[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #186

At 03:48 PM 4/6/98 -0400, you wrote:
Subject: Peat substrates
>Is there anyone else on the APD with peat experiences to relate (good or

I have one peat based tank set up specifically for Cryptocoryne affinis.
The tank was set up by laying peat plates on the bottom, then sprinkling
these with laterite.  This was then covered with 1mm gravel.  to a depth of
about 3".  

I did it this way because the mat of Crypts I received had been grown in
peat plates and had obviously been thriving.  Since C. affinis can be
touchy, I didn't want to change things any more than necessary.

The tank has been set up that way for about 5 years now.  For about the
first 18 months, the peat kept the pH in the tank down around 7. (normal pH
without Co2 for my tap water is about 8.5)  After that it slowly rose back
up and I had to start using supplemental CO2 to keep any stem plants alive
in the tank.  

Crypts do quite well in this tank, and the C. affinis had made a nice
carpet across the front of the tank.  Then I made the mistake of removing a
few affinis for a friend last fall.  All winter, the C. affinis "grew
down".  I can't say they really melted, because it wasn't as dramatic as
that.  But Over a long period of time the stand almost disappeared.  Now,
finally, they seem to be on the come back.

I have some Anubias barteri var. nana in this tank, and that does quite
well, and a buch of Rotala rotundifolia that does pretty well as long as I
keep remembering to recharge the yeast reactor. This is a fairly low light
tank, so I don't keep much else in it.


Subject: Cycled Tank Definition

>OK - so a buddy and I were discussing tank cycling and we discovered that
>the term is not well defined.  So, in response to our find, I would like to
>pose the question to the group.  This question is valid because it does
>involve plants as a viable option in the answer.
>What is the definition of a cycled tank?

In general, when "cycling" is discussed in aquarium literature, it is in
regards to the nitrogen cycle. (which, of course, in a non-planted tank
isn't really a cycle at all)  It is generally accepted to consist of
waiting out the period of time between pristine tap water, followed by a
ammonia/um spike followed by a nitrite spike before ammonia/um and nitrite
fall to unmeasurable levels and nitrate begins to rise.

>        -Is a cycled tank one that has just been set-up, new water, but
>contains a sponge from a cycled tank?

It could be, if the sponge contained enough bacteria to carry the bioload
in the new tank with no measurable ammonia/um or nitrite spikes.

>        -Does a cycling tank _need_ plants, do they help the process be
>completed faster, are there disadvantages to cycling with plants?

In my experience, if a tank is set up with good conditions for plant
growth, and is fully planted from the outset, there is _no_ traditional
"cycling".  You won't be able to measure an ammonia/um spike, nor a nitrite
spike.  Nor will the nitrate level begin to rise.  This is because if you
do it right, and don't stock your tank too heavily, the plants will
outcompete the bacteria for available ammonium.  Even if your plan is to
stock the tank more heavily, as long as you do it slowly, you'll avoid all
but the building of nitrate.
Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association