High nutrients promote algae growth and are toxic to aquatic life - The Planted Tank Forum
 236Likes
Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 200
High nutrients promote algae growth and are toxic to aquatic life

As @roadmaster rightly pointed out:

Rephrased as if it was me who says this: "All this thread was ... was a not too thinly veiled attack on EI method along with it's creator, and those who use the method. It's my genuine concern/frustration that all hobbyist's do not immediately abandon this particular method/principal's, and adopt more scientifically controlled method of supplying only what plant's need for any given day/week ... Thing's get heated or perceived to be off topic when not all agree with either side's view, and where no so thinly veiled attacks on ones intelligence or lack thereof, are lobbed about. The hope was that through argument, the sinner's would repent and come into the realization of their unscientific way's. But this is easier to hope for, than what may be desired. Clearly the science presented takes a fair bit of intelligence by those who present it that way. Clearly I was intelligent enough to realize fairly quickly the difficulty in getting the masses in agreement. With this intelligence clearly evident, then it becomes more [than clear that] the whole exercise/thread [was] less than intelligent attempt at discrediting one method, while hoping to shame other's into submission. [But] some of you [are obviously] smarter than I figured on."

Thus there is no need to continue in this farce.

Last edited by 58417; 02-22-2016 at 06:23 PM. Reason: .
58417 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-01-2016, 11:35 PM
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Stateline NV
Posts: 6
Well you do miss the main point of EI dosing which is provide sufficient nutrients to avoid nutrients being a limiting factor without having to test. It is a tool to help you get nice healthy planted tanks. The point is not to get a high enough concentration of nutrients to cause a toxic mess. Of course too much is bad.
tahoesnowed is offline  
post #3 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 12:16 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Maryland Guppy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arnold
Posts: 1,470
I am used to getting beat up a lot.
I'll offer an opinion here.

In the total realm of things aquatic and plant related.
I believe lighting and micro dosing are the two main factors to disaster.

Testing and dosing based on results are my anchor.
Truthfully I don't really like dosing anything in the aquarium.
For me it is a necessary evil daily process.

Swimming is not that difficult.
Maryland Guppy is online now  
 
post #4 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 01:07 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Queensland
Posts: 517
I can't say for certain, but I get the feeling that most of the scientific studies are conducted in the wild, where changes happen rapidly. Here's some creek, there was a sudden influx of P from runoff, a subsequent explosion of algae, P = bad. Is it solely the increased concentration of P that caused the issues, or did the rate of change of concentration also have an effect?

Life does adapt. This is without question. It's the reason why we can read these words instead of still swimming in a puddle of water, or swinging through some trees. However, the rate of adaption is slow. We didn't stop swinging through tress overnight for instance. In aquatic nature, it is my understanding that P is the limiting nutrient. When we understand that life can adapt, we can understand that P being the limiting factor isn't such a big deal. Over millennia, life has adapted to the low P levels, and even with these low P levels, life functions well.

Since algae contains the same growth mechanisms of plants, clearly, increasing nutrient levels provides a platform for the increased growth rate of algae also. However, it is my belief (opinion or whatever you want to call it), that it's not the nutrient concentration in and of itself that solely promotes the increased growth of algae, but at least three other factors. The rate of change of the nutrient concentration. And algae' apparent ability to adapt to changes at a faster rate.

The other confounding factor seems to be at what levels do these nutrients cause toxicity affects. We don't even half half an idea of what levels constitute toxicity for wanted plant species, let alone algae. Evidence seems to suggest the Green Spot Algae has a strong relationship between P and light levels, with increased P and/or decreased light levels having a negative affect on GSA growth, and decreased P and/or increased light levels having a positive affect on GSA growth.

So we may find that there are concentrations of nutrients that do indeed have a negative affect on the ability of algae to thrive, while having a positive affect on other plant species to thrive. We may also find that given the sheer number of species of both plants and algae, there is no one level of nutrients that supports the thriving growth of plants, without also supporting the thriving growth of some species of algae. This then leads back to controlling the rate of change of nutrient levels, but I don't want to swell my head with to much supporting anecdotal evidence.

I also think that if nature was given enough time to adapt, she would probably also increase the number of algae eating species in high algae environments. We find concentrated populations of animals where food and water is plentiful.

The other issue I have with nature based scientific studies against our little eco-systems, is with our supply of aquatic life. To run a successful business in today's economy, you need to generate profit. To generate good profit you need things like economy of scale. Breeding fish from one adult pair in a 5000 liter puddle of water is very poor economy of scale, whereas breeding fish from 1000 adult pairs or more, in the same volume of water is better economy of scale. Providing that all other factors (maintenance, water changes etc) are equal, clearly, the volume of water containing increased numbers of fish will contain higher levels of toxic substances.

So while Joe fish that was caught in some natural river system may find nutrient A toxic at concentration B, it's reasonable to assume that the same breed of Joe fish that has been breed from generations of high fish to low water volume, probably has applied the same genetic adaption that all life is capable of, and is thus capable of sustaining life at elevated levels then his wild breed counterpart.


Having said all that, I agree wholeheartedly with the intent of this thread. General statements regarding these things are daft. There are so many confounding factors that even full blown chemists and biologists don't yet fully understand. And yet forum goer Fred Bloggs, will happily state things like high nutrient levels provide great growth in his tank, without even considering the role that algae eaters play on the growth rates of algae, or any of the other confounding factors. So poor old Joe Someone who has no algae eaters, follows the advice given to him and has a completely different experience. To make matters worse, when Joe Someone then comes back to describe his results, he is often told that he must be doing something wrong, when in reality, it is forum goer Fred Bloggs and his lack of understanding that has neglected to also advise of many of the confounding factors involved with his general statements.

Also, just because mass breed fish may develop adaption to higher levels of things, doesn't necessarily mean we should be promoting this, or accepting that just because we are higher life forms, these lower life forms should be adapting to our ways of doing things.
58417 and Blacktetra like this.

Feel free to edit.
Audionut is offline  
post #5 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 01:31 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 820
Marcel, I'm no scientist, biologist, or anything really.

But with all due respect, the title of this thread should have been.........

In my opinion high nutrients promote algae growth and are toxic to aquatic life

I'm just saying, this is far from settled science. And there are some very knowledgeable people who have very successful tanks whose opinion differs with yours.

If this was completely settled, we would all have the perfect algae free tank of our dreams. In the real world, and my experience, what works for one may not work at all for another. It seems this may be part art and part science after all.
Greggz is online now  
post #6 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 01:53 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
I am used to getting beat up a lot.
I'll offer an opinion here.

In the total realm of things aquatic and plant related.
I believe lighting and micro dosing are the two main factors to disaster.

Testing and dosing based on results are my anchor.
Truthfully I don't really like dosing anything in the aquarium.
For me it is a necessary evil daily process.
This is a hobby, so you should use methods that enhance your enjoyment of the hobby. If you enjoy testing and making decisions based on that, you should do that. If you don't enjoy testing or making that type of decisions, the EI method is a another way to enjoy the hobby.
Dalban, cjp999, darkcrisis and 7 others like this.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #7 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 02:34 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 3,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Marcel, I'm no scientist, biologist, or anything really.

But with all due respect, the title of this thread should have been.........

In my opinion high nutrients promote algae growth and are toxic to aquatic life

I'm just saying, this is far from settled science. And there are some very knowledgeable people who have very successful tanks whose opinion differs with yours.

