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who here thinks high nutrient levels CAUSE algae?

This is a discussion on who here thinks high nutrient levels CAUSE algae? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by WisFish Good post Byron. Didn't mean to nitpick. As for the algae issue. I had an all-crypt tank using less than ...

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who here thinks high nutrient levels CAUSE algae?
Old 10-15-2009, 02:55 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WisFish View Post
Good post Byron. Didn't mean to nitpick.

As for the algae issue. I had an all-crypt tank using less than 1 watt per gallon for years. Then about 2 years ago I decided I wanted to grow more plants than just crypts. So I upped the lighting to about 2 watts per gallon, added a few plants and some ferts and went on a 1 week vacation. When I got back I had a lot of algae growing on the glass. I never had that much algae with the old setup.

So remembering what I read from someone on this site ("whatever nutrients that plants don't use the algae will") I added more plants. Now I only have to clean the glass every 2-4 weeks. Just 2 weeks ago I tried dosing ferts twice a week instead of just once a week and boom, the algae came back after just 1 week.

This clearly displayed the whole "everything in balance" theory to me.
What brand fert are you using weekly? Just curious...I like to compare notes.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:00 PM   #12
 
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Seachems Flourish Comprehensive 5ml once a week and Seachems Excel 5ml once a day. (or every other day)
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:07 PM   #13
 
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Thanks. I think we took our notes from the exact same class.
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:36 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Jack Middleton View Post
There is a poster on this forum whos name im not going to reveal, but everyone thinks he knows everything, i know for a fact he doesnt and im sure he would agree with me!

This person constantly states that a nutrient imbalance causes algae, if the nutrient is ammonia then fair enough, but if he is referring to nitrate and phosphate he is incorrect.

He also stated that high levels of nitrate is bad for plants, rubbish!

I know for a fact after reading various papers on the barrreport, that nitrates and phosphate dont cause algae.

i would love to have a referral link to where someone stated to knowing everything and stated that high levels of nitrates are bad for plants.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:58 PM   #15
 
thanks for the input everyone.

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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Plants, including algae, use nutrients. In a well-planted aquarium, plants are able to outcompete the algae for nutrients.
This explains why in a planted aquarium nitrate levels are always low, unless something occurs to destroy the biological balance.
so how about the ppl adding over 30ppm of nitrates to their tank weekly ensuring that the nitrate levels never drop "low" these ppl would always have "high" levels of nitrates and for that matter every other nutrient? mainy ppl who use this method also have high lighting, how do they avoid algae?

while the plants do obviously take nutrients it cant be a case of out competing, algae need very little levels of nutrients compared to plants, the main thing is the ammonia uptake, this is the only area plants "out compete". ammonia is an algae trigger so it stands to reason that if that is kept out of the picture then its one less thing to trigger the algae.

plants also keep the substrate healthy and oxygenated which in turn means a healthier bacteria colony, this also helps keep algae at bay.

the whole "plants out compete algae" thing is just not correct in my opinion!
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:22 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by baron von bubba View Post
thanks for the input everyone.



so how about the ppl adding over 30ppm of nitrates to their tank weekly ensuring that the nitrate levels never drop "low" these ppl would always have "high" levels of nitrates and for that matter every other nutrient? mainy ppl who use this method also have high lighting, how do they avoid algae?

while the plants do obviously take nutrients it cant be a case of out competing, algae need very little levels of nutrients compared to plants, the main thing is the ammonia uptake, this is the only area plants "out compete". ammonia is an algae trigger so it stands to reason that if that is kept out of the picture then its one less thing to trigger the algae.

plants also keep the substrate healthy and oxygenated which in turn means a healthier bacteria colony, this also helps keep algae at bay.

the whole "plants out compete algae" thing is just not correct in my opinion!
What are "ppl"? You haven't grasped what I wrote in my earlier post where I explained nitrates and nutrients are two different things. Maybe the other thread will help you; here it is copied over:

Nitrate is a chemical compound of one part nitrogen and three parts oxygen, hence the symbol NO3. It is a naturally occurring ion, a product of the oxidation of nitrogen by micro-organisms in plants, soil and water. In the aquarium, bacteria produce nitrate from nitrite, which itself comes from ammonia and ammonium. Nitrate is thus a form of nitrogen.

Algae is a plant, and all plants need nitrogen as one nutrient. As I explained in two prior threads, plants have the ability to use all three forms of nitrogen normally available in an aquarium: ammonia/ammonium, nitrite and nitrate; but most prefer to use the free ammonia or ammonium. Algae and plants need more than just nitrogen, they also need CO2, macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients, and all this in the presence of light.

Algae generally occurs from an excess of organic materials and poor water quality, or an excess of nutrients. In the absence of higher plants, these nutrients are readily available since they enter the aquarium through fish food and water. An excess of soluble iron can also cause a bloom of single-celled or filamentous "green" algae. Another reason to avoid dosing individual iron unless it is in balance with all 17 nutrients that plants require.

It is therefore possible to have nitrates without having algae, if the other nutrients required for algae/plants are not present. Similarly, algae can be present without nitrate since the algae does not need nitrate in order to obtain its nitrogen. Without nutrients, there can be no algae.

