[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #826

"David A. Youngker" <nestor10 at mindspring_com> wrote:

> Would that be long- term "stability", or merely ease of maintenance?

Both. In my view, it is in the end the same thing. If the tank is not
stable in the long run, it has to be taken apart more often than I would
like, and that translates into a "high maintenance" tank anyway. I used to
keep aquariums (in fact just "fish tanks") with this approach for most of 
my life, taking them apart and starting from scratch every year or so. 
I am very happy now that I found a workaround exists. This is the only 
reason I'm venturing into keeping more than one tank at home.

> One thing's for sure - without intervention on our part in some way, the
> substrate will eventually peter out and lose its viability. Nutrients are
> depleted and must be replaced, but how you chose to do it provides the
> direction of your approach.
> In nature, the replenishment is provided by such mechanics as turnover and
> build- up. A river's bottom can be washed away in a flood, stirred up in a
> storm or simply replaced by sediment. Lakes are obvious choices for
> deposition, but the shallower waters near the shoreline can be affected by
> storm action also, mixing and turning some. Land- based run- off can also
> provide fresher materials and a new supply of nutrients.
> If it came to blows, you couldn't even say that "natural" substrates have
> any _real_ long- term "stability", either.

Agreed. But my goal is not to have a "natural" tank, whatever that term
means. My goal is to keep it running with minimum intervention for as
long as possible. Aquariums are far from being "natural" systems anyway.

> Since we don't find it as convenient to replace our bottoms with such
> regularity, we devise easier methods. Manual fertilization is *certainly* an
> option - works quite well for everything from farms and gardens right down
> to the tank. A convective flow set up to circulate through a gravel
> substrate is really only nothing more than "automated" fertilization,
> dependent upon taking the nutrients from the water (which you've added
> _anyway_, in one form or another) and sequestering them in the substrate.
> Just another method.

Right, "automated" is the key word here.

> ...some people also report that they get good results with fine grained
> sand.
> > I wonder for how long they get those results though, and would like to
> hear
> > from people that have kept sand-based substrates for a long time, say
> > more than 2-3 years, without facing compaction/anoxic situations.
> I can only personally comment on lengths up to about 4 years, which is the
> longest I've ever been able to keep a tank in the same position. But that
> was by necessity of Life in general, and nothing to do with the tank
> itself...

And what is your observation ? I didn't say this in my other posting, but
I am not complaining about the anaerobic substrate killing my plants or
something like that. On the contrary, plants are thriving and the aquarium
is healthy except for periodic bouts of green spot algae, everytime the
platy population explodes. I plan to keep the tank as is for at least
one more year before taking it apart, and my only worry is that the
anaerobic spots may grow out of control and eventually spoil the tank in 
some way if I'm not careful. 

- Ivo Busko
  Baltimore, MD