death of the organism if the damage is extensive enough.

I'm trying to find that happy medium where the algae (since its almost exclusively going to interact with the oxidizing agent, not to mention have a vastly larger surface area to volume ratio than the plant) will be irreparably damaged, while the plant will suffer little to no damage.

I can't wait to solve this problem. Please post!


EDIT: Created a new thread found here http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...=713682#713682 to discuss algae killing as opposed to focusing on fert dosing and other factors to grow plants (and thus inhibit/kill algae). Please join in on the discussion.
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