[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Muddy thoughts

Olga Betts wrote:

>I wish to throw something out there for discussion. At a recent get
>together of fish and plant people the statement was made that aquatic
>plants should be given what they really grow in best and that was mud.

George wrote:

>I think all, er, most of us would agree that we get pretty darn good growth
>with the variety of substrates that we use, whether they be hideously
>Duplarit, dirt cheap kitty litter or anything in between. Assuming, of
>that other basic plant requirements like lighting and nutrients are met. For 
>those of us who are successful with plants I think the biggest problem is
>growth is *too* good, requiring more pruning than we would like. 

Olga knows my feelings on this subject, since the statement was made during
my talk in Seattle.  But I'll add my comments to Olga's and George's for
those on the list.  I mention in my talks that some people do use soil
substrates because that's a fact of life.  I even include photos of some
soil based tanks.   I'm not saying that no one has really beautiful tanks
with a soil substrate at large in a tank, but I haven't seen one yet.  The
two nicest soil substrate tanks I've seen have had all or almost all the
plants in pots. (and these two tanks are _very_ nice!)

I then go on to say that I personally _don't_ use soil substrates, and
after one experiment in that direction, have no intention of trying again.
Not that it is a dismal failure, but it's never been up to the standards of
my laterite substrate tanks.  It is soon to be replaced by a larger tank
anyway, and I'll return to the substrate system that has been fool proof
for me in many tanks over many years.

I _do_ occasionally use soil for some difficult plants, but I use it in
pots, just for those particular plants.  A little goes a long way.  As
George said, most of my plants do better in a "plain" laterite substrate
than I need them to do.<g>

I STRONGLY urge novice to stick to a commercial laterite substrate or one
of the other commercially available substrates. (I've seen very nice tanks
set up with the Sera substrate, and I'd love to see really nice tanks set
up with other commercial substrate additives)

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association