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Old 09-04-2015, 03:50 PM   #71
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In low light tanks with nutrient-rich substrate and certain types of plants you might get away with no ferts added to the water column, but to say that plants don't need nutrients in the water is a broad statement that does not apply in most cases.
Probably true. It sure is a lot harder then I thought to try to avoid blanket statements. I will say have a pretty good diversity of plants in my tanks and there is undetectable N and P right now. Have you considered terrestrial plants don't have to get the nutrients from the air? They get all there P,Fe,Ca,Mg and K through the soil. Why should aquatic plants be that much different? They don't have to, but why couldn't they if they needed too?
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:56 PM   #72
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Probably true. It sure is a lot harder then I thought to try to avoid blanket statements. I will say have a pretty good diversity of plants in my tanks and there is undetectable N and P right now. Have you considered terrestrial plants don't have to get the nutrients from the air? They get all there P,Fe,Ca,Mg and K through the soil. Why should aquatic plants be that much different? They don't have to, but why couldn't they if they needed too?
Your plants will be healthier and grow faster if nutrients are not limited. Dose away! Don't be scared of ferts, that's the easy part to get right. If algae shows up as a result, then it just means you have too much light / insufficient co2 / not enough plant mass. Adjust one or more of these variables according to your goals, and you won't have to starve your plants of nutrients just to prevent algae.
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Old 09-04-2015, 03:59 PM   #73
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Let's say you have a planted tank with slightly excessive lighting but still no algae. The aquarist adds some fertilizers, and then algae shows up, so the aquarist blames the fertilizer, when the actual reason is there was a bit too much light to begin with, and adding the nutrients enabled the algae spores to take advantage of the available excess light energy. This is because the lack of nutrients is no longer limiting growth, and the insufficient amount of co2 now becomes the limiting factor for plant growth. The plants struggle with insufficient co2, algae not so much, so guess which one wins. Keep adding the ferts, but either reduce lighting, add co2, or add more plant mass, (or all three) and you would very likely see the algae subside and not return.
+1. I like it. I agree 100% with everything you say right here. These are the kinds of conversations we need to be having instead of it's the light, no it's the ferts LOL Need to have a whole system view. I just like to look at phosphate first because I usually find the culprit there. I usually get results by dealing with it there. I really like a bright tank. I am fascinated by the idea plants could use low light and only algae needs high light. I always thought it would be the other way around. Maybe it is because I see plants trying to get to the top but algae may exist lower in the water where there is less light. However.....now that you have me thinking about it....That's usually cyano a little different, still photo synthetic though.

I would like to share something slightly off topic but I think this is the right convo for it. Only the beginning is useful to aquarium keeping. I don't think it solves any debates. It's just fascinating and I wanted to share.

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Old 09-04-2015, 04:03 PM   #74
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Your plants will be healthier and grow faster if nutrients are not limited. Dose away! Don't be scared of ferts, that's the easy part to get right. If algae shows up as a result, then it just means you have too much light / insufficient co2 / not enough plant mass. Adjust one or more of these variables according to your goals, and you won't have to starve your plants of nutrients just to prevent algae.
My goal is actually to keep a successful Walstad tank. Only because I haven't tried one yet I admit...I did cheat a little with potassium and Flourish comp because at the beginning the plants were getting yellow on the edges. I'm not afraid of ferts. I just wanted to experiment with a different approach and learn lot's of cool new things. The Ecology of The Planted Aquarium is a Fascinating book. I have also been looking around the Barr Report. I don't suppose Tom has a book?

I don't want to be the master of one approach. I want to know about all of them
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:41 PM   #75
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I love how this "cause and effect" comment became such a long discussion.
The article I posted the link to clearly stated that algae spores are present in the water whether nutrients are present or not. That contradicts BigRed's comment that nutrients CAUSE algae in SW tanks. I read through most of the following posts but did anyone else get that? That the algae (spore) was already there?
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Old 09-04-2015, 04:43 PM   #76
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I love how this "cause and effect" comment became such a long discussion.
The article I posted the link to clearly stated that algae spores are present in the water whether nutrients are present or not. That contradicts BigRed's comment that nutrients CAUSE algae in SW tanks. I read through most of the following posts but did anyone else get that? That the algae (spore) was already there?
I guess I have just always known/excepted the spores were going to be there whether I liked it or not. I forget sometimes other people don't know about those things.
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Old 09-04-2015, 05:38 PM   #77
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I love how this "cause and effect" comment became such a long discussion.

The article I posted the link to clearly stated that algae spores are present in the water whether nutrients are present or not. That contradicts BigRed's comment that nutrients CAUSE algae in SW tanks. I read through most of the following posts but did anyone else get that? That the algae (spore) was already there?

But who cares if the spores are there, what causes the GROWTH is more important imo. Some spores being present in all water, and a tank with rocks full of GHA are 2 different things Andy, and the second is only going to be caused by excess nutrients, and you know this.

And here


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I foresee some thread cleaning coming, so let's sum it up, in fw algae GROWTH is mainly contributed to lighting being more intense than the ferts/co2 being used can handle and in sw algae GROWTH is due to excess nutrients in the water and possibly the wrong spectrum of light being used. But either way algae spores aren't reliant on any of these things


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Old 09-04-2015, 06:14 PM   #78
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Ant pupae are a great nutrition source for fish.


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Old 09-04-2015, 06:23 PM   #79
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Ant pupae are a great nutrition source for fish.


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I've... never heard of that, let alone heard of it as a myth. Care to elaborate?

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Old 09-04-2015, 06:51 PM   #80
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But who cares if the spores are there, what causes the GROWTH is more important imo. Some spores being present in all water, and a tank with rocks full of GHA are 2 different things Andy, and the second is only going to be caused by excess nutrients, and you know this.

And here






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I tend to agree. Algae spores are everywhere. We can only try limiting their growth.

Saltwater by trying our hardest to remove nutrients.

Freshwater by making sure the lighting level is in balance with co2 and nutrients


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