Emerse-grown plants and Tropica Master Grow

AQ>Jens Stoevlbaek wrote: Beware of the Tropica fertilizer. It's very low in
iron and the plants
that it helped most in my tank were the thready/hairy algae. By the
way, it seems that it costs slighty less in the US than here in Denmark.

This is interesting, since visiting Tropica in early September, I have
been using Master Grow and in just the past two weeks I have noticed
long stringy threads of algae in two of the tanks that I use Master
Grow in. Could this really be the cause? I have NOT noticed any problem
with iron deficiency. In fact, my Rotala macranda, kind of an iron
barometer, is deep red and growing happily. Any comments?

Could one of you aquatic-botanical geniuses let me know if the emerse
growing setup described below is a good one? In particular I am
concerned about the depth of the water, the level of fertilizer and the
amount of light. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I took a tube of half-inch PVC and drilled 5/32 holes about four inches
apart along the length of the pipe. Into each of these holes I put a
raindrip full-circle micro spray jet (Home Depot: 10 for about $2.50).
I put a PVC end plug on one end. On the other end I jury-rigged an
adapter to fit a tube leading to a water pump. The spray bar hangs
about twelve inches above the surface of the gravel.

The water pump sits on the very bottom of the tank in a small section
completely separate from the three-inch deep gravel. I have a bunch of
cotton-like filter material over the pump intake to keep small
particles from getting into the pump and then clogging the spray jets.

The water, which is about a half-inch deeper than the gravel, drains
from the gravel into the pump area and is sprayed over all the plants.
Every part of the plants is kept wet 24 hours a day by the spray bar.

The tank is lighted by 80 Watts of fluorescent grow lights. I do not
know is this is enough, but since there is no water between the plants
and the lights, I assume it is at least adequate. The tank is kept
covered so the humidity is very high.

I am probably going to add more fertilizer to the water than I'd ever
put in a planted aquarium but I need to gather more info before I get
too radical.  I might also add more light. This is just the beginning
of this project ... I do not have a set plan for how it will develop or

Justin Healy in Sunny warm Savannah, where minds are frequently used as
impediments to knowledge.