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Old 09-24-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
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Nutrient Rich Substrates Question

Does using them automatically cause algae if you don't have CO2 or Excel?
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Old 09-24-2007, 08:50 PM   #2
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No, algae comes from nutrient imbalances.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:20 PM   #3
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I've never done a substrate specifically for plants. If that's all you had in the tank, would that mean you have an imbalance?
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:29 PM   #4
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The only substrate system that I know of that contains significant amounts of macronutrients (nitrates, phosphates, and potassium) is ADA's Aquasoil/Powersand combination. It can cause issues when first set up, even with CO2 supplementation, unless frequent (twice weekly) 25-50% water changes are performed for the first two to four weeks. Green water is the most likely result if water changes are not performed, as the substrate releases healthy amounts of nitrates and phosphates, especially the Powersand. After about a month it will mediate its release of these nutrients and is a joy to work with.

I wouldn't worry too much about not having CO2 with ADA's substrates unless you also have high lighting (3+ watts per gallon). High light will cause no end of algae woes unless CO2 is supplemented. Excel may help for a while, but in my experience it is no substitute for actual CO2.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:21 AM   #5
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Personally my experience with my tanks has led me to want to upgrade my 46G in the next couple of weeks from sand to eco complete.

My 10G has eco complete low light but is spotless and lush in it growth, without complex ferts dosing or CO2, just a bit of leafzone every time i water change and its all happy.

My 46G has soft water and low PH (6.2) and now i'm getting root rot with the sand substrate, even with root tabs. Eco-complete is the way forward in my mind.

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