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Re: Ecology of the Planted Aquarium

> > A:  Yes and it is because alleopathy is reduced in these tanks.
> > high-tech systems advocate frequent water changes. Also, many tanks have
> > substrate heating cables, which induce water circulation into and out of
> the
> > substrate. In essence, the substrate is continuously 'washed' so that
> > alleochemicals are brought into the overlying water where they can
> be
> > metabolized or diluted out.
> TAG vol 15 No. 3 "Allelopathy - Chemical Warfare Between Aquatic Plants"
> by Dr. Ole Pedersen quote:
> "I am sure Diana Walstad in her book exaggerates the prevalence of true
> allelopathy in planted aquaria"
I have had my office aquarium set up for around 2. something years, it is 66
gallons, Dupla Thermik substrate heater (on continually), TetraTec hang on
Pro2, (strong alternating water current on one side, steady current on the
other) filters changed every two weeks, 2.12 watts per gallon, one 30 watt
regular flourescent (nutrigrow) in the back over the background plants, one
110 watt CF in the middle. Lighting duration is 12.5 hours per day. Temp
range is 78 to 84 on any given day. More often between 78-80.  Upon setup I
had green water, After that I have never had any algae ever other than spot
algae. Substrate is red flint gravel salted with Substrate Gold, a locally
made laterite iron additive. I only have ever changed eight gallons per week
since setup. I currently have 23 different varieties of aquarium plants
growing in there and there is not one plant that is not doing well, they are
all extremely healthy and robust. My goal was to grow as many different
species as possible in one tank and have it look good. (I once had 29
varieties in there) Alot of the trick of getting all those plants to do well
is in the layout of the planting, (ex: Anubias grow under Rotala Indica and
Hydrocotyle L., Macrandra and Eusteralis grows in area where all of the
plant gets light)  Fish population in this tank is quite heavy, including
algae eaters. I fertilize daily but do not measure, a squirt of this or that
depending on what the plants look like and oxygen output. I use iron,
potassium, micro and nitrate additions by eyeballing overall conditions.
Iron levels are high compared to what is recommended.
 I never check my water conditions but GH is around 5, KH around 3. In my
experience growing plants the biggest single factor I noticed is that plants
are very adaptable to a wide variety of conditions. I have many tanks where
many different species grow together. And yes I have CO2 fertilization in
the office tank, gas. While plants may stall upon initial introduction to
new conditions, they appear to quickly adapt to their new environment. There
is an old Tropica book that talks about the preferences of aquatic plants
growing with other species and the main phrase they use in that book is
"tolerates such and such species". I'd say alleopathy is greatly
overexaggerated. I guess you could call my 66 gallon high tech to a point, I
like to think it is in the middle. It never requires a lot of maintenance
and pruning is needed only about once every four to five weeks. And I have
changed several different plant species over time with absolutely no change
in overall conditions. In 2.12 watts per I grow Macrandra, Eusteralis
stellata, and Glossostigma, all very robust. So there you go. Not exactly
what some advocate especially for water changes, but it's been working for a
long time with no apparent alleopathy in sight. Don Matakis