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This makes a lot of sense... then this means that when the equilibrial organisms (the higher order plants) dominate, the opportunistic organisms (the algae) diminish in population to the point where they are not very visible?

I like this explanation. It re-enforces what I've always believed: take care of the plants and the algae will loose the battle.
 

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Great post Phil!

What you say re NH4 makes perfect sense and is well explained.

It leads me to the question of organic build-up and mulm in tanks. Is the goal to keep the substrate (at least the top couple of cms) free of build-up? I can understand this for open areas of the substrate but even for planted areas?

When I do water changes, I usually run the hose lightly over the surface of the substrate to get the most obvious build-ups but never paid that much attention to build-up in the heavily planted areas. However I constantly hear of people doing their water changes by just draining and filling (Tom B mentions this often when he's talking about how little time it takes him to do water changes); no vacuuming at all. Maybe they just vacuum once a month or so?

Also I had no idea BGA was anaerobic. That could explain some things...
 

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plantbrain said:
...

Regarding mulm and DOM build up.

I'm not sure it's the presence of these, but rather the loading rate.
If the loading raste exceeds the bacteria break down of these, then you'll get BGA or BBA I think also.
So does this therefore mean that you avoid the whole problem by not having any (at least visible) mulm and DOM? And clean your cannister filter at least once a month to get any organics out of there too?

Then you don't need to worry about loading rates...

Or is this too simple? :)
 
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