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Re: algae

>>In a high-light, high-CO2 setting, plants pull down
nutrients rapidly, and when something gets deficient,
then there is a window of opportunity for algae to
gain a foothold.  Before we try to compare Arthur's
observations with those of Tom Barr, we need to
determine if Arthur has high-light, high CO2
conditions.  As Tom said, if you add one nutrient,
such as nitrate, the plants may pull down another,
such as PO4 more rapidly, then a deficiency
shows up, plant growth slows, and algae can get its
little feet in the door.<<

75gallon tank with CF 96w x 1, 55w x2.  Pressurized
Co2, diffused (Eheim-style Japanese product).  As far
as Co2 levels, about 1.5 bubbles/sec.  I wouldn't call
it high co2.  More like medium.  Not as much pearling
as their could be.  (I have pH test kit and KH, but
lost instructions and charts, have reordered booklet).

With regard to BGA, I have associated adding N with
its occurrence, but they may not be related.  Also, my
nitrate test kit, with its extreme range is probably
worthless when it comes to the low levels of nitrates
in my tank.  Another thing to know about my tank is
that it is in a sense a discus grow-out tank.  So it
is getting a lot of macro input through food and fish
waste.  If any of you would like to see pictures of
this tank, go to my website.  Click on "personal


I might also add that I do not supplement K either.  I
used to, but it felt like voodoo, since I wasn't
replacing an obvious nutrient deficiency, and there
was no way to measure it (i.e. to know if I had a
deficiency).  It's like one of my old uncles told me,
keep it simple stupid.  I appreciate those that really
delve into the technical aspects of fertilization, but
I am of the more practical variety, that just wants
the plants to look good for as little headache as
possible, so I can move onto the aesthetic tasks of
making the arrangement look good.  When people who are
new to the hobby read a thread that is very in depth
and complex with regard to fertizilation, I can't help
but believe they might find this hobby a bit
intimidating ("whoa!  too complicated!  I think I'll
stick with my nano-reefs!").  It is possible to have
success (luck?) without thinking that much.  But
having said that, the science behind algae control is
important and deserves scrutiny.  What we lack are
controlled experiments.

I propose that someone (maybe myself) puts together
two identical tanks, from scratch.  No fish. 
Carefully recorded inputs.  Identical substrate,
lighting, etc.  And then attempts to *induce* algae
breakouts, by tinkering with variables, such as plant
load, macros, co2, micros, water changes, etc.  One
year of this might tell us more than much of our
collective "in my experience"'s combined.


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