Aquatic plants prefer to take up their nutrients via their leaves. So just fertilize the water column and be done with it.
Rex, i think that that is highly dependent upon the type of plants. i have observed really strong responses to substrate fertilization. some, but not all, submerged aquatics have really extensive root systems; they're not just using those as anchors.Aquatic plants prefer to take up their nutrients via their leaves. So just fertilize the water column and be done with it.
So are you sure you had non limiting water column fertilizer during the 6 week's time frame? If not, then you really cannot say, the results would be confounded.A simple observation of the growth of two Cryptocoryne balansae plants in my tank prompted me to look at the issue of substrate nutrients.
At the time of planting one of the Crypts had a clay nutrient tab inserted into the substrate at the root zone - the other did not.
After six weeks, the Crypt with the substrate nutrients has more leaves and longer leaves than the one without.
My crypts seem to like their nutrients both ways, thats why I posed the question about methods of dosing the substrate.
Also it may be an advantage to be able to at times target specific plants / parts of the tank for additional nutrients - rather than fertilizing the whole tank via the water column.
yes they will leach out, but substrate fertilization works fine too. in fact its the preferred method by some planted tank keepers. how quickly they leech out depends on the actual type of substrate you are using.Primarily though I am curious if injecting liquid nutrients into the substrate is a valid method – or are the nutrients just going to leach out into the water column quite quickly.
I have tried using dry fert sticks marketed for ferns and foliage plants in the substrate, and am monitoring plant growth and phosphate/nitrate levels.i should add though after rereading the question...most people who do substrate fertilization don't use LIQUID ferts for the substrate, they use some kind of dry fert stick.
ada actually sells a liquid fert delivery system that you plumb into the substrate.. doesn't seem to be popular at all. ive never used it either.
ada also sells dry fert sticks for substrate fertilization... and a very expensice device to poke the sticks into the substrate.
It's not, sounds good, but it is......... Baloneyious maxmiusThanks everyone for your input.
I should point out that my interest in substrate fertilization arose not from an interest in growing massive Crypts, or any other oversized plant for that matter, but rather from the frustration of algal outbreaks.
My thinking was that if I am able to reduce the nutrients in the water column (where they are available to both plants and algae) and increase them in the substrate where they are available to plant roots, then I could achieve strong plant growth while limiting the nutrients available to algae.
Which is why I was enquiring about liquid ferts leaching out of the substrate.
That appears to me to be a reasonable strategy to explore, but I am a newbie so I am happy to stand corrected if this is a misconception.
If you continue to take a tank down over and over you will never get past any algae cycles. Too much light, too little co2 and too little nutrients are the cause of algae. Always. If these algaes are taking over, lower lighting and up yoru co2, for starters.I would like to add something and hopefully revive this conversation. I will try to be objective and provide enough information to assist anyone in helping me along. I also am having problems in the fertilization area.
Everytime I experience great plant growth it is accompanied by great algae growth, namely bba and staghorn. Even though I attempt to control the infestation with peroxide treatments or excel I ultimately end up tearing the tank down, doing a couple complete water changes, scrubing all equipment and bleaching the 90 + plants that go in the tank.
I am trying my best to get behind the nutrient excess logic. The same logic that the experts preach and EI dosing endorses but... everytime I dose at or above what my plants require I receive an algae outbreak that seems uncontainable. As much as I hate to admit it I was about to take the same perspective as bowman. My thoughts were I am dosing the water column which just BEGS algae to show up.
I guess the one aspect of dosing fertilizer that I don't think I am taking into account is fish load. There are tons of guides to dosing whether it be using blends, liquids, or dry ferts but none that take into account the bioload. This brings me to a single question:
What would be the differences in dosing amounts/schedules on identical tanks that had the same plant biomass but one had a significant fish load and one did not?
I can't help but think this is where I could be continually going wrong and end up tearing down my tank in disappointment because I can't control the algae.
I agree with Tom Barr and others. Abundant plant growth from the *start is the key to thwarting algae. Look at tanks with abundant plant growth what don't you see is-algae.ok OS, I'm going to roll with you, I hope your right. I'm tired of the stuff.
For whatever it's worth, I read somewhere that the key to combating algae early is plantings heavily -- very heavily -- from day one with fast growing plants. Do that even if they aren't necessarily the plants you want in the tank long term, but let them start your tank out so that they can just grow grow grow and help prevent any algae.ok OS, I'm going to roll with you, I hope your right. I'm tired of the stuff.