Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #9

>From: "shaji (s.) bhaskar" <bhaskar at bnr_ca>
>Daily dosing with fertilizers is probably the least time-consuming of
>the chores involved in keeping a plant tank.  It takes only an
>additional half-minute to add the fertilizer while you are feeding
>your fish. (Or do you have that part automated as well?  If so, you
>you could look into automating fertilization.) Missing an occasional
>day will not matter.
>But honestly, I still have this nagging feeling that you are seriously
>under-estimating the effort that is needed to keep a Dupla-style tank

Okay Shaji, I'll bite :-)

I'm getting this feeling that you're referring to some deep dark maintenance
nightmare secret of plant tanks here, and for the life of me, I can't think
what it could be.  What all do you consider involved with keeping a Dupla-style
tank going?  My guess would have been (once established) mostly water changes, 
cleaning prefilter, pruning plants, plucking out dead leaves, feeding fish, 
testing water (iron and KH, generally), fertilizing, and every now and then 
changing bulbs on the lighting.  

If it helps any on providing a baseline, I currently maintain a 75 gallon reef
tank, a 20 gallon "jewel tank" reef, a 100 gallon marine fish tank, a 58 gallon
and a 30 gallon mbuna tank and a koi pond (roughly 1000 gallons).  The ~130
tank that's heading for plant tank was full of mbuna 2 weeks ago, and my 30 tank
cichlid hatchery is currently shut down...  I also garden, keep parrots, work a
full-time+ job, and handle 3 net.businesses on the side... I used to work staff
on CI$ Fishnet, edit the newsletter for a regional cichlid club, and write the
occasional article for the magazines, before having a massive burnout on hobby
"side activities" a few years ago.  I'm just now getting back into seriously
enjoying my aquariums, mostly by doing new stuff (marine, koi, and now plants). 
I've not had a full year without owning fish for about 30 years now (got my
tank when I was about 6).

And then =after= lunch...  (just kidding)

Just re-read the above.  Yuck.  I didn't mean to provide a complete fishkeeping
resume, just trying to establish where common ground for conversation might
be - 
I'm not new to keeping tanks, or even to keeping them correctly, for the most 
part :-)  I'm just new to (hopefully) serious plant tanks.  I've had "so-so" 
plant tanks over the years, and am just looking for the opportunity to do one 
more-or-less right.

Back to the topic, to be honest, at least half of my objection to going to the
Dupla fertilization system is Dupla.  I've always resented their pricing, their
approach, and for a large part their
Currently in N. Dallas (not exactly a fish-store haven), none of the five or six
shops I frequent carry Dupla, so that leaves me down to mail-order, with it's 
attendant delays and requirements that I plan further ahead in my materials
inventory than I know I'm likely to do.  I'm more the "oops - out of Amquel,
run to the store" kind of guy.

- Chuck
  clawson at onramp_net