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Re: tank quandries

Scott Roberts wrote:

> I'll admit it - i'm a bad person. After having my 25 tall planted tank
> for 3 years i finally decided to do a water test ;-}. Everything came
> out ok, but the PH is 8.
> On another note - i hear good things about the jobe fern and palm spikes
> but I can't seem to find them anywhere in my area (Washington DC). Where
> does everybody else pick them up? Or should i add something else? PMDD?

I don't think you're a bad person.  In fact, my tap water is also at 8, and
so is my tank... where exactly do you live?  I'm up in Layhill, Maryland (a
few blocks from Totally Fish).  I haven't found it to be a problem.  It's
stable, that's for sure.  We tried to lower the pH to breed some dwarf
cichlids at one point, and it was an exercise in futility.  I checked into
it then and don't remember the details, but if I recall accurately, the
aluminum content in my water was high and I figured that was the culprit.

You can get the regular jobes sticks at Home Depot, but I don't know of a
source for the fern and palm sticks.  I also looked around and couldn't find
them.  I've used the regular sticks occasionally, but I understand that you
can get the low-P version online from a variety of different sources. What
makes you want to add anything?  None of the plants that you describe sound
especially fast-growing or demanding and it sounds like you've reached a
nice balance in the tank.  You're already fertilizing the tank a bit.  If
you're looking for faster growth or the algae is bit more of a problem than
you want, have you thought about adding some additional CO2?  For a tank
that small, you can either do the pop bottle thing or try out Jungle Labs'
CO2 Fizz Factory or another one of the alka-seltzer-type CO2 setups for
really cheap and see what you think.  The kit is only about $20.

I'm really terrible with names, so perhaps we've met.  If not, though, have
you checked out the Potomac Valley Aquarium Society or the Greater
Washington Aquatic Plant Association?  If you're interested, you might want
to check out www.pvas.com or www.pvas.com/gwapa/plants.htm

Alysoun McLaughlin
President, GWAPA
Co-editor, PVAS Delta Tale