Journal Is it legit?

dw1305

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Hi all,
I still wonder if, deep substrates in conjunction with roots of the plant's Darrel identified may allow more micro fauna. The evidence on mycrrhizal fungi seems to be that their presence leads to more resilience and better growth in plants. Would this then allow more effective proocessing and better elasticity in coping with changes?
I like to think of ecosystems as spatial and temporal mosaics, patterns in space and time, that replicate themselves on <"different scales">
Yes, I'm pretty sure it will. Biodiversity is all about mosaics. It is partially why I don't like to disturb the substrate too much, the longer it stays undisturbed the longer the biological processes have to stabilise and ramify.

The same with nutrients, lower nutrient environments tend to be less productive, but more biodiverse.

cheers Darrel
 

SteveM

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I started 3 tanks 18 months ago as an experiment.
1. Sand and water changes
2. Soil and water changes
3. Soil no water changes
1 and 2 have suffered from algae issues and nitrate control was difficult. 3. soil and no water changes almost no algae, and no deaths. Nitrate can barely be measured.
Soil in 3 is 4 inches deep- the other 2 are thinner at about 1.5 inches. Fish are happy and breeding. Top up with RO when the level drops, and I haven't looked back. Have changed tank 2 to no water change regime, and switch 1 this year.
I used a bag of topsoil from the garden centre for 3 (£1.60), and proper aquatic stuff for 2 (£70!!). I did find you had to be very patient with 3. All sorts was leaching out at first, and algae blooms were really wild at first. Also KH is high at 11, but the shrimp and fish don't seem to mind.
I recently set up a 4th tank, but this time I filled it with RO water instead of Tap, and the KH and Ph are the same.
I gave up fish keeping years ago because the water changes were a ball ache and I hated the algae and the deaths and the sense of failure. Now I'm loving it again.

Been an interesting experiment. My wife always hated the fish, but she recently suggested maybe we could fit a big tank in that corner in the lounge. Fingers firmly crossed.
Would like some more reds, but the shrimp seem most keen on eating them, so may have to choose betwen the two.
 

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Tim Harrison

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So the way I understand it, although I might be wrong, is that a deep soil substrate per se doesn't infer any real direct benefit to water quality in an aquarium through say microbial N removal.

The greater percentage of N removal from the water column by microbial communities in the sediment occurs at the relatively shallow interface between the part of the rhizosphere that interfaces with the water column. Because there will be very little in the way of water movement beyond this zone.

Macrophytes can change the physicochemical environment of sediments through ROL and the secretion of organic chemicals which in turn will increase the abundance and diversity of microbial communities and the removal of N.

Whilst, sediment microbial communities are important for the removal of N, the interaction between plant communities and microbial assemblages in the form of biofilms on roots, leaves and stems also plays a crucial role in N removal and therefore water quality.

However, a heavily planted deep soil substrate might perhaps allow for a more diverse and abundant microbial community in the rhizosphere which would in turn further benefit the health of macrophytes. And therefore, in turn water quality as plants sequester more N for growth.
And on that subject @Onoma1. apparently, mycorrhizal interaction enhances the nutrient uptake and protects plants from toxic metals by avoiding their direct entry, presumably by altering membrane transport channels.

Either way, plants are key to the removal of N and good water quality and...
personally I'd much rather have a floating plant and water changes.
So would I.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Welcome Steve, this is interesting. Tom Barr @plantbrain used <"no water changes in his low tech tanks">, and it was also Diana Walstad's <"original technique"> suggested in "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium".

I'm personally convinced that water changes are good for all tanks, but if I was to have a tank without water changes I'd definitely go for a reasonably deep substrate (and heavy planting including some plants with the <"aerial advantage">).
1 and 2 have suffered from algae issues and nitrate control was difficult.
3. soil and no water changes almost no algae, and no deaths. Nitrate can barely be measured.
Assuming the photo is tank 3.? What I'd be really interested in is what the plant growth was like in the other two tanks?
Macrophytes can change the physicochemical environment of sediments through ROL and the secretion of organic chemicals which in turn will increase the abundance and diversity of microbial communities and the removal of N.
That is definitely what the research has shown so far, there is discussion in <"Myriophyllum aquaticum Constructed Wetland Effectively Removes Nitrogen in Swine Wastewater">.

Judging from the <"number and range of novel nitrifying organisms"> that have been found using RNA/DNA libraries, once people start looking at the rhizosphere, using the same techniques, the diversity of organisms involved will rise exponentially.

cheers Darrel
 

SteveM

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Hi. Tank soil + water changes growth was good, but many more problems with algae, particularly filamentous

Tank no soil + water changes, growth was much poorer and algae more of a problem.
Both have had higher nitrate levels
Ive added a photo of soil +water changes, got a good string of filamentous. Having a purge at the weekend.
Stocking is a bit heavier in this one, mainly due to an endler explosion.
cheers steve
 

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Gill

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I used this method in one of my tanks. And it worked really well. Sadly no pic as photobucket has blocked me now.
Used a double headed ugf plate covered in 3 inches of fluval stratum. Heavily planted with hair grass, lots of tall stems. And then had a shelf covered in hydrocoytle leuco, which was fed by a small pump head. And this grew a very thick root system. Which I have not been able to recreate as yet, as not had the right tank.
Also had an air curtain running along the full length of the tank to aid circulation.

I kept alot of shrimp and snails as well as MTS to keep it turned over.
Fish were gobies, tetras, guppies, and pipefish.
And did water changes when I remembered.
And it ran very well indeed and the thick carpet looked great.

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