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Impact of plant density on algae control?

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by Laith, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Laith

    Laith Lifetime Charter Member
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    As far as I understand, heavy plant density means a better "green" bio filter as any NH4 is immediately taken up and converted. Hence no need for cycling such a tank when initially set up.

    Another school of thought was that heavily planted tanks ate up the nutrients before the algae could get to them and therefore was a good method for algae control even after the intial break-in period.

    Given the current practice of dosing enough of all nutrients so that there is *never* a deficiency, this method of algae control goes out the window, no? I've seen pictures of beautiful algae free healthy tanks that did not have lots of plant mass: some of Amano's tanks just to name some.

    So with the current practice/thought, a less densely planted tank can also be pretty much algae free even with high light as long as the plants are never deprived of any of the nutrients. One just needs to adjust the dosing quantity accordingly, given the smaller plant mass.

    Is this correct?

    The reason I was thinking through this is that I was away from home for a month. When I came back, the plants had suffered enough that I had to do a very heavy pruning and even got rid of some plants (due to lack of nutrients I assume: lots of melting...). So the plant mass was reduced by about 40%.

    My mind fell back on the old "I have to get a lot more plants in there quickly or else the algae is going to take over" instinct. That's when I started wondering about the truth of that.

    Long post but would be really interested in hearing any opinions on this. :)
     
  2. Laith

    Laith Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Impact of plant density on algae control?

    Omitted to say that the month long lack of nutrients affecting the plants as it did also of course led to my first outbreak of short green hair algae in years. :mad:

    Have started regular EI dosing now for two weeks and still haven't gotten on top of it yet... I guess I just need to be patient!
     
  3. Laith

    Laith Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Impact of plant density on algae control?

    Was what I was stating that obvious? :rolleyes:

    Anyone?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Impact of plant density on algae control?

    Well depends on the production rate of the NH4..........
    Those low plant biomass tanks also have low light/low fish loads etc.

    If tyou have lots of Discus and feed them 3x a day with Boold worms.....
    Vs a few tetras and feed daily some flake..........

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Gill Man

    Gill Man Prolific Poster

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    Re: Impact of plant density on algae control?

    Just an update on my tank, which is as dense with plants as can possibly be with no visible substrate and plant groups encroaching on eachother and intertwining. The plants in the background in the picture I shot on Monday, 3/7, and on my gallery page, already reach the top, and the small, forward piece of driftwood in the foreground is complete covered now. Yet with all this plant mass and growth, I still have the short green filamentous algae that carpets the inside panes and older leaves. It's only been 2 months since I started EI and 1 month since i started the PMDD dosing regimen with GW products. It's a whole lot better than it used to be, but I was hoping the algae would start showing signs of...leaving. I started doing 75% water changes two weeks ago, so I hope that also helps. Keeping up the nitrate and phosphate and potassium and...everything else. Just wondering how long it all takes....months, perhaps? :)
     
  6. ervis

    ervis Junior Poster

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    Re: Impact of plant density on algae control?

    Gill, I got rid of the green fuzz in about a month. What had the largest impact was trimming the most affected leaves and growing new shoots.

    EI
    30ppm CO2
    trimming and pruning
    PMDD
    KNO3 and KCI potion

    steve
     
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