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[APD] RE: substrates/agar
> Please ask Dr. Kane again as I specifically asked him about using agar to
> encapsulate a DIY mix for aquarium substrate.
> Happy New Year.
I did(last spring) I was satified.
Agar ain't cheap for most folks.
Gelatin is likely something folks may want to try, but I really prefer the
organic based mulms/soils over agar for enrichment purposes.
Well pre soaked soil/mulm etc works well and is safe.
There are other substrate encapsulation materials/compunds that will work
and are suitable also.
I think my interest lay more in the bound types of NH4 that will only be
removed via root action or oxidized to NO3 via bacteria.
That would be a nice solution.
Other materials, Ca, SO4, Mg, and traces are not really an issue and are
easy to add. PO4 is not problematic when plant density is good(CO2 or non
K+ is not a problem either.
NO3 and NH4 seem to be the main sticking points.
An ideal source would be a small grain with anaerobic regions inside and
This may prove easier to make and last longer, perhaps being more practical.
I am not saying I like agar substrate additions, but they are something
folks can try and they do not present the issues you have stated based on
my own usage.
I am looking for something with some bound NH4, something that will not
cause algae blooms when disturbed from uprooting, something tougher than
agar and heavy/rock like.
But till then, mulm/soil/peat works pretty good if used correctly.
I think it's impractical to consider a source of CO2 from the substrate.
All substrates give off _some_ CO2.
But to rely on that in lieu of CO2 additions/Excel etc is nutty.
Non CO2 methods supply enough from air/water exchanges for good growth.
I think adding some high organic matter to the substrate is not going to
add that much relative to the plant needs in the overall scheme of things.
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