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Re: plant selection, setup, and planting schedule

Robert Paul H wrote:

> >>For substrate, I will plant the nutrient-hungry species in individual or
> group pots of a homemade potting mixture that has worked well in the past.
> Would you suggest I add laterite to the mixture?<<
> Depends on whats in this home brew. Most potting soil and commercial
> fertilizers are going to be fairly high in nitrogen and probably contain
> some minerals as well as organics. The laterite would mostly give you a
> source of iron and CEC, which the potting soil may already provide. By
> nutrient hungry species do you mean heavy root feeders like Echinodorus, or
> fast growing stem plants that need more light and more nutrients?

The mix is peat moss, top soil, charcoal, and aquarium gravel.  I was considering
adding something like laterite (preferably a cheaper substitute), but I've been
told that the iron in the soil should be enough.  I was hoping that the gravel and
charcoal would provide CEC.  By nutrient-hungry I mean Echinodrus, but I would aslo
use this for just about anything that can draw nutrients from the roots.  I was
planning on using it for Crypts also, for example.  I wasn't planning on using the
pots for the Anacharis.  What plants would you suggest I not use the mixture and
simple plant directly in the gravel?


I read the article and it helped alot.  Perhaps I should also address the question
to Paul and see what he thinks?

> BTW, a frind of mine, Paul Grahm wrote an article for my WEB site last year,
> Aquatic Plants in Moveable Pots


Tom Barr wrote:

Would Iron in the substrate be able to get to plants that aren't planted in the
pots (ie Java fern, Anubias, etc.)

> You will have iron in the soil right? Iron in the soil would be
> better. Algae cannot get at it since they have no roots. You
> also don't have a CO2 system nor want/have lots of light so a
> low lech approach would be better and less maintenence for you.
> Peat added to the bottom of the gravel may help you immensely.


I've read about this and I was wondering, would softer water help other plants to
extract nutrients, would it give me an algae bloom, or will it upset the CO2,
carbonate, pH equilibrium dynamic and wreak some kind of havoc (which i'm not sure
what exactly that havoc is)?

> Egeria densa (Elodea or Anacharis)
> Vallisneria spiralis "Tiger"
> - ------------------------------
> They will soften your water lowering your KH if they don't get
> enough CO2 which is likely in your.
> - ---------------------------------


I agree with that... I want to only use one floating plant, I just can't seem to
decide which would work best with my setup and still not suffocate the rest of the

>  A bunch of different
> floating plants looks BAD in any tank IMO. Pick a few(two or
> three at most)

I must say, after years of breeding fish, I never really thought a planted tank
could be as exciting as it is turning out to be.  Thanks for everyone's help.