Does a plant's size or growth stage impact its nutrient uptake? - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Does a plant's size or growth stage impact its nutrient uptake?

For example, does a newly cut and planted stem of say Rotala Rotundifolia at about 3" tall uptake less or more nutrients than an established 10" stem? Does the new stem require more nutrients to establish? Does the established stem require more nutrients to keep a larger amount of plant healthy? Does it end up a wash in the end?

Just curious if anyone has any information or ideas on this.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 06:36 PM
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The bigger the plant = the more nutrients it needs. Smaller plants, while attempting to absorb as much nutrients as possilbe to grow larger, will still use less of them than a fully grown plant.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 08:03 PM
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Flowering plants also use different ratios of ferts than their vegatative counterparts.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashnic05 View Post
The bigger the plant = the more nutrients it needs. Smaller plants, while attempting to absorb as much nutrients as possilbe to grow larger, will still use less of them than a fully grown plant.
So essentially if you do a major trim in a tank the uptake rates will decline to a fraction of it would be at full growth then correct?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
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So essentially if you do a major trim in a tank the uptake rates will decline to a fraction of it would be at full growth then correct?
There are other factors to consider (i.e. the bottom of the plant might not be as dense/not require as much nutrients as the growing portion at the top), but looking at it simply, yes.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by scottytank View Post
So essentially if you do a major trim in a tank the uptake rates will decline to a fraction of it would be at full growth then correct?
Not really. The best way to find out would just be to measure your nitrates at the end of the week and see how, if it all, it differs.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2013, 11:02 PM
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If your light sits on top of the tank, the light intensity is high at the water surface and much lower at the substrate. So, short plants are in lower intensity lighting, and will grow slower, as a result, thus using less of all of the nutrients.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 08:44 PM
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I don't know how true any of this is but these are my thoughts. I tend to fertilize less after a large trim for a few reasons. The stems you cut and replanted are likely shocked a bit but the plants you just cut the tops off seem to be more shocked. You also often don't see new growth for 24-48 hours, possibly considerably longer if low tech. Lastly, your plants grow more slowly as on most tanks, their is far more light at the top than the bottom.

I may not be correct on all but I will say that I will get a huge algae bloom on tanks that aren't particularly balanced to begin with. That leads me to believe that the plants are not taking up much of anything for a short period of time.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
I may not be correct on all but I will say that I will get a huge algae bloom on tanks that aren't particularly balanced to begin with. That leads me to believe that the plants are not taking up much of anything for a short period of time.
So is it the nutrients or is it the something else that's not balanced?

I trim with extreme prejudice.
I also dose the same either way.
Never seen any thing I could say is dependent on nutrients.


Hoppy's comments about light, as a stem grows taller and gets closer to the light= this will increase CO2 demand and then nutrient demand.

At least till it hits the surface and then the CO2 demand is easily met.
Older leaves do not have much nutrient demand vs new leaves.

But after a big hack, the nutrient demand is much lower, so dosing less will be okay also, but dosing the same will/should pose no issues.

If so, then something other than the ferts is the real problem.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
So is it the nutrients or is it the something else that's not balanced?

I trim with extreme prejudice.
I also dose the same either way.
Never seen any thing I could say is dependent on nutrients.


Hoppy's comments about light, as a stem grows taller and gets closer to the light= this will increase CO2 demand and then nutrient demand.

At least till it hits the surface and then the CO2 demand is easily met.
Older leaves do not have much nutrient demand vs new leaves.

But after a big hack, the nutrient demand is much lower, so dosing less will be okay also, but dosing the same will/should pose no issues.

If so, then something other than the ferts is the real problem.
That is was kind of my point. I still think in this instance, even though you may have lighting/co2 issues, the nutrient demand bottoming out allows algae to grow much more rapidly. I am not saying it the root cause of of the outbreak, I theorize that it's an indicator of plants not taking up nutrients, if that makes since. I am just saying it's my theory.

I don't believe that this has happened to me on a tank that has been algae free for long periods of time, which I consider to be balanced, so I am not at all implying that fertilizers are going to be the imbalance. I was just stating scenario's (above where you quoted me) where I believe a plant has different nutrient demands than others.
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