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[APD] RE: Rift lake refugium- Tom Barr

Thanks Nick, James, and Tom.

Tom, Don't think I was blaming you for the rotting Peace lilies. You give a lot of time posting and have helped me a lot as I lurk around here and surface once in a while.

Tom mentioned damage to the plants. I did seperate the baby plants from the main mother plant while I was washing off the potting soil from the roots. I know I damaged them in doing that because I just tore them off. I wondered if that would kill the plants at the time. But then again when I plant Crypts, I always prune the roots to 3/4 inch or so. Never had a problem doing that.

As you all said, the rotting roots on the Peace lilies must be due to the lack of oxygen in the gravel due to it being too fine or moisture retentive. I am using a mixture of 3/4 inch lava rock, Onyx gravel (not sand), and Profile Aquatic Plant Soil. (See the end of the post for an archived response I saved for reference. I had a bag of the Aquatic Plant Soil around and mixed it in. Maybe the combination of sizes is the problem. Still not blaming you Tom!) The tank system contains a heavy fish load along with regular dosing of Excel, KNO3, K2SO4, KH2PO4, and Flourish according to Tom's recipe so there isn't a lack of nutrients. I don't use CO2 as I thought I couldn't in an African tank. Now that I have read Tom's responses to the original poster I see it may be an option. I have good growth in the refugium without any algae to speak of. Some glass cleaning is needed but it is acceptable.

If I seive the gravel mixture through 1/2 inch hardware cloth to remove the fines, do you think the retained gravel will be coarse enough? It would contain some of the Onyx gravel and mostly lava rock.

The one plant box has the gravel mixture submerged constantly. The tank water flows in at the top front and leaves at the bottom back at about 1 GPM. The flow rate can be adjusted if need be. I will be needing to empty this box (48 inch long x 8" x 8") to seive the gravel so I could add a long sparger on the bottom connected to shop compressed air to aerate the media. Obviously I would connect in a regulator to reduce the air pressure. We have oil removing filters in our system.

The plant filter which uses the ABS tubes has the bottom third of the tubes submerged in a PVC box as secondary containment for the water in the tubes which flows in from the top, again at 1 GPM. I set the water level to prevent the roots from drying out when ever the pump is turned off. I can adjust this with a little modification of the system so the tubes will always be exposed to air.

Well this is getting long. I won't be in town until Monday. My nephew is getting married in New Orleans on Saturday at the Aquarium! Can't miss that one. We will have the place to ourselves. Can't wait. My wife and I leave tomorrow AM.

Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 08:16:59 -0500
From: Nick Ternes <woodland_gardens at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [APD] RE: Rift lake refugium- Tom Barr

Root rot isn't caused by insufficient light. It's caused by insufficient oxygenation
of the roots. Anaerobic conditions develop and the roots rot. ... Instead of gravel, I would use >something more porous as a media, IE lava rock or porous ceramic balls.

Nick Ternes
Port Washington, WI

Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 11:39:00 -0700
From: James H <spreerider at gmail_com>
Subject: [APD] RE: Rift lake refugium

to avoid root rot you can add a bubble stone and small pump under the plant so air bubbles up >around the roots, this will take away some of your co2 if your dosing but will prevent the roots >from rotting,

Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 18:38:18 -0700
From: "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
Subject: [APD] RE: Jerry's tank

You helped me out about a year ago as I was setting up a tank in my bosses office for African >>Cichlids. ... I also made two boxes out of Polypropylene and PVC to act as hydroponic cells for >>Peace Lilies. One is your plastic tube design and the other is a box filled with constantly flooded >>gravel media with the tank water circulating through it. Twice now the Peace lilies have died in >>these tanks. The roots rot.

I suggest using hydroponic media the clay porous balls, not gravel. I no longer have the old emails >from then, perhaps they are archioved, but I do not recall telling anyone to use gravel ever. I've >never had anything but weed like growth.

Switch the media instead and save the $ on lighting (It will not hurt though).

Regards, Tom Barr

Message: 9
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 22:23:10 -0500
From: "Thomas Barr" <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
Subject: [APD] RE: Larry, Curly and Moe
To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com

I have been doing a lot of Archive searching since last posting in early January about Rift Lake Algae and the 75 gallon tank I am setting up at work. I have decided to use plants in the African Cichlid tank rather than exclusively algae. I will try from among Anubias, Bolbitus, Java Fern, Vallisneria, Crypt. affinis, C. aponogetifolia, and any others I learn of.

You will have a tough time finding the Crypts, email me off list though, I can help you out.

I am in the process of building a HOB trickle filter using a modification of Tom Barr's PVC pipe plan. This filter will be attached to the wall rather than the back of the tank. Should I then call it a HOW filter? :)

Sounds good. Hydroponics store's sell those cocoa pebbles clay balls*(imagine Moe getting duped by Curly, then after a couple of slaps, Curly eats it and likes it) or you can use small 1/2" -3/8" lava, or you can also use Profile aquatic plant gravel/Turface etc which would likely be even better.

It will be a PVC box 48"Lx8"Wx14"H containing seven 4" PVC pipes filled with lava rock

See profile/Turface alternative

and growing Spathophyllum and Anthirium.

Sounds good, most tropical foliage will do pretty good

Jerry Smith Bloomingdale, NJ

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