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Re: [APD] RE: Nitrogen

Dmitri Priimak writes:
> I see. Adding NO3 into the water column is easier.

It is easier to add NO3 into the water column, and some people swear by it.
But my personal experience is that it doesn't work for fertilizing
Echinodorus species. In my research, I have come across other people with
the same problem. Since you have Amazon Swords, this may turn out to be a
concern for you.

I was having trouble a couple of months ago with my E. bleheri, E. tenellus,
and E. parviflorus. These were in soil-substrate tanks, and I believe the
soil substrate had been providing N to the roots for some time, and finally
ran out. The leaves were suffering chlorosis and the older leaves were

Based on the idea that plants can get everything they need through leaf
uptake, I kept raising my NO3 levels, finally hitting 50 ppm. They were
still doing poorly (as were my ghost shrimp, which all died). Finally I
started asking around on different groups, where several people reported an
inability of Echnidorus to perform leaf uptake.

I used some Jobes Spikes for Ferns and Palms in the substrate, and it took
only a week or so for all three species to halt their chlorosis and decay,
and begin putting up healthy new leaves. They have been doing fine since.

Perhaps there are certain other chemicals in some tanks that interfere with
Echnidorus's leaf uptake. Perhaps some substrates are porous enough that NO3
in the water column can make it to the roots. I don't know. But I do know
that for my tank, substrate supplementation did what (very) high levels of
water supplementation could not.

- Jim

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