Nutrient Competition

weaverr3

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Jun 12, 2005
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I've been using the EI method for about 6 months now I guess and I am very happy with the results. It definately works. I still have fine tuning to do as I still get a little GSA but for the most part, all is well.

Fortunately this is a method that you don't really have to know much about to get it to work... you just perform a routine and that's that. However, I do enjoy reading about this sort of stuff and I'm one who likes to understand why I do things. At this point I've got a pretty good grasp on why this works with one large hole in my knowledge. When saying (and I paraphrase) That an excess of nutrients / non-limiting nutrients and plenty of plant mass will allow the plants to outcompete algae, I don't understand the -outcompete- part. If you had just the right amount of N, just the right amount of P, just the right amount of K, etc etc... I could easily imagine the plants sucking up this perfect amount of nutrients allowing them to thrive and nothing left for the algae. However, thats not the scenario we deal with. We have excess... so even after the plants use all they can use, what is stopping the algae from sucking up the rest and growing too?

Educate me! :p

Thanks,
Blake
 

weaverr3

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Jun 12, 2005
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Re: Nutrient Competition

Kinda giving myself a bump here but also asking the same question again to hopefully clarify if there is some confusion in what I'm asking...


To quote Tom from a recent post:
Tom Barr said:
...algae do better at higher light levels, plants are more effective light competitors and this is their main "competing" method with respect to algae.
Ok, great. But once the plants outcompete the algae and they get their nutritional prize. There should be prizes left over for the runners up... being the excess nutrients. So why doesn't the algae still grow?

Thanks,
Blake
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: Nutrient Competition

Let me ask you question.

Elephants and mice.

Both are herbivores.
Elephants are slow to reproduce, use large amounts of food
Mice reproduce rapidly, eat small amounts of food.
Why don't mice outcompete elephants?

Like the above example, Algae are not even in the same ecological niche as a plant that's literally a billion times larger.

If you add a plant and algae together, the algae will not grow.
Something will grow there, you have a choice in what that is.

Limiting plant growth, not providing stable levels etc will help algae to grow and focusing on plants needs will grow plants.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

weaverr3

Junior Poster
Jun 12, 2005
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Re: Nutrient Competition

Let me just start off by saying I totally agree with you. I know what you're saying is correct but I still don't understand it. The elephant/mouse example doesn't quite do it either. Even though the elephants eat a ton more food than the mice, the mice can still thrive off of the left over crumbs. Likewise, it would -seem- (although I know it doesn't), it would -seem- the algae would grow off the nutrients' crumbs.

Thanks,
Blake