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All nutrients can be supplied by the water column. Floating plants have little choice.

This is also where plants will take their nutrients in if the levels are high enough.

When the levels of nutrients are depleted/limited in the water column, then plants will start doing root uptake.

This has been shown in numerous studies.

I know of no nutrient that is only supplied through the substrate only. All nutrients come from above or orginated from above. Some nutrients will flux up into the water column to some degree.

You have to force the plantrs to take the nutrients up through the roots with aquatics by limiting the water column.

Generally: Fe, Mn, PO4 are taken in from the substrates in natural systems often. NO3, NH4 from the water column, NH4 sometimes from the substrate, K+ from the water column, CO2/O2 from the water column, SO4/Ca/Mg from the water column. Depends of the environment a great deal.

Iron rich substrates that are highly porous, heavy are good for planted aquarist. Beyond that, not much else is really needed in a significant manner.

Tom Barr
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