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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does an over abundance of nutrients in the water column cause algae. I was told that if you don't have enough or fast enough growing plants to use the nutrients it will cause algae...I was under the impression that nutrients would help your plants out compete algae, and help the problem.


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Nope, an over abundance does not cause algae, an imbalance of light / nutrients / co2 will cause algae.

EI fertilizer dosing works by overloading the water with nutrients and lets the plants take what they want, when they want, and does not limit them.
 

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As mentioned, it is a balance between light, nutrients and CO2 that matters.

Of course, algae will be observed if you have excessive nutrients in the water, but more than likely, the cause will be due to an imbalance (e.g. too low light, too low CO2).
 

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For most algae species there is no clear one root cause. Algae seems to be found more frequently in certain tank setups (high organic wastes/rapidly changing tank conditions, nutrient deficiency tanks), but nobody has been able to pin down a specific cause. It is just one of those things that we simply don't know, both the aquarium hobby and even scientists who study algae.

For whatever reason though algae doesn't seem to do very well when you have enough plants in the tank and they are growing fast and healthily, so aim for that condition if you are trying to reduce algae. At some point most algae will die off in these conditions except cladophora and possibly BBA.
 

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http://www.biofilm.montana.edu/resources/theses/.html-3
"The algae produce O2 and soluble organic carbon and consume CO2. Their energy source is sunlight.

Bacteria consume the algal products and produce CO2 for the algae. The exchange of these products takes place within the film.

The kinetics of these aggregates are not describable with traditional models for algal processes which only predict growth in pure culture, and not organic product formation rate. However, this rate is necessary to describe the interaction and the growth of both algae and bacteria.

Algal cells build their carbon skeleton with organic carbon formed from CO2 using light energy. The enzyme ribulose diphosphate (RuBisCO) controls the first step of carbon fixation. RuBisCo has two unique properties: its molecular weight is over 500,000 and it has an active site for both O2 and CO2. The reaction with water and CO2 (the substrate) yields two phosphoglycerates, one for carbon fixation and one that goes into the Calvin cycle. With O2 as the substrate, the reaction yields one phosphoglycerate that goes into the Calvin cycle and one phosphoglycolate that is released from the cell. Glycolate has recently been identified as a major algal product. The reaction rate of RuBisCO-CO2 and RuBisCO-O2 is controlled by a competitive inhibition of CO2 versus O2. Thus the ratio of [CO2]/[O2] is an important factor influencing the rate of fixation versus the rate of organic carbon release.

Once the rates of carbon fixation and carbon release have been determined, the growth rate of the algal biomass can be predicted.

Traditional kinetic expressions can then predict bacterial growth and respiration (CO2) rate. The resulting integrated model can be used to predict the kinetics of algal-bacterial aggregates".
 

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http://www.biofilm.montana.edu/resources/theses/.html-3
"The algae produce O2 and soluble organic carbon and consume CO2. Their energy source is sunlight.

Bacteria consume the algal products and produce CO2 for the algae. The exchange of these products takes place within the film.

The kinetics of these aggregates are not describable with traditional models for algal processes which only predict growth in pure culture, and not organic product formation rate. However, this rate is necessary to describe the interaction and the growth of both algae and bacteria.

Algal cells build their carbon skeleton with organic carbon formed from CO2 using light energy. The enzyme ribulose diphosphate (RuBisCO) controls the first step of carbon fixation. RuBisCo has two unique properties: its molecular weight is over 500,000 and it has an active site for both O2 and CO2. The reaction with water and CO2 (the substrate) yields two phosphoglycerates, one for carbon fixation and one that goes into the Calvin cycle. With O2 as the substrate, the reaction yields one phosphoglycerate that goes into the Calvin cycle and one phosphoglycolate that is released from the cell. Glycolate has recently been identified as a major algal product. The reaction rate of RuBisCO-CO2 and RuBisCO-O2 is controlled by a competitive inhibition of CO2 versus O2. Thus the ratio of [CO2]/[O2] is an important factor influencing the rate of fixation versus the rate of organic carbon release.

Once the rates of carbon fixation and carbon release have been determined, the growth rate of the algal biomass can be predicted.

Traditional kinetic expressions can then predict bacterial growth and respiration (CO2) rate. The resulting integrated model can be used to predict the kinetics of algal-bacterial aggregates".

Nice info!!



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Does anyone know what kind of algae generally builds up on plants? It looks kind of dark green and fuzzy on the stems and gives the leaves a kind of dark, dingy look?


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Nice info!!



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there is a lot of info on alga if you care to look. there is a large industry that glow alga for pet food and for homeopathic industry. as a result there is now a lot of science available, plus the swimming pool industry has invested a lot of money in this area ( see Lo Chlor's Pool Sentinel)

Im sure the answer is out there we just keep looking inward at the industry rather than outward. after all algae is algae.
 

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http://www.biofilm.montana.edu/resources/theses/.html-3
...Thus the ratio of [CO2]/[O2] is an important factor influencing the rate of fixation versus the rate of organic carbon release.
And how do we translate the above into plain English and into something that can be practically useful?

Namely, what is the break even ratio at which a specific algae is not expanding or contracting? What side of that ratio (higher / lower) that a given algae is reducing in mass?

v3
 

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Ok, my problem with the whole light/Co2/nutrients argument is that you are basically saying that it is impossible to deal with algae without having live plants and that having more plants is the answer (please correct me if I'm wrong here). I have the biggest problem with algae in my planted tanks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, my problem with the whole light/Co2/nutrients argument is that you are basically saying that it is impossible to deal with algae without having live plants and that having more plants is the answer (please correct me if I'm wrong here). I have the biggest problem with algae in my planted tanks...

Ithink what they are saying is that the correct balance of these three things is what keeps algae in check...I would say it is far more easy to have one or more of those categories askew in some small way in a planted tank, but when done right a heavily planted tank is quite efficient in ridding algae.


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Toc "total organic carbons" poop is the main cause for algae. Keeping your stock load to a minimum is key. As well as good filtration and tons of good bacteria. Most algae free tanks those whom I will not name use sumps with tons of good bacteria and high I mean high amounts of flow 600+ plus. gallons per hour. Yea you know who you are :p aluminum and zinc can be traced to bba as well. Cough* Cough* sump

At any rate you need a very large output from your cough* sump cough* to keep everything from blowing away.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
does anyone know what that kind of dark green fuzzy algae that develops on the stems of plants and makes the leaves look dark and dingy?
 

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It's so easy to say, the perfect balance of the light, Co2 and nutrients. I would say not too many knows exactly what those values are, it's more like feel and observation. I have small amount of BBA started few months ago, still has but never progress to a point that is bothersome. I was thinking of adjusting the light, co2 and ferts, but then I thought, I don't have any idea what is the proper adjustment. BBA is still there but doesn't spread.
 

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The facts are their are way to many opinions and waaaay to many ways to get algae. None of us are conducting anything more than observations. So it's to hard to say for sure. This question in general is as old as time, and all you will ever get is opinions.

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's all about trial and error, the beauty of this site, is you have thousands of peoples on tens of thousands of tanks' trials and errors


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