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Re: Nutrients + Equilibrium?

Susi wrote:

> Okay, I'll try dosing in that range - what were your 'not so great' results?

One of the tanks I tried the procedure in got a coating of diatoms on
everything.  The others either showed no noticable change or improved.
> Okay, I've been wondering whether to get the Alkaline Buffer, but figured
> the baking soda would do as well - why doesn't it?

Baking soda works fine, but my advice was for *if* you wanted to stick
with Seachem products.  Baking soda adds a lot of sodium.  Sodium can be
a problem in extreme cases.  Alkaline Buffer contains bicarbonates of
potassium and magnesium as well as sodium, so it should offer a better
balance.  It also costs more.  Is it worth the extra cost?  I don't
know, that's up to you.

Yet another possibility might be to get some potassium bicarbonate from
Mr. Gomberg.

> Hmmmm...... I hate to tell you this, but you were the one, about 10 months
> ago, who told me to stop using dolomite chips and coral pieces in my tank,
> as at the time, the KH kept going up.........  and I find the powdered
> dolomite to be a lot more manageable.

Well, different complaints prompt different advice.  I suppose I could
get around this problem by giving the same advise for every problem :) 
Your plants all turned blue?  Change the water!  Your fish are all doing
the rumba and you weren't invited?  Change the water!  Your E.
macrophyllus has grown emersed and now it's demanding a blood
sacrifice?  Change the water! 

> What is wrong re the extra magnesium?

There's nothing wrong with a little extra magnesium.  However, if
magnesium is there at concentrations that are a lot higher than calcium
(and honestly I don't know just how much higher that is -- the
references don't say) then it can interfere with plant uptake of
calcium.  I think it can even mess with the plants' ability to take up
potassium.  All in all it's a good idea to balance the calcium and
magnesium.  Calcium is usually found in fresh water at concentrations
considerably higher than the concentration of magnesium.

> Also, I was using the No Salt too about 10 months ago, and was advised not
> to add the extra chlorides to the tank.........I guess there's always lots
> of ways to get to a particular destination :)

I'm not aware of any problem with chloride at reasonable concentrations.
> Hmmm..... I rather like doing a bigger water change once a week, except for
> my very small tanks where I have to do it a bit more often depending on what
> I have in them, Tom's approach of 'resetting' the tank seems like a good one
> to me - I just need to find out a bit more about what to add when, using
> this new range of fertilisers.

Suite yourself.  Did Tom really advise "resetting" the tank once or
twice a week?

Roger Miller