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Trigging thread/hair-algae in low macro-environment with iron?

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by defdac, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
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    I repost this as it got overlooked in another thread:

    Everyone I know that dose a lot of iron get hair/thread algae, given low macro and/or CO2-levels. They even smell of iron when you pull them out.

    One thing I don't understand, question number 1: If I have low and jumpy CO2/macro-levels and have no thread algae, I dose iron and immediately get iron smelling thread algae - why isn't the iron the actual cause or even the trigger/inducer?

    Question number 2: Is thread/hair algae better at fixing iron, like diatoms is very good at storing PO4?
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Trigging thread/hair-algae in low macro-environment with iron?

    It might be secondary effects, but you might be right 1+1 = thread algae.

    Still... individually.... we know thread algae is not = high Fe.

    Building on the individual parts........ you can go back and see if there are multiple interactions occuring, but without knowing the individual parts first.......you have much less chance at figuring it out and the combinations and ranges needed to induce algae.

    GSA is inducable by both low PO4 and CO2.
    One or both.

    There's no reason you cannot have mulitple affects, but you can also may have a downstream effect also=> the limitation of Traces(it very well may not be Fe, it might be Cu or Zn etc) may cause another nutrient to be removed faster, say CO2, that stands to reason also.

    When you add more light=> algae.

    Was it the light's fault or that the light cause more CO2 uptake causing the low CO2 limitation now?

    We do not know those interactions.
    I tend not to even bother trying to figure those out either.

    I just address every parameter and add enough to rule a deficiency. Then later, with my own set ups, I can test to see if the idea worked or if it was something else.

    I do it a few times to be sure, then look around to see if folks have had any similar patterns.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Martin

    Martin Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Trigging thread/hair-algae in low macro-environment with iron?


    I've experienced the same. I added Fe and got a fine helping of thread Algae...
    Perhaps my fert scheme is out of sync, at least I know that my lighting if not good enough.
     
  4. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
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    Re: Trigging thread/hair-algae in low macro-environment with iron?

    Ok, thanks. As you say Tom we don't get thread algae if all nutrients are on target.

    It's one of the more common misstakes here in Sweden to dose high amounts of Tropica Mastergrow/clay/Sera Florena/Ferrogan which most often lead to a nice thread algae farm. So the pattern repeats itself in many different type of tanks.

    EI have worked wonders though for the CO2-people. For them it's more often BBA (jumpy CO2) or Cyanobacteria (low N) that is annoying.

    The question came when I got me myself a nice BBA/Threadalgae/Cyano-farm I managed to induce with a dead filter, jumpy CO2-levels, alot of micros, less KNO3, alot of KH2PO4, timer-misfunction and a couple of other mishaps. The tank looks like hell, but I think it's on the right track.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Trigging thread/hair-algae in low macro-environment with iron?

    Exactly, that's the point.
    It's not fair to iron to say this UNLESS all the other nutrients are in good shape at their proper levels.

    Problems, many folks have trouble keeping the other parameters in good shape!! Which is also why they have algae!! So they are not the best bunch to ask questions from, but they are very doubtful when I come along and say it's something else, they see the correlation but cannot argue for causation.

    This exact same case occurs with PO4 as well, or NO3 is some cases.

    But if you judge these same nutients fairly and isolate them, this pattern is not found.

    This is a simple method to show that correlation does not = causation.

    I've seldom seen it ever honestly in my own personal tanks, I get thread algae when I stop dosing nutrients.
    I go away for a week or two, I come back to hair algae.

    This tells me it's nutrient limitation, macros more likley or perhaps trace limitation.

    Many folks see one algae and stop dosing(say PO4, NO3 etc), thinking they can limit the algae. But if you keep dosing Fe--------> algae.

    Those are easy issues to deal with though.
    Good CO2 is still the hardest thing, but with some work, folks can do away with BBA forever. Then next time it shows up, they can address it fast before it's an issue.
    BGA is very easy if you tend the KNO3 dosing.

    Well, that's not the Fe's fault now is it:)???
    :gw

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
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    Re: Trigging thread/hair-algae in low macro-environment with iron?

    I know, I know PMDD so I can dose everything up to good levels.

    The pattern I was speaking of is when the noobs (including myself some years ago with alot of clay-experimenting) in Sweden with low CO2 and low N/P that wants good growth and starts do dose iron like there was no tomorrow. And alot of clay. And alot of light. That will always lead to a nice thread algae farm, but I guess it goes back to the niche-concept. Plants are stunted because of low N/P, the next biggest epiphyte is the large thread algae that is not as C/N/P-limited as plants because of better surface:volume-ratio.

    I guess I answered my question myself. That was not on purpose. :eek:

    I love this site :D
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Trigging thread/hair-algae in low macro-environment with iron?

    It gets back to providing the good conditions for plants, not worrying about algae so much.

    I mean it really is, that simple.
    You do that, no algae.

    That's much easier than testing for every possible comination that induces algae don't you think?

    Along the way you soon realize what is causing the plants to stall and then later you see the algae.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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