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Algae and DO
> Perhaps the algae that are common in our aquariums
> are suppressed by high oxygen levels, while algae in
> general are not.
I wish that were the case. Every time I've ever taken
a plant from my pond and put it in my tank without
washing, sanitizing or quarantining it first, I get a
hair algae invasion.
I also have a few patches of spot algae on the sides
of the tank, the driftwood and some of the rocks. It
happily bubbles away with the rest of the plants.
In ornamental horticulture, the literature contains
some evidence that if certain plants are given NPK in
a 4-1-2 ratio, they successfully compete with certain
other plants requiring the macronutrients in a
The problem aquarists face is that we often combine
plants in our tanks that require different ratios of
nutrients. Satisfying the requirements of one species
or group often means we deprive the others of their
requirements (Biotope tanks have always sounded like a
good idea). Add to that the fact that no two water
chemistry analyses are the same, no two substrates are
the same and no two fish loads are the same. It's not
a difficult leap to the conclusion that no two
approaches to combating algae should be the same.
What the aquaculture literature is in dire need of is
research that reveals the optimum ratio of nutrients
for the various species. We really need to know how
much N, P, K and micronutrients each of the most
popular plant species require for optimum growth,
given controls for water chemistry and lighting.
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