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RE: [AGA-Member] Possibilities of Sozo Haishoku

And my question is how important and dominant CEC is in our CO2 enriched production farms.

That's a great question and one I've been thinking about a lot lately myself. In non-aquarium/aquatic horticulture CEC is vital to keeping mineral nutrients in the soil and accessable to plants' roots. Without it the minerals would leach out and be inacessable to the root systems of most plants.

In enclosed aquatic systems CEC in theory is only useful for sequestering minerals such as Iron and Phosphate to avoid precipitation as insoluble mineral salts. Since we are able to suppliment regularly and with relatively high precision precipitation of H2PO2- and Fe2+ precipitation isn't that big a deal except for possible toxicity issues.

Overall I would argue that CEC is a generally useless trait in artificially supplimented aquaria. We increase the levels of mineral nutrients in the water column so much that we're basically hydroponic farmers growing plants in a coarse gravel substrate. Some of the most beautiful amateur aquariums I've ever seen have used quartzite sand and/or granite chick grit as their substrate. Neither of those provide any useful traits to the aquarium other than a high surface area for roots to grow in and a good general hydraulic conductivity for water passage.

Good porousity, hydraulic conductivity, resistance to compation, and high surface area are much more important traits than CEC. This is especially true in systems with water column supplimentation only and/or systems with a high percentage of plants that are effective at foliar uptake. A high-light, modern stemplant tank is a good example of this type.


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