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[APD] RE: Target N/P/K levels

On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 01:11:49 -0700, Steve Pushak <teban at powersonic_bc.ca> wrote:

Nitrogen: 5ppm nitrate and <0.05 ppm ammonia
Phosphorus: mineralized phosphate 0.1 ppm (I defer to Tom) organic
phosphate << 0.01
Potassium: 10-40 ppm (in mineral form, is there any other kind?)

Since no hobbyists' tests differentiate between organic and inorganic phosphate, isn't the level of organic phosphate thus irrelevant as a target?

Personally, I haven't yet had the guts to add phosphate to my tanks
except in clay ball form. I typically use soil with peat as a substrate
and amend it with clay fertilizer balls.

I'm not convinced at all that increasing nitrate & phosphate in the
water do not cause algae to grow faster. In other words, I believe that
if you increase them in the water you will stimulate algae growth.

How do you know, if you've never tried it?

Tom Barr seems to describe tanks free of any algae, no matter what nutrients (except NH4) he adds and without resorting to the extremes of having to use antibiotics on every new tank he sets up due to BGA, and doesn't seem to be obsessive about particular species.
You however seem to worry greatly about particular species of algae, which you don't seem to have working solutions to deal with, and suffer from major outbreaks in your soil tanks, and seem to do everything the 'hard' way.
It just seems to me like the Tom Barr MethodS are great because you don't need a degree in rocket science (or algal biology) to understand them, you don't need accurate measurements which are unavailable to the average hobbyist, and actually work...
Sure, even he doesn't know the complete story behind WHY these methods work, but he seems to have a pretty good idea...

Just an observation from a hobbyist with little experience, but who has been reading this list for a few years... it may look different to people who know better.


Andrew McLeod
thefish at theabyssalplain_freeserve.co.uk

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