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Re: slow UGF

James Purchase wrote:

> > From: IDMiamiBob at aol_com
> > Subject: Re: Slow UGF
> << Snip >>
> > But I'm told by all, or at least most, of the experts on this
> > list that to get
> > the nutrients to the substrate exchnge sites I need substrate
> > current such as
> > provided by those very spendy, and IMHO, very risky heating cables.
> I think that you must be receiving a different list from the one that I get.
> There are a few people here who recommend heating cables but I don't ever
> recall anybody saying that they were a necessitiy. Even George Booth, in
> articles on his tanks, has said that there are things which are far more
> important (like adequate CO2) than substrate heating. And for what its
> worth, the risky cables are the ones you'd put together yourself, not
> generally the ones your would buy from a company like Dupla.

I think you missed the key "such as" phrase.  The posted comment was
about substrate circulation, not just about heater cables.

> > One
> > thing I have
> > decided for sure is I don't want to get this really great looking tank
> > running, and then just as it is perfect, rip it down and replace
> > the expended
> > substrate, or start sticking little clay balls in it everywhere to keep it
> > going.
> Just a second here - this list is for aquatic GARDENERS, emphasis mine and
> intended. No aquarium, I don't care how it is set up initially and how much
> money you throw at it in the way of technology, is going to last
> indefinately without doing a little bit of fertilizing, both of the water
> AND of the substrate. Putting "little clay balls" in the substrate a year or
> two after a tank is set up is not much of a hardship. You wouldn't expect a
> rose bush in your back yard to thrive and bloom year after year without
> amending the soil every year. If a tank looks good and everything is growing
> well, you obviously are doing something right but if after a long period of
> good growth there is a general decline in plant growth, using something like
> jobe's sticks or home-made clay balls is a lot easier than a complete tear
> down and re-set. The only setup I can think of which would not require
> periodic attention like this would be one with plastic plants and plastic
> fish.

I think that here we may have hit one of those points were we may have to
agree to disagree.  There seems to be a division between people who want
to maintain an aquarium over long periods without major maintenance or
renovation and people who are willing to supplement and rework their
substrate on a relatively frequent basis.

Personally, I'm in the group that wants my substrate to remain functional
indefinitely, and the less stuff I have to add to the substrate to
make it so, the better.  A mild current in the substrate - whether it is
from heating cables or some other device - seems to be one way to do

For the record, I fertilized my roses this spring for the first time in 9
years, and careful maintenance has allowed my lawn to go fertilizer,
pesticide, herbicide and fungicide free for 10 years while providing a
safe and green playground for my three kids and a couple dozen or so of
the neighborhood scamps. It took a lot of learning, and I think a lot of
skill as a GARDENER to let that happen.  I strive for similar success in
my aquariums.

Roger Miller