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Natural Planted Tanks & Blue Green Algae

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 7:09 am
by kb46
I'm planning to try a Diana Walstead-style natural planted tank without any electrical equipment - using plants to filter the water and natural lighting for a tub pond on our patio.

There are a few websites out there that claim these tanks to be the easiest of easy - 6-monthly water changes and no testing required. The more I think about this the more I am wondering about how algae, and in particular blue-green algae, is kept under control.

From what I've read so far - BGA prefers still water over current, and thrives when dissolved organics get high &/or nitrates get too low. So I would have thought there's a pretty high risk of this nasty taking hold in an NPT. What are some steps I can take to try to avoid it?

These are the things I've thought might help. Please feel free to add suggestions and let me know if I'm off track with any of them:
  • Elodea and Tropical Hornwort are suggested to put out antibacterial substances that can help prevent BGA (however, these are both great nutrient soaks so I'm a little worried that too much of these could deplete nitrate levels, so I'm guessing I would need to keep small amounts of these only?)
  • Low low stocks of fish
  • Don't overfeed
  • Some shrimp/snails to keep decaying plant matter at bay
  • Regular water changes regardless of what may be "possible to get away without"


Re: Natural Planted Tanks & Blue Green Algae

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:10 am
by Dutchman
I think BGA's like phosphate, so I support your ideas about low stocks and no overfeeding. Perhaps cleaning the tank/pond of waste may be an important issue.