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Re: Re: Freshwater Reefs (slightly off topic)

     I would say that you will have a very hard time finding plants that can
handle that setup. The aragonite will keep the pH and hardness of your water
very high. Also, you should read some of Albert Thiel's articles about plenums.
These things are extremely over-hyped and most likely do nothing for your tank.
I know of an aquarist who has been doing reefs for about 14 or 15 years (back
when live rock was an anomoly and not a staple), he has a thriving marine fish
and reef shop and he gets identical results to Mr. Goemans'(sp?) plenum tanks
utilizing three or four inches of live sand directly on the bottom. The key
to the success appears to be the organisms in the substrate, and the plenum
is nothing more than just take up  space that lets your corals be a couple inches
closer to the lights ;). I think your idea for using local substrate flora and
fauna will be a very interesting experiment, but I would encourage you to lose
the aragonite and limestone. There very well could be pathogenic creatures,
but you can select against those to an extent through careful medicating should
they appear. I say go for it and keep detailed notes on what you see. By a microscope
if you dont already have one though. You will want to identify the things that
show up.

>Date: Wed, 8 Sep 1999 16:20:50 -0500 
>From: Tom.Wood at ci_austin.tx.us
>Subject: Re: Freshwater Reefs
>Charley asked about biodiversity in a freshwater tank.  
>I have a 60 gallon that was almost started as a reef, then considered for an

>African Cichlid, and for various reasons ended up being a fancy goldfish
>tank.  In any case, it has a full plenum with a CaribSea Seaflor aragonite

>substrate and several pieces of limestone rockwork.  I've planted it in an

>attmept to have the plants export nutrients, but they don't do particularly

>well.  Surprisingly the swords grow slowly, while crypts, bacopa and
>hygrophilia just hang in there.  I recently added hornwort, still too soon

>to tell.  I've thought about going out to one of the local lakes and
>scooping up some sediment (it would be mostly limestone sand) in an effort

>to introduce some biodiversity into the tank substrate.  It's my
>understanding that plenums/sandbeds in reef tanks work as well as they do
>because of the lifeforms in the substrate.  I was hoping to achieve the same

>effect.  I hesitate because of concerns about introducing critters/pathogens

>that may attack the goldfish.  Which is a long of saying that I too would be

>interested in any thoughts/experience with this subject.

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