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[APD] ok Tommy.....

If the ferts were in the water column the plants would have no need to produce a nice healthy root system.
Make sense?

John Van Rees"
A "victim" steps forth to take the bait:)

Why not.... make my day!

Thanks John, few do these days.

yea.. for good reason...but I got nothing to lose dude :-)

How do we over water aquatic plants?

Ever see that puddle on the floor when you weren't watching what you were doing?

How do terrestrial plants take nutrients in from the air?

Tom... ever see an Orchid or air plant?

If we check the fertilizing routines in terrestrial systems, foliar apllications are quite useful.
Does it help roots? Well, it does take a nutrient stress off the leaves thereby adding more for the roots.

yeah... whatever

In terrestiral systems, especially grasses and many others, water is a huge role for weeds. Plants will conserve water through their leaves and get as much as they can in the soil.

I think...if I learned right in Biology that could be true... water helps weeds grow. Yepp..... your right!

If we look at some research on a number of aquatic plant species, even when the roots where cut off, the relative growth rates remained the same in the control and the treatments(removed the roots) if the water column was non limiting(thereby not a confounding factor).

Yep... but that doesn't have anything to do with the question posed. :-)

So the plants will take the nutrients in from the leaves first, then the substrate secondarily.
There are a few more complicating issues here but this is the generalized model.

refer to above

I think this is still the best arguement for not fertilizing, so after a good pruning should we not fertilize for that week? But even still, the plant needs to take in more to grow better etc and adding ferts to both places will only enhance the growth of the roots regardless if the plants produce more growth with the strong roots or not.

Ok.. so do I see that you are agreeing with me? (proud smile)

The roots may simply be nothing more than a storage depot/storage organ(like a tuber) rather than a nutrient source in the substrate as far as a role.

better take that HS Biology class again. *S*

Predicting the direction a plant will go when given a nutrient stress is not so simple. Some plants may grow more roots, some might not.

I would bet at least 50 cents if you run the double blind test... you will find that they all put out more roots.

Many aquatic plants simply shut down and stop growing when the nutrients run out.

In the original question.. it was not stated that there were or were not nutrients in the substrate.... only that it was a new tank....

So the plant might be simply getting ready for "lean times ahead", rather than growing better/healthier.

that is how they survive!

The roots will grow better if the plant is given non limiting conditions, it has little choice if we force all the plant's resources into root production by removing all water column dosing.

so?? Your mother wears army boots too.

Those resources have to come from somewhere and places a stress on the plant when it's weakest(after replanting/pruning).

and she ,, oh.. I'll stop talking about her

So adding nutrients to the water column will allow more roots, not less I'd argue.
More roots will = more bacteria and a stable reductive region in the substrate=> better plant growth in some species(not all, some don't care even if they have roots).

again..not the original question

Why not stop dosing after pruning when the cuttings have no roots?


Would we force the plants to grow stronger roots?


Do we want strong roots/more root biomass?

I do

Do more roots look good in my tank?

If they are hid in the substrate where they belong.....

We do not see any differences in the planted tanks then, so if the root issue is really an issue it seems, it would show a similar pattern even in an established tank after pruning.

watch the stem plants put out side roots... if you had little ferts in the water column.. would they create less of these and more base roots?

The issue of a new tank is really something that makes me wonder about the roots role here. Are the roots, really that important in establishment? Yes. How do we grow better roots?

I thought that was already agreed upon.

Seems to be by adding plenty of water column ferts since that where the plant will first take them in at.
But the plant would then have to translocate the nutrients from the water column, to the roots/hairs, so a little fert in the substrate will also help.

ya think?

Still, why not add the nutrients to the water column?

are we playing ring around the rosey?

Will aquatic plants, not terrestials, grow more root biomass(not total) when the water column is non limiting as well as the substrate?

duh... of course

I thin the plant will grow more, not less roots when you give the plant what it wants in both places, not force it to translocate.

ahh... yeah....

If the water column is non limiting, roots play a much smaller role, our substrates have a rather high rate of flux of nutrients in/out. So the water column can supply most of the roots with what they need as well.

The wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time......

Bottom line is that I do not think we can say that a good/better % of root to shoot ratio is better for a new tank and that limiting the water column helps to that end in a significant manner.

ah.... come on Tom

It does not help in terms of algae nor plant health growth over all.
But I do think many plants will put more resources into their roots if they are slightly nutrient stressed.

are you related to Dubbya

If the plant does not find what it needs via the extra root growth, then what?
Will that help after spending the extra energy and resources?


Seems to me to let the roots do their thing and focus on having some nutrients available for the roots and lots for the leaves. I don't think this is going to make a difference in a _new_ tank though.

yeah.... but that for the entertainment.

In gratitude,

John Van Rees

Regards, Tom Barr

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