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Hello fellow planties--

As the actual setup of another tank rapidly approaches, I'm starting to 
analyze how I'm going to dose the arcillite/1-2mm gravel substrate 
(arcillite mixed with gravel in bottom 1/3-1/2, topped with gravel upper 
1/2-2/3). At this point it seems like I have a few options: 

1) Leave the substrate as is, adding no ammendments of any kind. The 
arcillite should pick up iron and liquid aquatic plant fertilizer trace 
elements introduced to the water column and "hold" them until plant 
roots use them. 

2) Add a solid fertilizer of some sort, a type intended for terrestrial 
plant use (Jobe's, Osmocote, etc.) or aquatic plant use (Dupla, Tetra 
Helena, etc.) 

3) Here's the iffy one--use a liquid fertilizer to directly dose the 
arcillite as I lay down the arcillite/gravel substrate. In this case the 
fertilizer would be Kent Marine's Plant Micronutrient Supplement w/Iron, 
as I have a *ton* of this stuff sitting around (don't ask). My main 
concerns with this route are that I don't want to overdose the 
substrate, and am worried about the liquid entering the water column 
(during initial planting and possibly during later re-arrangement and 
plant removal, etc.). I don't have any clear idea as to how fast or how 
well arcillte will absorb any particular amount of aquatic plant liquid 
fertilizer. Additionally, I haven't any idea how much liquid fertilizer 
to use per pound of arcillite. Has anyone ever used liquid fertilizer in 
the substrate (with arcillite, kitty litter, etc.)?  Any suggestions you 
could offer?

Thanks in advance!

Erik Leung
San Francisco

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