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> From: Olga Betts <saefish at mac_com>
> Subject: BG algae and trace elements
> I have a continuting nightmare with BG algae. No matter what I do  it
> returns and covers everything with thick slime. I dug out the test
> kits and tested and low and behold - even though I have been adding 2
> cc of PMDD daily the Nitrate and Iron readings are *none*! Is there a
> shelf life to potassium nitrate and trace element mix? (The test kits
> are okay - not old).

Use them in dry form but no there should not be. Iron perhaps.

I recently did a BGA kill off in a tank that sounded like yours. The owner
was impressed. Just removed the lighting and added KNO3 for awhile. BGA
likes High light/low nutrients(Cooper 1998). So do the opposite. I gave it 5
days of blackout. Water change before after and KNO3 to 5-10ppm.
I've never done a single cocktail of PMDD. I always have used a trace
mix(commerical) with KNO3/KH2PO4/K2SO4 to dose. I know it works and allows
more manipulations that will fit anyone's tank(some folks have PO4/NO3 etc
already or high fish loads). Also allows more manipulation of other macro's
without making new batches of PMDD.
You have soft water as I recall so that could be done up like the PMDD for
GH/KH. I like dry mixes myself.
> I have done another <sigh> water change, removed as much slime as
> possible, added Maracyn and this time I'm putting 6 cc of PMDD into
> the water daily. Tomorrow I will do some more tests. But meanwhile if
> someone can tell me if PMDD ingredients go bad, I'd appreciate it.

Mainly it might be the chelating agents go bad I had assumed from light
> Also this tank has now been set up about 8 years. At some point do
> substrates go bad and need shoveling out? Gad, I hope note! It is a
> terralit and gravel substrate.

Should be fine. Add some balls of clay enriched tablets such as those
SeaChem tablets if worried. Use chop sticks to lighten any compaction
Tom Barr
> Olga
> in Vancouver