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Re: [AGA Member] newbie here with some questions...

From: "J.B." <jbernardo@harbornet.com>
To: <aga-member@thekrib.com>
Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2003 3:16 PM
Subject: [AGA Member] newbie here with some questions...

Hi, John!  I have to confess that I'm confused about how some experienced
people approach substrate. In terms of priority, many people put substrate
last.  That just doesn't compute for me.  <g> It seems like substrate is
only there as some form of decoration, and, oh yeah, we need something to
hold the plants in place. Then they spend a lot of time and money and
fussing around constantly adding this nutrient and that fertilizer and these
elements for the plants.

I'm new at this, too, so I'm sure there are sound reasons for this approach
I'm just not getting. When I setup my tank my first priority was the
substrate, thinking that that most important element in the tank was the
medium in which the plants were placed. So I used a mix of flourite and
florabase.  It was a more expensive approach, but I don't spend any money on
any ferts or add-ins. And I certainly don't have to spend any time mixing or
dosing or chasing down chemicals..  well, so far anyway.

I figured if the substrate, lights, and CO2 were right to begin with,
everything else takes care of itself. I only have problems if I neglect the
water changes for too long.  I tend to overfeed the fish and if I get lazy
the nitrates creep up. When the nitrates get too high I start seeing algae
developing on the plants. Usually a 50% water change gets things back to
normal. If I regularly do a 20% change once a week I never see any problems.
But the tank is only 6 months old and I'm still swapping plants in and out
trying to get the 'look' we want..


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