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Native algae on notso native plants


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#1 mattknepley

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 05:08 PM

I have finally succeeded in growing some aquatic plants indoors! Yeah, me! Nothing too fancy; Java Moss, Wisteria, Java Fern, anubiases (anubii?), a banana plant, some kind of sword, Salvinia minima, and something that looks like a cross between Marsilea quadrifolia and ragweed.

These are all in a 20h with my Enneacanthus, topminnows, Swamp Darters and one stinkin' crayfish. The plants aren't native (except maybe that last one, it was locally obtained)but they are doing my native fishes a world of good. But here's the problem; I've got algae, too. (gasp!) Actually, at least two varieties. One is that unattractive brown algae that I've had decent luck with snails controlling in past tanks. When I come across some, I'll chuck 'em in there. For now, it's easy enough to scrape it off the glass and pretend I don't see it on the leaves. The real problem is the other algae, a stringy green thing that looks a lot like what I call hair algae my stock pond. In the pics you can see it is growing on the stems and leaves of the wisteria and salvinia. In fact it is doing well on all the plants except the banana and the Java Moss. It doesn't seem to matter if the plant is a fast grower like the wisterias, the sword, or Salvinia (it likes the roots) or a slow grower like the Anubias. It likes glass, too. Does anybody recognize this stuff and know of a way to kill it without killing my other greenies or the fish? (The cray is expendable.) You may remember a few years back I had a tank collapse due to mixing algae killer and Prime and so am nervous about algae killer in general.

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In the interest of trying to keep this post more native legit, here is the Marsilea/ragweed cross looking thing. It grows along the shore, in thick masses. Some of it floats on the surface, some stays submerged. Roots are in the substrate as well as coming out of nodes as can be seen here. Long, thin,stringy roots grow in copious quantities. The overall effect, to me, is much like M. quadrifolia only with round leaves instead of a four leaf clover looking thing. If the cussed cray would leave it alone, it would be in the substrate with new growth. But it won't (why should it be different than the sword or banana?) so it floats in hopes it will bounce back up there. Ninety Six Creek area, Greenwood County, SC.

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Matt Knepley
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#2 dsuperman

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 05:46 PM

Would cuttings from the houseplant "pothos" help control that algae? 

 

       https://youtu.be/e2jqZzHO2OA



#3 mattknepley

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 05:58 PM

It might very well. I'll give it a try. I've actually thought about floating that stuff in past aquariums for wq purposes. It's the plant version of a cockroach, you can't kill it. I used to use it heavily in my dart frog viv because it would thrive in low light and high humidity. My oldest daughter has a forest of it growing in her firebellied toad tank. Looks like it's time for a transplant.

Thanks for posting that clip. Hopefully it will be as lethal on my algae as it was on that girl's, though harmless to my plants.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#4 gerald

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Posted 19 January 2018 - 07:39 PM

Might the rooty-nodey thing be a Hydrocotyle?  Amano shrimp are the best for eating green hair algae (and most other algae).


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
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#5 mattknepley

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 07:54 AM

Thanks, Gerald. It sure does look like this stuff https://www.aquasabi...le-verticillata. I have no connection to the website other than it was the first respectable looking site with a good pic.

Will have to rehome that cray and stock on Amanos, methinks.

Going back to the Pothos idea, if you watched the video dsuperman linked, is it likely that small an amount of plant wiped out her entire tank's algae? I'm still trying it, got a couple nice cuttings in there now, but I'm not sure my Pothos is quite that ambitious...
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#6 mattknepley

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 08:37 AM

Looking at the Amanos, they look enough like a grass shrimp to my untrained eye to fly in my tank. Searched some of the threads here on the forum, and still have some questions as to their sustainability in my tank. How likely are they to survive long enough with Blackbanded and Bluespotted Sunfish to get the job done? I have seen them be fairly persistent at hounding grass shrimp to death.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#7 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 02:59 PM

Red cherry shrimp are pretty cheap and breed fast if provided for. They may hold on if you have enough structure and warm enough water for them to reproduce rapidly. I really like them, not only for eating algae, but also as a live food culture.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#8 mattknepley

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 09:25 PM

Thanks, Matt. I went with a 15 pack of some nondescript cousins of red cherry shrimp. https://www.theshrim...r-shrimp-20.phpThey were pretty inexpensive, so if they get eaten quickly it won't hurt too bad. Well, won't hurt ME too bad anyway. I'm hoping to have your experience of them being a sustained live food source in the tank as well as a clean-up crew.

Just noticed that the webpage says they're unavailable. I ordered 'em yesterday and they were "available". Better check my email...
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#9 terrapin83

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 04:09 PM

Get some Ceratophyllum demersum (hornwort), an attractive easy-to-find native plant that is 'allelopathic', in that it releases a chemical into the water that helps prevent algae growth. I have some in a tank and it definitely seems to help.



#10 mattknepley

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 09:18 PM

I like the hornwort idea. I have noticed that where I got my hornwort for my stock pond that there isn't much of an algae issue, but in the stock tank itself it struggles with algae. Wonder why the difference. I'm guessing water flow and increased temperature...

I finally got the algae under control in that tank; cleaner shrimp, Salvinia minima covering the surface, and a chunk o' Pothos rooting in the tank. I'm guessing the Salvia is the main contributor, though now that the cleaner shrimp seem to have been eaten off there does seem to be a little bit of a comeback.

Where in the 'Cuse area are you? I lived in Tully for several years and did my undergrad at SUNY Oswego.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#11 elting44

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 12:15 AM

How big is the tank and what's the filtration like. Research algae scrubbers, particularly UAS style. The basic idea is you create such and ideal spot for algae to grow in a concentrated area that it grows in said spot and no where else in the system. They are popular among saltwater enthusiasts and are gaining traction in freshwater.
Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
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#12 mattknepley

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 07:32 AM

20g tall. Sponge filter. Will check out the scrubber idea.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#13 elting44

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 10:40 AM

On a 20gT a UAS might not be the best bet, they are best implemented when they can be hidden behind and overflow or in a sump.

 

I'd be interested in hornwort as a solution in that case.


Tyler Elting -  Intersection of the Saline, Smoky Hill and Solomon Rivers, Kansas
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" -Matthew 4:19
Avatar photo credit Lance Merry

#14 Auban

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 06:44 AM

im kinda late to this discussion, but i agree with the suggestion for an upflow algae scrubber.  despite the fact that the tank is not terribly large, a UAS doesnt have to be much of an eyesore.  in fact, if you design it right, you can attach one to a sponge filter so it doesnt take up much more room.  

 

years ago, before my "ramblings on algae" thread, i used to chat with someone out in california who had a lot of designs for them.  "SantaMonica" was his screen name.  anyway, he had a hard time getting people to take him seriously back then.  he literally gave away his designs, and would even send people algae scrubbers for free sometimes, if they would just try them.  i used to chat with him all the time about the benefits of algae for ANY aquarium.  nowadays, i see youtube videos all over the place where people are putting them on all kinds of tanks to help control nitrates and phosphates, and to keep algae out of their main tanks.  many of them are santamonica's algae scrubbers, so i guess his business took off. 

 

they really aren't difficult to design.


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#15 Irate Mormon

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 06:29 PM

Would cuttings from the houseplant "pothos" help control that algae? 

 

       https://youtu.be/e2jqZzHO2OA

Nice - P. delhezi and a gator gar...


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