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Problem with Algae

Aldrovanda Aldrovanda vesiculosa Algae

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33 replies to this topic

#1 Loakesy

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 08:05 AM

I just got back from my hols, and found my Aldrovanda tank full of Algae.  I've changed the water, cleaned out the tank and managed to painstakingly tease most - but certainly not all - of the Alga away, but how do I stop it from returning with a vengence?

#2 mobile

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:21 AM

My experience with algae is once it has taken hold it's almost impossible to get rid of without killing the plant too. There are algaecides which supposedly don't kill plants but I've never found them very effective. I'll be very interested to see if anyone has found any effective way of getting rid of it without also killing the plants.

#3 gardenofeden

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:47 AM

mop up the nutrients with companion planting, especially emergents like reedmace (Typha)> I also find a cheap submersible aquarium filter effective, the type with a removable sponge filter you can wash out regularly

#4 Sheila

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 11:52 AM

My Aldrovanda is now in a tank with black sides. I figured that in the wild plants don't get a lot of light from below the surface of the water and decided darker sides may be the answer. I had an electric shredder that died, so I took the black plastic bin part of it and cut it down to a nice tank size, because of the shape it fits perfectly on the windowsill and  then set that up as my Aldrovanda tank.

It still gets enough light on the surface for the aldrovanda to thrive, but has cut the light down immensely and keeps the algae in check. I used to change the water every two months during the summer and clean the plant off when it was in glass. I've been using the bucket with black sides for a year now and although there is still some algae now attaching itself to the sides, the plant has very little on it. I will be thinking about changing the water for the first time in the next few weeks so it has made a big difference.

#5 Guest_FredG_*

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 07:45 PM

<- raises hand   :huh:

Please Miss, why does the water need changing?

#6 Sheila

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 08:42 PM

because after all this time there is a little bit of algae in the tank, mainly stuck to the walls rather than on the plants, but it is getting thicker and needs cleaning out before it does start to affect the plants badly.

The dark sides have by no means cured the algae problem but they have reduced it and a once a year water change is much better than a once every two months water change as it used to be. Maybe if I put some other plants in the tank as well to help use up the excess nutrients in the water which is what the algae are thriving on, I may be able to go to two years or more before the water needs changing.

#7 Guest_FredG_*

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 08:50 PM

So it's not so much a changing the water as a clean the tank exercise  :thumbsup:

#8 Loakesy

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 08:59 AM

I'll keep an eye on it for now and see how it gets on. The new water seems to be very clear at the moment but I know I didn't manage to get all the algae off. Maybe changing the tank might help.

I think I read somewhere that daphnea can help with removing algae as well as providing food for the plant? I've had some in the water for a while but I've not really noticed a difference!

#9 Guest_MikeT_*

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:21 AM

View PostSheila, on Aug 19 2008, 12:52 PM, said:

My Aldrovanda is now in a tank with black sides. I figured that in the wild plants don't get a lot of light from below the surface of the water and decided darker sides may be the answer. I had an electric shredder that died, so I took the black plastic bin part of it and cut it down to a nice tank size, because of the shape it fits perfectly on the windowsill and  then set that up as my Aldrovanda tank.

Sheila, I have tried growing Gibba in a black plastic tub without any success. Within a fortnight  the Gibba was swamped with algae which I found impossible to separate. I hope you have better success growing Aldrovanda in your black sided tank.

Mike

#10 Vic2

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 11:03 AM

I have a big problem with filamentous algae. I tried companion planting with Norfolk reed, but it seems to introduce algal spores on the mud stuck to its roots.
The Aldrovanda grew very well on a West-facing windowsill (no shade), but the alga did even better...  :(

Sheila put me on to Slack, who says use a boiled peat infusion in normal room light, and Daphnia after 2 weeks. I'm trying that, but with a modification: I filtered water from my artificial reed bed slowly through kitchen paper to remove algal filaments and clumps, and put that in the tank as food for the Daphnia. That way,I can introduce the Daphnia straight away, to mop up any algal cells or spores that got through on the plants, before they have a chance to get a foothold.  That's the theory, anyway...!

