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Balanced growth

>Balanced growth occurs when growth is limited by available energy.  In 
>plants that means light and CO2.  Unbalanced growth occurs with growth is 
>limited by other nutrients - nitrogen, phosphorus, iron, calcium, etc.  
>In plants, that can cause nutrient deficiency symptoms.
>Plants grown under relatively low light grow more slowly than under bright
>light, but in my experience they have fewer nutrient deficiency problems. 
>I take that to mean that under lower light the plant growth is more often
>balanced, but under high light it is often unbalanced.  Plants with
>nutrient deficiencies aren't usually very attractive.  There are some
>problems with slow growth, but if you can avoid the pitfalls then lower
>light levels might make it easier to keep an attractive tank full of
>healthy plants. 
>Does that make sense?


The low-moderately lit, slow growth tanks I run are definitely the
"easiest" in terms of maintenance.  Neil saw many of our school tanks when
he was up last spring, and they all fit in this category.  It does somewhat
limit the number of species we can use, however this may be at least
somewhat dependent on tap water source.   

My experience has been that some plants that don't do well in our water
with only moderate light, can do very well with more light and higher
levels of CO2.  I'm not quite sure why this is, however.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association