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Re: Brown sludge

: Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 10:24:18 -0800
: From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
: Subject: Re: Brown sludge
: > 
: > 35 gallon acrylic
: > 220W compact flourescent (both only on for part of the day, otherwise
: > it is staged)
: Wow, more light than me!

Well, I actually was off, it is 192W of light.  I had a choice of 96W or
192 so I went with the 192W retrofit kit.  I wanted to be sure light was
not a limiting factor for me.

: > Eheim Pro II 2026 canister filter
: > m3 CO2 deluxe system controlled by an Aquacontroller II
: > pH kept between 7.00 and 7.05
: And your KH? GH?

I only have been checking KH and it depends on the day I check it.  After
a water change, it will be around 4-5.  After about a week, it will get
down to 2-3.  I've been able to tell when it is getting down there because
suddenly my pH plummets.  Add in some baking soda, watch the pH climb back
up and let the controller add CO2 to drive it back down.  I'm still
getting a 'feel' for how often I need to add it but it tends to be about
every 5 days roughly.

: > temp kept at 78.5-80
: > Flourite substrate
: > It seems we have pretty soft water here (KH of 4 from the tap) and
: > I've had to add baking soda after a while as the water gets softer in
: > the tank.
: Do you do weekly water changes? Just do that.
: Set your Controller for 6.6-6.7 @ a KH of 4.

I've been doing water changes roughly every other week as it turns out.  I
just lowered the setting on the controller down to 6.85-6.9, will let it
sit there for a day or two and lower it more.  I don't like making major
changes in my tank if I can help it.

: > Any pointers on what I could do more for this tank?  This algae is quite
: > quickly detracting from the beauty of the tank.
: Sounds like Diatom mats. You need more CO2 at this high light value.

Will do.

: > I know I should be adding something to this tank, but I am not sure
: > exactly what and how much so I have not been adding anything outside of
: > water changes and baking soda when the KH drops too low.
: Check out the www.sfbaaps.com under "references". Your going to need K2SO4,
: KH2PO4, and certainly KNO3. Then you need to add traces.
: Your tank is starved. It'll do well when first get going but you did not add
: anything after that. Then you get algae. Light(you have a huge amount), CO2,
: (you likely do not have enough unless your KH is at 7 or 8 which is
: unnecessary when your KH is 4) and nutrients. Your missing the last part and
: need more CO2 very likely.

Well, it is trivial for me to add more CO2, working on that now - thanks.
For the other chemicals, is there any "easy" method to add the proper
amounts on a routine basis?  Is there any "mix" already made that has all
of the proper chemicals?  

Once I have everything, what amounts are we talking about here?  I figured
I would add it to my routine when I do water changes but I'm not sure how
much I will need for this tank.  Like I said, I really do not like making
blind changes so want to understand what I am doing (I can research this)
and make sure I'm putting in the right amounts.

I have some fish in my tank right now that I absolutely love, do not want
to do anything to jeopardize them, or the health of my plants.  I
absolutely *love* my tank, just wish it was roughly 150gallons larger so I
had more room to play with and for the plants to grow in to. :)

Thanks again for your help.  You, and others on the list, provide a
valuable resource to those of us that love growing aquatic plants but
don't have the experience yet.