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THoughts on Staghorn Algae

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by srozell, May 29, 2005.

  1. srozell

    srozell Guru Class Expert

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    I have a "Walstad" tank that was becoming increasing infected with staghorn algae. I did what I could to pick and preen it away, but it really made no difference.

    Recently I went away for 3 days and discovered that all the staghorn was dead or gone. A week later I see no sign of it returning.

    The only thing that changed during that period is that I didn't feed the fish. (All endlers) I guess this also means that the snails didn't get any excess waste.

    As I could clearly see dead staghorn floating around the tank, or still attached to plants, I don't think anything was eating it until it started to decay.(The snails got on it then).

    Any thoughts as to what would cause this type of genocide?

    My guesses are:
    a) Too low of a fish load/plant ratio = excess nitrates
    b) Staghorn requires a regular source of nutrients (plant food) or just can't survive.
    c) Elves cleaned it up while I was away.
     
  2. groovyfishguy

    groovyfishguy Prolific Poster

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    Re: THoughts on Staghorn Algae

    No clue 'c' seems most likely though ;)
     
  3. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: THoughts on Staghorn Algae

    I don't know the answer to your question ... a decade ago, I thought this was a natural cycle to a planted aquarium ... in 1996, I thought that planted aquariums went through three algae stages, soft stringy stuff that floated suspended in the water and got tangled into plants, the beautiful soft fluffy bright green fur that grew over everything, and the third stage was a hard almost woody staghorn kind of algae ... and only after going through all three stages would things clear up ... after that, it was only a battle of keeping the greenspot/dust alage away, primarily off the glass ... aren't our old favorite myths fun to remember?

    I've always seen it "go away" ... usually after a lot of manual plucking and prunning .... so I always assumed there was a nutrient issue that caused it. But to me, what you described is not unusual ...

    I haven't seen staghorn algae in quite a few years since Tom started beating me over the head with a 4x4 over dosing at higher levels ...

    I am sure someone else can give you a more technical answer; all I can tell you is that I've observed the same type of phenomenon that you describe.

    Greg
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Re: THoughts on Staghorn Algae

    The algae likely just ran it's course.
    Once induced, it grew and then back away later.

    This is typically not a persistant type of algae, it blooms and then mellows out.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. srozell

    srozell Guru Class Expert

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    Re: THoughts on Staghorn Algae

    Cool, thank you.
     
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