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Re: Nutrient uptake

On Wed, 6 Feb 2002, BC wrote:
> I have read that aquatic plants can take in nutrients both through their
> leaves and roots.  These varies for different plant species.  I am quite
> new in keeping plants in my tanks.  Can anyone advice me which plants uses
> their leaves and which uses their roots for nutrient uptake?

In my experience virtually all rooted aquatic plants can take in nutrients
through their roots.  A few seem to be much more efficient at taking
nutrients through their roots than through their leaves.  If you keep
those and try to feed just in the water column then you may have to keep
much higher nutrient levels then you would otherwise.  The ones that most
clearly need root feeding are the larger Echinodorus and lotus plants and
maybe Aponogetons. I think a lot of other plants, including most crypts
and possibly Cyperus helferi do better if they are given nutrients by

> In the APD, I have read about adding nutrients to the water.  Is that alone
> sufficient?  Or do I need to fertilise the substrate too?

You can grow pretty much everthing with adding nutrients just in the
water.  Most stem plants grow very well that way.  Plants that feed better
by roots do OK, but tend to stay smaller and look less healthy then they
do when they are feed through their roots.

I try to strike a balance, occasionally adding fertilizer in the substrate
(Jobes Spikes and ferrous gluconate tablets) for heavy-feeding plants like
big sword plants or lotus, and using water column fertilizers to fit the
needs of other plants.

Roger Miller