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Re: Sulfate

> Anyhow, I was unhappy with the amounts of sulfate that I was adding.

Why? Do you have good reason to suspect they are causing some problem?

> My 
> major reference for these things is the Kaspar Horst book with all the data
> from various streams in asia. (sorry guys, not sure if there is an english
> version). 

The Dupla book?

> Anyhow in that book the measured SO4 levels are not nearly so high
> as they would be if I use S04 as a counter ion for everything.  Maybe S04
> levels are not so critical?

They are not. Perhaps if too low. Also, Stream data, not lake data will be
very different from one another. Many of our plants would do very poorly in
streams unless supplied with a good substrate. And then it depends on which
stream.  Both lentic and lotic systems will respond differently to inputs
and have different types of plants associated with them and seasonality.

You must be very careful using nature as a model when applying optimal
growing conditions. Would you like a pH of 5.5 for your plant tank and a KH
of less than 0.5? Or have your tank dry for 4 months? Do all plants come
from one type of environment? Are there many natural waters that have 8-14
ppm of CO2 and contain our plants? A few but not many. Many of the waters
that a large majority of our plants come from have higher GH/KH of which SO4
is a large component very often. Are many of the plants we keep truly
aquatic or mainly amphibious? Are we trying to grow plants without any
controls, no CO2, fertilizers prunings etc? Your in complete control of the
     In nature the plants have to fend for themselves. They get what they
get and deal with it or die. Many don't look so good out there hanging on
for dear life. Often you'll see plants just covered with algae(periphyton).
Sometimes they will be looking great. Seasonality is a big part of
plants/algae. We tend not to want that in our tanks:-) We don't want nature
to take it's course but wish to impose our idealistic views of how it should
Some things can be learned from natural systems, I'm not saying that, BUT
you need to know that aquatic studies can not be simply equated across the
board to aquariums.... as is done VERY OFTEN.
> I looked up the old post you mentioned and agree that some Na should be added.
> In the Horst book he found that in a number of locals the Na levels were
> higher than Mg! (the book is at home or i would add numbers. If your
> interested I could write a new post tonight  with more data)  However, if all
> your carbonate comes from baking soda your Na could be greater than your Ca.
> hmm.  Maybe Alkaline buffer + baking soda would allow for a more ballenced
> reconstitution.

Well you could use potassium carbonate instead but no one's been over dosing
Na ions using baking soda either. I think reduction of Na is a wastebut if I
designed a buffer it'd have to be potassium carbonate. Just cannot go wrong
with K as the extra positive ion:-)

> also, Mn should probably be included in any DIY method as I don't believe the
> amounts in  Flourish (what I use) are sufficient.  Any comments?

Mn is over looked I think. It's the cofactor in the water splitter that
gives off O2 and starts the energy flowing by supplying electrons into the
light reactions that ultimately fuels the plant and sends energy to the
sugar producing dark reactions. Other cofactors in the O2 evolving center
are Ca and Cl.
Dosing every two to three days is enough for most plants though even in very
high lighting.
> Final comments; the reason I think that the green water is comming from the
> tap is because the same weekend it "appeared" my betta jugs at work also
> experienced a green water bloom. These jugs are only tap water +
> dechloraminator (sp?).  daily water changes did not fix the betta problem.
> finally I just put them in distilled water. it is now 4 days later and the
> betta jugs are crystal clear. hmm.
> One of my lab mates proposed filter sterilizing the tap and then addng it.

You might want to add a 1 micron filter on the tops of those jars. That
would rule out air borne sources. Cook the jar a little also. Make sure the
jar doesn't get much exposure to the air prior to sealing with the 1 micron
lid. Anything to minimize the potential for spore borne algae from the air.

The spores are in the air. Algae is pretty much anywhere there is water,
snow, ice. Temperatures play a big role in many algae. Low CO2 also(slowed
plant growth so you get a N spike once again since the plants suddenly slow
their N uptake down). The low CO2 can come from a fresh new supply of tap
water from a recent rain/snow melt/new lake/river well source etc and that
will often change the KH causing it to drop. So you think your pH is fine at
a KH of 5 but after a few water changes GW appears and you find you have far
less than 5KH. Not sure about this but it MAY happen.
I found when I had some GW occurrences in one tank I knocked the Filter out
or dropped the CO2 in came GW almost without fail. A CO2 problem (again)->
leads to slowed growth-> leads to NH4 spikes which-> causes algae bloom.

GW is fun if your able to get rid of it. Small little suckers.
Tom Barr
> Thanks again, 
> Tarah