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Why can some leaves resist algae

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by ceg4048, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Mr. Barr,
    Could you explain why some individual leaves are able to resist algae infestation on the same plant? I can guess that the obvious response is that some leaves are healthier than others but I would like to understand what really constitutes a healthy leaf.

    Some leaves continue to develop much more algae repeatedly and much more rapidly no matter how often it is cleaned. What is this leaf missing to prevent the spores from becoming attached? What is the attachment method an adhesive or hook? Does the algae actually pull nutrients from the leaf, and is this therefore why it is better to prune the leaf rather than to continnually try to remove the it's algae coating?

    Cheers,
     
  2. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Why can some leaves resist algae

    I'm not Mr. Barr, but if I had a plant that was doing well except that algae grew on one or two leaves without any apparent reason, I would remove those leaves.

    Why does algae chose one leaf but not another one? There could be any number of reasons, such as the position of the leaf relative to some stimulus such as light, an injury, or a physical problem that prevents nutrients from getting to the leaf in sufficient quantities. If removing the algae-attracting leaf solved the problem, my curiosity would be satisfied.

    Good luck!

    Bill
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Why can some leaves resist algae

    A half dead leaf is not going to be much help to the plant. They will leach out nutrients. The leaf is not actively growing so it's just like a rock or piece of wood.

    Bleached Anubias leaves commonly get reinfected and look ratty anyway.
    I trim off any algae infested leaves as a rule. Even if I don't and rub the algae off, I'll remove the leaf in a few weeks no matter what.

    Algae eaters will help also.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Why can some leaves resist algae

    The thing is that the leaves I'm referring to are not of the half dead variety. In fact, some of the most susceptible leaves have been Hygro which are propbably the fastest growing plants in the tank. On the other hand I have several crypts and after cleaning the badly affected leaves they are not visibly different than the other leaves that are not affected at all. I have started culling the leaves though. The crypts are putting out enough leaves that I feel comfortable removing the affected ones. It's just very strange that some leaves never develop algae while other, identical looking ones do.

    I suppose part of my problem is that I regard all algae eating creatures as either ugly or vermin so I'm resigned to performing the removal myself.

    Cheers,
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Why can some leaves resist algae

    Larger leaves have larger boundary layers, eg, it's easier for algae spores to settle on them.

    A healthy leaf will remove NH4 also as well leak out sugars.
    A not so healthy or deaf leaf will leak NH4 and amnio acids out.

    Add sugar to your tank, then try adding a little NH4.
    Which causes algae?

    If you were a little spore settling and trying to make a go of it, where would have the best chance?

    On the so so plant leaf.
    Some algae eaters are neat, Zebra otto cats, Crystal red shrimps, Amano shrimps, many rare plecos, SAE's ain't bad for a time.
    Most barbs, especially rosey barbs are excellent hair algae eaters.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

    3rd annual Plant Fest July 8-14th 2005!
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    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
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    Re: Why can some leaves resist algae

    I've read something about zoospores swims towards amino acids. Some kind of chemotaxis. If this is true old dying leaves would be "magnets" for algae?

    Also a vibrant healty planted aquarium with lots of happy plants would mean very few good places for them to attach. Nothing new I guess, but I feel somewhat better knowing why. Knowledge bliss =)
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Why can some leaves resist algae

    Zoospore do likely target AA(unhealthy plant leaf) vs photosynthate(healthy plant leaf).

    Algae know where a decent place to grow is and many aere epiphyte on plants in particular.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Bill

    Bill Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Why can some leaves resist algae

    >>>A not so healthy or deaf leaf will leak NH4 and amnio acids out.
     
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