Interview for Botany Class - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Interview for Botany Class

I was a member of this board a few years ago and plan on being a contributor once again. I am now in college and I am currently taking a Botany course. One of our assignments is to interview someone who does something cool with plants. We are then to write a type of article that would appear in a magazine, rather than a scientific journal, about the interview. I thought this would be a good place to do an interview, so if a few people are willing to answer these questions I would greatly appreciate it.

1.How did you get into planted tanks and how long have you been doing it?
2.What benefits do you see in using live plants in the aquarium?
3.Are there any negatives to having live plants in the aquarium?
4.What kind of methods (CO2, liquid nutrients, substrate, etc.) do you use to keep your plants at their healthiest and why?
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?
6.What other factors (Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, hardness, pH etc.) affect your plants? Are any of these factors affected by your plants?
7.Do you ever have any conflicts between your plants and fish, snails, etc.?
8.Are there any aquarium plants that have unique adaptations?
9.What is your favorite aquatic plant and why?
10.Are there any questions I should have asked that you would like to answer?

You donít have to answer all of these, but that would be nice. I could use different answers from different people. Just put the number in front of each question you are answering. I apologize for the length.

Thank you,
Peter
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 02:37 AM
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question 6. might be too technical for an interview magazine article.

8.Are there any aquarium plants that have unique adaptations?
you may want to clarify this question; what's that supposed to mean?

you can probably answer all those questions
yourself given your years of tank keeping.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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spyset,

#6 may be too technical but I will wait and see the answers.

As for the unique adaptations here's an example: Common Bladderwort has little pouches under pressure that suck in water when brushed by small invertabrates, thus sucking in the small animal. They than use digestive enzymes to break down the invertabrate and convert it to food.

I probably could answer these questions myself. Unfortunatley, I am not allowed to interview myself.

Thanks,
Peter
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 02:56 AM
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When you say "unique adaptations" I can think of one.

Most aquatic plants, when subjected to intense light (think more than they need), develop a reddish hue to block some of that light. They will also creep closer to the substrate. Example, Cryptocoryne sp., when subjected to intense light, will grow closer to the substrate.

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelvedere View Post
When you say "unique adaptations" I can think of one.

Most aquatic plants, when subjected to intense light (think more than they need), develop a reddish hue to block some of that light. They will also creep closer to the substrate. Example, Cryptocoryne sp., when subjected to intense light, will grow closer to the substrate.
Mrbelvedere I do think you are correct might I say mmmm hmmm correct you are.

Peace,
Ry

I raise my sword in the air in the battle against clado. I have been beaten in this battle but the war is not over. As my wounds heal I amass another army, an army with many legs, an army of Amano's......

I thrust my tridant into the mass of medusa like staghorn. I am wounded but I refuse to take a knee.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 06:09 AM
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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.
33 years

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.
Curious.

Define "healthiest"?
Higher Grow rate/yeild vs another method?
Personal preferences?

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.
Aerenchymous tissues
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

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelvedere View Post
They will also creep closer to the substrate.
I have understood that this does not apply to the swords. They tend to do the opposite: they raise their leaves (near-)vertical in order to minimize the area of exposition to light. At least they do this in nature. (see for ex., Kasselmann 2001. Echinodorus.) So there seems to be variable ways of adapting to the intensive light conditions.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2007, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterstaud View Post
I probably could answer these questions myself. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to interview myself.
you are gonna get eaten alive in college
unless you get more resourceful with
your problem solving skills...

a magazine interview is the format for this writing assignment.
you don't actually have to literally "interview" anyone, hehehe

Here are some great "interview" transcripts of aquaria experts;
http://www.tropicalresources.net/phpBB2/guestbook.php?
you can get a lot of great material already in the right format.


Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Do not ask me this question unless you have grant money and time
Tom, I loved that I give the same answer when I get editorial
questions about my industry from telephone marketing surveyors.


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