Under Substrate Feeding - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Posts: 168
Under Substrate Feeding

Something I've pondered occasionally keeps coming back as I read through @burr740 's excellent thread here and @Saxa Tilly 's rotala kill tank over at the Barr Report - does it make any sense to attempt to feed plants via "under substrate feeding"? "sub-substrate feeding"?

I'm considering trying an experiment to see if if would be possible to inject liquid ferts under the gravel, allowing them to slowly filter through the substrate and to the roots via osmosis. Presumably some amount will also get into the water column, but there would be more at the roots. I know, I know...just use dirt...aquasoil, etc. But there are plenty of cons including the mess and the (relatively) limited lifespan. There's also O+ or root tabs in an inert sub - less mess, but those also run out.

I'm thinking of setting up a test tank. Retrofitting something like an old undergravel filter, overlaying it with a fine mesh, running a few tubes from peristaltic pumps underneath, then layering over the whole thing with some extra Flourite I have laying around. One of those dual TDS meters with one line underneath the sub in the UGF and one line in the main tank should tell me how quickly the ferts injected under the sub end up in equilibrium with the water column. Assuming it's relatively slow (a day or two?), that would mean that the roots in a heavily planted tank would have a reasonable "first dibs" period. With the right balance, theoretically you could have a setup with an indefinite life span, with no mess, that shares many of the same advantages of a dirted/aquasoil tank.

Anyone know if anything like this has been done you could point me to? Any obvious reasons why this is dumb? One thing I know I need to test out is whether a peristaltic pump can handle the head associated with pumping underwater.

Thanks for any insight you have!
DMtankd is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 12:07 AM
Algae Grower
 
Delapool's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 64
Would be interested how it goes. I've thought substrate ferts make a difference for large rooted plants but just assumed it ends up in the water column fairly quickly (no idea though). I only have gravel and seachem fluorite (plus other bits) substrate though.
Delapool is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Posts: 168
Tested out the peristaltic pumps pumping underwater - definitely works. Currently working through clearing the moratorium on new tank setups with the wife. Could get awkward if I'm not successful before Amazon delivers the undergravel filter I just ordered.
DMtankd is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome