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Re: Misconceptions regarding nutrient deficiencies, buffers and pH

>From: "James Purchase" <jpurch at interlog_com>
>Subject: Misconceptions regarding nutrient deficiencies, buffers and pH
>Adam Weingarten recently posted the following:
>> I have some severe nitrogen deficincies in my tank.  I have used tetra
>> Hilena Crypto, but since it contains phosphate the algae in my tank goes
>> crazy. I have read that KNO3 seems to be the most efficent method to
>> provide nitrogen.  So my question is where can I find it?  Is it sold
>> under any other names?
>The new label on Tetra Hilena Crypto, Tetra Initial Sticks, and Tetra Flora
>Pride all contain a series of numbers, XX - YY - ZZ, where XX is the
>percentage of N, YY is the percentage of P, and ZZ is the percentage of K.
>If I'm not mistaken, Crypto Tablets list P as 2, which is not a terribly
>large amount of Phosphate, especially as the tablets are meant to be
>inserted deeply into the substrate. If you are having an algae problem, I
>doubt that it is being caused by the amount of Phosphate in the Tetra
>product, at least if you are using it as it was designed to be used and in
>the quantity which is recommended.

Tetra cryto has always listed NPK (X-X-X). However, the last time I
checked, it did not have any P. I would be really surprised (and
dissapointed) if they made this change. 

 On the other hand, I think that without alot of heavy feeders or fast
growing plants, adding a fertilizer tablet with N and P _can_ cause an
algae problem, even if deposited deep in the substrate. I think the reason
we get away with it is that the plants suck up the nutrients before the
algae has a chance.  Too much P in a tablet or stick, without the benefit
of a slow release capsule, can and probably will get into the water column.
 ALthough I never tested for P concentrations, I have gotten green water
when I used too NPK fertilizer.