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Mycrorrhizal Fungi

Onoma1

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I understand that mycrorrhizal fungi are now seen as essential to plant health. A Guardian article today pointed to further research on mapping networks of mycorrhizal fungi and there seems to be an upsurge interest in their significance (see for example the Netflix programme Fantastic Fungi).

I understand that there is research which points to their significance in tropical environments and to the growth of many of the plants we use (i.e Hygrophylla) (de Marins et al., 2009). While the relationship is complex (Fusconi et al., 2018) it seems to be important for both terrestrial and aquatic plants.

The research also seems to suggest that to be that using large amounts of artificial chemicals disrupts the essential relationship between mycrorrhizal fungi and plants which harms both the fungi and the plant health. The analogy seems to be that using large quantities of artificial fertilizers is like offering plants junk food. The plant becomes ‘addicted’ to unhealthy junk food, with negative impacts on long-term plant and soil health, and the fungi die off.

I am really interested in learning more how this could contribute to extending my approach or understanding to 'low tech' into a more ecological approach with the aquarium as a ecosystem (sort of development of the Walstad Method). I wondered if anyone had any further information, thoughts or views?

More provocatively, I think it also suggests one reason why high tech/ energy tanks lack resilience, are fundamentally unstable systems and need so many inputs...
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
The research also seems to suggest that to be that using large amounts of artificial chemicals disrupts the essential relationship between mycrorrhizal fungi and plants which harms both the fungi and the plant health. The analogy seems to be that using large quantities of artificial fertilizers is like offering plants junk food. The plant becomes ‘addicted’ to unhealthy junk food, with negative impacts on long-term plant and soil health, and the fungi die off.
I think we both been down this particular avenue before? I'll link in <"the thread">.

It is certainly true in terrestrial situations, nearly all plants from naturally nutrient poor (oligotrophic and mesotrophic) habitats have an extensive suite of micro-organisms associated with them, with <"complex nutrient based interactions">.

I'd be amazed if <"aquatic plants were any different">. If aquatic plants didn't have these associations I can't see how <"leaky root structures"> would offer any <"evolutionary advantage"> and <"natural selection"> would have weeded these sorts of mutations out.
I am really interested in learning more how this could contribute to extending my approach or understanding to 'low tech' into a more ecological approach with the aquarium as a ecosystem (sort of development of the Walstad Method). I wondered if anyone had any further information, thoughts or views?
I'd pretty much align with Dr Stephan Tanner says in <"Aquarium Biofiltration">, basically don't disturb your substrate, unless you really have to.

Dr Tanner is talking about his filtration like it was a substrate, but this is partially because he is an advocate of "Hamburg Matten Filters" (HMF) which aren't oxygen limited in the way a canister filter is. With a canister filter I like to <"split the "jobs" that the filter and substrate do">.

In waste water treatment (with very large bioloads) you usually have a <"spatial (or temporal) separation"> between aerobic and anaerobic processes

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

Angus

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Mycorrhizae are fascinating and at the root (forgive the pun) of almost all tree deficiencies.

When a tree doesn't have the appropriate leaf litter or mulching you will see slower growth rings, a drier more compacted root plate, rain run off, increase in parasitic fungi species etc the list really goes on, they are key to tree roots being able to obtain the nutrients they need when they are not easily accessible, also to root aeration and to prevent compaction, many veteran trees are cared for via means of a compressed air spade and mycorrhizal innoculations into the root plate because of long term compaction.

As far as aquarium plants or even anything terrestrial that isnt a tree i dont know an awful lot about the relationships involved i will definitely have to do some reading.

Sent from my BV5500Plus using Tapatalk
 

Onoma1

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@you are right we have touched on this before. I tbh completely forgot! Sorry a year of long covid brain fog has really impacted on my memory.

On re-reading the threads I don't think, however, it was fully bottomed out nor has a guide to taking this approach been provided. I also wondered if anyone had experimented to see what worked?

Questions that occur to me are:

Should you inoculate soil with fungi spores before planting? We use this approach when planting terrestrial trees and it seems to positively influence growth.

Inoculation using, for example, pond material sounds like a recipe for disaster as it could bring in unwanted biological material. How else could it spores compatible with an aquatic environment be acquired?

We know that different fungi perform differently (just look at the properties of different bread yeasts). How do we ensure that we have the correct fungi to create a symbiotic relationship with our tropical aquatic plants?

Are there any commercial products which provide spires already on the market. ADA Bacter 100 contain spores within it's mix of biological material? Has anyone experimented with TNC MycorrHydro?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Inoculation using, for example, pond material sounds like a recipe for disaster as it could bring in unwanted biological material.
I wouldn't have any real qualms about using pond sediment as an inoculum, you could run it through a brine shrimp net or similar if you wanted to make sure you didn't add any Planaria etc.
How else could it spores compatible with an aquatic environment be acquired?
Just wait would be my guess.

cheers Darrel
 

Affinis

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6 Sep 2019
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Essex
basically don't disturb your substrate, unless you really have to.
This has very much been my philosophy for many years now, whilst I can’t claim to understand the complex biology going on in my substrates, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is beneficial. My oldest tank has been running in excess of 25 years without any substrate cleaning. All things considered this tank runs incredibly clean, and it’s apparent that it’s able to process organic material almost completely. It enables me to grow suitable plants seemingly indefinitely without the need for any fertiliser. Just the occasional water change (hard water) and fish food.
 
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