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Steve, stop confusing us!

Gosh, I'm getting dizzy! Steve P. recently advised a newbie:

>I suggest that you stop adding the trace nutrients in solution and
>supply them instead by the substrate.

In the very same issue of the APD, he said, to Dr. Morin:

>With a supply of pottery clay and osmocote, its fairly easy to make
>additions regularly! for several minerals, its simple to add them in
>solution and no real benefit to adding them in the substrate.

Come on Steve, make up your mind. Do nutrients belong in the water column or
in the substrate? Does it differ depending upon who you are speaking to?
Newbies hit the dirt, PhD's go for a swim?

In the same volume of the APD, Steve continued with Dr. Morin:

<Dr. Morin>
>> The iron in Flourite is different, it's
>> already in the material and in such high levels one really could do
>> away with iron supplementation (for some species) and be just fine...
>> i.e. the plants extract the iron directly from the Flourite through
>> their roots, none is released into the water column.

>That is my finding too; that with available substrate iron (i.e. clay)
>and with a little bit of peat, there is more than adequate iron for
>rooted plants and even for floating plants since the peat releases
>humins which act as natural chelating agents in the water.

Mmmm, I find this truly amazing. Steve, as far as I know has never used
Flourite. Are you making reference to the use of Flourite here Steve, or the
Micronized Iron you add to the soil you dig out of your back-yard?

I'm not questioning the HTBASS methodology, I've used it myself and it does
work. But it works well in the hands of a very experienced person. I have
never, even using a LaMotte low range Iron test kit, been able to measure
Iron in the water column of the tank I run using the HTBASS methodology.
Plants rooted in the substrate grow well, floating plants like water sprite
or riccia don't grow at all. Micronized Iron in the substrate, even with 10%
peat to help chelate nutrients, doesn't do squat for floating plants, at
least not in _my_ tank.

I'm basing my comments both on observation and on measured data. I regularly
test my water using a Lamotte Iron Test Kit. In the HTBASS tank, plant
growth is good, provided the plant is a rooted plant. I've never seen signs
of deficiency in rooted plants, but riccia just rots away in this tank. I
have NEVER been able to measure ANY iron in the water column.

Steve continues:

>Peat could be mixed with the clay and made into small pellets that could
>be mixed with the fired granules. The product needn't be homogeneous.

Mmmm, yes, I guess they could be. But why complicate your life? In my
Flourite based tank, which uses a 100% Flourite substrate, sans ANY peat,
but with regular additions of Flourish and Flourish Iron, I can grow rooted
plants and floating plants, and have never had a real problem with algae -
at least not since I learned to be stingy with the Flourish Iron (it's
powerful stuff).

Bottom line Steve, Flourite doesn't NEED peat, nor any other substrate
additive, to grow beautiful aquatic plants.

>I should think you'd want to do some analysis for Cu, Zn, Mn, B and Mo.

Steve, do you know the values for these nutrients in the sub-soil that YOU
use? Do you even USE test kits? I'm sorry if I sound snarky here, I really
don't mean to be, but in ALL of my conversations with you about the HTBASS
methodology (and I have them all archived), you never once mentioned any
analytical "testing" that you had done. Indeed, your aversion to water tests
is well known to the regulars on the APD.

James Purchase