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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1332

>When opting for No flow/osmosis method, what is your 'dirt'
>combo/layering preference?  From what you mentioned, anaerobic spots can
>be reduced by using less soil... is that garden soil (from the nursery)
>you're referring to??.  

I added way too much soil way back when........not enough plants, etc. Yes,
garden soil.
I like old mulm from a nice established tank. Sand(2-3 mm) and laterite
works great. Peat can added too. I think I'm going to try
Flourite+laterite(normal amount recommended)+peat(5% or less) next time.
I'll add the peat and laterite on the very bottom and add say 2-4 inches of
Flourite on top of this.
>>    Doing a RFUG:
>> I could inject the tank with fresh laterite yearly by pushing it into the
>> RFUG slowly. This way you wouldn't even have to touch the gravel to
>> fertilize. Just pour it down into the RFUG grid/manifold/spraybar and it's
>> all over the roots.
>When you said 'pour laterite', I assume the laterite (eg. Duplarit G) is
>mixed into a slurry and poured down the uplift tube... doesn't the
>laterite flow past or clog the substrate level??  I understand the
>particles from laterite is quite fine and tends to cloud up the water
>when disturbed.
The slurry is slowly added. Then the pump is reattached and turned back on.
I use Theil's laterite and have no experience with Dupla's dust which I hear
is very hard to get to clear up with no flow at all. It cost a bunch too.
Sorry, but I was in that anti-Dupla reactionary backlash<g>! Karl
Shroder's(sp?) has some good laterite. I've never had it clog the substrate
from the bottom up ever(over 7 years on the longest running tank, 3 with
Karl's)...........nor the Theil stuff. Some blow out will happen but less
than I thought would when I did it. My gravel was deep too(5 inches). Roots
will hold the gravel in place well also and use the mulm and laterite there
so it won't last for long even if you clogged it. Poking chop sticks around
will losen the sand up also if you suspect any thing might be turning septic
or being clogged. I have never had any problems clogging or any problem with
RFUG's for that matter. My crypts are doing great in the RFUG as did the
swords I use to keep. Anubias roots do well and Aponogeton Lace plants love
it also. Just plain sand and some laterite to start or/and old mulm from
another established tank. 

>> My advice if you wish to do RFUG's: Make your own out of CPVC or PVC. It'll
>> cost you far less and allows greater depth penetration and less root
>> tangling.
>I'm interested in the on 'depth penetration' bit... please elaborate and
>do you have any design suggestion for PVC based manifolds to ensure even
>distribution of nutrient (eg. PMDD)?  A dear friend offered the
>following design;
> X O +-+ +-+ A-A +-+ +-+ O X   O = Lift-tubes
> X | | | | | | | | | | | | X       (both openings above water level)
> X | | | | | | | | | | | | X   | = PVC pipes with holes
> X | | | | | | | | | | | | X   + = PVC elbows
> X | | | | | | | | | | | | X   A = PVC down tubes
> X | | | | | | | | | | | | X
> X +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-+ X
It appears that this should be OK. Regarding depth penetration: There is no
plate to raise the level of the gravel up. The tubes rest on the very bottom
glass. The roots can therefore grow all the way down to the bottom of the
glass and around the tubes, unlike the plate designs.
A good picture is in Rataj/horemanni Aquarium Plants pg 15 for an old
picture of what this looks like. I just use one tube to push the water down
into the gravel to the grid. There are no return tubes, just small holes on
the bottom of the manifold that let the water out and up through the gravel.
There are many ways to make the grid. 

x                     +-+-0  x  
x                     I I  I X
x                     I I  I x
x                 ETC.I I  I x 
                      Terminal ends  
With each terminal end capped. Remember that the pressure will reduce as you
get further away from your pumping source inflow due to the water pushing
out of the holes lowering the pressure further out. I drill 1/16 or so holes
about 2-3 inches apart and 3-4 inches apart near the inflow. 
>He was of the opinion (hypothetically speaking) that nutrient could be
>fed down the PVC down-tubes (A) with a reduced flow from a T and
>hopefully, nutrients could be distributed evenly.  Given a moderate flow
>rate, water will pass thru the pipes without coming out from the uplift
>tubes.  Any comments? ... spacing between pipes, flow rate, etc...  It's
>a bit early, but I'm planning this for a future 60x30x30inch tank.

This is a good idea but lacks pressure but can be easily taken care of by
back flushing the uplift tubes if anything clogs. You don't want this to
happen though......then it's too late. The higher pressures force out the
slurry into the reduction zones away from the aerobic outflow areas. The
shape is a half egg shape area of aerobic activity around the small hole on
the bottom of your grid. The rest of your area is reduction zones. Check out
Tunze's Bio-irragators for some Theory if you wish. I found it after I
stumbled upon this RFUG quite by luck. 
Simple is good.
     On this Big *ss tank do the no flow idea would be my advice. Add less,
rather than more,kitty litter, soil and peat etc. Do the recommended amounts
of laterite if you wish too. Use flourite as your base or
profile/turface/2-3mm sand etc. One less thing to mess with and worry about
and plug in,build and, and, and, ............ they all work so.........

I think the best thing that can be said about RFUG's for plant tanks that
make them any better than another is: They allow for higher fish loads than
other methods I've played with.
This was the original function I had in mind (not plants) when I started
playing with them in the first place. I added a large sword plant to a 100
gallon that had a RFUG and it grew and I had a hellva time removing the
plant after 4 months. I knew I was on to something from there on. 
Do the no flow method IMO on this tank. Do big water changes also. Forget
about the RFUG for this big tank. Works better on smaller tanks with high
fish loads. We did do a pond with and it did great though.

Tom Barr