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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
kor
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Why?

It seems that there is a general consensus when it comes to algae (someone please correct me if I am understanding this incorrectly).

If you have high light, you need two things. First, CO2, and second, a high plant density.

The reason for the first is that algae is more adaptable to/tolerant of low CO2 concentrations, and can thrive in a tank even when the plants are starving. The reason for the second is that enough plants (when given enough CO2) can somehow "outcompete" the algae, and you can have a (relatively) algae-free aquarium.

What's bothering me is why this would be the case. Not so much the CO2 part - that's easy enough to understand. But the high plant density part.

Exactly what are these plants outcompeting the algae for? Not CO2, we've already established that the algae is better adapted to low CO2 levels than the plants. It's not light, either, as algae can live either in the water column itself or on the leaves of the plants, and therefore can receive light.

There must be some other nutrient that algae needs that the plants use more rapidly - and can better survive without. Whatever that nutrient is, it must not be necessary for fish, as fish do just fine in heavily planted tanks.

What is it? Nitrogen? Potassium? Something else?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kor View Post
It seems that there is a general consensus when it comes to algae (someone please correct me if I am understanding this incorrectly).

If you have high light, you need two things. First, CO2, and second, a high plant density.

The reason for the first is that algae is more adaptable to/tolerant of low CO2 concentrations, and can thrive in a tank even when the plants are starving. The reason for the second is that enough plants (when given enough CO2) can somehow "outcompete" the algae, and you can have a (relatively) algae-free aquarium.

What's bothering me is why this would be the case. Not so much the CO2 part - that's easy enough to understand. But the high plant density part.

Exactly what are these plants outcompeting the algae for? Not CO2, we've already established that the algae is better adapted to low CO2 levels than the plants. It's not light, either, as algae can live either in the water column itself or on the leaves of the plants, and therefore can receive light.

There must be some other nutrient that algae needs that the plants use more rapidly - and can better survive without. Whatever that nutrient is, it must not be necessary for fish, as fish do just fine in heavily planted tanks.

What is it? Nitrogen? Potassium? Something else?
Welcome to the TPT!

I'm not sure where do you read about the density part, But the combination is High lights>Good Co2 levels>Fertz. That's what people call High tech tanks...If you go low light you probably won't need co2 (Low tech tanks).

You can get great result with both ways. You can look into this forum under Photo Jounal and find beatiful tanks (Low and High tech)

Going back to the question, Algea my friand would grow if you don't have the right balance in your tank. If your co2 levels are low BBA would grow, if your Nitrates are low GBA would grow and so on. There are great information about algea all over the internet. If you identify the algea that you have in your tank, You can find the cause and solution for it.

Good luck!


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 02:09 AM
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You're getting part of the situation but not all of it. High CO2 and high plant mass alone isn't a bad scenario for an algae outbreak. Let a macronutrient (NPK) run out and something will grow. Pretty well guaranteed. If you have all the plants nutrient needs satisfied they will use _available_ nutrients quickly. Fast enough that algae can't scavenge enough of the leftovers they need (usually a couple say P and K in the case of BGA) to grow quickly.
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