Really not much of a poster when it comes to this site. I've been digging here and there at a leisurely pace for research. I'm very eager to learn as much as I can about the subject of aquarium plants, but I find when I tend to rush things, I grow bored of it much faster. I'm not saying this is by any means a boring subject, but what I am saying is my personality enjoys dynamics.
Now, today I stumbled across this very nice read about preparation and maintenance when it comes to planted tank. I've yet to finish it, but once I do I might say a thing or two about it- hopefully more or less what I learned and theories that seem like they might have a connection with one or another (like how I feel when it comes to plants processing ammonia or ammonium and how that could change your pH balance over a period of time)
So far I love the first illustration they provide showing how different elements affect the soil and the water- I was in doubt, but because of this picture that's provided I can see why its such a great benefit to have something like trumpet snails in your tank. The fact that the soil is being aerated properly means that the soil gets the oxygen it needs to form good bacteria. This bacteria helps to break down anaerobic gas pockets (illustrated as the anaerobic substrate and severe a/s in the picture) which in turn helps to break it down into the nutrients needed for plants to thrive on. (If you know anything about making compost, then you'll know it is the same concept of stirring the compost pile every so often so it may provide oxygen and develop good bacteria).
See, I knew that anaerobic gas pockets were bad, but seeing it in this kind of light helps envision the structure on how it's developed naturally and how it in turn is broken down to continue the cycle. It shows how while large pockets of this gas can be devastating to a tank, small increments of it is actually what helps break down the smaller, already broken down particles of waste.
I probably should've looked at the first page I found more thoroughly on the off-chance it has more information about it, but I went ahead and googled about 'anaerobic substrate' to better understand what it is and why it happens. Nice short read explaining how anaerobic substrate is what develops from rotting foods or plant debris. It's also interesting how they point out having small patches of anaerobic substrate can benefit ones tank as it "helps prevent nutrients becoming oxidized and unusable" which is something you never usually hear from people who talk about anaerobic gas/substrate. Speaking of, it's very interesting how preventing things from oxidizing helps to prolong life- typically it's things like painting over a wooden fence, using primer on a vehicle when painting it, using mineral oil on a sword or knives to keep the blade from rusting, etc. I just never would have thought of keeping nutrients in substrate from oxidizing an issue until now.... *shrugs* The more you know, right?
Well, I'm out. Hopefully I'll start posting more here so I can keep up with my findings better. There have been other things I've stumbled upon in my scavangings, but I regret I didn't document the website here like I originally planned... Ah well.. Just means I need to be more active! Both in life and on this site!
Good tidings all~