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Re: [APD] CO2 and Algae

On 2/11/2010 2:39 AM, Robert T. Ricketts wrote:
Thomas Love wrote, in part:

Therefore, for the maxim "add more CO2" to be the best advice>for an
sufferer, I think these together are necessary and sufficient>conditions:

1. A well-planted tank;
2. The plants having good root systems.
3. With a fertile substrate.
4. Good lighting.

I suspect most people with algae will likely be failing on all>four
so adding CO2 will not help them.

CO2's effect on the pH and phosphorous adsorption may assist>but is
to be sufficient alone.

I beg to differ from the above.  The largest single material in plants, by
dry weight, is carbon.  Carbon is not from the substrate, but for aquatic
plants from dissolved CO2 in the water.  Depending on the definition of item
#4 on the list given above, that list could be a prescription for algae
regardless of the mineral content of the substrate if there is insufficient
bio-available carbon in the water.

Just because carbon is the primary atomic constituent of plant material does not mean it is the limiting factor. That would only be true if plants used each element equally. If a plant has to "burn" several atoms of nitrogen in order to produce the energy required to fix an atom of carbon, then nitrogen would be the limiting factor.

It may very well be that carbon is the limiting factor, but it does not stand to reason just from the dry weight percentage of plant material.

Jerry Baker
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