Does bare aqua soil cause algae?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Matt @ ScapeEasy, 11 Mar 2020.

  1. Matt @ ScapeEasy

    Matt @ ScapeEasy Member

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    Just been watching a GreenAqua video where they suggest that having bare aqua soil not covered by plants a few weeks after setup leads to algae... does anyone have any experience with this? It was new to me when I heard it, so intrigued if any direct experience out there to prove/disprove. I can think of plenty of low tech tanks without carpets with bare aqua soil for example...
     
  2. alto

    alto Member

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    Which video?
     
  3. Matt @ ScapeEasy

    Matt @ ScapeEasy Member

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    Watch from 19:35
     
  4. Sammy Islam

    Sammy Islam Member

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    I would argue mainly against that seeing as i've had exposed aquasoil at the front where my MC didn't take for 2 months and i have minimal algae - apart from diatoms. BUT i did use tropica soil which has a lot less nutrients than what they usually use, i assume power sand and amazonia? So maybe having exposed aquasoil could lead to algae, but would depend on the substrate(s) used and water changes etc.
     
  5. Siege

    Siege Member

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    I donot know 100% but have experience of BGA occurring in bare soil. I think mainly due to no roots feeding oxygen.

    but yes it makes sense that super rich soil will leach its nutrients into the water rather than plants eating it up.
     
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  6. Mr.Shenanagins

    Mr.Shenanagins Member

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    That’s basically saying excess nutrients are what cause the algae, which Tom Barr and others have disproven time and time again. Having said that, too much light and not enough CO2 with limited plants will surely aid in algae growth. My tank right now has a good amount of exposed AS and the only algae I have is GSA on some hardscape that is slowly disappearing thanks to my fert adjustment, and coincidentally, is adding a ton more P. I also have not followed the standard water change regimen that’s common for AS because I simply don’t have the time. The only downside I’ve had with that is my driftwood tannins and fungus.
     
  7. alto

    alto Member

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    Have they though :rolleyes:
    Lots of anecdotal reports, but haven’t seen anything approaching a scientific study - of which there are many linking algae with high nutrients - most of these are in natural water systems where algae is actually killing fish and other indigenous life forms (hence the interest and funding)

    What many aquarists including Tom Barr have done, is added excess nutrients to an already thriving planted tank system ... which is hardly the same as what Green Aqua are referring in that Q/A session - the question was in regards of setting up a new planted tank as a beginning aquascaper and the benefits of planting heavily from the start, especially if you are doing a low light, non-CO2 system
    George Farmer, Jurijs mit JS, Filipe Oliveira have all stated many times in their videos: plant heavily from the start to help prevent/limit algae - and change water

    My personal anecdotes are of the sort where lean water dosing or limited nutrients (my tap water is basically rain water with minimal KH,GH and extremely limited even in micronutrients) doesn’t cause algae - I tend to keep fish from areas of similarly very soft water and minimal macro/micro nutrients, so just can’t see why I would keep them in the presence of high nitrogen’s, phosphates etc
    And if Tom Barr has wild caught Altums in his EI tanks, I’d love to see them ... cause mine started to sulk at anything above 5ppm nitrates

    ADA System promotes the concept of lean water dosing and enriched nutrient substrate
    Green Aqua chooses to follow this method of planted tank development/maintenance, and that is how they counsel their clients as it’s the system they know and practise..... so if you want someone to tell you that excess nutrients are the way forward, listen to the Tom Barr videos ;)
     
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  8. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    I start from the <"same premise"> and follow a similar approach to @alto. We don't know <"why a high plant mass works"> to reduce algal levels, but it definitely seems to.

    I'd also add that the green algae (Spirogyra etc) belong to the same clade as all the higher plants, and have the <"same basic physiology and photosystems">. Another point is that there are "algae" that occur in high nutrient condition, and algae that occur in <"low nutrient conditions">.

    If you were growing terrestrial plants you wouldn't try and grow tomatoes in the same way that you grow orchids, so why should it be different for aquatic plants?
    cheers Darrel
     
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  9. Mr.Shenanagins

    Mr.Shenanagins Member

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    You can’t compare natural eco systems to our aquariums, the comparison is apples to oranges. And yes the idea behind planting heavily is to outcompete algae, whether your nutrients are high or low, algae will strike at the opportunity of ANY imbalance. I’m not saying that excess nutrients are the be all end all, but to say that excess nutrients are solely to blame for algae is inaccurate. Not trying to argue by any means, I just think it’s wrong to blame the substrate.
     
  10. Witcher

    Witcher Member

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    I think that applies to nearly any surface on the Earth - but it's not related to the surface itself but to the presence of algae spore which I think it's pretty safe to say cover whole planet. When the conditions are ok algae simply start to grow and it doesn't matter if it's aqua soil, glass, stones etc etc. I think the question should be rather: "what conditions are needed for algae to grow on bare aqua soil?" instead of "does bare aqua soil cause algae?".
     

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