Re: [RML] Planted Tanks

Bruce Hansen (bhansen at
Sun, 3 Aug 1997 18:12:04 +1000

G'day Jim

I agree with the sentiments expressed so far that for some plants all that
is needed is moderate light, sand substrate and some fish "poop". When it
comes to plants there seems to be even more diversity of opinion than for

As long as your water supply isn't liquid concrete ( and there are quite a
few plants that seem to be able to extract CO2 from bicarbonate and do very
well) I think you are on the right track if you supplement your substrate
with laterite in the lower layers to supply the iron to the roots and steer
clear of organic substrates unless you are prepared to do continuous water
changes. In my experience CO2 helps to feed the plants if there is enough
light and essential minerals/trace elements.

Try as heavy planting as possible from the start and see how you go - this
tends to keep nutrients in the water as low as possible and helps to avoid
algae. The other thing I have found important is duration of light and a
timer is an essential asset.

Good Luck,
bhansen at

> From: Jim Priest <cat at>
> To: rainbowfish at
> Subject: Re: [RML] Planted Tanks
> Date: Sunday, 3 August 1997 14:03
> I am also interested in what the list has to say about iron supplements
> and CO2, as I am fixing to do a 70 gallon tank myself.
> I've come to the mind that the best way to insure long term iron
> supplies is to put it in your substrate right off the bat. I've tried
> peat and don't much like it in the substrate, bare gravel with root
> tablets, and Tetra's Hilena Initial Sticks. I've had good results with
> all but the peat. I was thinking about using the Duplarit G product in
> my 70, but this stuff is really EXPENSIVE.
> I also picked up a cheap little Tetra CO2 diffuser and a small bottle of
> CO2. My water's pretty hard here, but thought I would give it try
> anyway. A friend of mine has this same minimal setup and gets
> noticeably better plant growth than I do with only a very slight change
> in pH. $45.00 seems a good investment if it works.
> Jim