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RE:Limiting plant growth
>>I guess my question would be: What nutrient deficiencies will just
>>prevent growth, as opposed to causing visual deformities in the plants?
> I'm guessing that what's wanted here is a way to have controlled plant
>growth? Having gone through my "Now that I've got CO2, how fast can I get
>these plants to grow?" phase (Answer: Way faster than I wanted!), I too am
>looking for a regimen that will give healthy growing plants but won't
>require weekly pruning. The answer would seem to be balanced fertilizer
>dosing, but in smaller doses, right? -- Sherman
Try slower growing plants like Crypts and Anubias etc. Add a few fast
growers so the pruning is not so labor intensive. Less/reduced light too.
Add CO2 to get things going then lower it down or turn it off. Doing a PMDD
regime seems quite labor intensive to try to get the "right" balance for
limiting growth. Removal of nutrients from the water column and adding to
the substrate is a good way. Ms Walstead's book shows more about this. She
doesn't use CO2 is some/all(?) tanks also. You may find this method to be to
your liking. Old style pre CO2 tanks are not the types of tanks that
required pruning very much nor did they have as much light either, at least
the ones I've seen. 1-1/2 to 2 watts max. It's cheaper to run 2
watts/gallon or less and your limited somewhat to certain plants but most
will do very @ 2watts/gallon and many at 1 to 1 1/2 watts/gallon depending
on depth of your tank. I'd stay away from trying to limit growth with
nutrients and use less CO2 or light. It takes some getting use to but so
does CO2 and lots of light. You will not need near as much trace and macro
elements doing this. So the tank uses "less" of everything. Knocking out one
nutrient will cause problems it seems but doing an overall or CO2/light
approach will cause less issues than a nutrient limitation. My "bonsai"
plants were better off with less CO2. Too little nutrients= yellow
leaves,melting, twisted leaves etc.......but less of these nutrients are
needed at lower lighting. Balance is the key. Just slow it down rather than
"limit" it. Less of everything.