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[AGA-Member] RE: AGA-Member Digest, Vol 13, Issue 11

[John Apsley] Responses below...

Message: 2
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 19:06:16 -0500
From: "Troy E Hendrickson" <t_hendrickson@qwest.net>
Subject: Re: [AGA-Member] Possibilities of Sozo Haishoku, etc
To: "Aquatic Gardeners Association Member Chat"
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Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"

Sorry, I disagree, you assume an absence of oxygen in the substrate when in
fact there are both aerobic and anaerobic areas in a healthy substrate.
Perhaps the question is the primary qualities of the substrate Amano is
using, in the context of whether or not they are allowing sufficient areas
of both bacteria to flourish.
>[John Apsley] If you look at the studies done with substrate, in home
aquaria without UGF systems, the oxygen in the substrate is very low. It is
not an assumption. In the case where anaerobic bacteria dominate, you get a
great deal of BOD. BOD and remediation, two areas that are valuable for us
all to study. Studies clearly show that yes, there is oxygen in substrate -
AT THE VERY TOP. As you proceed down the substrate column, it goes more and
more anaerobic - quickly. Hence, the reason why roots have adapted to low
oxygen levels, and the reason why so many creatures like worms have a
critical niche they fill. All this is the strategic reason why hydroponic
farmers use H2O2, it excites nutrient uptake via the plants' roots quite
remarkably. All anyone has to do is look at SW studies, studies done on FW
by limnologists, hydroponic studies, and long held principles of remediation
and sewage treatment. All must oxygenate heavily because otherwise the
substate will go anaerobic locking up waste (i.e., keeping it
On the other hand, if you want to keep your substrate forever, DO keep it
anaerobic so the roots can only grab onto the substrate's nutrients very
slowly. Increasing the oxygen in the substrate will deplete the substrate
much more quickly unless you are re-fertilizing it somehow. If you were just
now setting up a tank with a nutrient rich substrate, and then still grew
nice plants 18 years later, I promise you one thing - if you analyze what's
left in the 18 year old substrate, most of the original nutrients would be
long gone. One must put new fertilizer back in, or conserve the removal from
the substrate by feeding the plant foliage (stomata). There is no way around
this my friend.
By the way, you talk in general terms regarding what Amano is using. Has no
one seen the breakdown of the nutrients in Amano's substrate? How is this
the same or different from what you are using? What is his plant density,
what is his fish population compared to yours? What is his depth of
substrate, what is his light intensity, etc....A lot could be gleaned here.
High intensity lights necessitate a rapid source of nutrients (in this case
from his substrate). As I said before, context is everything.

Troy: Certainly there is sufficient anecdotal evidence amongst hobbyists to
show that a proper substrate can be healthy for many years with no negative
impact on the aquarium.
[John Apsley] Anecdotal evidence is the tricky thing. It says a lot, but no
one knows for sure what it means. I like to combine both together, science
and the anecdotal reports. Walking cautiously on the anecdotal reports with
no science behind it, and walking confidently with strong science behind it
IN CONTEXT. As I said, there are ways to enrich substrate that if not
quantified, someone can go around claiming no loss of plant growth with 18
year old substrate. But what did they do during tank maintenance all those
years??? Silence....Fish food residues are high in nitrogen and potassium,
fish waste, dead fish, plant waste, but the key is recycling, and that takes
energy and oxygen. The organic farmers are experts in this field. And they
still need lots of manure to refertilize their fields, lots of compost, lots
of planting and then burying whole nutritious plants like buckwheat, LOTS OF
WORMS, etc...
In context, Amano is growing his plants and pushing their photosynthetic
function to high limits "through nourishing their roots", not their foliage.
This suggests some interesting possible strategies in addition to
outcompeting the algae - is Amano keeping the roots extremely well fed so he
can lessen other foliage demands on feeding so that his plant's foliage
becomes dedicated to photosynsthesis, pearling, and pigmentation vibrance
only? I haven't got a clue, but it is an interesting thought. Now I know
many achieve pearling, but his way works in a consistent, reproducible and
superior manner.
Most of us can conserve the substrate better by (1) feeding plant foliage
and (2) by using substrates that dissolve more slowly. But this is not the
effect Amano has found to be what he is looking for. He wants a rapid,
consistent response. He wants his roots dedicated to what they are designed
to do, to feed. He wants his plants' leaves to shine, really shine, and
that's it. The point is his works, as does yours in the context of what you
grow and what he grows, and what yours and his both look like over a given,
exact time frame. 
To reiterate - Even for those who have substrates for 18 years unchanged, a
nutrient base was added during this time, and perhaps a homeostasis attained
with (1) fish detritus, (2) fish food, (3,4 & 5) bacterial, plant and fish
carcasses, (6) some plant fertilizer, (7) water repletion, and (8) not too
high of a lighting intensity in stark contrast to what Amano uses. Anyone
with 18 years experience with the same substrate, unchanged in the same
aquarium, who uses 800watts per square meter surface area intensity in their
tanks??? I doubt it. This is all about context, and the problem with
conjecture out of context.
With high fish populations and high plant density, something is going to get
used up. Substrate is one source. But adding anything into the tank that has
fertilizer value can enter into the tank's nature recycling process. My
point was, as yours, you can keep a substrate going, and build it up, if
there is enough new enrichment coming in plus oxygen to render the BOD
reusable... no assumptions.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Erik Olson" <erik@thekrib.com>
To: <aga-member@thekrib.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 5:11 PM
Subject: [AGA-Member] Possibilities of Sozo Haishoku, etc


