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My name is Dirk and as many others I've been lurking the list. I've done the fish and plant tank thing since I was 6 (yes) and I am 30 now. ( well,…., that first tank was a goldfish killer bowl). I never ever used plastic plants and tried different approaches as found about everywhere in the list. For the last ten years I had reasonable to sometimes excellent results. Anyway, I have a question that may seem a bit strange:
I see many people talk about uprooting plants when they are too big etc., thus usually causing a big mess if we are talking about plants with extended root systems.
I have never really uprooted plants. I just cut of the plants as deep as I can get with my big pair of scissors then pull up the whole plant very gently ( it can take a couple of minutes) cover up the hole with some fresh clean gravel and let the rest of the job to the bacteria. Now, I always assumed that the root system would decay. After a couple of months the material must be properly reduced and become available to the other plants in that area( like natural composting process, undergravel then). I avoid as much as possible disturbing the substrate since I had to tear down a tank completely a couple a years ago when I pulled up some clayballs , messy, very messy.
So here it is: What is the list's opinion about this? I must say I never noticed any serious problems with leaving he majority of the root system in the gravel. Of course I don't do that every week!
I am a fervent user of just plain gravel, a thick layer of it. Bottom inch or two enriched with some clayballs and a little peat ( around 0,5 liter of dry peat for a 75G tank) . The rest I leave to the fish poop which definitely finds it way all the way down in the 2-3mm gravel. No substrate heating although I mount my ballasts under the tank.
To the water column I generally only add K and CO2, Dennerle Fe addition and Dennerle's trace element mix. I feed as little as possible and my tank generally looks like a oxygen bubble paradise with the occasional but controleable outbreaks of the black looking brush algae and the velvet like green algae.
By the way, I am European ( Belgium to be exact), but currently live in Ebi-Japan and I am testing the Amano product line, bit by bit. ( If you use Amano only, I need a double bonus system on my salary I think).
In Belgium I am more of a DIY man with the occasional purchases of pumps, bulbs, etc.. at LFS. Please do not hesitate to ask questions about Japan and its' aquarist environment. I am scouting every place I can for things I can't find in Europe.
The list is excellent, containing some real nice information, scientific background even.
( I have some of that too but I am not a professor, reading and understanding: OK but my chemical education is too far behind me to write down the reactions!) I more closely follow Miss Karen's gut feeling approach and it works fine with me.
Greetings from Nagoya, Japan
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