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Re: [APD] Water changes and CO2/non CO2 methods

Those aren't CO2-in-the-tapwater issues particularly.
With slow growth tanks ( mild lighting levels and no fermetation bottles or compressed gas CO2 sources), one can do okay without adding any ferts if you already have loads of nutrients in a soil underlayment.  Even then, as Ms. Walstad explained at the 2004 AGA Convention, additional nuturients can be necessary for hungry plants like swords. Otherwise, relying on fish food alone, can sometimes end up otherwise adequate NO3 levels but inadequate phosphates. These are slow growing tanks we're talking about so one has plenty of time to notice conditions and make adjustments.
I find the more foolproof method is to add ferts and do water changes, adjusting the dosing for the amount of CO2 and light. This helps avoid the organics that build up over time (which appear to be more an issue for the fish than the plants). It also helps newbies develop a routine for caring for the tanks and keeping an eye on things. With just soil underlayment and no changes, I think certain plants tend to dominate in a tank, eventually making a tank a one plant aquascape unless replanting is done -- a good reason to use pots with this kind of approach since replanting can be kind of messy in a soil underlayment setup.

* * * * * * * * * * * It's new; it's fun; it's the New England Aquatic Plant Society NEAPS, is a newly formed organization interested in aquarium flora and fauna. http://www.ne-aquaticplants.com/ 

----- Original Message ----
From: Bill D <billinet at comcast_net>
To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2006 11:59:26 AM
Subject: Re: [APD] Water changes and CO2/non CO2 methods

Well planted, lower light aquaria ("natural", "balanced", or Walstad-type)
do better without frequent water changes.  These tanks usually get their
relatively meager supply of nutrients from the substrate or the water column
via natural processes, and water changes remove those nutrients.

I do occasionally get algae in such tanks, but it is easily kept in bounds.

High light, high-nutrient tanks are clearly a different matter.
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