Message: 4
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 22:18:41 -0500
From: richard goodkind <goodk001@tc.umn.edu>
Subject: Re: [AGA-Member] Possibilities of Sozo Haishoku, etc
To: Aquatic Gardeners Association Member Chat <aga-member@thekrib.com>
Message-ID: <F2A150B6-9E73-4ABE-9A5D-9090E25C8805@tc.umn.edu>
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Richard wrote :
     Your comments were quite interesting. Would you mind telling me  
where you purchase your H2O2 and what is the recommended dosage you  
use to avoid killing your fish and plants? Appreciate your feedback!

Message: 5
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 22:42:48 -0500
From: Cheryl Rogers <cheryl@wilstream.com>
Subject: Re: [AGA-Member] Possibilities of Sozo Haishoku, etc
To: Aquatic Gardeners Association Member Chat <aga-member@thekrib.com>
Message-ID: <42D5DF38.5020301@wilstream.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide, like you put on cuts to disinfect them. You 
can buy it at any drugstore or grocery store. I have used it 
successfully to kill green fuzz algae without any casualties. I used 
about 15 ml in a 30 gallon tank for 3 days in a row. Dead algae all over 
the place, no dead plants, no dead fish.


richard goodkind wrote:
> Richard wrote :
>     Your comments were quite interesting. Would you mind telling me  
> where you purchase your H2O2 and what is the recommended dosage you  use 
> to avoid killing your fish and plants? Appreciate your feedback!

[John Apsley] Cheryl's comments are well stated. However, I would obtain
H2O2 from the hydroponic sources. They use food grade. Simply dilute it to
3%, which is what Cheryl is using. Be very careful handling the stuff, it
can burn you at the 35% concentrate (food grade). It should cost you around
$45.00 per gallon, which lasts a LONG time. The U.S. Fishery and Wildlife
people use this stuff to prevent and treat a slew of diseases. 15mg/L is
quite good for a bath for up to 30 minutes with most tropical fish, like
guppies. You can use up to 500mg/L in serious disease conditions for some FW
fish, but this needs expert attention. If you look on Medline, there are
about 2 dozen recent articles on this subject. To convert ml into mg, divide
by 1000. 1 ml/L H2O2 equals 1000mg/L. Always use 3% H2O2, never use 35% H2O2
directly for anything.
I use 3% H2O2 in the amount of 0.8oz per 10 gallons. That's around 24 ml/10
gallons. I wait for several days before redosing a large community tank
which is suffering from fin and tail rot or other viral/bacterial/fungal
problem. Usually I only dose twice weekly for three weeks in such cases.
However, Cheryl uses a smaller dose with excellent results. She is using
this perhaps more prophylactically. She uses 1/2 oz per 30 gallons or
0.167oz/10 gallons (5ml/10 gallons) once a day for three days straight,
which is extremely safe. Better to err on the side of less anyway. H2O2 has
a half life of 8 to 40 hours, depending on the BOD and DOM in your tank. If
you have a lot of algae, maybe it lasts only a few short hours. Hence,
Cheryl's strategy is well within these safety parameters.
John Apsley
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