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Re: PMDD Trouble

Hi all,

My first attempt with PMDD has been less than a success.  After using 1.0 ml
daily for about 2 weeks I purchased a Lamotte Nitrate test kit (has fresh
reagents) and found that Nitrate Nitrogen was barely detectable (less than
0.25 ppm NO3-N).  So a began adding larger amounts of PMDD to try to get the
NO3-N up to about 1.0 ppm (or 4.4 ppm NO3).  Well, I did increase the
Nitrate but never even reached 0.5 NO3-N.  I stopped adding any more PMDD
because the fish became obviously stressed, stopped eating and swimming and
the most sensitive fish (baby Kribs) began floating upside down.

I did an immediate 50% water change and within minutes the fish where
swimming, eating and acting happy.  I'm not sure what is going on but I
suspect the potassium nitrate source since its contents are largely unknown.
I used Hi-Yield Stump Remover distributed by Voluntary Purchasing Groups,
Inc., Bonham, TX.  The label only says contains potassium nitrate.  I wonder
if it doesn't contain some other nasties.

My PMDD formula is as follows:

1 Tbsp chelated trace element mix
2 Tsp K2SO4 (potassium sulfate)
1 Tsp KNO3 (potassium nitrate)
2.5 Tbsp MgSO4.7H2o (hydrated magnesium sulfate; aka epsom salts)
300mL distilled water

I had trouble locating K2SO4 (All Green is not sold in this area), but
instead purchased a lifetime supply of Sulfate of Potash which lists a
guaranteed analysis of Soluble Potash (K2O) 50%, Sulfur (S) 17%.  For the
trace element mix I purchased 5 lbs of Microplex made by Miller Chemical &
Fertilizer Corp.  This mix is a little different than the mix mentioned on
The Krib and lists the following content: Mg 5.43%, B 0.5%, Co 0.05%, Cu
1.5%, Fe 4%, Mn 4%, Mo 0.1%, Zn 1.5%.

Do any of you have an idea what the problem is?  I only used the trace
element mix at 1/2 strength because I have some Flourish to use up; so I
don't think there is any problem there.  The Sufate of Potash and MgSO4 also
seem safe.  I suppose I could be having a problem unrelated to the PMDD but
I doubt it.  Everything has been running fine for months.  The problem only
began with the increase in PMDD.

As a side note, I have discovered another nice aspect of having SAE's in the
tank.  Besides being good algae eaters and active and interesting fish, they
are very good indicators of poor water quality.  They are almost always
active, however, the couple of times that I have known that I had water
problems, I first noticed that the SAE's stopped swimming and remained
either on the bottom or deep within the stem plants.  Once the water quality
was improved the SAE's begin immediate activity.  Now I keep a close eye on
what the SAE's are doing.  If they are sluggish, I get suspicious of the


Scott Page
West Jordan, Utah