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Re: Black brush algae

Posted By: Dr. Momfish <gkadar@idirect.ca>
Date: Monday, 5 June 2000, at 9:13 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Black brush algae (Iris)

I think that Black brush algae must have a more complicated raison d'etre than just the presence of one or another nutrient. Also, when a tank is heavily planted the levels of nitrate in the water are not always a good indicator of how much ammonia is being produced by the fish. Since ammonia is the prefered form of nitrogen that plants utilize, excess ammonia is changed into nitrite and then nitrate by the beneficial bacteria. You can have a totally algae infested tank and still come up with next to zero on the nitrate test because the algae have consumed all the ammonia as it is produced.

Black brush algae, like blue green, seems to require several environmental 'triggers' to establish itself, probably more than, say, hair algae. Good water circulation to avoid areas around plant leaves from being 'dead zones' helps the plants to absorb the nutrients from the water column and thereby starve or prevent algaes from taking over. The filamentous shape of black brush algae gives it an advantage over flat leaved plants, sort of like how gill filaments make oxygen absorption more efficient in fish.

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