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Discussion Starter · #361 · (Edited)
Spores are not always there. This is a wide-spread misconception. I recall the words of one unhappy aquarist many years ago who despaired of "hellish spores floating in the air". It is not true! I have never had black beard algae over the last 40 years of growing aquarium plants because I have given the bleach treatment to plants before I introduce them into my tanks. I have had every kind of growing condition---high light, low light, high nutrients, low nutrients, high plant load, low plant load. I am sure I have frequently had ideal conditions for growing black beard, but it has never showed up. The bad hair algae, fuzz algae, red algae, Cladophora, Rhizoclonium, Oedogonium, staghorn, etc. always get in tanks in the vegetative state. They do not produce resistant spores. I have seen illustrations of their life cycles in botany books. All except the Rhodophyta (red algae, including black beard) produce flagellated, swimming zoospores that are short-lived and not resistant. The Rhodophyta produce non-flagellated spores that also are short-lived and not resistant and these depend on water currents to disperse them.
What difference does it make? I don´t care if there are spores or not. I don´t care what kind of spore do they have. Is it relevant info? With all my respect, I think not. If you understand how the imbalances works this info becomes useless.

Theory must have consequences, otherwise it becomes a dogma or a chant.

I know that certain algae blooms under certain conditions, I call them imbalances. You correct an imbalance and they stop bloom. You control the imbalances and they never bloom (controlled imbalances Method).

But I am not a priest and the MCI is not the bible. If to disinfect with bleach works for you , good for you but this debate is about the MCI.

Regards
 

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Christian,
Below is a picture of the algae I am dealing with.
Thanks for your help.
 

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What difference does it make? I don´t care if there are spores or not. I don´t care what kind of spore do they have. Is it relevant info? With all my respect, I think not. If you understand how the imbalances works this info becomes useless.

Theory must have consequences, otherwise it becomes a dogma or a chant.
-------Snip----------
If you realize that the problem filamentous algae do not produce spores that inevitably get into your tanks, then you will see the value of treating new plants to kill attached algae and the value of taking precautions when introducing new fish to prevent algae fragments coming in with them. If you do these things you will have tanks free of problem filamentous algae for years. It works for me.
 

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P= the P in NPK
P= KH2P04
P= a macro nutrient

I'd suggest you read up on the estimative index coined by Tom Barr.
There is a ton of info regarding fertilizers and water parameters in a fresh water planted tank.
have fun :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #366 ·
After reading through the very long thread I fear I missed it but what do you use for PO4?

Douglas
For adding Po4 I suggest to use KH2P04.

Using the MCI the idea is to do not use Po4 unless you really need it.

In my experience Po4 is produced naturally in the tank and usually there is too much.
If you need or not Po4 depends on the plants you have, I introduced the idea of plant with priority consumption, wich means that some plants have special needs (Glosso mg and No3; Microsorums Po4 and K, marsilea crenata Po4, etc). This is very obvios in terrestrian plants but somehow all the other methods pretend that all of them consumes NPK in the same way.
The EI suggested by aquaticz seems to barely realize this issue, and the primitive solution suggested is to to add "too much" of everything, which is a confess that the author has no idea what do every plant really need.

I developed the MCI trying to be a little more sophisticated, so the idea is to find out the real uptake of your plants. EI believers think wrongly that I suggest to restrict Po4 but this is a missunderstanding. If you have read the whole thread you probably read a case where somebody who was ussing the EI realized that his plants need double the amount of Po4 he was adding with the EI. Using the MCI´s Po4 protocol he found out that he needed 4 ppm of Po4. So, the idea is to customize your fertilizing to:
1) Your water;
2) The plants combination you have;
3) Your fish;
4) Your light.

This is the fertilizing approach, the MCI is also an algae control method. Fertilizing and algae control are 2 faces of the same coin. Algae is the feedback of your mistakes or bad theory. An example of bad theory is the explanation about GDA given by the author of the EI, it is useless and bad theory should be abandoned.

Well, I am on vacation right now, last day with internet, I ´ll be back on February. Regards
 

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Thanks for the replies Christian and Aquaticz. There is so much information and a lot of acronyms sometimes it's hard to know if you're understanding it all or not.

So basically work with N and K the P should occur naturally through fish food etc?

On the west coast of Canada in Vancouver our water is rain water. A friend who breeds discus says her water was checked by a well regarded discus breeder who told her our water is to soft to sustain life, even for discus it needs to be harder. We have no buffering capacity so our pH may be 7 one day and 5 the next.

We can't buy KNO3 off the shelf anymore so my stuff is on order and will arrive soon I hope.

Thanks again, I'll read through it all again at least once.

Douglas
 

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Okay, it's been a while.......Updates? Successes? Failures? I'd like to hear from folks that have given this a try.

Also, for Christian: Thanks for posting this. It's an interesting read. I'd like to know how you arrived at some of your ideas about certain plants. For instance, when you state that Marsilea Crenata is a heavy PO4 consumer and Glosso is a heavy nitrate consumer, is there data to back that up, or is that just your observation? I don't mean to be being critical or argumentative. I'm just curious as to how you arrived at those conclusions? Do you have a table somewhere that outlines the preferences for different species of plants? That would be very helpful if you did.
 

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Hi Pat

As a general guideline, plants from Asia are higher consumers of PO4 than plants from South America.

Regards
Laure
 

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Discussion Starter · #370 · (Edited)
Also, for Christian: Thanks for posting this. It's an interesting read. I'd like to know how you arrived at some of your ideas about certain plants. For instance, when you state that Marsilea Crenata is a heavy PO4 consumer and Glosso is a heavy nitrate consumer, is there data to back that up, or is that just your observation? I don't mean to be being critical or argumentative. I'm just curious as to how you arrived at those conclusions? Do you have a table somewhere that outlines the preferences for different species of plants? That would be very helpful if you did.
It is a good question.

