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Re: RE:roots

>If I understand you correctly, the C.parva & bekettii are also in the
>same plain gravel setup with the flowering C.blassii, and using RUGF...
>yes?  I'm contemplating the idea of a nutrient manifold following the
>idea from David Webb at;
>It would be logical if a slow flow from the fertilized water column (as
>in a reduced RUGF or from a 'T' from the canister's output) could be
>channeled to the sub-substrate manifold allowing nutrient absorption
>from both roots and foliage.  That way, it does away with substrate
>additives/fertilizers and the worry of them leaching excess nutrients
>into and over-fertlizing the water column.  Any comments?

I have a system like that in my 46 gal, the difference being that I use
a UGF plate instead of undergravel tubing. I add my daily PMDD mix into
the intake tube of the system, not in the water column, so it has time 
to first leach thru the substrate and be adsorbed by the vermiculite and
laterite in there before going into the water column. The flow rate is 
about 10-40 gal/day, depending on how much clogged by bacterial film is 
the drip irrigation valve I use to control the flow (from a T diverter 
from the canister output). I never used any substrate fertilizer except 
the initial laterite and vermiculite, and a couple weeks ago when I planted 
a baby ozelot sword and shoved a single Jobe's stick under it.

The only problem with this setup is that I have nothing to compare with, 
so I can't tell how good or bad it is, or if it makes any difference in
comparison with a "regular" tank. The tank was heavily stocked with fish
from day one, and heavily planted with algae-infested plants, including
BGA. It went thru the usual algae-dominated phase in the first months 
(only hair and brush types, never a hint of green or cloudy water). The 
BGA died by itself in the first month or so. It's 8 months old now and 
algae-free except for some green spot algae. As for plant growth, it has
been always phenomenal, except for java fern and java moss. They survive
and even grow slowly, but do not thrive like everything else (there are
18 plant species in there). It might be that the system is after all being 
of some efficiency in keeping the water column low in nutrients. Another 
hint is that I could never measure iron in this tank except in the first 
couple of weeks (leaching from laterite, I guess).

I also would love to hear from anyone else that has experimented with
the idea of substrate circulation.

-Ivo Busko
 Baltimore, MD