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I wish to throw something out there for discussion. At a recent get
together of fish and plant people the statement was made that aquatic
plants should be given what they really grow in best and that was mud.
Being someone with no scientific background (unless you count highschool
chemistry and biology) I can see that this is true. The bottoms of lakes
and rivers are generally just that -- mud. And wild plants grow in it.
However, common sense tells me that an aquarium, no matter how big, is a
far cry from a river or lake...or even a pond. It is a completely closed
ecosystem acted upon by only a fraction of the organizims and conditions
that affect the river,lake or pond. No leaves, branches, bugs or rain falls
in it. The only currents it has are steady consistent ones. People, dogs,
cows and critters of the forest don't paddle in it, drink it, poop or pee
in it. (Though a few cats might drink from it. <g>) The temperature doesn't
fluctuate much. Mostly it gets a fraction of the light the sun would give
it. And it is unlikely to have several fish packed into each square foot.
So, sitting here with my non-scientific background, I say to myself...wild
plants grow in mud...true...but given that our plants are not in the wild
in that huge all inclusive ecosystem out there...is it better to have them
in mud? Or does a small, enclosed ecosystem work better with something
less, shall we say, "real"? Can you really carry moonbeams home in a jar?
Pondering the secrets of the universe here in sunny Vancouver