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Some problems that keep bugging me I wonder if you could address, Phil.

How could we apply laminar flow to a rectangular aquarium where the outflow is so narrow and where the water must circulate rather than continue along a unidirectional path? Even with a spraybar, we cannot recreate the effect seen in a river where the flow is uniform. If we attempted to create laminar flow using either a spraybar or powerhead by extending the flow as far as possible before an impendment is reached, won't we always be creating the largest deadspot above or below the outflow?
 

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Demonstration of 3D water "pulling" from a lily pipe. The vortex is created by slower moving water being pulled into the faster moving stream leaving the lily pipe.


A great video demonstrating the same with riccia:
Yes, I see the same effect with my Koralias, but never with say a Hagen powerhead.
 

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@redFishblueFish: If your using co2 injection, you want to run your flow below the boundary layer so you can use the surface tension to help keep the carbonic acid from releasing into gaseous carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Consider the discussion below on this issue. IMO, surface turbidity should be a part of every aquarium, as we should put fauna health first; flora second. Keeping a high O2 level is just as important, actually more so, than keeping a high CO2 concertration:

http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/8175-Too-little-O2-or-too-much-CO2-Please-help-me-make-sense-of-this.
 

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@Ekrindul
That was a fascinating read! They focused on phosphate and ammonia - I wonder if their results hold true for trace nutrients.
Unfortunately, much of the small amount of research there seems to be available on the subject isn't freely available. Hopefully, Phil will see this and enlighten us.

I've read that the bulk of nutrients in aquatic plants were collected by the root system, and also that the bulk of nutrients were collected by the leaves. I've read that the roots primarily function to collect carbon and anchor the plant. I seem to recall reading somewhere that iron transport in water hyacinth from root to leaf can take a few weeks to accumulate to a significant amount (would certainly point to an advantage for a plant that could collect iron from its leaves).

Seeing as plants cannot move when things aren't going well, it would seem reasonable that they would have evolved to have options.
 
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