Re: NANFA-- That whole sandbed thing.

Todd Crail (
Sun, 2 Feb 2003 22:32:24 -0500

Ah yes, now the topic of conversion :)

Let's be very careful when discussing how nutrient poor reefs are. Reefs
are "nutrient poor" *only* because the nutrients are unobservable to humans
due to such a fantastic density and volume of mouths/primary producers.
That is to say, the nutrients are utilized *as fast* as a tide can pull it
in from the deep sea (marine snows) and out of the lagoonal and mangrove
type habitats. If you were to, uh, dynamite a reef, you'd quickly see how
"nutrient poor" that water really is in the ensuing massive algal (suspended
and fiberous) bloom that occurs after such destruction. ;)

The reefs have evolved to be balanced on this ebb and flow of
nutrients/nutrition in and out daily... The balance only gets hosed up when
some _at_#$%^ is clear cutting a stable rainforest up stream to grow his kava
crop way up a mountain that isn't going to grow any way, or a city decides
the best thing to do about seasonal flooding is to pave the riverbeds, and a
nutrient value is at surplus... Which favors unfavorable algae growth, as
algae are the most quick to respond to the new current situation.

And so yes, I agree, and I feel that planted tanks are the same, in that
there is a requirement for low observable nutrients, but exists also a state
of nirvana known as "rapid conversion". A 5lb bag of plants for the garbage
a month is one such example. Big coral heads that came from fragments only
months earlier are another :)

And, of course, I would have been busy boasting about how wonderful my new
systems were this week and not remembering to do the mid-week plant
fertilizer (and it's an ixnay on the phosphorus, which I agree, is the thing
I don't like about the soils :) addition and now I have the start of a light
algal bloom because I disabled my "converters" from doing their thing by
limiting thier physiology... And that opportunistic algae jumped right on
it. But then again... I will have the pleasure of watching the glass clear
on it's own now that I have made the addition and a new committment to
making sure I hit it mid week. :)


----- Original Message -----
From: "njz" <>

I believe that plant systems
> are like reef systems, you want relatively nutrient poor water with only
> elements needed for the plants to grow. Too many nutrients can cause
> undesirable situations.
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