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[APD] RE: why algae will not grow

> With that much light and now more nutrients about to be added, I'd say a 
> worse algae farm is on the way unless you add CO2.
> TW

I agree. The Biowheel section should be removed from the filter and you
might consider one of two things if you keep the light:
CO2 gas, either DIY or Gas tanks/regulator or SeaChem's Excel.

If the CO2 is kept stable, the plants will catch up, but most aquarist that
have CO2 issues also have CO2 stability issues.
By adding enough CO2 to reach the maximum saturation level for plants(say
25-35ppm), the target is much wider to hit for aquarist than say keeping
the CO2 at 8ppm constantly. That is much more difficult but overall, the
plants will do well if the CO2 is stable.

For example: A target of CO2 is 25-35 ppm, that gives you a + or - 10 ppm
target to hit ...versus a target of + or - 1ppm with the 8ppm. Less light
places less demand on CO2 so reducing the light is an effective means of
providing more stability in terms of all nutrients including CO2. 

This, like the PO4, NO3, Fe dosing recommendations I often suggest assumes
that __excess levels of nutrients__ will not cause algae. Yes, you can get
away with less than this certainly and this is easier to achieve with less
light. CO2 dosing at high levels is no different than adding 1-2ppm of PO4
vs trying to maintain a close tolerance between 0.1ppm and 0.2ppm. Which
would be easier to maintain and dose?

This concept is supported with Estimative index :
and applies to CO2 as well as PO4 or other nutrients. Aquarist have
traditionally made this target so small that achieveing the balance has
been very difficult for many/most. Adding barely just enough to provide for
plant growth. Why place a self imposed hardship or barrier in your way when
it's not needed? Seems silly to me. 

Less light at these levels will provide more stability and still not cause
algae, as algae prefers CO2 like plants. It's much more an issue of stable
levels of nutrients or adding enough to fully saturate the nutrients for
the plant's needs for any commonly used light level in planted aquariums.   

But the target becomes more and more difficult to hit, especially as you
add more and more light energy which will favor algae unless more CO2 is
added. I offer a much more thorough explaintion in this month's article in
my report.  

Tom Barr

3rd annual Plant Fest July 8-14th 2005!
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