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When I first started planted tanks I always heard that the key to the planted tank is "balance", that you need to balance the light, co2, and fertilizer to make it so algae doesn't become a problem. Well I always never understood how to "balance" the planted tank because of all the conflicting views on what "balance" is.

When I thought balance I thought that you had to have everything exact and not have too much of one thing without getting more of the other while the EI method of dosing puts in enough liquid ferts to last a few days! So that completely threw me off because I thought too much nutrients grows algae.

And with the co2 I always understood to just keep it around 20-30 ppm so it's not like you have to change that and "balance" that with the others.

Then I finally found something that actually made sense and gave an actual reason why adding lots of ferts doesn't CAUSE algae. It said that algae spores are triggered by light and ammonia and only that, then that's when the spores transform into flagellates (I think that's what there called but tell me if I'm wrong) which are the stuff that we don't want and that we see grow. So it explained that keeping healthy and growing plants will make sure you don't have ammonia spikes from decaying plant matter. After finding out this information it became so much more clear as to why we do the things we do to keep algae at bay instead of just saying "oh we just need to keep the tank in balance because that's what everyone says you need to do to fight algae".

So I just want to hear what everyone understands about how to keep algae from taking over their tanks and why, thanks!

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