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fish monger 03-29-2013 08:47 AM

Plant Project
 
I won't dignify my little project by calling it an experiment as there are too many variables; however, the results so far are interesting to me. I set up one small tank with a sand substrate and DIY CO2, no regulator,etc. and one small tank with potting soil and sand substrate and no CO2. Both tanks have received 1 weekly dose of Flourish Comp and a 50% weekly water change. The CO2 tank housed 1 betta and some snails and the soil tank just had snails. The lighting is "roughly" the same. Both tanks have produced very healthy root systems. Even the stem plants that were planted in the substrate developed lush roots. The CO2 tank seemed to produce bigger, taller plants. The soil tank produced more compact plants with more leafs.

One thing that I have found interesting is that some plants in the soil tank actually drooped over night and stood back up after the light had been on for a while.

Anyway, hope this has been of use and I would appreciate any insight / info on the results.

equatics 03-31-2013 09:03 AM

Hi Fish Monger,

Sounds like a lot of work and observation went into your substrate and CO2 experiment and you got results! Congratulations! I'll have to leave it to others to interpret them. BTW, what was the name of the soil and do you know if fertilizer was added by the manufacturer or not?

Thanks!

Steve

MoneyMitch 03-31-2013 09:15 AM

what was the lighting that you used? its known that "capped soil substrates" are loaded with orgaincs that will breakdown and produce co2, way more then a plain sand or gravel substrate ever would untill it was very very mature.

fish monger 03-31-2013 03:32 PM

The soil is Scotts Organic Potting Soil. The ingredients are listed as forest products with a "wetting" agent. The lighting is low intensity 6500 tubes. I wasn't worried about the soil too much because I didn't intend to add fish. The non-regulated CO2 didn't concern me either because the only fish is a betta and my PH is very high anyway. This was kind of a little try it and see project. As I said, I am really pleased with the root development in both. The CO2 is from the DIY sugar, yeast, and 2 liter recipe. I was looking at the soil tank one day and a few giant bubbles came up from the substrate. Big bursts of CO2 I suppose. It's something fun to try if you have a couple of spare containers sitting around.

JDM 03-31-2013 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish monger (Post 1577049)
....

One thing that I have found interesting is that some plants in the soil tank actually drooped over night and stood back up after the light had been on for a while.

Anyway, hope this has been of use and I would appreciate any insight / info on the results.

What plants are they and do they do this in other tanks as well? I know that a good number of terrestrial plants do something similar so I wouldn't be surprised if it were a natural day/night plant thing.

Experimenting is always fun, even if it isn't the most scientific of methodology.

Jeff.

MoneyMitch 03-31-2013 06:18 PM

would be cool to use a capped soil like you did in one tank with a few plants then in another tank do diy co2 with same plants. use the same light but have them in totall darkness when lights off. no livestock in either tank. just see what happens and compare results

equatics 03-31-2013 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fish monger (Post 1599569)
"... I was looking at the soil tank one day and a few giiant bubbles came up from the substrate. Big bursts of CO2 I suppose. ..."


The same thing has happened in my gravel substrate tank - not huge bubbles but bubbles nonetheless. It makes me think of "dead spots" in the substrate and SO2 (Sulphur Dioxide) which smells like burnt eggs or something like that. I could easily be totally wrong, but I am going to take a chopstick to the gravel.

JDM 03-31-2013 08:17 PM

I have that all the time, mostly from around the driftwood. It's just captured CO2. Out of curiosity I checked out the smell factor, odourless gas. If I wiggle the wood, more of the same. Sometimes it builds up, sometimes it does not.

In my case with the maximum 3" deep sand substrate and still new tank, less than four months, there probably isn't anything deep enough to worry about, nor will there ever likely be. I expect that some mulm has built up around the base of the driftwood and is decomposing causing the CO2 and the wood/sand holds it for a period.

Jeff.

fish monger 04-01-2013 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JDM (Post 1601465)
What plants are they and do they do this in other tanks as well? I know that a good number of terrestrial plants do something similar so I wouldn't be surprised if it were a natural day/night plant thing.

Experimenting is always fun, even if it isn't the most scientific of methodology.

Jeff.

They are Water Wisteria (hygrophila difformis). I haven't noticed any drooping at night in the other tanks. This has always been a difficult plant for me to raise. Suspect insufficient light intensity is the real problem. This project was put together with stuff already on hand.

fish monger 04-01-2013 07:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nemo the Clownfish (Post 1601881)
The same thing has happened in my gravel substrate tank - not huge bubbles but bubbles nonetheless. It makes me think of "dead spots" in the substrate and SO2 (Sulphur Dioxide) which smells like burnt eggs or something like that. I could easily be totally wrong, but I am going to take a chopstick to the gravel.

Poking around in the gravel wouldn't be a bad idea. Couldn't do any harm and might do some good. A friend suggested that to me when I mentioned that my plants seemed to be falling off on growth. Can't say that I have noticed any difference; however, I don't think it was wasted time. People keep snails for just that purpose.


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