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[APD] Re: The why of the Barr method

I tend to think allelopathy is the most likely explanation as well.

(Not to nit-pick, but "allopathy" is the primary system of medical
treatment taught in MD programs, as opposed to other approaches such as
osteopathy or homeopathy. We can thank allopathy for erythromycin, but
otherwise it is mostly irrelevant to algae.)

My personal theory is that plants, when provided everything they want in
abundance, greatly ramp up the production of allelopathic compounds. They
create such a flood of such compounds that they are effective even with 50%
water changes.

This would explain why in a less-successful tank you can see concurrent
plant growth and algae growth. The plants aren't able to produce enough
allelopathic compounds to stop the algae. Once you ramp up the plant
nutrients, they flood the water with algaecide and that's the end of that.

It also explains why the Walstad method works over the long term. The
plants aren't producing the allelopathic compounds nearly as fast, but they
have much more time to accumulate because of the lack of water changes.

I'd love to hear other explanations, but this is the only reason I can come
up with for why algae fail among an abundance of nutrients.

- Jim Seidman

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