where do plants eat? i.e., where should we feed them?
I did a little searching in the archives, but didn't see much on this idea, although I am sure it has been discussed to death, so feel free to redirect me to other threads or sources.
My idea is that there are certain things that plants have to get from the water where competition with algae can be an issue. Light, for sure. Probably CO2 as well. But what about other nutrients? Can they absorb everything else they need (nitrogens, iron, calcium, etc.) from their roots? If so, feeding them there, at the roots, would certainly tip the algae-competition in the favor of rooted plants. I have to assume that is one of the main ideas behind 'root tabs' (that and maybe a little laziness, as in they require less frequent tweaking than dosing the water). But what I'm thinking goes a little further.
What if we bring back the undergravel filter concept, not for encouraging flow through the gravel bed (down or reverse), but just around underneath it. It would be sort of a split level aquarium with most of the water in circulation above the gravel bed, but another pool circulating below it. Then we can dose the water down there and, while there will surely be some diffusion through the bed, many of the nutrients would remain down there and out of reach of the algae. You could access the undergravel pool in a couple different ways. One would be through something like the old riser tubes from the UGF, just make sure they rise above the water surface. Another would be to install a couple bulkhead fittings in the bottom of the tank, and then you could literally circulate/pump that water from one end to the other, maybe even with a sump tank (at the level of the water level in the main tank above so you don't drain the tank, LOL!) that you could easily test and dose for whatever nutrients. What do you think? Crazy? Waste of time? Let me have it. thanks!