recycling plant clippings

	>	When trimming back my plants, I've often considered leaving the 
>trimmings in the tank and letting them degrade.  Although this would not 
>make the tank look more attractive, I figure I would be allowing the 
>release of iron (and other nutrients) from the decaying plant matter.  
>Hence, the remaining plants could benefit from this slow, sustained 
>release of nutrients.
>	I'm sure that I will still have to add iron and trace elements, but I 
>shouldn't have to add them as often.  As long as my filters can handle 
>the extra bioload of decaying organics, I can't see any problems 
>arising.  Can any of you?

>In one of the recent issues of the tropical fish magazine I read, one of
>authors suggest just such a thing. Leave the detritus of plants in the
>He even suggests adding leaves from trees. Kind of unsightly, I think.

Sounds unsightly to me too, but I wonder if the addition of some catfish
which prefer dead plant matter (I have heard that there are some, although
I don't know the species, maybe someone can help with that) would speed up
the process of converting the plants into nutrients, and keep the tank
clean as well.

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