Re: Substrate Preparation
When I was running experiments on rooted aquatic plants I used a
substrate from a local lake. In an attempt to control what organisms came
out of the sediment I autoclaved them before use ... I was amazingly
unpopular as I could stink up a seven story building with ease! In
retrospect, this was mostly unnecessary and not particularly effective
... many aquatic organisms have dormant phases which are extremely
resistant to damage.
One of the emerging areas of interest in aquatic
botany and toxicology is the effect of sediment composition on plant
growth. As you can imagine this is a difficult area of study due to the
complex and heterogenous nature of saturated sediments ... with this in
mind it is difficult to know whether one should worry about sediment
pathogens or not but I dont and have never had a noticeable problem.