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Re: 10 gallon.

> Here's some more data -
> Tank water -
> Nitrate = 8ppm

This is fine.

> Ionic Fe = 0. Chelated Fe = 0.75ppm. Too high, too low? Sample taken in the
> morning *before* daily Kent drops addition.

This is fine in a well growing tank with decent CO2.

> KH = 6.2
> GH = 5.6. Lower than kH possible? I had the lfs guy do this test twice to
> be sure.
> CO2 = 8ppm (lfs test). The water was kept in a plastic bag for an hour and
> likely lost some CO2. Should be ~19 ppm according to the chart, based on my
> pH of 7.0 (has dropped recently after I added a new recipe bottle that's
> putting out more CO2 than the last one) and KH of 6.2.

Stick with the Chart. Glad you can use it etc. Actually, *you'll* be glad
You might want to test your pH through out one day, say when the lights come
on and when they go off and maybe once in the middle if your around the tank
and remember...try to get a decent range of CO2 levels. This can be somewhat
tricky using yeast CO2 but close is fine. 6.8 to 7.2 is a good range for
your KH I'd say.

> However I have high
> phosphate so the chart may not hold?
> Phosphate = 6ppm. Very high. Tap water is 5ppm+ and I was supplementing!

That's the highest level I've heard of ever out a tap.
Where are you located? Call your local water department. See what they say.
They don't need that high of level and it can cause problems beyond the
aquariums if they have such high levels. They don't need it that high for
the treatment processes etc.
I'm suspicious of the test kit or the reading. I could see 0.5ppm which is a
good range for tap water. That's about an ideal and perhaps even a low range
for PO4 and much more common level in a tap water.
Even so, it should not mess with your CO2 readings.
> Along with the Fe, this probably explains my algae problems.

Not really. You can have high P and iron level and not have algae. But you
need something else that's low/limited like N. The easiest of the 3(N,P,Fe)
to limit in your case is *still* the iron. Your tap has it(PO4-in either
case(.5 or 5) the iron would be best to limit) and it's rather difficult for
many folks to get 0 NO3's but 0 iron is easy.........just don't add any
liquid iron, just root tabs etc.
It is quite effective actually. Some plants do better in iron limited tanks
than others but the tanks do look very nice and grow slower which in the
case of a small 10 gallon tank is a good thing. I would say it is the lowest
algae method out there. Like many methods, it does have limitations but it
good. Diana Walstead's Plant Book takes this approach to large degree.

 You'll spend much more on fertilizers and algae issues and P removers etc
than for a bag of flourite. An hour or two and the tank is back up and

> O2 = 13ppm. Nice and high, though home tests show 7-10ppm.

I would not worry much about this one.
Watch the plants for pearling etc and too much CO2 (not likely with Yeast
but possible).

> Potassium test not available. The Kent drops have 3% K2O and the aquarium
> fertilizer tabs have K as well, so this may not be deficient.

Toss some K2SO4 in there(Potash of sulfate/sulfur-Green All brand) perhaps
about 10-20 grains once  a week.
> Tap water -
> Phosphate = 5+ ppm. Very high.  Probably my biggest problem.  What do I do
> about this?

This seems out of whack but it may be possible. Check with your utility.
They will be quite helpful and will provide a more reasonable/reliable
reading I would bet.

> KH = 2.2. Hence the need for baking soda for buffering.
> GH = 4.5
> Nitrate = 2ppm

Just try to hit close to the same KH every time you do a water change.
> The CO2 is currently bubbling into the AquaClear intake.  Doing 25% H2O
> change weekly. 

That's fine.

> Will shrimp eat hair algae?


>The algae looks like
> individual, relatively thick hairs - some curly - sprouting from numerous
> locations on each leaf.  This has spread to my lovely tropica sword now :-(

Could be something called staghorn on the list here if kind of grey and
large and thick. Attaches very firmly. Good conditions and it'll go away
after some time. Usually happens when a big upheaval or a new tank is not
going well. Slow to leave the tank often. Nothing eat that one. It'd be like
chewing on a rubber band.

> Short of overhauling the substrate, how does the following sound?
> - - Treat water to remove/reduce phosphate.
> - - Cut out Kent drops to limit iron in water column. One less thing to add!
> - - No more aquarium fertilizer tabs, vacuum out whatever is left of the last
> addition.  One less thing to add!
> - - Back off on gravel vac to let the substrate get enriched.
> - - Seachem Flourish tabs in the gravel for iron and other micronutrients
> (have inserted already)

You can do this and have it work well. I still am wondering about that PO4
level though. A reason why I suggest the flourite is that it is
supplies/facilitates more nutrients than plain gravel substrates that are
enriched. So if you limit things in the water column the plants will do
better over time. You can add stuff to the gravel like your doing also but
I've found the flourite does work better. After adding a number of
clayballs/ Tabs etc the stuff will pay for itself and is one less thing to
worry about.

Another method is to just top off you tank for evaporation loss. Since your
tap has high PO4's(assumming the reading is right), the PO4 will drop over
the course of a few weeks and adding the fish food for N and P from then on.
The rest is in the soil and an occasional light dosing of trace elements.
Feeding is your main control of the N and P and most of the nutrients. What
you add in the form of food will be removed in the form of plants if you
balance it right. It's not too awful hard to do. Just feed the fish and have
a light load with some algae eaters:)
Tom Barr
> Thanks and regards,
> Arvind
> ------------------------------