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Re: Anubias Spa

On Sun, 23 Jan 2000, Dinyar Lalkaka wrote:

> I'm thinking of setting up a ten gallon plant-only tank as a "spa" for tired
> Anubias. My thought was to put in 2" of substrate, 3" of water, add 2W/gal
> lighting, cover the tank with a tight fitting hood and inject DIY CO2.

I was successful with a large Anubia that I bought from the LFS.  It was
probably an emersed-grown plant.  I was not able to get Anubias barteria
nana from one of my other tanks to adapt to emersed growth.  You may need
to find some way to ease submersed grown plants into emersed growth. 
> I have a few questions:
> 1) is there a risk of the plants being O2-limited at night if the ambient
> air was mostly CO2?

I didn't have any obvious problem with that.  Perhaps the O2 produced
during the day was sufficient to carry the plants through the night.

> 2) Is water circulation necessary or desirable?

Circulating the open water probably would be pointless.  You can circulate
water through the substrate using an undergravel-type setup.  Circulation
isn't necessary, but it may be desirable.

> 3) What kind of substrate would be best?

What you use should probably depend on your choices for circulation and

If you aren't keeping animals in the tank and the leaves will be emersed
then you can use as rich a substrate as you like -- potting soil should
work well.  It would probably be very difficult to get good circulation
through potting-soil or any other rich organic medium.  Without
circulation, a rich substrate will be anaerobic.

The other option would be to use a hydroponic setup, with gravel or a
coarse, inert potting medium.  In that case you would use a hydroponic
fertilizing routine and provide circulation through the substrate -
probably with some kind of undergravel-type arrangement.

> 4) What kind of fertilization would be best?

With a rich substrate use tablets, jobes sticks or something similar that
lets you positively place the fertilizer in the substrate.  Your needs for
fertilizer should be smaller than with a permeable substrate.  With a rich
substrate don't use nitrate-based nitrogen sources because bacterial
denitrification will make the nitrate-nitrogen unusable to plants.

If you use a hydroponic setup then you need to provide all of the
nutrients with fertilizer.  That's probably easy enough if you're already
using PMDD.

Roger Miller