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Substrate Longevity

MiamiBob writes:

>Karen, I was under the impression that you are one of those who ocassionally
>inserts little clay balls of fertilizer into the substrate.  Please
correct me
>if I'm wrong.  Doesn't this imply that you are "recharging" the substrate?
>This seems to imply that your substrates lose their nutrient value.

No, I have never used clay "balls" of any sort.  I have occasionally added
jobes sticks in the past, but the purpose for that was to alleviate
nitrogen shortages, something that is not going to be fixed by heating
cables or any other part of the Dupla system.  If you keep fewer fish than
will supply your plants with nitrogen, and you are not using a nitrogen
bearing substrate, you will have to add it.  If you don't have nitrogen in
the water column, cables or no, it can't be drawn into the substrate.

Actually, since then, I've gotten braver, and have found that I can add
KNO3 directly to the water column without fear of algae problems.  (BUT for
the newbies on the list, I AM _NOT_ advocating doing this until you know
your tanks _very_ well, are able to operate a system without "problem"
algae, and are _SURE_ that your plant are nitrogen deficient)

George's tanks seem not to become nitrogen deficient, but Geoge also keeps
more fish than I do.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association