If this was completely settled, we would all have the perfect algae free tank of our dreams. In the real world, and my experience, what works for one may not work at all for another. It seems this may be part art and part science after all.
If you peruse the literature, the statement that 'high nutrients promote algae and are toxic to aquatic life' is well established. Dismissing science when it is inconveniently opposed to certain dogmatic paradigms that are common in the hobby is like denying climate change/global warming. Denial is a result of fear; it functions as a coping mechanism. In this case, if it's true that high nutrients cause problems, then that means those who've been dosing high levels of traces have been poisoning and killing their fish and shrimp. In truth, most people don't want to hear that they are the ones who are responsible for the deaths of their pets; it's easier to place blame on someone or something else.
Solcielo lawrencia is offline  
post #8 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 02:36 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
happi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 2,974
Send a message via Yahoo to happi
am not sure why my name is in there, but i do know that when you read my threads and posts you might find mixed information, the reason behind that is because as i mature in this hobby i have learned more and more and my opinions changed after caring out my own experiments. i use to dose EI and it worked great in my hard water but it failed me when i switched to soft water. when i was dosing EI, i did not have any algae at all in my hard water, but in my soft water it was a disaster, GDA would cover the tank immediately when i dosed high NO3, then i switched to urea, i had great looking plants and no more gda or ant other algae. then suddenly one day things went down hill again and i tried all method from EI to my own with more or less ferts and couldn't defeat some of the algae. i have never said high po4 cause algae, i have said it can increase the existing algae and decreasing it to 0 PO4 wont help either if algae already exist. i can only share my experiments and people can try them, for some it works for some it doesn't, so there is not exact answer to these kind of questions. i use to dose 8+ ppm PO4 at water change and 1 ppm urea daily and tank was crystal clear, when i had algae issue i tried 0 PO4 and 8 ppm PO4 and algae still grew, so you see there is no exact answer to why algae still occurs. there are few other things that happened in my tank, every time i dosed high NO3, my red plants would suffer and die eventually, there only thrived once i started using urea. people are told they would get algae if they use NH4, but they should understand Urea works different and actually make the plant grow better due to its highest Nitrogen content. other thing i noticed is when PO4 and Fe levels were high cyano bacteria like to grow, bba was also present when Fe levels were high especially from Fe gluconate.

am down for any kind of debate, but in the end we will get mixed results.
happi is offline  
post #9 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 02:40 AM
Mad Scientist
 
Immortal1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoppy View Post
this is a hobby, so you should use methods that enhance your enjoyment of the hobby. If you enjoy testing and making decisions based on that, you should do that. If you don't enjoy testing or making that type of decisions, the ei method is a another way to enjoy the hobby.
123
Immortal1 is offline  
post #10 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 02:52 AM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Dallas,TX
Posts: 298
And how does ADA run their tanks?

Simplified: Lean water column WITH a daily dose of fertilizers AND rich substrate that is active in the sequestering of nutrients.

Can anyone here tell me why in America these basic principles are not followed?
Why we marvel at the (same old) Japanese aquascape copy-cats and try to emulate them but do not emulate HOW they are maintained?

We love to use calculators and tests and what not fertilizers. Of course things will get accumulated if you add excessive amounts. Water changes do not take care of the accumulations because the rate of use by the plants is dynamic, there are tons of dynamic physico-chemical processes going on in the tank, etc.


At the end of the day in the US the average hobbyist checks about 8 parameters, adds about 6 fertilziers, changes water as if that's some kind of magic and believes that is right.

The result is beautiful aquascapes, AGA contest full of non-recycled ADA tanks, and an active community that discusses everything else but aquascaping.

And since for some people what I said above may not be clearly connected to the thread topic - "High nutrients promote algae growth and are toxic to aquatic life" here's a final food for thought:

- Where in Nature can you find a body of water that has Nitrate 5-20, Phosphate 0.5-2.0, 30ppm CO2, and loads of traces?
- Would that be considered "polluted" water?
- How stable would be a tank with the above parameters?
- How easy would be to eradicate budding algae in such a tank?
- Why do I believe that a glass box is something so different than Nature that I have to artificially create a completely unnatural environment in it so live plants grow in it? Feel free to call me "stupid" if you do think I am.

