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I've read through this whole thread with great interest.

Back in the day, I used to use willow water to root cuttings for a high tech horticulture enterprise I had.

There are rooting hormones available, but this was an alternative that is organic.

The process was to take willow branches, twigs actually, and cut them into aprox 4" pieces and soak them in a pail of water for a couple weeks. I would use this water to start the cuttings in rockwool. Worked fantastic.

I suspect what is happening here with the GW is what one person suggested. The willow branches are adding this natural rooting hormone to the water. It not only causes the willow to root, but I suspect it adds to the root mass of the existing plants.

Perhaps the cases where this method didn't seem to work is because there were either little or no other plants in the tank.

I saw one picture posted claiming failure, and it didn't look like a lot of plants in the tank with the GW and willow. ???

If I had a fully planted tank with GW, I would be tempted to make the tea, and add some of that elixir to the tank for a couple weeks. The idea is to assist the plants in the tank to develope more roots, and thus add to their uptake ability.

Just a thought.

I will have to induce GW to try it out. :)
 

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Plants absorb nutrients as well through the leaves as through the roots. So, growing more roots isn't much of an advantage to the plants, except for anchoring them. I think willow cuttings are just good at absorbing ammonia from the water, as a nutrient. It is, in my opinion, ammonia in the water, in very small quantities that causes green water.
I agree except, don't plants absorb nutrients through leaves and roots, not one or the other?

Why bother with ammended substrates if not?

Just curious.
 

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Jazzlvr123, I am curious if it helps you out.

From my past experience, the willow has a natural hormone that forces/encourages root development.
I believe what is happening in clearing GW is that if there is a large plant mass already in the tank that
the hormone forces more roots to develop, perhaps absorbing the excess ammonia.

Once the spring hits here in NY, I am going to test this theory out, using willow water.
I believe what delays the reaction is that used as suggested, putting twigs/branches in the tank, we are making the willow water in the tank. It may be quicker to use one of the willow water recipies one finds on the web and dose the tank with that.

I would guess one would have to weigh the root mass of a control tank along with the treated tank to see if root development is happening, and then also see if GW is cleared too.

A start.
 
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