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Thread: Understanding String Algae

  1. #81
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Em-1 is microorganisms - that occur in nature - natural. UV light - in the form to sterilize - man-made - not natural.

    Never said a koi pond is natural but trying to make it as close to a natural pond. Just because it is man-made doesn't mean it has to be so unlike nature.

    Yes, the em-1 is multi-purpose. Hard to believe, but it's the real deal.

    As for profit potential, I meant that you could sell the same product for 10x the price for the koi enthusiasts by just renaming and repackaging it. Consider how much people pay for clay like Utsuri clay or Refresh right? How much for Matsuda fish net? Pricing is not cost-based, it's benefit-based.

  2. #82
    Tosai kougs's Avatar
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    silver bullet fix? for me it is getting in and manually pulling out as much as I can 2 times a week. cleaning skimmer nets and leaf baskets. It is getting into my bottom drain causing stress on my external pump so have to keep up on it. yup, I read every bit of this and I thank you too Mike for taking the time posting this and the others with their insights. All very educational. I now can save money by not caving into what is said to work but really doesn't.

  3. #83
    Tategoi semi skilled keeper's Avatar
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    MikeM NOT SURE WHAT YOU HAVE LET YOURSELF INFOR ? But a very interesting thread.
    You mat regret starting it or it may be just the method to get it out of your system (not pool )

    I have never had a problem with it ( should not of said that should I )
    But would like to find out more about it, just in case .
    Anybody tried to grow Spirulina to compete ?

    Brain

  4. #84
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    I've never had it to any significant degree. Yes, I'm crossing my fingers and toes that this remains the case.

  5. #85
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Controlling String Algae: The Algal Turf Scrubber

    With the water warming, complaints about string algae are becoming a subject of discussion on some boards. A new twist has popped up, with the suggestion that one's string algae problems can be solved by installing an algal turf scrubber. Never heard of an algal turf scrubber? Well, I have never heard of them being used on ponds, but it was all the rage in the reef aquarium hobby years ago. You can think of the ATS as an algae version of a bog garden. The idea is to have a highly efficient algae habitat that will be so productive that nutrients will be used up to the point that algae will not grow well in the pond, because it is flourishing so wildly in the ATS. I am not aware of anyone having successfully adapted the ATS concept to a koi pond. I do not believe it can be done. In theory it might be done to reduce the need for water changes, the motivating factor behind efforts to use ATS on reef aquaria, but the notion that it can be implemented so effectively that algae will thrive in the ATS, but waste away in the pond, seems quite illogical to me.

    That is not to say that the ATS concept cannot have useful applications for the engineering-minded. It just is not practical IMO.

    The ATS was first promoted by Dr. Walter Adey, following much research into reef-keeeping. He is known for having a huge coral reef aquarium maintained for many years through use of an ATS system. In his book, Dynamic Aquaria, Dr Adey set forth the scientific principles behind the ATS. Basically, the ATS received light 24-hours a day, allowing the algae cultivated in it to not only consume nutrient, but to offset CO2 produced at night in the aquarium thereby preventing acidification. It was quite successful in his skilled, careful hands. ...Until it wasn't. It eventually was learned that the ATS removed not only negative nutrients, but also beneficial ones. So, to maintain coral growth, there had to be regular controlled additions of calcium, strontium and other minerals. Nonetheless, the success experienced led to a fad of all sorts of DIY ATS designs. These either did not work as promised, or proved to be quite expensive. A whole lot more technology and skilled attentiveness was required than even reef aquarists were willing to devote. (Of course, there were those exceptional individuals who knew no limits on the time and expense devoted to their mini oceans.) A variation then came along, called 'the refugium', in which algae was grown in a sump attached to the reef aquarium to help reduce the need for water changes to control nutrients that promoted algae growth in the aquarium. However, refugiums did not consume nutrient fast enough to prevent algae in the aquarium. And, the need to harvest algae to actually remove nutrient from the system was as much of a hassle as performing a water change. And, if the algae was not harvested regularly, its growth would block light reaching the lower levels, leading to an algae die-off that returned undesired nutrient to the aquarium. You will find refugiums still in use, but today they are not seen as a cure-all they were once promoted to be. Rather, by providing a habitat where little organisms could grow and reproduce, they are as much a source of live food supplementing the diet of the reef inhabitants as anything else.

    I think of ATS as an algae version of the bog garden that is supposed to purify the pond water naturally. As I've written in another thread about 'veggie filters', the concept is interesting, can be successful in theory and is wholly impractical for the koi hobbyist. ...BTW, if the idea is to prevent string algae from developing in the pond, Dr Adey's research established that string algae was the best algae for accomplishing nutrient removal in the reef setting. So, how are you going to keep the string algae thriving year-round so it is present and working when the seasonal bout of string algae shows up in the pond? And, it should be noted that in water cleansing facilities that have been established using the adey technology, water hyacinth have proved to be almost as efficient as algae and far less costly to harvest/maintain.

    Perhaps someday impracticalities will be overcome and these sorts of things will prove worthwhile in areas where drought prevents reliance on water changes, but I expect the cost and labor will be prohibitive.

  6. #86
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by semi skilled keeper View Post
    MikeM NOT SURE WHAT YOU HAVE LET YOURSELF INFOR ? But a very interesting thread.
    You mat regret starting it or it may be just the method to get it out of your system (not pool )

    I have never had a problem with it ( should not of said that should I )
    But would like to find out more about it, just in case .
    Anybody tried to grow Spirulina to compete ?

