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Re: Clay balls

On Thu, 23 Aug 2001, Raymond Wong wrote:
> For the past 6 ~ 8 months (can't remmeber gotta check my log) I haven't
> added any liquid fertilizer to my water column and only used clay balls in
> the substrate (plain gravel) and my plants love the clay balls,  i've also
> noticed there isn't any unwanted algae (except for some on the glass, green
> spot i believe) growing in my tank, like thread or bba as i remember when i
> had the same system except i dosed liquid fertilizer regularly, My question
> is since everything is 'looking fine' (in my opinion) what would the effects
> be if i started to add some liquid fertilizer or pmdd? (or should i just
> stick to the concept if it ain't broke don't fix it) or just keep using clay
> balls?

If the plants are already growing well then you won't see much effect --
at least not much *good* effect -- from adding additional fertilizers.
The plants needs are already met, so you can't get much improvement.  You
might change your methods if you find something simpler, or adjust it for
floating plants or stem plants, but those are different issues.

> I've had success in growing most plants, except for lilaopsis
> (spelling error) I can't seem to get that stuff to grow, I've been told this
> plants need harder water/less light etc.. not too sure,

I find it hard to get lilaeopsis established.  I have it well-established
in one tank and there it seems pretty robust, but I haven't had much
success transplanting it to other tanks.

> As for my aquascaping, i'm slowing throwing out most of my plants andtrying
> to keep a 'few' species instead of the 'wild jungle' look, trying to stick
> with 2~ 3 species of plants for aquscaping.

2-3 species is pretty low diversity.  Most of us use more.  Amano's photos
include tanks with just a few species, so you might check on what he uses
to get some ideas.

Were I to go with two or three plants I would use one low, spreading
plant, one slightly larger plant that would accent the carpet and for a
third plant maybe something tall and stately.  I'd also want the plants to
be contrasting shapes and shades of green.  Perhaps a combination like
glossostigma elatinoides, dwarf lobelia and Cyperus helferi would work
together.  Or for something different, Cladophora-covered stones in place
of the glossostigma.

Roger Miller