Algae thoughts

Henry Hatch

Guru Class Expert
Aug 31, 2006
I've been thinking about algae recently. Has anyone ever tried soaking plants in a strong solution of excel ? Maybe it would be less traumatic to plants than bleach ?

Also, I wonder if temporarily limiting a nutrient such as phosphate might be of help. If higher plants can store this nutrient, but lower plants such as algae can't, could this be a viable strategy ? The higher plants could survive during the limitation period, but the algae might not.

Henry Hatch


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
Sacramento, CA
I think limiting the available phosphates would stop plant growth before it would stop algae growth. That would leave the tank succeptable to further algae attacks when the plants could not absorb ammonium as soon as it shows up.

Excel will kill vals, egeria densa, and other simple plants, just as bleach does. So, while Excel would assault the algae on the plants it might also assault the plants, just as bleach does.

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
You'd have to dilute Excel pretty good before you get anything that would not roast the plants also.

It's not worth it.

Trim the infected leaves, provide good growing conditions to begin and this is not an issue really.

I use bleach etc on hoses, equipment etc, a Kent Pro scraper on glass/Acrylic, and scissors for weeds.

You may follow the 3 day black out with Excel dosing + daily water changes.
Algae don't like Excel, water changes nor a blackout.

Instead of using one big harsh hammer, we use many little hammers to beat the algae back.

Then reset the nutrients and maintain good CO2 etc then on.
That method will knock back most all algae severely.
And unlike other methods, do virtually no harm to plants.........

Tom Barr