    Brain
    I understand that Spirulina would thrive only high alkalinity 8.5+

  7. #87
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    Silly question here. Is there anything in nature that will feed on the string algae to keep it at bay? I know it is virtually impossible to eliminate from a pond, but are there conditions where the string algae just will not grow and proliferate?

  8. #88
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Nothing feeds on it to that extent. Perhaps a disease organism will be of some use in the future (see post #35, above). Those would be 'bugs in a bottle' that might serve a real purpose.

    It will not grow in the dark, in freezing water or water too warm for koi to survive.

  9. #89
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Nothing feeds on it to that extent. Perhaps a disease organism will be of some use in the future (see post #35, above). Those would be 'bugs in a bottle' that might serve a real purpose.

    It will not grow in the dark, in freezing water or water too warm for koi to survive.
    Actually Koi have cousins that do Grass carp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

    I Just remembered this - we had introduced Grass carp fingerlings when the water was completely green - Now they are grown big and the water is clear - as per the reports people are cutting grass and feeding then once a day just to keep then alive - because my other cousins were asking for the carp for their ponds .

    The pond was devoid of any fish before the introduction because it was dried up and cleaned .
    Grass Carp should be safer than Pleco Catfishes are they are mostly herbivores and should not be competing with Koi for food - I guess as long as you feed them some grass ..

    I don't know how the carp managed to eat the microscopic algae - Might be the flow of nutrients got cutoff after the monsoons.
    Last edited by KK.Menon; 04-30-2014 at 08:36 PM. Reason: Adding Info

  10. #90
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    With the water warming, complaints about string algae are becoming a subject of discussion on some boards. A new twist has popped up, with the suggestion that one's string algae problems can be solved by installing an algal turf scrubber. Never heard of an algal turf scrubber? Well, I have never heard of them being used on ponds, but it was all the rage in the reef aquarium hobby years ago. You can think of the ATS as an algae version of a bog garden. The idea is to have a highly efficient algae habitat that will be so productive that nutrients will be used up to the point that algae will not grow well in the pond, because it is flourishing so wildly in the ATS. I am not aware of anyone having successfully adapted the ATS concept to a koi pond. I do not believe it can be done. In theory it might be done to reduce the need for water changes, the motivating factor behind efforts to use ATS on reef aquaria, but the notion that it can be implemented so effectively that algae will thrive in the ATS, but waste away in the pond, seems quite illogical to me.

    That is not to say that the ATS concept cannot have useful applications for the engineering-minded. It just is not practical IMO.

    The ATS was first promoted by Dr. Walter Adey, following much research into reef-keeeping. He is known for having a huge coral reef aquarium maintained for many years through use of an ATS system. In his book, Dynamic Aquaria, Dr Adey set forth the scientific principles behind the ATS. Basically, the ATS received light 24-hours a day, allowing the algae cultivated in it to not only consume nutrient, but to offset CO2 produced at night in the aquarium thereby preventing acidification. It was quite successful in his skilled, careful hands. ...Until it wasn't. It eventually was learned that the ATS removed not only negative nutrients, but also beneficial ones. So, to maintain coral growth, there had to be regular controlled additions of calcium, strontium and other minerals. Nonetheless, the success experienced led to a fad of all sorts of DIY ATS designs. These either did not work as promised, or proved to be quite expensive. A whole lot more technology and skilled attentiveness was required than even reef aquarists were willing to devote. (Of course, there were those exceptional individuals who knew no limits on the time and expense devoted to their mini oceans.) A variation then came along, called 'the refugium', in which algae was grown in a sump attached to the reef aquarium to help reduce the need for water changes to control nutrients that promoted algae growth in the aquarium. However, refugiums did not consume nutrient fast enough to prevent algae in the aquarium. And, the need to harvest algae to actually remove nutrient from the system was as much of a hassle as performing a water change. And, if the algae was not harvested regularly, its growth would block light reaching the lower levels, leading to an algae die-off that returned undesired nutrient to the aquarium. You will find refugiums still in use, but today they are not seen as a cure-all they were once promoted to be. Rather, by providing a habitat where little organisms could grow and reproduce, they are as much a source of live food supplementing the diet of the reef inhabitants as anything else.

    I think of ATS as an algae version of the bog garden that is supposed to purify the pond water naturally. As I've written in another thread about 'veggie filters', the concept is interesting, can be successful in theory and is wholly impractical for the koi hobbyist. ...BTW, if the idea is to prevent string algae from developing in the pond, Dr Adey's research established that string algae was the best algae for accomplishing nutrient removal in the reef setting. So, how are you going to keep the string algae thriving year-round so it is present and working when the seasonal bout of string algae shows up in the pond? And, it should be noted that in water cleansing facilities that have been established using the adey technology, water hyacinth have proved to be almost as efficient as algae and far less costly to harvest/maintain.

    Perhaps someday impracticalities will be overcome and these sorts of things will prove worthwhile in areas where drought prevents reliance on water changes, but I expect the cost and labor will be prohibitive.
    Mike, since you mentioned the algal turf scrubber, I wonder if my waterfalls is behaving like one. I have plenty of string algae growing on it, and it's growing only there. It is the spot getting the most sunshine, and gets it all throughout the year. I believe that when I directed all the filter return through the waterfalls, growth of algae mushroomed. But my redirection of water was to increase aeration of the pond, but I observed the effect on algae growth. Now, I am rerouting all filter return water back through the waterfalls to see if I can replicate what I observed earlier.

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