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Plant biomass

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by PK1, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. PK1

    PK1 Guru Class Expert

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    I have seen a few threads that talk about plant biomass but I haven't been able to find an article that explains how this plays a role in a given set-up.

    My logic dictates that faster growing plant have a higher uptake of nutrients. In some threads though, the discussion seemed to suggest that it is really the biomass that matters and not the quantity of faster growing plants.

    Assuming I have correctly deduced the above statement from what I have read in other dicussions, can someone explain this concept to me?
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Plant biomass

    Plant biomass matter more if you were to pick.

    Fast growers still have a few advantages, but nutrient uptake is really not one of them.

    We can have lots of nutrients in the water column and no algae correct?
    So it's not that the plant outcompete the algae, that is the whole thing with fast growers that many do not understand.

    You'll seldom see me advise "fast growers".......
    Perhaps hardy plants that do not need as much CO2, that grow fast so the new tips fill in without algae, but not to take up nutrients.

    Lots of plants will remove more nutrients, than say, just a few fast growers.

    Basically it's like this: if I have more and more plants and less and less algae, the plants will dominate.

    So if I add lots from day one, the algae do not gain a foothold if I provide good nutrients/light/CO2 etc.

    If I do get algae, I remove all the algae, I do not leave on the plants hoping for it to die. It will not as a rule, so trim it off. The plants will grow back just fine. I then clean off any on rocks/wood etc, clean the filters, vacuum the gravel perhaps if it's been awhile, that type of stuff.

    If the trim is severe, or I do not have enough of the theme plant, I'll add some cheapy plants till the others fill in.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. jerime

    jerime Subscriber

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    Re: Plant biomass

    Tom, are you saying that if I take a 250 liter tank, fill it with Anubia and other slow growers, but make sure there will be lots of them, Then I will get no algae? I'm not so sure about it.

    IN other cases we see algae growing on slow growers only. Why is that?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Plant biomass

    Yes, I am.

    The algae grows on slow growers because it has the time to do so, not because of the uptake rates.

    Sword plants are very rapid at uptake. Yet on older leaves, they too will get some algae over time. Stem plants grow too fast for algae to accumulate on before you trim them.

    If you reduce the amount of light in a tank with slower growers, this will also slow the algae and in some cases, eliminate it.

    Light, not nutrients, is the key there.
    But the slower growers can live just fine with less nutrients also, you have more dosing wiggle room, since they have less demand, but the nutrient levels are still non limiting for algae.......

    I add java fern in many slower growing tanks and this and Anubias work well together. I have tanks that get little dosing, a fair amount of light, mostly ferns and slower growers, no water changes, no CO2 etc, and no algae on anything.

    I also have some tanks that have lots of Anubias, little algae issues.

    Adding some fern or a few easy to grow stem plants can help, I have displayed the Anubias in high light tanks as well as Java fern etc, they do well.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. jerime

    jerime Subscriber

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    Re: Plant biomass

    Then what is it with fast growers if not nutrients?
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Plant biomass

    Time the leaves are present. Turn over leaf rate.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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