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Re: Tanks surviving in Arizona (substrate)

>>Umm... Methods for what?  If you mean general plant
tank methods there are several.  Steve Pushak has long
supported a substrate-oriented method, as has Paul

Almost everything I have learned about planted aquaria
has come from the net.  And in general, I have found
that all of the mantras are true (better lighting,
more co2, SAEs, Amano shrimp, nutrients).

The one thing that I am skeptical of is the importance
of substrates.  My caveat is that I don't have any
heavy-rooted plants (like swords).  So the difference
may lay in that area.

I have two tanks, both with the cheapest gravel man
makes("filter media" in paper sacks).  In my first
tank, I added laterite because the LFS insisted that
this was absolutely necessary.  For my second tank, I
decided to skip that step.  And I haven't been able to
tell a difference with my largely stem-based plants. 
Additionally, I haven't come across a plant that has
failed to thrive.  One difference my two tanks
probably have compared to most is that they both have
undergravel filters (not used anymore), not that that
should make a difference.

My personal theory is that mulm creates enough surface
area for nutrient exchange that other substrate
additions like laterite and soil are not necessary
given that sufficient iron is added to the water
column.  For a beginner I would tell them to save
their 20-40 dollars and put it towards CO2.  But, of
course, I am willing to be educated.


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