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[APD] RE: algae indicators
> For example, if one has BBA does it mean that Nitrates or Phosphates are
> low or too high?
No, see CO2.
> I know Tom keeps hammering home that excessive nutrients
> do not cause algae, but then I wonder what does?
Poor plant growth/health/density. If you have a superior competitor, the
algae will only grow at low levels, you can never comletely remove them,
but you make a tank appear not to have any consistently.
If you have no plants or they do not influence the ecosystem too much, then
you can use algae to determine some water parameters/trophic status of the
Open water bodies are good for this, larger deeper lakes/Oceans, turbid
> Does an imbalance of
> nutrients cause it?
See plant health. In a sense, with respect to the plants, yes.
If all nutrients are available in excess of the plant's
> needs, but still in balance with one another that keeps the algaes under
> control, as proven by the "Barr Method". However, if one doesn't dose
> correctly (i.e. too much /too little KNO3 or KH2PO4) then I am guessing
> algae will result.
Too little generally. Especially __CO2__.
New folks need some experience often times as they tend to make many
mistakes and assumptions thna the more seasoned person. But many seasoned
people, myself included sometimes think our CO2 is correct and see algae
appear and start to wonder if it's something else.
The two biggest players: CO2 and NO3. Less light helps is most cases also.
Much easier to deal with algae, plant health is easier to maintain etc.
Like driving a car, the faster you go, the more risk you take and the more
gas(nutrients/CO2) you need.
Any bumps in the road you'll feel them more.
Which brings me back to my original question: can we
> judge how correct our nutrient balance is by the resulting algae, and to
> more specific, can we judge specific nutrient excesses/deficincies by the
> TYPE of alga present?
In some cases, but taking care of the probelm based on plant needs/health
is a much better method.
It's like going to the dentist to get cavities filled rather than simply
brushing your teeth.
> Maybe Im way off, but I doubt that the appearance of algaes is as chaotic
> it seems.
> Hoping I'm not waaaay out there,
> Reggie Bustinza
Nope, not way out there, often there is a pattern and the pattern suggest
your tank has improved over time.
Main reasons for folks not doing as well with the methods(some apply to any
Not adding mulm/peat the the new tank's substrate
Not adding enough plants from the very beginning/after a large pruning etc
Moving the substrate around too much and then not doing a water change
Not enough CO2/NO3
Putting off maintenance(pruning and or water changes)
Overstocking with fish/critters
Not enough CO2
Too damn much light
Unfamilar with cleaning algae and removal, many only clean 1/2 way or try
to take manual removal short cuts and leave SOME of the algae
behind, which is stressed then sends out spores which settle and either the
same or a new algae comes along.
Removing what is there, before you do anything else is always a good move.
DIY CO2 users often have CO2 issues. I have a lot of past experiences with
Even seasoned vets have CO2 issues every so often.
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