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RE:Deep gravel

>We've having very good success with our swords and other root feeders with
>the following "cocktail" every two months or so:
>  1 Root Tab plus Iron
>  1 Substrate Gold Nugget
>  1 Flourish Tab
>  1/2 Jobe's stick (13-4-5 formula)

You can add this to water column and get the same results pretty much but
you have to keep an eye on it and your plants. Doing both the gravel and the
column would give you the best of both worlds though.

 I'm a bit leary about saying it's this or that *until* I can say it's all
the gravel or the water column but **we typically** add liquid fertilizer to
most tanks after  awhile so the plants can get at them also, root feeders
included. I have done the water column thing for some time. Often we mess up
our "gravel test" by this addition of water column fertilizers plus there
are fish etc contributing. Hard to narrow down.

>Burried deeply, no ice, not shaken, for each root feeder, or between
>closely planted one. I think these fertilizers complement each other in
>what they offer. My other hunch is the depth of our substrate (gravel +
>laterite), 5-8 inches, plays a role in permitting good root structure. I'd
>be interested in hearing more about results with deep substrate, a topic I
>haven't seen covered. 

I like deep gravel and several others I know do that are good
growers(Karen?,Dave Gomberg,Owens, myself, I'm sure many others). More
bacteria in/near the roots the better IMO. Less chance of roots being
cramped/root bound etc. More stable environment for larger colonies of
bacteria that work their way into the organic cycles that exist with plant's
root systems IMO. I tend to like a shallow front(1- 2inches) building to a
deep back(6-8 inches). Many foreground plants don't need the deep gravel.
Gravel amendments will stay better contained IMO if the gravel is deeper
where the more permanent plants will send roots down too like crypts and
swords. Most stem plants are fine with 3 inches or so. That extra depth
keeps the fertilizers down without worry as the often trimmed plants do not
pull up the soil or jobes etc from below into the water column. There's
something to be said for this surely. My best tanks have had deep gravel

Tom Barr