What is the relationship between nitrate and algae - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 58 Old 10-16-2009, 08:09 AM
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Thanks so much . My own extensive searches do indeed list those as contributers but when primary causes are asked for ,all my searches indicate excess nutrients,phosphates, silicates,and dissolved organics/waste. Searches for biologist's views,government studies,etc all seem to incude the same info. Is it possible that the causes are too numerous to excude that which is most often sited? or are all but a few ,,simply ignorant? Could it be that there are as many causes as there are ways to be ignorant?

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #12 of 58 Old 10-16-2009, 12:59 PM
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The absolute bottom line is that algae is a plant, and all aquatic plants require light and nutrients or they cannot and will not live. Period.

And I would challenge anyone to find scientific evidence that the above statement is in error.

All or any of the other things mentioned will only be a contributing factor if the algae has light and nutrients.

There is scientific fact behind this, and what any of us may believe is irrelevant.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #13 of 58 Old 10-16-2009, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
Thanks so much . My own extensive searches do indeed list those as contributers but when primary causes are asked for ,all my searches indicate excess nutrients,phosphates, silicates,and dissolved organics/waste. Searches for biologist's views,government studies,etc all seem to incude the same info. Is it possible that the causes are too numerous to excude that which is most often sited? or are all but a few ,,simply ignorant? Could it be that there are as many causes as there are ways to be ignorant?
most of these studies are of river systems right?
could they not be a little bit different to the way your tank runs?
could you leave your tank in direct sunlight for 10 hours and not get algae?

back to aquariums.
i understand that ppl get algae and test the tank and find nutrients(phosphate or nitrate) high and immediately conclude that these high levels caused it.

could it have not been just poor tank maintenance?
dirty filter, also having knock on effect of reduced flow?
low oxygen levels?
other nutrients in low limiting levels?
low co2 levels?
too long and high light?

when ppl get algae they usually do a few things and i'm sure most here would advise the following....

frequent large water changes?
general maintenance and filter clean etc? (this would also improve filter effeciency and flow)
lower lighting.? (duration and or intensity)
reduce fish feeding?

all sound good? most ppl would do a few of these to fight the algae?

so, manually remove the algae, do a few large water changes and some of the above and algae has gone, yeah?

"sweet that was because you lowered the nitrates/phosphate etc etc........."

was it?

when ppl do a water change they would usually remove the algae manually plus the waste water would remove many algal spores, 50% W/C would be around 50% of the algal spores removed, i guess?
so a few of these water changes would not "just" lower the nutrient levels

i would do the above in my old low tech and my algae would go.

but wait.......

my tap water has 40pp nitrates and 4ppm phosphates. so was i even lowering the nasty nutrient levels?
maybe a bit, but still high levels for a low tech, yet the algae would go.

how could this be?
maybe it was the other factors that influenced the disappearance of algae more?
because it wasn't taking the nasties to low levels that alleviated the problem.


my current tank has high light and high levels of ALL nutrients,
but if i was to let the tank maintenance go a bit,
no filter clean for few months,
no water change for a week,
no water top ups so co2 levels drop (due to increased surface agitation),
no fertilization.
obstructing water flow with unmaintained plants,
removing dead leaves etc.

then i would more than likely get algae,

if i keep up on the above then i dont get algae.

nutrient levels (nitrates phosphates etc) would likely be very similar in both cases.
so in my tank i can safely say high nutrients are not causing the algae if any has appeared.

to quote byron from another thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
There are people who believe the earth is flat, notwithstanding scientific evidence to the contrary.
BH
he is totally hitting the nail on the head.

the world is not flat,
and neither does high nutrient (no3 po4) levels CAUSE algae.

Last edited by baron von bubba; 10-16-2009 at 10:03 PM.
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post #14 of 58 Old 10-16-2009, 10:30 PM
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The world's not flat? When did that change?

On behalf of everyone here, welcome to the forum! Your advice above, whatever it was, I'm sure was quite helpful (to someone).
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post #15 of 58 Old 10-16-2009, 10:49 PM
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Am I the only one right now with a spinning head?
This thread contains more info than I can process, at the moment.
I liken this to a text book that I have to read more than once in order to "get it".
I'm sticking with a theory my mom always used to say, "Ignorance is bliss". LOL

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #16 of 58 Old 10-16-2009, 11:27 PM
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I have never thought to deep about the causes of algae. Every Pond, lake, or river I have visited, has algae.
IMO algae in the aquarium just adds to the natural beauty and supplies the shrimp, snails, and algae eaters a tasty treat.

