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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1442

Ivo wrote:

 All the rooted plants grow very well. But plants 
>that feed directly on water just survive: Java fern, Java fern tropica, 
>Java moss, bolbitis, all rooted in driftwood/lava. They don't die but don't 
>grow to much either. Actually their leaves don't grow much, but their fine, 
>filamentous, brownish roots that feed in the water do grow well. There are 
>specimens in both low and high light areas.

These grow like mad in this tank. They are attached to a cork backing with a
metal U shaped nail. I have a larger load of fish in here also
Light is 2 watts/gal FL's.

 I also keep the same plants in 
>a separate, fishless tank, rooted in driftwood and with strong water 
>circulation, fed by the same PMDD regimen with additional KNO3 and some 
>phosphorous, and they grow like crazy. This tank is low light, no CO2, as 
>oposed to the main tank with 3 watt/g and yeast CO2. Both tanks are almost
>2 - My Seachem iron test kit never measured any iron in the aquarium, despite 
>that it is capable of measuring low levels in a test solution made with the 
>same PMDD used in the tank. 

I did testing and tell folks to do it but I'm more an observationalist these
The red cabomba or N stricta "cherry leaf" is always very red in these RFUG
tanks. I tend to just keep an eye on the indicator plants and if all looks
well, no testing.
My crypts also do extremely well in this tank as does a total weed of a lace
The leaves are over 4 inches wide and about 24 inches at least in length.
This has happened before with lace plants in this tank several times now(I'm
starting to see a pattern!). 

>Both facts are consistent with the idea that the substrate is really capturing
>part of the nutrients and starving the water column. But only a controlled
>experiment could settle this, I guess.

Definitely a sump of sorts. Maybe the bacteria can act as an organic
conversion cycle without anything going into the water column at all. Much
has been done in regards to nitrifying and other NO2, NO3, bacteria but what
about those bacteria respondsible for the Fe and P and other trace/macro
nutrients? Fe reducers I'm aware  and a few
others.............................................................but in
this application(aquatic plants)?
I like the notion of a bio-substrate being a trap for nutrients. 
I divide substrates up in to 3 distinct types. No flow-osmosis only for
flow, low flow-your idea and heating cables etc, and high flow -RFUG's. All
work and have +'s and -'s. I have all three types and have had them for
several years. I think *beside* the extra stuff and equipment like a pump to
push water into it the RFUG's, they are very hard to beat.
I love the simplicity of just a single gravel such as Flourite only and some
old dirty mulm added to the bottom and nothing else. Maybe a little peat and
laterite for a start up. I'm doing this set up on some new tanks coming up
but also perhaps a RFUG too. 
>Nice pictures too ! What are the lights in pictures 45-52 ? They look
>very similar to track lighting I have in my basement.

Oh that's a whole other discussion! They are Quartz track lights(QTL's) 12v
GE color percise 50 watt bulbs. Cost about 45$ at Home Depot. These have
been running for 5 years. I've lost 2 bulbs over that time @ 12 Hrs a day. I
use to have the track attached to the wall and it looked better but I can
move the tank around if I want now. Neat lights for smaller tanks. You get
more light from FL's and other lights per watt but they have other
Tom Barr