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Re: need feedback...

> I would like to gather suggestions/feedback on a
> substrate experimentation that I would like to 
> embark on. I am thinking of acquiring some pvc tubes
> to be used as potting container for several
> substrates I have in mind << Bobbitized >>

I've done this experiment in my pond.  The containers
I used were terra cotta pots with corks stuck into the
holes, and plastic milk jugs.  These were much cheaper
than buying a 10 foot section of PVC, the caps and the
glue.  I had four species of plants and used four
different potting media, for a total of 16
'observations.'  The results were interesting and I
think you should try it.

I discovered so much about one type of potting media
that I decided to use it for the two centerpiece
plants in my planted tank.  I used the smallest terra
cotta pots I could find.  I won't tell you what media
I used because I don't want to spoil your experiment.

I did not drill any holes in the containers, because I
was trying to see how the plants grew when their roots
were limited to a single source of nutrients.  The
tallest container I used contained nymphaea and
pondeteria.  They were 6 inches tall.  The shortest
container I used contained hydrocleys nymphoides
(water poppy) and hydrocotyle umbellata.  They were
2-1/2 inches tall.

The only reason you might want to add some gravel to
the bottom of the tank is aesthetic--hiding the pots
may give you a tank that looks good while it provides

If I am not mistaken, the largest 'standard' size of
PVC you can find in most places is 4 inch ID.  You
might be able to find other sizes in places that cater
to industry.  The 1/2 gallon milk jugs were free
(someone else drank the milk ;).

> is this too silly an idea or shld I just stick to 
> setting up different tanks with different substrate.

Absolutely not!  The level of difficulty involved in
setting up several tanks with identical conditions is
extremely high, and the situation would be compounded
by the effort needed to test and maintain identical
conditions.  In a single tank, all plants would be
grown under the same lighting and water chemistry
conditions.  The only variables in your experiment
would be the substrate in the containers and the
individual size and health of the plants.  I think the
approach that will serve you best is the one you're
already using.

My only regret is that I did not take any pictures to
demonstrate the results.

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