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To many plants, no way

Posted By: JD <jdietsch@ptd.net>
Date: Thursday, 22 August 2002, at 12:48 a.m.

I was going to refrain from the thread, but I wanted to set a few misconceptions straight before people on this list run off thinking plants are a bad thing.

1) I strongly doubt that pathos can perform Biogenic decalcification. That process is something aquatic plants perform to get carbon in CO2 deprived waters. Pathos is a terrestrial plant and will probable never have developed this knack.
2) CO2 will not displace O2. Water can hold a fixed amount of O2, and no amount of CO2 or other gasses will displace it.
3) O2 Suppersaturated water is fine for fish. Once the water exceeds a certain amount the excess will start to bubble out of solution and escape. In the mean time, the fish should enjoy the O2 high:)
4) Plants will not starve the fish for O2 at night. Typically if they are going to put high demands on the O2 levels at night then they are growing very well, and if they are growing well, then they were producing a load of O2 in the day. Typically by lights out time the water will be saturated with O2, more then they can consume all night, let along as soon as the lights go out.

I, like Gareth and many other on this list have very very heavily planted tanks, and in a lot of cases, my filters are clogged to the point of nearly no flow. My only source of aeration and surface agitation is with the Aquaclear Powerfilters and since I am lazy they regularly stop running for weeks at a time. On top of that, the plants grow so fast they chock the surface full of leaves to the point where I have to push them aside to feed the fish. Some of my tanks are supplemented with CO2 (Always on 24/7) and some are not. In every case the fish are never gasping for air at the surface. One condition in my tanks is a KH of around 6° or 7°.

In my opinion the experiences some have witnessed recently, are more then likely due to other problems with water quality and not something the plants are doing. There is a good possibility that introducing a terrestrially grown plant could have carried some other chemical “nasties” that is bothering the fish. Strong topically applied Pesticides, fertilizers, and other appearance enhancing products instantly come to mind. Things that should never go into a fish tank are more then likely a cause as apposed to pH swings and O2 levels.

I will continue to be a strong proponent that aquatic plants, when properly cared for will almost always be beneficial to the fish. Plants will almost never rob the fish of needed nutrients, but on the contrary, they remove fish wastes producing a better environment. I am a little confused why people are adding Pathos submerged into the water anyway, when Anubias looks the same and will not only grow but thrive under water. Most people that recommend Pathos recommend it with only the roots in the water, and not the leaves. Pathos is ill-equipped to grow under water, basically because it can not get the needed amounts of O2 and CO2 from water.

JD

 

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