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Re: substrate .vs. water column fertilizer

On Thu, 30 Mar 2000, Raymond Wong wrote:

> Hi everybody, just wanted to know if any of you out there use just substrate
> fertilizer without using water column fertilizer..

I stopped regular additions of chelated iron to all of my tanks several
years ago and I never took up the practice of adding nitrate to the water
column.  I do add potassium chloride and magnesium sulfate to all the
water I use for water changes.  That's because my tap water is weird.

I regard the fish and fish feeding as the principle source of nutrients
and use fertilizer in the substrate as a means of supplementing the
additional needs of heavy-feeding plants.

This is a little messier than just adding a few drops of fertilizer to the
tank and it requires that you actually watch your plants closely to get a
sense of what and when things are needed.  But then I enjoy studying the
plants, I only fertilize at long intervals -- months for individual plants
and weeks without adding anything -- and I get the satisfaction that I'm
actually caring for the plants rather than (as it used to feel) running an
experiment in a glass box.

Even though I don't fertilize the water column of any of my tanks, I do
have and very occasionally use a water column fertilizer.

Roger Miller