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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #346

Roger Miller asked:
> > Can anyone (in addition to Rhonda Wilson and Diana Walstad) report
> > long-term success in a planted tank without adding chelated iron to
> > either the water column or the substrate?  I'm particularly interested
> > in the performance of soil-based substrates, substrates with laterite,
> > or Flourite substrates in high growth rate tanks with bright light and
> > added CO2.  By "long-term" I mean at least two years.
> I received no answer, negative or positive, on or off the list.  How does
> one interpret the absence of an answer?  Does it mean that oodles of
> people have tried and failed, so it probably isn't possible?  Does it mean
> that success with the method is limited to humble people who don't want to
> advertise their gardening skills?  Does it mean that the question is
> utterly boring and not worth a response, or that everyone was looking the
> other way when I posted the question?

Roger, I suspect that it simply means no one has tried it, apart 
from Diana Walstad and Rhonda Wilson.
> Or could it mean that laterite - long touted as a great source of
> substrate iron - is actually completely inadequate?  The same could be
> asked about Flourite, which was also promoted on this list as a high-iron
> substrate material.  And venerable dirt -- usually so sufficient for
> supplying iron to fast growing garden plants; is it also a bust?

In my experience both laterite and Flourite work very well as iron 
sources for plants with strong root systems. For stem plants and 
poorly rooted plants such as java moss and anubias, a little iron in 
the water column is a big help. I have not tried dirt, so I can't 
answer your original question either.

Cathy Hartland
Middletown, MD