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Need Potted Plant Info

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by dean9922, May 12, 2009.

  1. dean9922

    dean9922 Junior Poster

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    Hi there. I have 2 bare bottm tanks (100 & 80 gallon) going for my discus and one 30 gallon with gravel substrate. I was wondering what is the best thing (substrate) to use in a clay pot or other growing device. Also, if you do put plants in the pots, will simple root tabs be sufficient for fertilizer or do you still have to add ferts in the water....I do not want to use a substrate in these 2 tanks and would like some solution to still be able to grow some plants, just to liven up the tanks.
    I should mention i also have a few plants (anubius) tied to suspended driftwood
    already but would like to add a bit for the bottom of tanks.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Mineralized soil is a good option or Worm castimngs that have been boiled for 10 minutes.

    Cap with 1" of sand and add plants like terrestrial systems.
    Repot every 6-12 months.

    Plants need nutrients, and soil a very easy, but plants need a fair amount of light and the main issue is CO2, there's just not much under water and the rate flowing from above is reduced by 10,000.

    That's why all the commercially grown aquatic plant farms grow the plants emergent.
    And it's also why we add CO2 to help the plants grow 1000-2500% faster/better.
    Nutrients and sediment are only part of this.

    Regards,
    tom barr
     
  3. dean9922

    dean9922 Junior Poster

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    thanks Tom...appreciate the advice. I am not quite ready to step up to a CO2 system yet....I just want to add a few potted plants at the bottom for some color and appeal along with adding some PDMM fertilizer mixture which i haven't quite decided yet. Am currently using Seacham products, but want to start making my own.
    That is why i wanted to know if plant tabs "in" the pots would eliminate the need for other ferts.....not sure.....
    anyway thanks a bunch, i really appreciate you (or anyone) getting back to me, as i am quite new to the plant thing......
    I am seeing now, however that CO2 would difinitely be the way to go if you go all out with plants. I am just looking at adding some anubius, amazons, crypts etc.
    thanks again
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It works like this: light drives CO2 uptake, which drives nuitrient uptake.

    as you can see, the issue is much less nutrients, which discus and other fish tend to supply plenty of............

    The bottle neck is CO2, not nutrients there.

    Now if you add more light, then you have a lot more CO2 demand. so many will say you have to add CO2 with higher light.

    Fair enough.

    However, in both cases, low or high, the bottle neck is still CO2...........you tend to must have it with higher light, that's the only difference, but it's easier to use and you get maybe 500-% or more growth with low light.

    Now if the CO2 is not good for the light/plant biomass, species chosen, then adding nutrients is likely going to make things worse, not better.

    So think of CO2 as a very very important nutrient that adding more makes a plant grow better.

    Like 2000% more.

    Adding ferts here or there will only result is a rather mild increase, since the bottle neck, or limiting factor is CO2.

    You might simply be more familiar with this due to terrestrial gardening, or fear CO2 for whatever reason..........., however, this is a submersed situation.

    It makes a huge difference and plays a key role in the balance and growth of plants. Some find the right mix of species and go a non CO2 method, this works and works well.

    But there is no question you cannot grow any and every species well with CO2.
    With low light, it's easier to use CO2 and dose also, since light drives demand.
    This reduces algae issues/potential as well.

    More light is not better, it's only more work.

    Poor usage of CO2 cause perhaps 95% of the algae issues you will read about, they like to blame PO4, NO3 etc, but I have them at very high levels and do not get algae.

    So those cannot possibly be the direct reasons.
    The CO2 is good and I can measure it via two different methods, visual and experience, and then a partial pressure of CO2 gas in solution.

    If you assume that it's PO4/NO3 and try and keep those down etc, they can end up limiting CO2 demand indirectly.

    So those folks think it's NO3/PO4, but then cannot explain why when other folks test this, they do not get algae.........

    So both cannot be true, so we reject the nutrients like PO4/NO3 and accept the alternative: CO2.

    CO2 can be tricky to measure and tweak.
    Nutrients are rather easy.

    My advice is to learn more about CO2, do not worry too much about nutrients.

    That will help.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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