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Articles from Jason King

  1. Oxygen in the Planted Aquarium - Volume 2, Issue 2 - February 2006

    While many may not consider oxygen a nutrient, its role is often overlooked in planted aquariums. While terrestrial systems are seldom ever limited by oxygen, water greatly reduces the diffusion of O2 into the aquatic environment. Fick’s first law of diffusion illustrates this change and predicts the rate of flux of O2:
  2. Magnesium’s role in aquatic macrophyte nutrition - Volume 1, Issue 12 - December 2005

    Magnesium was shown to be an essential nutrient for plant growth in 1839 by Carl Sprengel. Magnesium is absorbed by plants as the divalent cation Mg²+ from the soil pore water and in the case of aquatic macrophytes through their leaves from the water column. Like calcium, magnesium reaches plant roots by mass flow and diffusion. Root interception contributes much less to Mg²+ uptake than Ca+. The quantity of Mg²+ taking up by plants is usually less than Ca²+ or K+. Magnesium in the...
  3. Methods to supply nutrients to aquatic plants - Volume 2, Issue 8 - August 2006

    Previous reports have addressed various nutrients and their roles in plant uptake, metabolism, enzymatic adaptations, physiology and cycling. This month’s article will address two main methods for supplying nutrients to submersed aquatic macrophytes: the substrate and the water column. These two locations have been hotly debated over the last 20 years and very intensely since the advent of PMDD(Poor Man’s dosing Drops, or some referred to them as Poor Man’s Dupla Drops) back around...
  4. Mineral Nutrition (Part 2) - Volume 1, Issue 8 - August 2005

    Provided below are sets of tables and some further discussion in terms of Nitrogen and Phosphorus ratios found in aquatic plants. The purpose is to show the variation that occurs and how far off the overly used reference the Redfield ratio is in terms of error in assuming that marine phytoplankton and SAM’s are similar. This data supports the observations seen in planted aquariums to a large degree, showing that SAMs(submersed aquatic macrophytesthis includes plants and large algae such as...
  5. Diatoms (Bacillariophyta) and Aquatic Macrophytes - Volume 3, Issue 4

    Introduction Diatoms rarely become nuisances in freshwater planted aquariums or marine planted systems. They are generally present at noxious levels in newly set up aquariums as brown films typically on the glass walls. At very intense light levels (e.g. full sunlight), they may slough off leaves and form a layer on the substrate where current is reduced. Most solutions involved cleaning them off glass and/or adding Otocinculus catfish that appear to relish these algae. Generally the diatom...
  6. Iron and Manganese’s Role in Aquatic Macrophytes - Volume 2, Issue 4 - April 2006

    Baron Justus von Liebig in the mid 19th century showed that iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) are essential trace metals required for plant growth. Many of the first fertilizer products for aquatic plants where iron additives (Kordon, Dupla, Tetra, Jungle). Laterite substrate amendments and liquid ETDA iron supplements where very common in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Some evolution in iron fertilization occurred in the last several years with several companies offering gluconate complex iron and DTPH...
  7. An Analysis of Sediments - Volume 3, Issue 6

    Introduction An Analysis of Sediments, Growth and Water Column Nutrient Concentration Breakdown ADA Product Line and other sediments, Part 1. Cosumnes reserve, CA Preface: The next three Barr Reports will be in depth studies and analysis of Aqua Design Amano’s product line and a sediment test using several commercial and collected sediments.
  8. ADA Aqua Soil™ and Power Sand™ Analysis - Volume 5, Issue 1

    Introduction Most aquarists only test the water column for nutrients for aquatic planted aquariums. Rarely, (if ever) do we look at testing the other half of the sources of nutrients for root submersed macrophytes, the sedi-ment. This is not surprising as the hobby lacks a reasonably priced, commercially available, hobby test kit/s specifically for sediment analy-sis. By comparing various sediment types, their components from natu-ral systems, and looking at a commercial brand and the same...
  9. Potassium dynamics in Aquatic Macrophytes - Volume 1, Issue 9 - September 2005

    Introduction Potassium (K+) is the third major essential plant nutrient along with Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) and often fertilizers list the amounts of these three main nutrients on the bags as NPK ratios. Its importance in plant growth and development has been known for over 150 years (Liebig, 1840). The letter K, used to symbolize potassium, comes from the German word kalium. During Colonial times, people burned wood and other organic matter in pots to manufacture soap. The ashes were...
  10. Dissolved, Particulate and Microbial Biomass Organic Carbon - Volume 1, Issue 5 - May 2005

    Introduction Callitriches and Cabomba in a fast flowing stream in central California. Summary • Carbon cycled reviewed • What are POC, MBC and DOC? • Can bacteria be organic carbon limited? • Carbon accumulation in the aquarium • Sources and roles of DOC/POC/MBC • Types of Organic matter
  11. Nitrogen Cycling in Planted Aquariums - Volume 1, Issue 6 - June 2005

    Introduction Nitrogen plays perhaps the next largest role in submersed aquatic plant health and growth after light and Carbon. Nitrogen is important as a macro nutrient for plant growth. Generally limiting phosphate (PO4-3) will not slow growth, whereas nitrogen limitation will limit growth, but as we shall see, the two are related and can drive the other’s uptake rate. Nitrogen is essential for the formation of amino acids and the purine and pyrimidine bases, and consequently for protein...
  12. Phosphorus’ Role in Aquatic Macrophyte Horticulture - Volume 2, Issue 1 - January 2006

    Introduction Phosphorus is perhaps one of the most contentious elements in aquatic biology. It has numerous forms and this has caused some confusion. The main two components are inorganic and organic phosphorus. Inorganic forms can come from many sources: AlPO4·2H2O(Variscite), FePO4(Strengite) in acidic conditions, a host of various compounds in alkaline conditions: Ca(H2PO4)2, CaHPO4·2H2O, Ca8(H2PO4)6, Ca3 (PO4)2, Ca5(PO4)3OH, Ca5(PO4)3F. Many aquarist rely on KH2PO4 (monobasic potassium...
  13. Enzymes and Submersed Aquatic Macrophytes - Volume 1, Issue 2 - February 2005

    Introduction Enzymes are proteins (Most are proteins with an exception of a small group of catalytic RNA molecules (Lehninger 2005)). Like other proteins, enzymes consist of long chains of amino acids held together by peptide bonds. These proteins are produce linearly. They sponteanously form into their specific three dimensional shape (this arrangement is referred to as the “conformation”) as they are being synthesized by Ribosomes.
  14. Dissolved Inorganic Carbon (DIC) - Volume 1, Issue 4 - April 2005

    Introduction Carbon is required for life on Earth, including life in aquatic ecosystems (Rheinheimer 1992). All living organisms need carbon as a food source. The importance of carbon cycling is that the processes involved form important links between the abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) components of the aquatic ecosystem (or any ecosystem). This is in large part due to the ability of carbon to form strong bonds to other non-metals such as hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur and the...
  15. Analysis of Liquid Fertilizers: the ADA Brighty Series™

    Introduction This month’s Barr Report test and measures the concentrations of various nutrients in Aqua Design Amano’s product line. Nutrient concentrations are not reported for the ADA line of fertilizers. By testing the concentration levels for each nutrient, aquarist can design and make nutrient solutions that are similar.
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