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Steve and Roger and now me

 Yada yada, OK I'll bite.

 >>This is where the rubber meets the road folks!  Roger supposes a
tank that
 >>is nitrogen-limited, but has enough other nutrients.  He says that
 >>limits both the growth of algae and higher order plants.  He says
 >>increasing nitrogen will "certainly [result in] more growth from
the algae."
 >>WRONG!  We have observed for years and years now that increasing
nitrogen in
 >>nitrogen limited situations will REDUCE ALGAE GROWTH, and increase
 >>order plant growth.  And those of us who have run amok playing
around with
 >>nitrogen also know that even monster amounts of nitrogen (say, 50
- 100 ppm
 >>NO3) are not in and of themselves particularly problematic in an
 >>well-run planted tank.  (I have always assumed that this knowledge
 >>why portions of Europe with very high nitrate levels in the tap
water could
 >>do so well with planted tanks.  Recall that the large Dupla tank
 >>reported in "The Optimum Aquarium" to retain ~25 ppm NO3 with tap
 >>inputs of ~55 ppm, if memory serves.)

 I am a person who has run amok for quite sometime. You even tested
my water yourself Steve! Magic waters indeed.
 I have never really bought into this notion that NO3 and PO4 cause
 More a lack of it. Yee old balance rather than missing or excess
idea. I added some 75pppm of NO3 to a tank with loads of light and CO2.
Steve measure my tap at 1.0ppm of PO4 with a Hach test kit. The water
company says 1.12ppm so the kit is not too far off. In some tanks that
balance may cause algae though. If you have little CO2,little light etc it
may be too rich. The balance thing again.

 >>"You can only judge the nutrient supply to your plants by
observing their
 >>growth.  If their growth is robust and healthy then their nutrient
supply is
 >>fine; it doesn't make any difference what the test kits say.  If
 >>growth is weak and unhealthy then something - maybe a nutrient -
is missing
 >>and what your test kits tell you may or may not be useful."
While it is
 >>true enough that if the growth is robust and healthy the nutrient
supply is
 >>fine, how do we know by visual observation alone what the problem
is if the
 >>tank is a wreck? You suppose, wrongly in my view, that some or
 >>nutrient is always in excess (if the algae is growing).  But which
 >>is it and how do you tell the difference between one excess
nutrient and
 >>another.  Or heaven forbid, combinations and permutations of
multiple excess
 >>nutrients?  The mind reels.  I wish I could do that but I can't,
and some
 >>times my test kits help me eliminate certain issues and improve
 >>likelihood that a particular course of action will help the
aquarist with a
 Your guessing without testing at least some IMO on your trouble
 Elimination is a long process & sometimes it could be this,  another
 it's that, etc. Testing is good to know for the observations. Both
 are the most powerful tool. Do you want to wait till your plants are

 starting to slow down and be sickly or slow growing, basically, till
you do 
 something about it? I am saying that the plants can be slowed down
 us seeing this happen even if we observe them very closely. Now
ponder that one Steve.

  Suppose that the these dip and spikes in these/this growing momentum(s)
 are the cause(the weakening of the plant's growth) of possible algae

 outbreaks and the reason that the plant out compete the algae when
 momentum(s) are maintained? Often in nature there is such a large
supply of 
 nutrients in small concentrations that's present that the nutrients
 always available for uptake. Not so in our tanks. This may explain the K+
levels too. 
 There's lots of nutrients in nature at very low concentrations but in our
tanks? The low
 would sucked out too fast right? There's not a large enough
**reservoir** in 
 most tanks and larger tanks have more stability also don't you
 You wouldn't be able to see/detect these changes at the chemical
 without good testing or perhaps even more rigorous procedures in the
 testing the chemistry of the water and/or the plant's tissues. 
seems somewhat plausible to me anyhow. Would the law still hold in such a
cramped tank? 

 * Or is there more to the chemical bio-cycle momentum idea than
meets the
 eye?Hummm? The plant's may be adding or removing something more subtle than
we think or can observe directly.

 >>While I hate to be the bearer of bad news, I can report more or
less for
 >>sure, that 20 - 30 ppm of potassium in the water column is not
 >>EXCESS and in an otherwise well-run aquarium, presents no algae
issues that
 >>I'm aware of.  

 Ditto. My kit works too:) I know of several other plant fanatics that
report the same thing even up to 50ppm with no issues. My levels have been
in the 20ppm+ range for some time now.
Result *seems* to be less algae. 

 >>It occurs to me that perhaps Roger has his own version of "magic
 >>water" and so he naturally thinks about excess nutrients, while
those of
 >>working with very soft pure waters constantly think about what
nutrients to

 Good point. I'll be selling the water by the gallon BTW. I won't charge you
Steve if you wish to come over and fill up a bucket or two.  <G>
What about that "recommended levels list"? Should it be posted? 
 Tom Barr