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RE: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #854

> Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 23:12:53 -0700
> From: "Mortimer Snerd" <mortimersnerd at uswest_net>
> Subject: Varying algae from hell
> All,
> OK, I'm really, really frustrated,  I've been fighting with my heavily
> planted 100 gallon for quite awhile now, and I'm to the point 
> of tearing it
> down and focusing on my reef for awhile.
> <<< snip >>>
> - -Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and Phosphate all test 0.
> <<< snip >>>> Thanks,
> Justin Collins, in algae coated Littleton, CO.


Don't give up.  Your problem lies here ("Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and
Phosphate all test 0.").  Even though you read zero on all these, I bet
there is some phosphate and nitrate in your fertilizer.  BGA can fix
Nitrogen from the gases that are mixed in your water... so if you have any
phosphate available, and no nitrate, the BGA will thrive and the plants
won't.  The trick here is to add Nitrate (use your potassium nitrate) so you
actually get a small but consistent reading of nitrate.  That allows your
plants to have nitrogen, and out compete the BGA and other algaes for the
little phosphorus there is.  Don't bother changing anything else in your
tank.  Be patient and don't give up.  I too am adjusting a planted 100 gal,
and have been trying to get my nitrates right (about three weeks into
addition of fertilizer on this tank).  Crazy thing is, I just keep dumping
in nitrates, and still get no reading.  Fish load is very low, but it's
still interesting that the plants require such a high dosing of nitrogen.

Mark P.