Originally Posted by Flear
all my research is going into a food-cycle trying to cator to florida flagfish.
while currently i'm stuck on looking into substrate nutrient ideas as i am noticing nutrient deficiencies in the plants ... i'm sure once i'm comfortable with thinking i have this solved i'll be back to looking into the next stage of the food-chain
... lots of algae, ... both green micro & phytoplankton. which as i learn about nutrients and what i stumble across in my search, ... i used to consider that additives in the substrate to increase CEC & AEC would be good, i'm not so sure anymore, for several reasons (one being before these minerals are saturated i am getting hints that (terrestrially) they may cause the appearance of a deficiency.)
with an increased desire for phytoplankton i may want more nutrients in the water column then i previously thought.
with algae and soft plants to satisfy the flagfishes vegitable diet, next comes it's meaty/protien requirements
phytoplankton to raise zooplankton
worms in the substrate
and possibly (i really haven't looked into this yet - so it's a curiosity i don't want to forget) critters that live at the surface of the water
-all to get as much living food at all levels for the fish
then is plants (back to plants) that while preferred to be edible & desirable for the fish, are to block line-of-sight enough to give all the live food a fighting chance at survival
the hard parts is in nature animals have a huge area they can roam to get access to enough food that they don't decimate any one place in particular
as the whole system is based on nutrients, & nutrient availability, ... this is an area i cannot fold a large area into a small space (like i can do with so much else in the tank)
bacterial activity must be sufficient that total quantities of nutrients bacteria is processing and releasing into the substrate & water column must keep up with the demands of a highly compressed eco-system. and i may not be able to get nutrients to settle into sufficient areas in a continuous supply to have the bacteria re-release them in a form that is able to start the whole food system at a level to keep the tank running smoothly.
there is only so much depth to the substrate that can be used before deeper anoxic layers develop, even with increased activity due to worms & (select) snails. there is only so much that can be done for a water filter to increase surface intake area before it plugs up and restricts input through the water filter. there is only going to be so many places suspended particles can settle before there's no more suspended particles to settle elsewhere and then bacteria cannot grow in those more remote areas.
plenty can be done to make use of nutrients in the water column for availability in one area or another of the food-chain, but first those nutrients have to be available. ...
and as i am seeing in my own tank, ... sufficient nutrients in the start to make up for what is being processed and what is not preprocessed or difficult to be moved into available elsewhere.
If we are to back up our points with sources and data then I don't see why you should not be doing the same.
Much of what you are saying is speculation, some is completely off the mark.
Getting both phytoplankton and macrophytes to coexist happy in the same condensed system, is unlikely. The best coexisting they can do is if both are in less than ideal settings, but thats a teeter-totter type of balance that more likely then not to tip in favor of one or the other.
I don't see why comparisons to aquatic ecosystems are inapplicable here. They cover obstacles you have yet explained how you will manage to cover in a self-sustaining system. This goes beyond the hydrological cycle. What I am most interested in is how you intend to nutrient cycle at least half a dozen nutrients successfully in an aquarium, when you are lacking vital parts of the ecosystem that cycles them naturally.
Do you plan on going for anoxic 'deep' substrate?
Do you plan on filtering? If so what kinda filter?
There is always particulate in the water column and it will always be settling. This is more true for natural ecosystems then aquarium, but it still present in the aquarium espeically as you move more and more towards the natural aquarium. Filters usually interfere with it. Part of most natural nutrient cycles is some precipitation. It either ends in deposits or is reassimilated back into the cycle. Most nutrients in an aquarium overall are produced, consumed, or partially cycled, rarely do they fully cycle.
Originally Posted by Flear
there is much information i could use to help me out, ... what i am finding is that it seems less than half of what is going on has been persued at all in any understanding, and of that there is significantly less available to find, and only a small amount of that is easy to find., ... information on what is needed for all the behind the scenes activity going on in an ecosystem is like a vast desert in the search for an oasis and you have no map to help you out ... and it's night-time, on a cloudy moonless night, without wind or sound to help you out if you're getting close or not, ... and when you find one, it might have something your after, it might not.
from my tank i don't quite neglect, but pretty close, ... i have learned more about what could be going on without any ability to test than over a year of in-depth searching has brought me
Again I push you towards this
text. Chapters: 4, 11*, 12*, 13*, 14, 16*, 17*, 18. The * chapters are the most applicable to this topic(at a glance, there maybe others), the whole text is quite interesting for this topic TBH. This is not how a typical aquarium works. But it is how complete nutrient cycles, water chemistry, and other associations work( like phytoplankton and nutrients) to create an ecosystem. You either need to recreate these cycles or work around them in some manner. IMO you need to fully understand what they are for this to even become debatable. Reading your posts I do not think you fully grasp the entirety or complexity of what it is you need to achieve for your goal to be possible. The scenarios maybe different, but the challenges remain the same.