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Re:Steve's TMG part 2

> I'm
>>guessing Roger would say toxicity of one or other nutrient, if he agrees the
>>micronutrients are not limited.  But I wonder.  Why doesn't the usual modest
>>compliment of green algae grow on the glass under these conditions?
>Any ideas?

Richer is better if it's well balanced in a system but to what point? Claus
said that natural waters had lots of nutrients in the water *and* the soil.
You have come over to test my magic water several times now. Each time you
find *more* than you(and myself) thought of almost every nutrient right?
I've mentioned how much of KNO3 and TMG I add to SFBAAPS folks and you. You
thought it was way to high before<grin> yet you see little algae in my tanks
unless I forget to change my yeast/do a trim etc. Changing your mind after
Claus's visit?

You can see evidence of the organic bacterial cycles in a substrate. All the
essentials can be there(in the water column) in the right range in a new or
a disturbed substrate
tank but it takes about a 2-4weeks "to get going again" (plant momentum). I
just watched a
tank I crashed balance out in this same time. Often we have intense growth
then it peaks and backs off somewhat. Bacterial feedings from the the
fertilizers we add may be exceeded at a certain point so that the
plants/bacteria cycles cannot be maintained causing a drop off in growth and
if severe enough; an algae bloom, if not a bloom perhaps some algae on the
if just right ...nothing.

Recall our large water changes..........all is removed pretty much,
correct? So nothing builds up too much.**But** the gravel often is left
untouched. It can handle some
disturbing but when we really mess with it and/or remove a large well rooted
plant such as a large sword plant we get a crash............even if the NO3
levels etc are maintained and water changes are done, right? 2-4 weeks later
things are fine if you
have been keeping up on the tank. If you do a large trim on stem plants or
shallow rooted plants you do not disturb the gravel very much compared to a
sword/crypts....... correct?

 This is another reason to consider the idea it may be the bacterial action
in the substrate that cause algae to dissipate, not plants at all. Or some
of both were the plants get nutrients directly from the bacteria around the
roots, out competing the algae because they can get at the nutrients(the
algae can't get the nutrients deep in the soil) when there is little in the
column plus plants have more storage capability than algae.

Restated: after a big upheaval or removal of plants often there is a crash
algae can appear, right? 

Now when we add lots (too much-3x the amount) fertilizers we
don't get the same effect right?Richer growth instead. 

    So is it the plants being shocked from
transplanting or is it the bacteria has been disturbed and harmed? Can this
be ruled out? I think the plant shock notion is no good. Plants growing well
bounce right back that day even. I think it is the
bacteria that keeps the algae at bay at higher nutrient levels not just low
nutrients in the water column as often prescribed.

Then it (the substrate) can act like a magnet capturing ions both
chemically(inorganic) and biologically through bacteria/roots/fungus and
their various cycles further complicating things.

Perhaps the soil is the key to the cycling. I don't think the water column
levels will do as much as we may think in the cycling but it will help to
get it going for sure
and complement it perhaps adding food/vitamins/nutrients for the bacteria to
coexist with the plants in a symbiotic(?) relationship to keep algae away. 
I suppose that adding inorganic nutrients may allow you to throttle the
growth manually(exceeding the cycling rate of the soil's bacteria) but the
cycles "will get you" when you fail to keep up on the balance which is in
your hands now rather than "God's"....... as Jeff Knopp put it. Seems that
you would need the tank to be matured(good bacterial soil conditions) to add
extra amounts of TMG etc otherwise there would be algae. Crash your tank
(s') (substrate) and see. Keep adding the same amount of everything and keep
the nutrients at the same levels in the column. Plants can bounce back
rather quickly, agreed? Like that day or the next? Bacteria can take awhile
to re-establish (1-4 weeks) though. This is sometimes how long the algae may
be an issue for crashed tanks also.
Surface area is a big issue for the substrate and all the good "soils" like
turface,amano's stuff,flourite etc have huge surface areas. Adding the RFUG
ups the amount of bacteria through more flow perhaps but only the kind that
likes mainly aerobic bacteria that converts NH3 into NO3 which the plants
use ..........the anaerobes are for Fe reduction mainly so the flourite
seems to take care of this one for me quite well. 

 This concurs with many other observations in plant tanks. Maybe one of
these ideas might strike a
chord. Thoughts?

Tom Barr