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Re: Algae and Other Problems

On Fri, 11 Feb 2000, Ryan Mills wrote:

> I use the Flourish liquid (.8 ml divided over the
> week) and the iron suppliment (.25 ml per day).

That doesn't strike me as being very much.

> The ph is about 6.8, GH-100, phosphates-.1ppm,
> nitrates-0 (until I added some nitrate of soda),
> temperature-77, kh-unknown at the present time
> (because I haven't been able to get a kit), although
> my buffer was recently tested at 20.

If your GH is 100 ppm then you shouldn't (under most conditions) be having
calcium deficiency problems.  If the buffer is 20 ppm then that's pretty
low and you probably want to increase it.

> Fish are two Steatocranus tinanti, 8 "Columbian Red
> Tail" tetras, 6 otocinclus, 3 SAE (just added), and
> one 9 year old + Pekoltia vittatus.
> Now, my problems.
> 1.  calcium deficiencies.  My tenellus leaves continue
> to look chalky and sometimes bent a bit after trying a
> variety of calcium suppliments.  I've tried calcium
> chloride, gluconate, and hydroxide.  None make a
> difference.

If the problem is calcium deficiency, then any one of those should work.
Besides, calcium is normally the largest part of general hardness so with
GH at 100 ppm you should have plenty of calcium.  Perhaps the problem
isn't calcium deficiency?

> I recently tried a very small ammount of
> a Kent marine buffer that I at first thought to
> contain calcium carbonate.  Then I realized it has
> carbonate, bicarbonate, and other salts of magnesium,
> boron, and potassium, but not calcium.  I should have
> paid attention.  What a dunce I am.  Anyway, I
> understand the carbonate form is best.  What is a good
> source for it?

Shells. Crushed marble, limestone or dolomite.  Dietary calcium
supplements (not the chewable kind).  No doubt there's more.

> My buffer had been tested as zero
> before the addition of the Kent stuff.  Will the
> calcium carbonate help that and prevent the ph from
> going down too far?

Calcium carbonate will increase KH and GH equally.  An increase in KH (all
else being equal) will increase the pH.

> Will the leaves be greener and
> straight?

Not if calcium deficiency isn't the problem.

Instead of trying to dose calcium or any other specific element (which
might cause an unhealthy imbalance in the electrolytes), why not just
increase the amount of RO Right that you use to amend the makeup water?
Real fresh water (low GH, low KH etc.) isn't the best medium for growing
most plants. In saying that, I am assuming that RO right contains a
reasonable balance of calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.

 > 2.  An undefeatable thread-like algae.

Give your SAEs more time to work on it.  They'll go through the softer
green algae first and get to the less palatable stuff later.  In the mean
time to remove excess algae, trim the effected leaves and maybe (after
getting more buffer capacity) try increasing the CO2 level.  With 20 ppm
of alkalinity and a pH of 6.8 you have only about 5 ppm of CO2.

> 3.  Too much space between the nodes on the Limnophila
> sessiflora and Myriophylum.

I don't grow any of those plants.  I usually move plants that don't look
attractive to another setting or another tank where conditions are
different.  That's way easier than trying to tailor a tank to make
everything grow just so.

Roger Miller