Different plant's N, P or K uptakes ???


Guru Class Expert
May 18, 2010
I will try to ask this question so that you can understand what i mean , my english is not brilliant so...

I'm very interested in knowing how much or N , P or K are consumed by different plants..
Or roughly , are there plants that consume more N than others , or more K than others??
Has there been research in this area?

I think the results could be useful..
For instance , if i fill a tank with a certain plant that has a very high P uptake and low N or K uptake , could that make the average EI P dosing limiting?

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
Most of the aggressive weeds, including most agricultural crops, are very fast growing , produce lots of biomass rapidly, the same is true for aquatic weeds.
So Egeria, Hydrilla, Hyacinth, most floating noxious weeds, Myriophyllum spicatum, pondweeds, Salvinia, etc anything that colonized and transforms an ecosystem fundamentally.

Some plants are "wimpy" and do not grow particularly well with other compepition. Plant- plant competition is intense in aquatic systems.
We add CO2 gas for this reason. Most of the plants that do poorly in non CO2 tanks do so due to CO2 uptake differences, not so much nutrient uptake issues/differences between and within species.

Few studies are done on aquatic plants that are not economically important weeds or crops.
So this is a limited area of study. Aquatic horticulture of aquarium trade plants is not a large business with lots of research done:)
It' is a small little world of aquatic horticulturalist.

Fast growing stems eat a lot.
Ferns eat more than many think
Moss as well.
Anubias are not demanding, Crypts are not either, but both have large Rhizomes, roots, and other reserves/storage organs.
Swords are also very hungry aggressive plants once they been growing for 2-4 months and take over.

I use the wimpy plants, like Tonias/some stem plants/ etc are the "canary", if they do well, then I know the other easier to grow species are fine.
So you can use certain species as Bio "test", or indicator plant species.

Hobbyist have done this for at least 15 years.

Tom Barr