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Re: algae

> Hi, I need help.
> I am having problems with algae, specifically the dark green/brown/black
> encrusting the plant leaves kind.

I think we know what that is.

> My lfs tested phosphates and nitrates for
> me, 1ppm phosphate, 3ppm nitrate.

That's pretty low NO3. They have a good NO3 kit? My tanks ran this
ratio(very very close) for a long time.

> No nitrite or ammonia. My pH varies from
> 6.6 to 7.0 depending on time of day and life cycle of the three CO2 yeast
> reactors (2 liter) I have. My tap KH and GH run around 2 degrees each.

Well there's your answer before you. CO2. Check out the table for pH/KH
relationships on the krib. Now go down and see where a KH of 2 leaves you
for a CO2 concentration level. Pretty low huh?

Next thing is to raise the KH up to 4 and then knock the pH to 6.6-6.8. Then
things will have enough CO2.

> I add
> about 3tsp of baking soda at each water change to make the kh 5 deg.

Okay now try and get a pH 6.7-6.9 throughout your day cycle.
> Temp of
> the tank stays at 76F. I have 160 watts of light (GE Sunlight bulbs color
> temp ~ 5000k?) over a 75g. I am trying to grow E. Amazonicus (or bleheri)
> not sure, C. wendtii, Ludwigia repens, egeria densa, microsorium pteropus
> and a sagittaria sp.

These all should grow well.

> My LFS said there is too much phosphate in columbus
> water and I am trying to use an adsorbtive resin to take it out.

I guess they can tell me that too:) I have high PO4's, had them higher than
your readings also. Your in luck, CO2, not the PO4 is your problem.

> I dont dose
> with any liquid fertilizer, I dont have an extremely rich substrate, just
> gravel (which i lightly vacuum) and aquarium pharmaceuticals root tabs +
> iron. 

Well you will need some liquid trace mix and you could also use some K2SO4.
Are you trying to starve the plants for some reason?

> Should I get a RO/DI unit?

No, why? For PO4 removal? Try using the plants for that. You can use it for
drinking water, taste good and saves lots of $ there. That's a good reason
to get an RO. Spend your $ on a gas CO2 system. You do not need a RO system
at all.

> Should I use as directed once with the
> phospate resin?

No, you should worry about the plants, not the algae. You'll be chasing your
tail if you try that.

> I hope Ive given enough info. Oh, I change water weekly 30 -
> 40%. I currently have about 50 - 55 inches of fish in the tank.

Sounds good and like you take decent care of your tank.

> Question number two: A friend of mine just got some nice Pterophyllum
> Altum from another friend. He has extremely soft water as well, but is not
> much of a plant grower. He filters his water through a RO/DI unit and peat
> to make the pH about 5.5-6.0.

Well it's no wonder he's not much of a plant grower with that water(plants
will not grow well in CO2 poor water with no nutrients or buffers).

>? If I put peat in the filter, it will darken
> the water, which I assume will absorb some of the light.

Some but it's more aesthetically unpleasing to have tea colored water.
It can soften your water some. Why use that and also add KH?
Will I need more
> light? 

You should be fine actually. Later if you want to up grade, consider 4 x 55
watt kit from A & H supply. Your fine for now.

>Since the CO2 lowers pH, will there be an effect on the fish? I am
> working of the relationship between pH and Kh for CO2 presence in the
> aquarium in the Scheurmann book, therefore by lowering my pH, I increase CO2
> content, should I decrease KH to compensate?

Well you can go to KH of 3 and a pH of about 6.4 or so. The fish(Altums)
should be fine. A customer kept a school of Altum's in his tank at that
range and did quite well.

FWIW, you need to get a gas tank CO2 system, learn how to grow the plants
well, THEN consider getting sensitive wild caught fishes. I'd bet a wooden
nickel that you'll lose them. At least you can't really kill a CO2 tank and
raising plants is far easier than trying to raise/reproduce Altum's.

CO2 and potassium are what you need to work on for now. Stay away from rare
expensive fish that die easy. Spend your cash on hard goods like a CO2
tank/lights and cheap fertilizers like K2SO4. I think your tap water is
pretty good if you add enough CO2. If you have $ for Altums you have $ for a
CO2 system.

Tom Barr

> Thanks,
> -Zach