I've consulted the bestcarnivorousplants website in the Czech Republic, who have a big section on Aldrovanda culture, and they recommend Planorbis (ramshorn) snails, which eat algae but not the plants. As their Latin name suggests, their shells are a flat spiral. (N.B. The winkle-shaped snails do eat plants). I put some in to my Aldrovanda / reed tank, and they did eat the filamentous algae and left the plants, but not fast enough:  In an act of supreme irony, they even had big algal tufts growing on their shells!  At halftime:  Alga 2, Snails 1  (I've heard of 'fast food to go', but...) Being temperate creatures, the snails had to keep surfacing if the Sun heated the water too much - either the temperature itself or the lack of dissolved oxygen, methinks.

I'll get some clean snails, and put them in the Slack tanks too. Then I've thrown everything except the kitchen sink at the dreaded green weed. (N.B. Slack says copper algicides are toxic to Aldrovanda).

Watch this space?  ;)

V2

#11 Sheila

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 11:10 AM

There are a lot of people who would love to find the answer to this one. I've even tried barley mats which are useless. the best I've managed is to keep it down for a few months, then spend hours cleaning the plants thoroughly.

#12 Amar

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 11:16 AM

Have you tried the C02 method, among other places it's decribed in Tony Camilleri's book.

ah, sheila, you obviously used the yeast method, but not anymore, as I read. ;)

#13 Sheila

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 11:23 AM

Yes I did, but if you slightly overdo the sugar the yeast bubbles up and flows up the tube contaminating the water. I don't think yeast and sugar in the water really does the plant any good at all. I never found it to actually make any difference anyway.

#14 Amar

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 11:32 AM

Fortunately for me I'm not really interested in CPs where you can't see the action, namely Aldrovanda and Utrics.

but that's besides the point. :D

#15 mobile

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 05:32 PM

View PostVic2, on Apr 26 2009, 11:03 AM, said:

(N.B. Slack says copper algicides are toxic to Aldrovanda).
And lethal to snails! Don't even consider putting snails into anything that has been previously treated with copper based algaecide.

You might want to consider apple snails too. Plenty of information about them HERE.

#16 Vic2

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 12:22 AM

View Postmobile, on Apr 26 2009, 06:32 PM, said:

And lethal to snails! Don't even consider putting snails into anything that has been previously treated with copper based algaecide.

You might want to consider apple snails too. Plenty of information about them HERE.

Thanks for the advice and the link, mobile  :happy:

After reading the rubric on apple snails, I don't think I'll risk them:
There are many species, which look quite alike, and most of them are voracious eaters which aren't keen on algae!!  :shock:

V2

#17 mobile

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 05:22 AM

That's true but some of them are very keen on it. I have a small planted bowl and the apple snail helps keep the algae at bay but doesn't touch the plants. Having said that, there is still algae as it grows faster than the snail can eat it.

Good luck in your search for a solution :yes

#18 Vic2

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:19 AM

That's interesting, mobile   :detective:

You have a well-behaved apple snail!  :shock:
Do you know what species it is, and have you tried it with Aldrovanda?

Being a big, heavy beast, the apple snail is unlikely to be able to ride the surface tension of the water surface and get to floaters like Aldrovanda - please excuse the metaphor   :innocent:

If you have a spare piece of Aldrovanda, it would be interesting to give it directly to Snail-face and see if it will touch it...

If it's a good boy/girl, I would like to know where you bought it. Then I will get several.
Being hermaphrodite, it only takes any two snails to make a family (the filthy brutes)     :popo:

As with my pin-up, George "Double-Yuh" Bush, I will use any effective measure in the War on the Green Terror...  even slimy double-agents  :evil:

Cheers,

V2

#19 mobile

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:47 AM

Vic2,

It's a pink apple snail. I'll PM you with details of where I purchased it as I'm not sure whether the forums policies allow me to post details here.

Unfortunately, I don't have any Aldrovanda to try in my bowl. The snail crawls up the aquatic plants in there but shows no interest in eating them. This doesn't mean that it wouldn't eat other species of plants though! I've never seen it ride the surface tension but it does go to the top often. If the top is left uncovered it will try to escape! I have an upturned transparent plant pot saucer on the top of the bowl and when it's dark I have heard the snail rattling it.

#20 Aidan

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 12:00 PM

Try the Snail Shop... ;)

http://www.snailshop.co.uk/

One possible issue with snails is that they require calcium for healthy shell growth. Something that most carnivores will object to.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Aldrovanda, Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Algae

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