In aquaria with problem algae, the nitrates are usually high. Nutrients that feed the algae also contribute to the nitrogen cycle, along with the fish and other bacteria. Excessive levels are bound to impact several processes ongoing in the aquarium.

Last comment, you and all of us can believe what we want, that doesn't alter the scientific facts. There are people who believe the earth is flat, notwithstanding scientific evidence to the contrary. I didn't dream any of this up, it is drawn from authorities like Peter Hiscock who has a degree in aquatic studies and Diana Walstad who is a trained and very experienced microbiologist. The scientific evidence is unquestionable, I suggest you read their books.

BH

Last edited by Byron; 10-15-2009 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:43 PM   #17
 
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What are "ppl"? You haven't grasped what I wrote in my earlier post where I explained nitrates and nutrients are two different things. Maybe the other thread will help you; here it is copied over:

Nitrate is a chemical compound of one part nitrogen and three parts oxygen, hence the symbol NO3. It is a naturally occurring ion, a product of the oxidation of nitrogen by micro-organisms in plants, soil and water. In the aquarium, bacteria produce nitrate from nitrite, which itself comes from ammonia and ammonium. Nitrate is thus a form of nitrogen.
sorry, ppl = people!
i'm aware of the nitrogen cycle, i'm aware that plants prefer ammonia.

i think i misunderstand tho, are you saying nitrate is not a nutrient?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Last comment, you and all of us can believe what we want, that doesn't alter the scientific facts. There are people who believe the earth is flat. I didn't dream any of this up, it is drawn from authorities like Peter Hiscock who has a degree in aquatic studies and Diana Walstad who is a trained and very experienced microbiologist. The scientific evidence is unquestionable, I suggest you read their books.

BH
yeah, i read the DW book. was interesting.
so i read the book, i also read an awful lot of other things too, some of it by equally as respected ppl (people) who will say and have proved over and over that high nutrient levels are not a problem and does not cause algae.

for that matter, currently i'm sat in front of evidence that high nutrient levels are nothing to be worried about!
if i were to test my tank water they'd say around 50 ppm nitrate and 5ppm phosphate.
yet there is very little algae in the tank.

how can this be?

oh yeah lighting is over 3 watts per gallon so i guess is pretty high light!

yeah i'm sure there are still people who think the earth is flat, but i'm sure as time goes on this number will diminish.
along with the old "myth" that high nutrient levels cause algae!
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Old 10-16-2009, 12:55 PM   #18
 
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So rather than poking holes in everyones ideas on what does and doesn't cause algae, why don't you enlighten us all on how to avoid algae. What we should be doing or not doing. After all, that's all that matters to most of us here.
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:10 PM   #19
 
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If you (baron von bubba) have scientific evidence that algae can grow without nutrients and light, I'm sure we'd all be interested in seeing it. Ms. Walstad has scientific studies to back up what she says on botannical matters. I may not always agree with her opinions on substrate, but I cannot argue with her scientific evidence, and I challenge you or anyone else to find scientific evidence that refutes hers.

If I had 50ppm nitrate in my tank, I'd be finding out why and resolving it rather than worrying about algae and taking things out of context. I did not say that high nitrtates are caused by high nutrients; nitrates of 50ppm may have nothing whatever to do with nutrients, and nutrients are absolutely required by all plants including algae in order to live, which nutrients are obviously missing in your tank since you have no algae.
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:45 PM   #20
 
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If you (baron von bubba) have scientific evidence that algae can grow without nutrients and light, I'm sure we'd all be interested in seeing it. Ms. Walstad has scientific studies to back up what she says on botannical matters. I may not always agree with her opinions on substrate, but I cannot argue with her scientific evidence, and I challenge you or anyone else to find scientific evidence that refutes hers.

If I had 50ppm nitrate in my tank, I'd be finding out why and resolving it rather than worrying about algae and taking things out of context. I did not say that high nitrtates are caused by high nutrients; nitrates of 50ppm may have nothing whatever to do with nutrients, and nutrients are absolutely required by all plants including algae in order to live, which nutrients are obviously missing in your tank since you have no algae.
Algae will grow when ammonia is present, even if undetected, you probably know this, but there is always a base line reading of ammonia in a fish tank, This ammonia will trigger algae, and then it can use nitrates to sustain itself.

All it takes is one small trigger, fluctuating CO2, stray ammonia, too much light etc once it has been triggered, the algae can use nitrates, nitrite, ammonia, phosphate and whatever is available for it to use.

As me and baron von bubba have stated, we both have algae free tanks and we dose masses of nutrients (NPK+Traces) but the thing is, planted tanks are normally over filtered, and will more than likely have powerheads to improve circulation, which is why they have a lower baseline rate of ammonia as it is filtered out more efficiently. Also you mention that nutrients are missing, my tank has an abundance of all nutrients required by plants, although i do not dose ammonia or ammonium as they're both toxic to fish and are an algae trigger.

Also when plants are functioning correctly and are getting proper fertilization, they produce alleo chemicals which can also help combat algae.
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