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[APD] Re: dirt and the No CO2 tank

>Did you have dirt tank?  Without the dirt, and the dirt
>method has its good and bad points, it's not uncommon to
>need to add ferts, depending on the fishload, plant load,
>light level, blah blah. So whether it's a tank with or
>without added CO2, you have to watch the plants and adjust
>accordingly, just like you did.

>Ms. Walstad said the last AGA convention, that she too adds
>ferts for the more ravenous eaters like swords.

>Ms. Kasselmann, who spoke at the NEC convention earlier
>this month, described a version of "dirt tank" (my term,
>not hers) using loam. She, too, said that after a period,
>ferts will need to be added. When and how much depends on
>the loam and the kinds of plants, of course.
>Scott H.

Okay, you mysterious dirt people, what is in wetland dirt(mud)?
Nutrients and carbon.
What do plants use to grow? Nutrients.
Does dirt add everything? For awhile, it also adds NH4, not bad if you have a good sand cap and LOTS of plants from the start.
How much CO2 is derived from dirt? Not that much. Bacteria need to decompose the dirt(carbon) to do this, so how do they oxidize the dirt? With what? O2. Then when that is gone what do they do then? 18x slower and they go anaerobic.

So at that rate, not much CO2 is going to be produced. 
NH4? Again, the bacteria can get at that with O2 => NO3.
So there is a good amount of O2 drain occuring. 
That's fine with plenty of weeds.

So what happens if we add the nutrients balanced that we use in CO2 tank?
Suddenly we can grow things like hair grass and Gloss, many of the plants that folks assume that canot be grown in non CO2 tanks.

You can feed the fish more, that will add a few traces/PO4, but it's mainly NH4 or NO3.
So you still need to add a little, not a lot, PO4/K/Traces.

I don't use fish for several tanks I have going and dose somewhat like my CO2 tanks.
This removes the fish variable from these tanks and lets you know more about their contribution to the plant's needs.

Or the substrates, water column etc.

I see no reason why the plants that are grown in CO2 enriched tanks cannot be grown in non CO2 tanks.
It will take longer...........but they will grow if you address the needs of the plants rather than just assuming the plants will not make it in the non CO2 tank.

I'm too tenacious to accept that.

So this leads to good well aquascaped non CO2 planted tanks?
It was done in the past to a very high level, no reason knowing what we know today it cannot be done.

And you do not need no dirt to do it. If you learn what the plants need, then you can add it from the start and not have to add a mess of dirt. You are going to have to add nutirents at some point anyway..........may as well get it right and keep it non limiting. Fish food will supply enough nutirents for many easier plants to do okay to well.

Adding the SeaChem Eq and KH2PO4 will take care of most of the other needs.
Onyx adds Mg and Ca and KH. Adding leonardite or a little peat+ mulm starts the tank off right.

Tom Barr



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