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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #1326

Hello and welcome. I've spaced replies throughout...
> Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 12:57:39 -0700
> From: "Terry King" <taeking at endlesshealth_com>
> Subject: intro and ?
> Hello all,
> I just joined this list this week.  I've been trying to read as many
> websites as I can but there is so much I'm finding it hard to find the
> answers I'm looking for.
> 10 gallons
> - -1 inch of gravel
> Ph 7.8
> KH 11-12 dKH (I get color change at 11 but bright color at 12)

Your pH and KH are a bit high IMO. I would try peat filtering OR getting the
Aquarium Pharm. "Tap Water Filter" which will do well for a 10 gallon! I use
the TWF on my 55 gal, my 30 gal, and my 10 gal nursery/hospital with awesome
results in plants and fish.

> GH 9 dGH
> Ammonia 0 to <.5ppm
> incandescent lights has been 40 w but just upped it to 65 this a.m.
> (I know I need to switch to fluorescents ASAP, its first on my list to
> purchase)

Check into compact floresence (sp?) lights, I went with normal tubes and my
electric bill is out of this world!

> filter is an external Penguin 100GPH with mini bio-wheel
> temperature is approx. 74 F.

VERY good listing! Youd be surprised on how many posters would just say
whats wrong and not even tell how many gallons of water they have, let alone
what you have given us!

> My initial questions are:
> Can I just layer laterite and more gravel to increase the depth of the
> substrate to closer to 3 inches or do I need to break down the tank and
> start over from scratch?

Drain 50% of your water to start with to make things easier, but keep the
old tank water in a bucket. Then I would take everyone out of the tank and
place them in the bucket of tank water, including the plants. Rinse the
Laterite well (this is where I messed up yesterday and had to use a my
micron filter to clean up the mess!) then pour it onto the gravel you have.
Mix it all up pretty well then add another 2 inches of gravel carefully as
to not disturb your laterite layer. Refish and replant.

> How often is vacuuming of the substrate needed if at all?
I do a very light vacuuming once a week just before the water change. I dont
push the gravel or plants around. Just kinda bump around and get whats on
the surface of the substrate. (sorry for any spelling or other mistakes, my
parrot is nibbling on my ear right now like a 16 year old school girl! LOL)
> How do I anchor stems and amazon swords in the substrate or do I need to
> anchor them?

Swords, Just burry the roots and a very little bit of the crown. Stem plants
I normally push my finger into the gravel to the first or second knuckle
then push the stem into that hole and fill it back in. I will never put
rubber bands or those metal weights in my tanks! (But thats just me)
> Is the bio-wheel a bad idea for a planted tank?

It may make to much surface splash to make for effective co2 injection. Plus
the plants are going to help you with the nitrite/nitrate thing anyhow. I'd
drop the wheel personally.

> I think I would like to start a yeast CO2 generater but I'm wondering how
> diffuse it properly with my setup.

The way I started was just to put an air stone (wooden ones make finer
bubbles but clog easier) at the end of the hose and drop her in there. But
now I have stuck the end of the line into the intake screen of my filter..
No more bubbles in my tank except those that are comming from the plants!
> Finally I need to find good mail order sources for plants and fish.  I
> appreciate any suggestions.  After investigating all the stores I could
> in Spokane, I found Petsmart and Petco the best of the lot but still not
> thrilling.

I have been getting all my plants through www.thatpetplace.com latley with
good results. I even plan on getting my pond plants there this spring (first
venture into ponds! I cant wait to try it!)

> Sorry this message became so long.

Dont be! It was nice to read at least!

> Thanks for any help.
> Terry King
> taeking at endlesshealth_com
Though you never did mention using any fertilizer other then the laterite.
My personal favorite is Kent freshwater plant and Kent Pro-Plant used
together.. There are ways to make your own but I cant find the chemicals
locally yet!
Have fun.