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Re: LFS vs APD wisdom

On Tuesday 06 May 2003 04:54, Kirk Meltonwrote:

> All of their
> display tanks (as well as the ones they sell out of) have conventional
> powerhead driven UGFs, have plenty of surface agitation due to bubbles
> rising, have compact fluorescent lighting (not against APD wisdom), no
> gravel supplementations,  and NO CO2 injection.

Anubias should also do very well in this setup.

The folks at your LFS sound like a patient lot.  There is nothing wrong with 
their method.  It can get healthy but somewhat slow plant growth from a large 
variety of plants.  There are some plants that probably won't grow under 
those conditions.

A couple of questions, though.  How much light do they use?  What kind of 
fish loads do they have?  How high is their alkalinity?

The UGF promotes a stable substrate and is very effective at transporting 
nutrients to the plant roots.  Both George Booth and Tom Barr have used UGFs 
in planted tanks with good success.  Most gravel suppliments are useless with 
a UGF -- fertilizer-spiked clay balls being the exception.

The active circulation makes sure that the CO2 content of the water doesn't 
drop much below about 0.5 ppm.  This allows a wider variety of plants to 
coexist and provides enough growth for the plants to stay healthy.  Healthy 
conditions for the plants are promoted if the light is not too bright,   
there is a fair-sized fish load and the alkalinity is not too low.

Growth under these conditions is slower than in a brightly lit tank with CO2 
and there are some plant varieties that will not fare well.  Plants that do 
well under these conditions can look very nice, but patience is required.

Controlling algae can become a real art.  High light and the resulting low 
CO2 and high pH seem to favor algae growth.  It can be hard to hit the right 

Roger Miller