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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1056

Subject: re: Liebig Minimum Law

> My recent experience with K shortages in my tanks have got me thinking 
> about the "Liebig Minimum Law" which is stated in TOA as "Plant growth is

> determined by the one factor that is present at a minimum."
> This is not what I experienced - my tanks have been very short of
> relative to other elements, and yet my plant growth has been strong (just

> not healthy.)
> Am I mis-understanding The Liebig Mimimum Law, or is it flawed?

Liebig's law is correct (as far as it goes). Although your K was low
relative to other elements, it was not necessarily the limiting factor to
growth. Note the difference between "limiting factor" and "relative
In my tanks, I run into Liebig's law usually with respect to light,
nitrogen and/or carbon. Steve Pushak, according to his posts, reports
calcium deficiencies. Other have seen boron, magnesium and others as
"limiting factors".

Also, Liebig's Law does not deal with external factors that would cause
disease, injury or death to plants such as plant eating fish, pathogens, or
growth inhibiting chemicals produced by other plants, etc.

Michael Eckardt
"Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter
least." J.W.von Goethe