1.How did you get into planted tanks and how long have you been doing it?
Always had weeds in my tanks. Seemed part of the deal/nature etc.
2.What benefits do you see in using live plants in the aquarium?
Adds O2 to water column and sediment, removes NH4/NO3 directly and has more surface area, adds a good source of DOM for aiding in bacterial cycling, aesthetically far more pleasing than a big filter full of slime and bacteria, fish habitats, aids in breeding fish, removes virtually every type of metal and nutrient.
3.Are there any negatives to having live plants in the aquarium?
People asking if they are real, plastic, etc.
More maintenance in some methods, less in others such as a non CO2 approach which is less demanding than a fish only tank.
4.What kind of methods (CO2, liquid nutrients, substrate, etc.) do you use to keep your plants at their healthiest and why?
Pretty much everything.
Higher Grow rate/yeild vs another method?
I can grow plants healthy in non CO2 as well as CO2 enriched methods or Excel or at high or a low light.
Pretty broad non specific question, best to narrow it down.
5.Is there a delicate balance required using these methods? In other words, would a slight increase or decrease in a certain variable cause your plants to die?
Not really if it's a good method or else the user has poor control/does routine maintenance if so...........
The biggest issues: poor use of CO2 if used, and adding too much light.
Focus more on those, less on nutrients since those two drive everything with respect to nutrients.
6.What other factors (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, hardness, pH etc.) affect your plants? Are any of these factors affected by your plants?
Non limiting nutrients.....well obviously they will grow well when that is offered. Growth will be limited if one or more are limiting.
Plants can remove alkalinity, increase pH if no CO2 is added, plants remove nutrients/CO2 etc.
7.Do you ever have any conflicts between your plants and fish, snails, etc.?
Only when they bite me.
Unless I add large giant fish, herbivores, not much if any.
8.Are there any aquarium plants that have unique adaptations?
I'd say virtually all of them do.
Many lack stomata(so does one land plant)
Bicarbonate direct and indirect use for a DIC source
Highly dissected leaf morphology/heterophylly
Foliar Uptake via the water column(land plants do not have much nutrients in the air other than CO2, which the aquatics often lack that are submersed).
9.What is your favorite aquatic plant and why?
The one I do not yet have.
Otherwise C coradata var blassii rosnervig
Rare, odd cultivar found in 1972.
10.Are there any questions I should have asked that you would like to answer?
Do not ask me this question unless you have grant money and time