Re: Plant tanks aging at 18 months

Booth> I have found that a plain old substrate will do great for
Booth> 18 months (in one particular case) and then plants will
Booth> begin to do "poorly". Since a typical aquarist seems to
Booth> keep changing their focus, they may have a plant tank do
Booth> well for 6 or 12 months before they tear it down. They
Booth> will probably conclude that their alternate design
Booth> "worked" and they will endlessly promote their [possibly
Booth> bogus] ideas.

Well, my 40-gallon plant tank is going strong as it approaches its two-year
anniversary with no substrate heating. It receives C02, a daily dose of
Dupla 24 and weekly additions of ferro vit with water changes. I initially
set it up with laterite in the gravel. Lighting is four 30-watt
fluorescents -- a mix of Phillips, Vitalites and whatever other
full-spectrum bulbs I can find. Plants are Amazon swords, crypts, vals,
African lilies, Java fern and Java moss. The swords are poking out of the
tank and keep growing and growing and growing. Over time the plant mix has
changed -- crypts flourish and recede, sometimes I add something -- but
plants continue to grow quite well in this tank.

Whatever the merits of substrate heating, I don't accept the Dupla
suggestion that plant tanks without substrate heating lose their vitality
at about 18 months.

     If wishes were fishes we'd all have ponds.

Pete Johnson     petej at tlg_net     PeteJ1 at eworld_com