Re: A few questions

>From: Jeff Stuart <jastuart at mailbox_syr.edu>
>Date: Fri, 21 Apr 1995 11:16:50 -0400 (EDT)
>Subject: A few questions...
>How do I go about vacuuming the gravel?  A local aquarium shop recommends
>that I remove the plants every few months and then stir up the gravel for
>the entire tank.  Won't the plants take up most of the debris through the

Is your tank stable and doing well?  If so, why change what you're
currently doing?

I for one tear up all the stem plants in my tank once in three or four
weeks, vacuum the gravel, and re-plant.  But I have a high-tech setup
with CO2 and other bells and whistles.  Personally, I think this
approach might not be viable in a low-tech setup.

I know peopole who never vacuum the gravel, and still have nice-looking
tanks.  They have low-tech setups and their plants grow slowly.  If
you don't want a high-maintenance tank, you could try this approach.

Alternatively, you can get a gravel vacuum with a relatively narrow
intake that will make getting into tight spots a little easier.

>I've recently seen laterite pellets advertized:  small pieces of laterite 
>that are pushed into the gravel.  I'm assuming that if these are used, 
>stirring up the gravel could become pretty ugly.  Are these effective?

I suppose you are referring to the Dupla laterite.  Most people on the
net seem to like them, and so do I.  Yes, the water will cloud up a
little if you disturb the laterite, but it clears up pretty quickly.

>Lastly, I've got an Aponogeton ulvaceous that just finished blooming, and
>seems to be declining -- perhaps going into dormancy.  The leaves are
>turning a bit brown and looking more ragged, and new growth has slowed.  I
>recently attended a lecture on growing aquatic plants, and it was
>suggested that Aponogetons be put in a plastic bag with a little water in
>the vegie crisper for 6-8 weeks to force dormancy, and then re-planted. 
>The bulb is nice and firm, and there are a lot of nice white roots.  Has
>anyone tried this? 

I've never tried the fridge before, but it's probably worth a try, now
that the weather is warming up and you cannot just keep it in a cool
part of the house.  I'd be interested in finding out how it fares if you 
decide to put it in the fridge.