When I was studying law I paid my expenditures cultivating aquarium plants. I did it underwater and from that experience I developed the MCI. Regarding the glosso and marsilea, I used to have monocultures of them. I discovered that the tank with glosso had a tendency to ciano while the tank with marsilea had a tendency to GSA. So I started adding more Kno3 for glosso and more Po4 for marsilea until the algae issues were solved. The tank with marsilea crenata used to uptake 5 up to 6 ppm of Po4 per week.

That´s how the idea about priority consumptions was born. This is nothing new for agronomist engineers. Just google tomatoes and oranges fertilizing and you will see that they have different protocols.

Regarding Glosso, when you add enough Kno3, light and Co2 you can see it growing in real time.

I know that Amano asserts that the key for glosso is iron. I disagree. Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #371 ·
So basically work with N and K the P should occur naturally through fish food etc?
Depends. Algae will give you the feedback. Sometimes you don´t need to add Po4, specially if you have discus. Other times you have to add over 5 ppm. The idea is that there are not general rules or estimated index.

On the west coast of Canada in Vancouver our water is rain water. A friend who breeds discus says her water was checked by a well regarded discus breeder who told her our water is to soft to sustain life, even for discus it needs to be harder. We have no buffering capacity so our pH may be 7 one day and 5 the next.
You can add carbonates for sure, just blend them properly.

Regards
 

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It is a good question.

....That´s how the idea about priority consumptions was born...... .
Christian,
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this thred and was waiting for you to return from holiday before i offered comment. I totally agree that all plants do not have the same nutrient needs, and providing everything in excess in not necessarily the best strategy for some plants or certain plant communities. There is more to growing plants than growth rate! In my observations, the ratio of nutrients are equally important in that they seem to affect the morphology (size, shape, color, venation, etc) and are thus very important. The quantity and ratio are also key to the survival of some plants in community setting, when some species are more effective at sequestering the available nutrients. Of course, the amount of nutrients in the substate and water column are both important and it is not always easy to tell what exists or has accumulated in the bottom.
Only recently, after decades of only moderate success, have i realized that sufficient phosphates are critical to successful culture of Cryptocoryne (and Ca/Mg for some species). I noticed that you mentioned this earlier. When i lived in NYC, my crypts grew like weeds in plain quartz gravel and just learned that NYC tap water from upstate resevoiurs is very high in P (2-3ppm). Maybe that is why NYC also make the best bagels and pizza dough. While my local tap water in Raleigh, NC is good, it is not good enough. It is not always what you add, but what is already there :)
I would love to see documentation or empirical evidence for specific aquatic plant preferences. Collectively we can develop a list. It sounds like you may already have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #373 · (Edited)
Well, the main issue regarding to add everything in excess is that you might be adding some nutrients in excess while you have a lack of other ones. So, in my understanding the whole idea about adding everything in excess is just the confession that you have no idea how to add them.

The question regarding a list of priority consumptions was done several times. I used to cultivate about 200 aquarium plants and just a few have special needs. Some of them are:

Micrororums: K, Ca and Po4.
Moss: K as chloride.
Glosso: Kno3 and Mg
Marsilea: Po4
Cryptos: Po4
H. Polysperma: K
Rotala M.: Ca

I probably forget many right now.

The idea is that those plants consumes too much of those nutrients so they might imbalance the chemistry of your tank. So, if you know it, then you can add exactly what you need instead of adding just in case. Both situations, to add in excess and a lack related to a priority consumption produces a friendly environment for algae.

There are not empirical works you can read because this idea belongs to me. I started doing it while I still have the company regarding aquarium plants but I had to close it in a rush because there was an electric emergency and they started to fine for excess in electric consumption. So the empirical work about the MCI was interrupted.

Right now I litigate citizenship for illegals and I barely have 1 tank and zero time for playing with it.

Regards
 

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Hola Christian.

Una pregunta:

I'm doing EI, no algae except for GDA, tried the "don't touch" method without succes, so that's the issue here.

If I want to start from scratch with the KNO3 protocol, I have to start with a 50% WC. But after the WC, the NO3 level could still be like >10 ppm. It doesn't seem effective to me that way.

Should I do WC's until I reach (near to) zero NO3 before starting?

regards,
dutchy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #375 · (Edited)
Kno3 is not the issue, an imbalance regarding Po4 and Ca is. So, to speed up the Kno3 protocol you should decrease the level of Po4 and Ca. Were you adding them? Do you have a Po4 test? Because, if you have 2 ppm of Po4, after WC you will have 1 ppm, it is too much. So, try to decreace Po4 down to 0.2 before starting the Kno3 protocol and then in less than 1 week it should be solved. Regards
 

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Yes, I was adding PO4, but not Ca, because there's a lot in my tap water (32 ppm) I have a PO4 test.

So I will lower PO4 and Ca, partly by using RO water. Then I wait until I get GSA just adding KNO3 and start slowly adding PO4 until the GSA is gone. Right?

thnx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #377 ·
Ok, do you know how much mg does your water have?
GSA is never gone, you have to clean the glasses everyday until it stops appearing. Regards
 

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The tapwater has 48 ppm of Ca and 8 ppm of Mg.

At the moment when I change water I change 50%. I use half tap water and half RO, to keep the KH at 4. That means I bring 12 ppm of Ca and 2 ppm of Mg in the water, but of course there's also an unknown amount of Mg in the traces I dose.

So I can drop Ca. to any level by using more RO.

regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #379 ·
You should rise mg too. I mentioned very low amounts in the MCI but a member of this forums sent me info that assert that you can add up to 15 ppm of Mg. So I suggest you do the Mg and Kno3 protocol together. Regards
 
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