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substrate depth

>Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 00:10:10 -0700 (MST)
>From: Michael D Nielsen <mnielsen at U_Arizona.EDU>
>Subject: Substrate depths
>After reading some posts about root bound, older setups, and daydreaming
>in class today I was wondering something.  
>Will a deeper substrate help slow down/negate the tendency for very dense
>root mats?  In nature the substrate is very deep and plants seem to do
>fine for millions of years with no one uprooting them.  Would a substrate
>thicker than about 4 inches help at all?  Somewhere in the 6-8 inch range

Ever notice how many people have the same plants, in years old culture
and some are big and some are small yet the environment is mostly the 
same ? Do we know why ?

Let me give you an example. About 2 (or 3) years ago I was given
two laceplant bulbs. They were both huge - about the size of golf balls.

I put one in a 40 with about 5 inches of sand, and one in s 10 with about
1/5" of gravel. Both had "enriched" substrates (manure and laterite

They had about the same amount of light. Both had plant tabs
stuck down into the roots about once a month. Water was about
the same.

The one in the 40 took over the tanks. The one in the 40 took
over the tank. Lookinf underneat, the roots cover about half the
bottom of the entire tank.

The one in the 10 filled about half the tank.

I also play with Bonsai, and if you want small plants with small
leaves, you limit root growth.

It's my opinion that without a decent amount of substrate, most
aquaruim plants are root bound - aqautic bonsai. YMMV.

Richard J. Sexton                                         richard at aquaria_net
Maitland House, Bannockburn, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1Y0       +1 (613) 473 1719