Bioindicators for water quality - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2004, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Bioindicators for water quality

Rosehawke's thread about adventitious roots got me wondering about whether or not there are any good bioindicators for approximate nutrient dosing for those of us who don't test our water routinely. Obviously, I have figured out that high phosphates leads to algae, but I think it would be helpful to get a list going. I know they exist because I've seen posts that indicate some people stopped testing because they can tell what's missing by looking at their tank. Other than growth rates, can you give specifics that are broadly applicable to most setups?

For example, someone on this forum once kindly pointed out to me that red plants losing their red color might be a sign of iron deficiency.

Any s?
Thanks! Justin
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-10-2004, 11:53 PM
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Nutrient deficiencies:

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm

Eric


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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IBN,

Thanks, that's a huge help!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustinj74
For example, someone on this forum once kindly pointed out to me that red plants losing their red color might be a sign of iron deficiency.

Any s?
Thanks! Justin
Except that red plants losing red color also means high nitrates, for many (most?) of the red plants are more red in low nitrates.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2004, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonapersona
Except that red plants losing red color also means high nitrates, for many (most?) of the red plants are more red in low nitrates.
That's the problem with "bioindicators" - they might help narrow your focus, but rarely provide one answer. I'd also mention the high potassium OR low calcium problem - both give the same symptoms in your plants.

You might use the plants appearance to indicate a problem (or lack of problem), then TEST the water, then develop a solution to any problems.

GO CHEMISTRY!!!!

Kevin

72g bowfront planted, CO2, 4x - T5HO, Eheim 2213 and 2217, 2 angels, pristella tetras, blue tetras, betta, albino bristlenose pleco, albino cories. Sword, vals, hygros, ludwigias, java moss and fern, anubias

2g Mac-quarium. Clown gravel, fluorescent plastic plants, and 2 guppies.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 01:30 AM
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Plus, different plants act in different ways to different nutrient deficiencies. Furthermore, combinations of nutrient deficiencies lead yet to other symptoms.

There is no way around testing, until you get a feel what's going on in your tank water, and find yourself adding the same amount of the same nutrients week by week.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-12-2004, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. I figured there's no substitute for testing, but until I graduate to something bigger than a 10 g, I'm going to stick to the basics...unless I run into some real trouble
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