Re: Carol's Question

Carol Darnell asked:
> My pet shop got in Madagascar Lace plants and I bought one.
> There are roots comming out of the top of the bulb/tuber. Do you bury this
> bulb? It has a few small leaves which have the characteristic lacey look. 

Just bury it about halfway. The roots come out at the top and grow down 
into the substrate. If the roots are long enough, plant them.

> People say they have successful plant tanks with UG filtration. How do you
> vacuum the gravel, when it has laterite and plant tabs? Do you not use
> additives, or dou you just use liquid ones? This tank has all this floating
> debris in it, and it sucks! :) I just took out the powerhead because I thought
> there was too much water movement, and maybe thats why nothing was growing in
> there. Now the UG is just powered by an air pump. I need HELP. (Psychiatric?)

You could not use UG filtration well with soil, clay or powdery laterite.
In a plant tank, you don't necessarily need much biological filtration
since the plants consume ammonium so readily. Filtration is mainly for
removing floating detritus. You also don't need to do gravel vacuuming
at all. Gravel vacuuming is really only necessary when you have a lot
of fish in a UGF system where the fish feces are being drawn into the
gravel. Without plants, this organic junk rots and consumes more oxygen.
Frequently, we just let all that stuff accumulate on the bottom and be
food for the plants. Some people lightly vacuum the layer of mulm which
loosely floats on the bottom. I do this particularly if there is brush
algae growing on it. I think plant folk often try to keep fewer fish 
per gallon than average and feed more sparingly. If you're not aerating
the tank to provide O2 (to conserve CO2), you need enough light and
plants to provide O2 for the fish of course.