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I am intrigued by the amount of knowledge that Tom has.

I do have a few specific questions for him:

I was reading a post by Adrvark in the "New to aquarium plants" forum under the "Fertilizers and chemicals that you dose?" thread and it once again got me thinking back to limnology days again. Ardvark referenced Tom in his quote:

"According to plantbrain optimum algae environment includes high light, moderate-to-high NH4, low NO3, varying CO2 and just about low everything else."

So initially I thought this might make sense most algal blooms in newhampshire occur between late spring-early fall. I initiall thought this was due to the cycling of nutrients as the thermoclines change and the water mixes. I then began to think maybe this could be due to the fact it is summer (high light) and during this time the farmers in the area are fertilizing their crops (run-off into the local ponds and estuaries may lead to eutrophication).

Then I remembered a post somewhere someone saying that you should not use terestrial platn fertilizers in aquarium tanks because the N source is usually from ammonia and may kill the fish. If the farmers are fertilizing with ammonia based fertilizers this would lead to the mid to high levels of NH3 required by algae. So there you have two of the factors that cause algae blooms or eutrophication.

My only hesitance to this statement is an experiment I remember seeing in my limnology book. Now keep in mind I haven't seen my book in about 5 years so the facts may be skewed (correct me if I am mistaken). In the experiment they divided a pond/lake into two sections with a plastic divider. To one half of the lake they added a source of nitrogen. To the second half of the pond/lake they added a source of nitrogen and a source phosphate.

Only the side with added phosphate had an outbreak of algae. This, I believe, was the main experiment leading scientists/environmentalists to charge phosphate as the cause of algae outbreaks. If I remember correctly the outbreak was actually BGA so this experiment may hold no validity.

So Tom, do you know what the factors are that actually lead to eutrophication of lakes/ponds? Do algae outbreaks coincide with lake cycling? Does the classic experiment with adding nitrogen and phoshporus hold any water?

Thank you in advance for any information you may have :)

Ken Takeuchi
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