Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2014 12:34 pm

I have blown in from a tropical fishkeeping forum, wondering if anyone here can either answer a question or can help to answer it.

It's common practice to fertilise planted aquariums. Fertilisers used are typically : carbon (as injected gas or as a form of glutaraldehyde) ; macro salts (containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) ; and trace elements. Fertilisers other than carbon can be added as solids, to the planting substrate ; or as liquids, to the water column.

Since carbon dioxide is used by a planted tank chiefly during the photoperiod, it is usually switched off at night. But what of the other nutrients, above-mentioned?

Is there a differential in the rate of uptake of nutrients other than CO2 between photoperiod and darkness? If so :

a) why?
b) does the differential apply equally to all available nutrients, both macro and trace?
c) can someone point me at published (and reasonably authoritative) evidence?

My assumption at the moment is that the photoperiod is used largely for building carbohydrates ; and darkness is used largely for combining those carbohydrates with other materials in order to build tissue. Intuition suggests (to me) that the contents of a fertiliser mix would be more likely to be used during the tissue-building phase.

You can probably tell that my grasp of these matters is somewhat flimsy and so I would value any assistance that you could offer. I have searched briefly on the internet but quickly became lost!

Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2014 02:07 pm
See if this has what you are looking for.

Water Plants 101

A basic Introduction to the physiology and ecology of aquatic plants
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2014 02:24 am
Thank you for your reply, Butrflynet. on two counts :

I'd read this some years ago and it was where I first had come across the Prandtl Boundary ; later I wanted to refer someone to the article but (of course!) I'd forgotten to make a note of it, so couldn't!

Secondly, although the article doesn't contain the information that I'm after, I have attempted to e-mail its author ; it hasn't yet come back as 'undeliverable' so I'm hoping that I may receive a response in due course!

Also, in looking up that author, I stumbled upon a research team working on the biology of non-native (to UK) aquatic plants and have e-mailed them with my query : it was generated because I'm building a biotope based on a blackwater creek/pool in Kalimantan, Borneo, so they may be familiar to some extent with the particular ecology.

So - thanks again, B. : all other responses gratefully received!
0 Replies
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2014 07:09 am
Although Able to know proudly boasts "Ask an expert," I would imagine that on the subject of fertilising aquatic plants, you're the expert.
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Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2014 07:46 am
I now have my answer (from one of the newly-discovered contacts that B. caused me to unearth).

I have another question about something odd that happened with a fertiliser mixture - but I may pop up on the chemistry forum with that one!
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