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Root tabs and UGF?


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WOW this is funny...I too am thinking of doing a new tank with an UGF.  Back in the day it was all we had and we managed to do very well with them.  I am thinking with live plants it would have to be very beneficial to have constant nutrient rich water being passed over the roots.  The only thing I am not sure of is whether or not to use root tabs?!? @Cory what are your thoughts on UGF with live plants and the use of root tabs?

 

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Additional thought: you might do really well with a UGF if you treated it as a long term project. Start with plants that float or feed from the water column, and don't add the root feeder plants until later, or you could use an easy planter with root tabs to get them established while the filter is getting a good mulmy base established?

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41 minutes ago, tonyjuliano said:

Absolutely unnecessary, possibly detrimental.

Dose the water column, the UGF will draw it down to feed the roots.

Thats exactly what I was thinking....that the flow thru the gravel would cause the tabs to release and disperse way to fast. I assumed that the Easy green would be enough since it was being pulled down thru the roots. But always better to ask my fellow enthusiasts for some confirmation.  

@Brandy I actually was thinking of this as a long term go and your suggestions are very much appreciated and well thought.  

Thank you!

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Several decades ago I used a UGF for a few years but my live plants were suffering and I got rid of it. Re-did the tank and haven't looked back, or used one since. They worked for non heavily planted tanks but I'd rather use different more accessible means of filtration. For my fishkeeping practice they went the way of the substrate heater cables.

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@BrandyI'm a sucker for crypts, and swords which is what I had in there at the time also, as well as some Aponogetons, and a few assorted stem plants but all the root feeders weren't doing well, even with laterite and tabs. Back then I was still mostly experimenting around and painfully learning the do's and don't's. Undergravel filters work well if flow is maintained and the substrate doesn't get to compact, which once laterirte degrades will likely happen too but mine never got that far. The ongoing problems with plant growth had me tear that tank down long before it got there.

Edited by Jungle Fan
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Back in the early 90s I had a 125 gallon tank that I used a UGF on, and had it heavily planted and the plants grew like crazy, and no one knew about root tabs then, so it was just fish poop feeding the plants.. It had crypts, several swords and a ton of jungle val. The val would grow so fast and thick that I would pull enough out to fill a couple bags and take to my local club meetings to give away or sell for a few bucks. 

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@Andy's Fish Den seems like we've had opposite results then at very close to around the same time,  I recall mine being on a 125 gallon then too, and as for root tabs, I learnt from my brother in Germany to use clay balls  (which are high in iron content) in the 1970's, he was growing a lot of different sword plants then which have been popular there for a very long time. Wouldn't use the clay balls today either, nor the UGF, or substrate heating cables but if you've had great results, and they worked for you I could see why you would hold on to them. Just goes to show that I guess same methods can yield different results, maybe the water quality was factor X then.

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@Jungle Fan and @Andy's Fish DenThank you for your experiences....amazing how they are completely the opposite of each other.  While I will admit there could be alot of factors that could explain the differences...eg nutrients...lighting ect. Both of which has come a very long way as far as advancement. The led lighting today is some of the best for live plants and with @CoryEasy Green and root tabs fertilizing has never been well....easier...lol

  I think I would love to get a tank maybe a 20 gallon High with led lighting  and use a UGF and see what what kind of results we can obtain with todays lighting and ferts.  

I would be willing to do a blog post of the entire "experiment" from setup to lighting to dosing schedules and amounts with pictures 2 times a week and keep everybody updated.

 

I would love to hear from people what kinds of plants you would like to see me experiment on.

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11 minutes ago, ARMYVET said:

I would be willing to do a blog post of the entire "experiment" from setup to lighting to dosing schedules and amounts with pictures 2 times a week and keep everybody updated.

For those interested an "alternate" method of UGF implementation (used as a slow-flow plenum to minimize water changes and enhance root fertilization), I have a thread going here...

 

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On 6/11/2021 at 9:32 AM, ARMYVET said:

@Jungle Fan and @Andy's Fish DenThank you for your experiences....amazing how they are completely the opposite of each other.  While I will admit there could be alot of factors that could explain the differences...eg nutrients...lighting ect. Both of which has come a very long way as far as advancement. The led lighting today is some of the best for live plants and with @CoryEasy Green and root tabs fertilizing has never been well....easier...lol

I have often wondered what the tank I had would have evolved into with the technology today. Back then, I lit the tank with a couple of cheap shop light fixtures, but I did get the guy who owned the LFS I went to all the time to order me some "plant bulbs" I think they were from zoo-med maybe? I'm sure that there were people back then experimenting with using plant ferts in their tanks, but I did not know anybody doing it. All I did was feed my fish heavy and not vacuum the gravel because I knew the fish waste would be good for my plants. 

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@Andy's Fish DenYes yes they were definitely Zoo Med and you had to replace them every 6 months...LOL  Oh they still lit up but you watched your plants basically stop growing and watched the algae start lol.

Wow that brought back memories...lol  The advent of Led Light fixtures and availability to lower the costs brought aquascaping to alot more people.  When I worked and my LFS back in the day, alot of people loved looking at out planted display tank and wanted it until they found out how much the metal halide system we had on it cost and the amount of heat it generated but darn those plants looked great!

My last fortey into live plants I used 4 pin Compact Flourescent bulbs....still pricy by todays standards but alot cheaper than the VHO's or Halides.  

Now its all Led that you can program to do anything you want except get me a cup of coffee....hmmm Maybe @Cory can make that feature into his lights...LOL

 

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