[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

algae and soft water

Hello all.  I finally got up my nerve to ask my question so here goes.  I 
have three planted tanks the oldest of which is seven months.  The 29 has 
laterite and gravel substrate, an eclipse 3 hood and 2/3s plant cover.  The 
water is 9 parts distilled and one part tap.  The 38 has a gravel with 
tablets substrate, 60 watts standard fluorescent and an eclipse 330 box 
filter.  The water is 5 parts distilled to 2 parts tap.  The five gallon has 
an under gravel and a box filter that bubble out any possible CO2, nothing 
but gravel and fish waste in the substrate, a 60 watt incandescent desk lamp 
from wal-mart as the light and pure tap water.  Guess which one grows plants 
the best?  Guess which one has no algae?  The five gallon!!  It wasn't even 
supposed to work.  All the tanks have about the same fish load.  The 38 has 
no significant algae and the plants grow, although slowly.  The 29 has fairly 
rapid plant growth but algae from Hades.  Is the soft water, causing this 
problem, or excess nutrients perhaps.  I have some water lettuce in the 29 to 
sop up extra nutrients and they grow rapidly with long roots.  I do not put 
liquid food in any of them although I did when I first set up the 29.  I had 
a test for hardness but it tested unbelievably high so I think I did it 
wrong.  I know my water is supposed to be hard because it comes from a 
calciferous spring.  I have white deposits on stuff in the house and the 
tanks where I use the water straight. The PH in all the soft water tanks is 
stable at 7.4 no matter what I do.  I have tried to lower it with peat in one 
to no avail.  I do not use C02 on any of the tanks. The maintenance routine 
on all three tanks is the same.  Is this enough information for anyone to 
hazard a guess at why the five gallon that wasn't supposed to work is doing 
so well and the 29 that was, has so much algae?  If I buy a compact 
fluorescent light for my 38, am asking for an algae problem?  Any advice 
would be most appreciated.  Thanks, Teresa