Re: Competing w/Algae, and Norwalk A.S. (again)
Subject: Plants competing with algae
> I think all of us at one time or another have stated that it's g
> densely plant because "plants outcompete algae for nutrients".
> I've always felt uncomfortable about this. Does anybody know th
> basis of this statement? Can plants use nutrients faster, thus
> removing them from the water before algae can use them? This se
> little far fetched. Nutrients should be evenly distributed in t
> water column, easily usable by anything nearby.
> I prefer the "allelochemcal" reasoning for dense planting.
> Any opinions?
Opinions? Of course!<g>
My theory is that it's some of each (how's that for walking the
fence?) I think that algae is _very_ good at scavenging what ever
nutrients are available, so I don't think the higher plants truly
out "compete" them. But I _do_ know thast high light + high
nutrient levels + ALGAE. In a densely planted tank, particularly
one where there are healthy, fast growing species, nutrient levels
are usually very low. I think there isn't much left for the algae
to use... The same philosphy that reef people use... Provide a
nutrient poor environment, with only _just_ enough nutrients for
your symbiotic, coraline and macro algae, leaving none left over
for micro algae. If there are excess nutrients, they _will_ be
put to use, no matter how heavily planted the tank is.
BUT, I also believe in the allelochemical theory. ;-)
> From: DSUNG at EAGLE_WESLEYAN.EDU
> Subject: new plant tank woes
> After reading up loads of useful info from this list and the arc
> decided to try my hand at a planted tank and set up a 29g about
> The tank has two 4ft double-bulb shop lights on it with 4 40w vi
> (I think 3 of them are old, 1 is new) Mind you the tank is only
> so there is about a 9" overhang on either side, providing what I
> some extra light to the lower side plants in the tank.
> Things aren't too
> bad but the Bacopa is growing little, if any, the H. poly is rea
> new leaves are very narrow, and the wisteria is melting (I suspe
> salt I added to fight the ich). The swords grow new leaves every
> apons are taking over and flowering. I suspect the Bacopa might
> warm water (the tank is at 82deg due to a recent ich fight).
Bacopa grows fine even at high temperatures _as long_ as it is
supplied with plenty of trace elements, light and CO2. It grows
like a weed (well, I guess that's what it is<g>) in my Discus
> is hair algae- it's covering every plant and the glass at amazin
> The lighting is on for 12hrs straight. I find that if I wipe the
> the glass, it's back in one or two days. I do a 15-20% water cha
> week and remove dead leaves. I'm not using any fertilizers initi
> phosphates are being added (other than tapwater). Might I have e
> phosphate levels in my tap water? I was hoping the SeaChem beads
> but it doesn't seem to be. Where is this algae coming from? Peop
> I should expect an initial algae outburst around this time in a
> but I'm afraid the plants will get choked (even with weekly clea
> I guess it's time for a phosphate test kit- any suggestions?
The problem is that your tank is not in balance. You have a _lot_
of light, but are not supplying supplemental CO2 or trace
> Also, if anyone is in Connecticut or Mass and has any clippings
> plants they can't sell to pet shops or were about throw them awa
> I'd be more than grateful to take them off your hands- I feel si
> for H. poly but it seems I'm the only one in the world who can't
> stuff :)
See my note to Steve Re: the Norwalk A.S. annual event on Sept.
30th. Maybe we can have a "Plant Digest Reunion" there! Aquarium
Society auctions are also great places to pick up neat plants.
E-mail me if you want more info.
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.