Re: Microscopic Algae eaters.

From: Tassara (
Date: Wed Jun 30 1999 - 14:29:33 PDT

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 1999 22:29:33 +0100
From: (Tassara)
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2398$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Microscopic Algae eaters.

Hi Chris and all,

>Hi Everyone,

>I was growing 2 pieces of aldrovanda in a 3 gallon tank on the
>windowsill. The tank has a substrate of aquarium gravel, a
>mini-filter, a water hyacinth, some salvia, and a sucker catfish. I
>have also added blackwater extract to the water when i set it up.
>The Ph is 6.4. Last week I noticed some hair algae slowly growing
>on one of the alds. so I took one and put it in a jar by the window
>where I am keeping a waterhyacinth as backup. Over the weekend, the
>tank developped a real algal bloom of that cottony type algae that
>sits on the ground. So I took the other piece of ald. out and put
>it in the jar. So here's my question. The jar with the hyacinth
>has been at the window for over a month, and has some microorganisms
>in it such as cyclops, really big osteocods, and several different
>unidentified worms. I noticed years ago already that when I put a
>jar of water by the window, it does not develop algae if the
>osteocods are present. Searching on the web, I found out that they
>are detritus eaters. Are they algae eat ers too? They never seem
>to hurt my plants themselves. Would using them seem like a good
>method to grow my aquatic utrics. and alds.? All I really found on
>the net was their diet and distribution ranges. Any opinions or
>facts would be welcome.

>Thansk again.
>Chris F.

I've had a positive experience last year with ostracods: in a few days they
cleaned an algae infested container where I grew U. vulgaris.
If their number is high, they are very quick in eating algae.
However, their number doesn't increase always quickly: often they are
present, but they are a few and they don't help much.
A factor of their increasing is certainly the abundance of algae, but this
is not desirable in a CP tank.
So I'm now trying growing Daphnias and ostracods in a separate tank in order
to have many of them available for cleaning purposes (I fertilise the water,
algae increase, crustaceans increase and finally algae almost disappear).
I'm having trouble introducing Daphnia in the aquarium where I grow a few
experimental Aldrovanda: in a few hours the plants eat all of them.
I think ostracods are more suitable because they are smaller and more
numerous than Daphnias, so a good number should be able to survive.

Cyclops should eat algae, too, but I've few experience about them.
On the other hand, I don't think worms help much in cleaning water:
crustaceans are much more voracious.

Until now I've never noticed damages on the carnivorous plants from these

>Also, I have noted that any time I use substrate of any kind in my
>plant jars or aquariums, algae grows significantly faster than in a
>bare bottom setup. I do rinse whatever I use well. I would like to
>grow my U. Purpurea in the submerged form instead of the floating
>form I have now, but I need something to keep it down with, but
>everything I use seems to backfire on me. Any ideas?

Clean silica sand should contain no nutrients for algae; also some kinds of
peat are rather good for this purpose (however, some other peat kinds are
algae-producing factories: you should make experiments).

Hope this helps

Filippo Tassara
Genova, Italy

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