Last edited by Twistersmom; 10-16-2009 at 11:29 PM.
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post #17 of 58 Old 10-17-2009, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
Am I the only one right now with a spinning head?
This thread contains more info than I can process, at the moment.
I liken this to a text book that I have to read more than once in order to "get it".
I'm sticking with a theory my mom always used to say, "Ignorance is bliss". LOL
agreed, never thought i would be able to get this much of a in depth thread with that question. gotta say ive actually bookmarked this individual thread lol so much great info thank you ALL for your contributions and efforts!!
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post #18 of 58 Old 10-17-2009, 07:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baron von bubba View Post
most of these studies are of river systems right?
could they not be a little bit different to the way your tank runs?
could you leave your tank in direct sunlight for 10 hours and not get algae?

back to aquariums.
i understand that ppl get algae and test the tank and find nutrients(phosphate or nitrate) high and immediately conclude that these high levels caused it.

could it have not been just poor tank maintenance?
dirty filter, also having knock on effect of reduced flow?
low oxygen levels?
other nutrients in low limiting levels?
low co2 levels?
too long and high light?

when ppl get algae they usually do a few things and i'm sure most here would advise the following....

frequent large water changes?
general maintenance and filter clean etc? (this would also improve filter effeciency and flow)
lower lighting.? (duration and or intensity)
reduce fish feeding?

all sound good? most ppl would do a few of these to fight the algae?

so, manually remove the algae, do a few large water changes and some of the above and algae has gone, yeah?

"sweet that was because you lowered the nitrates/phosphate etc etc........."

was it?

when ppl do a water change they would usually remove the algae manually plus the waste water would remove many algal spores, 50% W/C would be around 50% of the algal spores removed, i guess?
so a few of these water changes would not "just" lower the nutrient levels

i would do the above in my old low tech and my algae would go.

but wait.......

my tap water has 40pp nitrates and 4ppm phosphates. so was i even lowering the nasty nutrient levels?
maybe a bit, but still high levels for a low tech, yet the algae would go.

how could this be?
maybe it was the other factors that influenced the disappearance of algae more?
because it wasn't taking the nasties to low levels that alleviated the problem.


my current tank has high light and high levels of ALL nutrients,
but if i was to let the tank maintenance go a bit,
no filter clean for few months,
no water change for a week,
no water top ups so co2 levels drop (due to increased surface agitation),
no fertilization.
obstructing water flow with unmaintained plants,
removing dead leaves etc.

then i would more than likely get algae,

if i keep up on the above then i dont get algae.

nutrient levels (nitrates phosphates etc) would likely be very similar in both cases.
so in my tank i can safely say high nutrients are not causing the algae if any has appeared.

to quote byron from another thread.


he is totally hitting the nail on the head.

the world is not flat,
and neither does high nutrient (no3 po4) levels CAUSE algae.

Says you.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #19 of 58 Old 10-17-2009, 07:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisFish View Post
The world's not flat? When did that change?

On behalf of everyone here, welcome to the forum! Your advice above, whatever it was, I'm sure was quite helpful (to someone).
thank you.
and i'm sorry if i've come across as bolshy or argumentative, it just bugs me to see the old "myths" still perpetuated.
in this case the one where people blindly quote "nutrients cause algae"

i thought things had changed a little in recent times, with ppl like tom barr and others, along with the amount of testing and research that has been done and shared with the masses through the internet.

it seems every forum has its "beliefs" tho, usually this is just what the "senior" members think.
however, these are not always in line with the current or latest ways of thinking.
doing something because its the way its always been is not necessarily the best approach........
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post #20 of 58 Old 10-17-2009, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
Says you.
and many many others.

if you want to carry on believing the old "myths" thats fine.
as i said, i used to be just like you blindly believing something just because i was told it.

if your interesting in learning new things i can give you links to great sites, seems i'm not allowed to post links to other well respected sites here!

or refuse to believe and continue to read old reports about river systems for your info.............

Last edited by baron von bubba; 10-17-2009 at 07:41 AM.
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