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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #52

>1. I have 3 x 42" tubes (38W) each. Two are 'original tropical' (blue/red)
>and one is 'freshwater tropical', (white). Is this sufficient lighting?

More than enough, perhaps too much if you are trying to do it without using
2 bulbs are plenty.
>2. Am I likely to need CO2 at that level of lighting.

Likely, you'll see when you add the plants and see what the ph does. If it
starts climbing up over 7.2-7.4 tpowards evening........then you might need
CO2.  Buy a KH and Gh kit also and use the Ph/Kh/CO2 table to find your
target CO2 levels. Say a ph of 6.8 and a Kh/gh of 5 would be nice.

>3. At the weekend I bought 5 clumps of Vallisnera from the LFS. They came
>with bits of foam and lead strip above the roots. How should I plant these?
>Should I have removed the lead and foam? Will I be able to remove the  lead
>after the plants have rooted? Is the lead not dangerous to fish? If I
>remove the lead how do I get the plants to stay in the substrate until they
>have rooted?

Remove the foam and lead stuff and plant the val.
>4. What other plant species would complement the plants I've chosen
>(remembering the South
>American feel)?

The X-mas tree moss (looks somewhat like java moss) is from this region.
Perhaps some Alternanthera reineckii, a nice red plant. Heternanthera
zosterfolia too is nice and fast growing.Cabomba also
>I've read all the FAQs and am probably suffering from information overload.
>Am I on the right tracks?

Yes you are! Keep learning and be patience with the plants and yourself.
Consider the CO2 gas tank or perhaps the DIY method of yeast CO2. I have a
tank of similar size myself. It's 48x16x13. I have 2x40 FL's bulbs, DIY
yeast(1 teaspoon to 2 cups of sugar and 6-7 cups of tap water) into a
reactor when the lights come on and it shuts off at night. All of that peat
you have in there might cause problems but then it might help some too. Peat
tends to soften the water and remove Ca and this can cause some problems. It
also acidifies water too. I like to use CO2 to do this rather than peat.
Peat is harder to control whereas the CO2 is not. I did the peat method
without CO2 in the past.........I'm very glad CO2 came along! It's possible
...**but** just a bit more hit and miss to say the least.

>Mike Dodds
>Fife, Scotland

Regards to a fellow Scots man,

Tom Barr         In SF, CA where is looks like Scotland today!