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[APD] Re: why not fertilize a new tank right away??

If plants have the same growth rate without roots(when the water column is non limiting), how can they benefit a new tank with roots? While roots are produced regardless of where the nutrients are, a simple method I did for about 10 years with plants can help. RFUG's(Reverse flow UG's, see archives) basically remove the nutrients from the substrate and place it in the water column.
So this type of substrate has no nutrient content(the sand is 2-3mm silica, nothing added less some mulm mixed in that did not get blown out).
While 90% of the plants thrives, there were some differences in a variety of species. These did better with Flourite and other no flow systems, and the heating cables did the same as the RFUG overall.
So back to the question: why not fertilize from the very __start__ of a planted tank?
John suggested roots are good/better and I have stated that it does not make a difference in the start up.
Whether or not you have fertilizer in the water column is an issue. I think you will get more, not *less root growth*, if you add fertilizer to both regions(water column and a little in the gravel-mulm, leonardite, peat, bacteria, soil, etc) or just the water column, I've got many years growing tanks where the nutrients are in different regions and also both places.
So I would have to say fertilizing the water column is a good idea from day one of a new tank. If root formation is really that critical in a CO2 enriched tank that has a non limiting water column, why doesn't this causes issues when we replant?
Do we see algae due to less roots/more established roots?
What are we waiting for when we start up a new tank?
Generally bacteria. But if the plants are given what they need to grow well, then what role do the bacteria play? Why do we not see cycling in a planted tank? The plants remove all the NH4. Mulm and peat take care of the reduction and bacteria in a new tank.
Plants take care of the NH4, so..........what is left?
Will roots grow at faster rate/more biomass in ANY significant way without water column fert's in the first month vs adding fert's?
I doubt it.
The best thing I can figure is the roots add O2 and metabolites for certain species of plant friendly bacteria.
But we need less O2 _initially_ since the bacterial layers have not yet formed(hence the addition of peat and a little bit with the mulm-or soil etc, basically any organic matter), less O2 will help reduce trace metals, you do not want too much or too little reduction for optimal conditions.
So I think we can rule out O2(in older tanks with more mulm and detrital matter, this would play a more significant role) in a new set up(unless you added a lot of organic matter, eg soil).
So it gets back to the bacteria.
Well, how important are they and how significant do you think bacteria might be if the roots grew a little faster the first 4 weeks? Would this be significant?
I doubt it.   
Tom Barr

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