Re: NANFA-- A word on algae

Bruce Stallsmith (
Sun, 04 Mar 2001 12:48:48 -0500

> As I understand it, algae outbreaks occur when imbalances in the
>happen, and potasium and nitrogen is used by the algae. The algae use the
>nutrients before the plants can, and outcompete them. So to succesfully get
>algae down to a reasonable level, the plants need to be outcompeting the
>algae. They need to be higher level consumers. I may be wrong on this,
>correct me if I'm wrong. Algae are really plants, and so they need the same
>nutrients to live and grow. So do I need to make the nutrients more
>to the desireable plants than to the algae, or do I need to remove/add
>elements that disencourage alage growth, but are useful to plants? I am
>confused on the whole idea, can anyone please clarify my ideas? Thank
> ___Dan

Algae aren't plants, they're colonies of identical non-specialized cells
that are considered to be in another Kingdom, the Protictista. Because
they're simpler and deal immediately with their environment, they can grow
more quickly than true plants under certain circumstances like elevated
light and nutrient levels. The plants, however, can usually do better with
both lesser light and nutrients (as a broad rule...). Once plants get going
they can shade much of the water and block light to the algaes who are then
at a disadvantage. Good aquarium maintenance such as regular water changes
will help the plants, too; although once you have a well-established plant
community the system is closer to self-regulating.

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL
(where both mushrooms and flowers are in bloom!)

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