Good night. Sweet dreams now
58417 and Positron like this.
niko is offline  
post #11 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 200
List of names from the old thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by happi View Post
am not sure why my name is in there ... as i mature in this hobby i have learned more and more and my opinions changed after caring out my own experiments ... am down for any kind of debate, but in the end we will get mixed results.
I ment no harm, I was just listing the people who were arguing for EI in the original old thread from 2011:
Quote:
Originally Posted by happi View Post
here is a good proof of overdosed nutrients, 80ppm of nitrate, everything else is dosed 2 times more than what EI recommend. co2 is also running very high, drop check yellow all day and no fish gasping. see it for yourself => http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBQImF2Sk78
My point was just to point out what arguments were used for advocating high nutrient levels. "No fish gasping" in this case.

Last edited by Wasserpest; 03-01-2016 at 12:06 AM. Reason: .
58417 is offline  
post #12 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 04:12 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
jcmv4792's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: usa
Posts: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by niko View Post
And how does ADA run their tanks?

Simplified: Lean water column WITH a daily dose of fertilizers AND rich substrate that is active in the sequestering of nutrients.

Can anyone here tell me why in America these basic principles are not followed?
Why we marvel at the (same old) Japanese aquascape copy-cats and try to emulate them but do not emulate HOW they are maintained?

We love to use calculators and tests and what not fertilizers. Of course things will get accumulated if you add excessive amounts. Water changes do not take care of the accumulations because the rate of use by the plants is dynamic, there are tons of dynamic physico-chemical processes going on in the tank, etc.


At the end of the day in the US the average hobbyist checks about 8 parameters, adds about 6 fertilziers, changes water as if that's some kind of magic and believes that is right.

The result is beautiful aquascapes, AGA contest full of non-recycled ADA tanks, and an active community that discusses everything else but aquascaping.

And since for some people what I said above may not be clearly connected to the thread topic - "High nutrients promote algae growth and are toxic to aquatic life" here's a final food for thought:

- Where in Nature can you find a body of water that has Nitrate 5-20, Phosphate 0.5-2.0, 30ppm CO2, and loads of traces?
- Would that be considered "polluted" water?
- How stable would be a tank with the above parameters?
- How easy would be to eradicate budding algae in such a tank?
- Why do I believe that a glass box is something so different than Nature that I have to artificially create a completely unnatural environment in it so live plants grow in it? Feel free to call me "stupid" if you do think I am.

Good night. Sweet dreams now
So does ADA dose their tanks with a regimen more similar to PPS pro? How do they calculate how much they need to dose?
jcmv4792 is offline  
post #13 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 200
Thread title

Deleted
heel4you and Audionut like this.

Last edited by 58417; 02-22-2016 at 05:03 PM. Reason: .
58417 is offline  
post #14 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Europe
Posts: 200
Added on the list

Quote:
Originally Posted by tahoesnowed View Post
Well you do miss the main point of EI dosing which is provide sufficient nutrients to avoid nutrients being a limiting factor without having to test. It is a tool to help you get nice healthy planted tanks. The point is not to get a high enough concentration of nutrients to cause a toxic mess. Of course too much is bad.
Good point, tahoesnowed! I added this argument on the list. Thank you!

Last edited by Wasserpest; 03-01-2016 at 12:07 AM. Reason: .
58417 is offline  
post #15 of 283 (permalink) Old 02-02-2016, 04:36 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcmv4792 View Post
So does ADA dose their tanks with a regimen more similar to PPS pro? How do they calculate how much they need to dose?
Most ADA lighting is relatively low light, not high light. They do dose a lot of things, some which are just fertilizers, heavy on potassium, and others which seem to be used primarily to entice others to buy them. Since they start with non-high light their fertilizing is a lot less critical than it is with high light - the plants use much less nutrients by growing slower.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
Closed Thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome