Adding fungus to stimulate Plant growth
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Plants


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-07-2008, 05:09 PM   #1
erthlng
Algae Grower
 
erthlng's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 135
Default

Adding fungus to stimulate Plant growth


While reading Diana Walstad's book "Ecology of the planted aquarium" I came across a reference to symbiotic Fungi that work in the roots of aquatic plants to supply more nutrients and carbon retention. The fungi she mentioned is called mycorrhiza.

I found out that this particular fungus is now available in a plant supplement called BioVam which is introduced at the roots during planting.
See: http://www.tandjenterprises.com/#BioVam%20Products

I'm thinking of trying some with HC and hair grass in an emersed experimental setup so that I can get the fungi established. The company that packages the fungi suggested giving it 30 days to get into the root system of the plants. Once it's established in the roots and the substrate, I'll fill the tank and any new plants that are brought in should benefit as well.

Has anyone tried this out before?
erthlng is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-07-2008, 06:03 PM   #2
uvafred13
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Yorktown VA
Posts: 130
Default

I haven't heard of doing anything like this before, but would be interested to see how it turns out. Good luck if you pursue this experiment!
uvafred13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2008, 06:23 PM   #3
isu712
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 382
Default

I would be careful with that. I remember from my undergraduate biology days (a few years ago) that there was uncertainty about mychorizae and its symbiotic relationship. There were some biologist that were actually starting to think that it is slightly parasitic. Which would mean that the fungus would be opportunistic and overtake the plant if it was able. If I remember correctly the relationship typically occurs in larger plant species such as a tree, but to be honest I don't recall that it doesn't occur in aquatic plants, so it's certainly possible. Putting those two things together, the small stature of the plants you're referring to and the uncertainty about the relationship, you could end up with a result you don't want.

On a side note though, I would like to see what would happen. If you do decide to try it be sure to provide plenty of organic matter for the fungus to feed off of. Also, I don't know if HC and hair grass are heavy root feeders or not. If they are not, I would say try it with a different species that is a heavy root feeder because that is what the relationship has evolved to do.
isu712 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2008, 06:37 PM   #4
Gezza
Algae Grower
 
Gezza's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 26
Send a message via MSN to Gezza
Default

We have just done about mychorriza in biology, we did an experiment with aquatic plants, intorducing the fungi to their cycle. The plants grew exceedingly well. If you could get hold of some, I would sincerely recommend it.
__________________
X~xGezx~X
Gezza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
erthlng
Algae Grower
 
erthlng's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 135
Default

Isu712,
I'm go to keep it on a small scale and test things out, but While reading up on this, I found this study. http://jxb.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co...ll/51/352/1931
Which showed some fairly interesting results.

---

Gezza,
How was the mycorrhiza introduced to the plants, was it added to the water or the substrate?

---

In my Google research I found a report where 14 out of 16 wild aquatic plants sampled in a study done in India had mycorrhiza in their root system, so it does occur naturally and appears to be being used by commercial organic farmers now as well. I'm just not finding a lot of info related to use in planted tanks.

I'll buy a 1/2 cup of the spores and do a side by side test with plants in two small test tanks. When I have some info, I'll post it.

Anyone else have info on mycorrhiza they can share?
erthlng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 03:54 PM   #6
erthlng
Algae Grower
 
erthlng's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 135
Default

It's been about 2 weeks since I started this experiment with mycorrhiza

In the first week, the HC with the fungi was growing at about the same rate as the HC without, but recently I'm seeing more growth in the container with the fungi. It is getting thicker and seems to be pushing out more runners as well.

At this point in the experiment, the dwarf hairgrass is not showing any difference in growth between the two containers.

Both containers are emersed growth with 12 hours of light. The substrate is a combination of the "house brand" from aquariumplants.com and scotts potting soil with no ferts. Both containers are misted 3-4 times a day with water only. In the past, this combination has worked quite well for me, producing healthy plants with rapid growth.

I'll post more as things progress.
erthlng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2008, 06:05 PM   #7
lauraleellbp
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,146
Default

Pics would be cool, too, if you're able?
__________________
Tampa Bay Aquarium Society - Next meeting Monday, August 11, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

lauraleellbp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2008, 03:42 PM   #8
erthlng
Algae Grower
 
erthlng's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 135
Default

This photo was taken on 4-9-08. Both dishes (emersed growth) were originally planted on 3-21-08. Both dishes have the exact same substrate and water and light schedule. Note the runners in the left dish that have pushed out onto the white plastic. Also the left dish HC growth appears to be thicker than the growth in the right. While taking this photo I noted that several runners from the dwarf hair grass are now popping up through the HC in the left dish. this is not the case with the right dish.

erthlng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2008, 04:58 PM   #9
lauraleellbp
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,146
Default

Very cool!

Have you thought about entering this thread into the competition for a free TPT membership? Thread's in the Lounge...
__________________
Tampa Bay Aquarium Society - Next meeting Monday, August 11, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!

lauraleellbp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2008, 06:21 PM   #10
erthlng
Algae Grower
 
erthlng's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 135
Default

lauraleellbp,

I've already got an entry for a DIY Nano tank canister filter. I'll ask Buck if he would like to point to this thread as well.

Thanks,
Phil
erthlng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 04:36 AM   #11
erthlng
Algae Grower
 
erthlng's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 135
Default

Another update on the Fungi & aquatic plants experiment.

The last photo was taken on 4/9/08. Here is an updated photo from 4/13/08. The dwarf hairgrass has suddenly started popping up in the middle of the patch of HC that is next to it and it's growing rapidly. This is not occurring in the dish without the fungi.

If you compare the difference between the photo taken on the 9th and the photo taken on the 13th, the container with the fungi is showing more growth around the edges of the HC. What the photos don't show well is the depth of the HC growth. It appears to be much thicker growth in the planter with the fungi.

For the first two weeks of growth, this experiment was a dead heat. Then the growth in the fungi planter seems to have started to accelerate. What may be happening is that the fungi has matured to the point where it is now benefiting the plants that it is hosting with.

erthlng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 06:45 AM   #12
plantbrain
Planted Tank Guru
 
plantbrain's Avatar
 
PTrader: (255/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The swamp
Posts: 13,246
Default

That pic does not look that much different.
And you have a replication of 1 for each treatment.
Might toss a coin instead.

I've grown many containers full of HC(see the Dry start method).
The variation you see is easily due to the growth differences, planting differences, water content of the sediments, ADA variations (perhaps other things no one has considered) alone. Dry weights work better, total plant biomass, not just above grown. I've gotten similar differences and had no fungi added.

Fungi in aquatic systems are radically different and face many different challenges submersed than terrestrial fungi.

You cannot use a culture from some bottle and expect it to work.
You need to go to the wetland and get it there.
I've found a few species of fungi on aquarium plants, notably on Bolbitus.
There's little known about most aquatic fungi in general.

However, do not fall for the terrestrial = aquatic ecosystem.
Many things are quite different, and notably bacteria and fungi, as well as the amounts of O2/CO2.

Run a few more pots and try to make sure things are as similar as you can(4-5 of each ought to do). Also, try using some mulm from your tank and see what you get with that treatment.

Regards,
Tom Barr
__________________
Regards,
Tom Barr
plantbrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2008, 05:14 PM   #13
erthlng
Algae Grower
 
erthlng's Avatar
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Garden City, NY
Posts: 135
Default

Tom,

Thanks for your input. I've addressed your comments below....


Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
That pic does not look that much different.
And you have a replication of 1 for each treatment.
Might toss a coin instead.
It's quite true that I only have this one sample, but there is a significant different in the growth, primarily the depth of the HC which does not show up well in a 2d photo. Also if you look along the right side of the dish, the runners have pushed out quite a bit, this is occurring elsewhere in the fungi sample, but the contrast between the dark green and the background soil does not make it as evident as the white plastic of this pot.

Quote:
I've grown many containers full of HC(see the Dry start method).
The variation you see is easily due to the growth differences, planting differences, water content of the sediments, ADA variations (perhaps other things no one has considered) alone. Dry weights work better, total plant biomass, not just above grown. I've gotten similar differences and had no fungi added.
I tried to reduce those possible variations by:

1. I took one batch of mixed potting soil and split it in half.
2. Only water is being used, no additional ferts. both are watered at the exact same time, with the same amount.
3. The two pots are sitting next to each other in a terrarium. Both are getting 12 hours of light from the same artificial source.
4. The HC and the dwarf hairgrass (DHG) being used in each container came from the same starter pots.

It's interesting to note that there was really little difference in growth for the first 2 weeks. Then I started to see more runners in the HC with fungi plus the growth was getting thicker. Also the dwarf hairgrass was doing very little in the first two weeks, now I've got it popping up all over the place in the dish with fungi. It's coming up right through the HC growth. This is not happening in the dish that does not contain the fungi. If the fungi is responsible, the difference in the growth between the two pots may become more evident as the fungi become more established in the root system.

Quote:
Fungi in aquatic systems are radically different and face many different challenges submersed than terrestrial fungi.
Very true and this experiment is not with submerged plants so once they are submerged, the fungi may react quite differently, but from my reading online (Google: mychorizae "aquatic plants") there are fungi strains that can live in both an aquatic and terrestrial environment. I don't know how the strain I am using will transfer to submerged growth yet.

Quote:
You cannot use a culture from some bottle and expect it to work.
Actually I bought a pouch of dry spores. I wasn't expecting anything. Just curious.

Quote:
You need to go to the wetland and get it there.
I've found a few species of fungi on aquarium plants, notably on Bolbitus.
There's little known about most aquatic fungi in general.
A fairly good indicator of any interaction between the plants and the fungi, will be the root structure. For these particular test pots, in another week I plan on extracting samples of the HC and DHG from each of the pots and checking the roots for signs of the fungi. This won't necessarily indicate that there was a benefit to the inoculated plant, but it will indicate that there was exposure and that this particular fungus was growing in a water saturated substrate.

Quote:
However, do not fall for the terrestrial = aquatic ecosystem.
Many things are quite different, and notably bacteria and fungi, as well as the amounts of O2/CO2.
Very true. right now the substrate in each dish is quite water saturated, with both pots getting plenty of atmospheric CO2 and O2. Things will change quite radically when there is 18" of water above them. If the fungi is currently responsible for the additional growth, who knows, it may actually become parasitic once under water and access to CO2 and O2 are limited.

Quote:
Run a few more pots and try to make sure things are as similar as you can(4-5 of each ought to do). Also, try using some mulm from your tank and see what you get with that treatment.
I planned on expanding the sample size if something happened with this test. I also want to see what happens to growth once they are submerged.

Care to speculate on what affect the mulm will have on growth vs the fungi?


Regards,
Phil
erthlng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2008, 10:11 AM   #14
plantbrain
Planted Tank Guru
 
plantbrain's Avatar
 
PTrader: (255/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The swamp
Posts: 13,246
Default

I'd say the species of fungi in mulm are very good.

I also used the dry start method a lot lately to grow HC(and other weeds), and have very mature old ADA AS. Rather than uprooting, I scoop the root zone as well, then transplant into depressions without disturbing the sediment layers.

Simple, adds all the bacteria and structure.
There are some simple stains you can use to detect the fungi, that, and a scope is most all you need.

Since these are pots, you can run several treatments and see.
Ideally you can quantify the differences somehow.

I do not doubt that fungi work in the pots.
I'd expect it to.

But transitioned to submersed tanks, I now from dry starts, the bacteria involved work well.
__________________
Regards,
Tom Barr
plantbrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012