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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #9

> Date: Tue, 6 Jan 1998 00:45:44 -0800 (PST)
> From: jjke at pacbell_net
> Subject: Re:George B.APD V3#8
>         So George, you had better results by cleaning things up rather than
> struggling with a new balancing act. Do you think you were exceeding that
> perfect '5% organic content' figure recently touted? 

I never had the organic content measured so I can't comment on that. 

I equate the "cleaning up" with keeping the aquarium balanced. Excess crud was 
in the gravel and the cleaning returned it to a balanced state.  Of course, this 
is only an unverified assumption.  The nature of the "cleaning" operation could 
have had many affects. 

1. Almost all the plants were removed, trimmed and replanted. Perhaps waste 
products had built up in the root zones (even with a slow flow UGF) and the 
simple act of moving the plants caused them to perk up. 

2. Perhaps the plants responded to a big pruning with renewed growth.

3. Perhaps the cleaning wasn't very thorough (even though much crud was seen 
coming up the siphon tube) and it just served to mix the substrate around a bit, 
redistributing nutrients. 
> Were any plants doing better during those last days before vacuuming? 

Not that I recollect. I guess you're indirectly asking if any of the plants we 
had in the tank liked the presumably higher organic content. We had a grouping 
of C. wendtii in there that we couldn't kill (even thought we tried a few 
times).  This was one of the plants we usually left planted during the trimming 
since it was usually tightly entwined in the UGF plate.  We would sometimes 
remove it completely only to have it grow back (from the roots apparently). It 
didn't seem to change with substrate conditions. 

> Are the H. corymbosa
> symptoms you watch for similar to the H. polysperma symptoms recently
> diagnosed by APDers as calcium deficiencies? 

Mishapen leaves?  No, they just didn't grow as fast. If you've ever seen our 
video, you noticed how large these plants got. The leaves would be smaller and 
the growth rate would be noticeably slower (they needed pruning once a month 
istead of every two weeks).  Please keep in mind this all happened a few years 
ago and my memory may not be 100% accurate.
> Do you need to go thru another 'run in period' after vacuuming?

No, things were back to "normal" immediately. 

There is more info about these observations in part 9 of the SST series in the 
Kirb archives.  They were written with all this fresh in my mind, so you might 
review that for more clarification. 

Also, I doubt is any of this is reproducible as a "method". The UGF tank was 
mostly an experiment in "lower tech" and we maintained it that more out of 
inertia than purpose.  When we redecorated three years ago, all our 
"experimental" tanks were converted to a common setup based on what we think 
produces the most consistent results. 

George Booth in Ft. Collins, Colorado (booth at frii_com)
Need Info?  http://www.frii.com/~booth/AquaticConcepts.htm