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RE: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #253

Greg Watson asked:

> How do you keep the chemical ingredients "in solution" (I think that's
> the right way of expressing it) ... I mix up a half liter almost every
> week and have to shake the bottle every day because it precipitates out
> to the bottom of the bottle each day.

I mix the stock solution at the concentrations recommended by the Sears and 
Conlin paper. I prepare the actual dosed solution by adding about 4 days 
worth of each solution to 4 liters of RO water. This yields a mixture far 
below the normal PMDD solution strength which does not precipitate. I use 
this dilution because the pump is not reliable below rates of about 1 liter 
a day unless I change the tube set often.

I too must shake the bottle of stock solution before preparing the 

Paul Krombholz wrote:

> Why would we have to add a nutrient frequently?  Here are some
> possible reasons:

[snip reasons]

The reason I add on a continual basis is so I don't have to deal with it 
every day. I mix up enough to last a while, set the pump, and forget about 
it for 4 days. I hope to extend this time frame with a larger reservoir.

Paul Krombholz also wrote:

> Well, to be picky, I suppose that calcium
> can go into snail shells instead of the plants, but old snail shells
> limestone, etc. release it back. It is not much of a problem to keep
> calcium levels up.

Ah Ha!!! I just realized why the alkalinity (KH) in my tank falls so fast. 
I have an annoying population of snails, a portion of which I "relocate" on 
a weekly basis. This means the old snail shells do not have the opportunity 
to release the carbonate back into the system. Perhaps a different approach 
is required...

Bobby Joseph wrote:

> I have some frozen Hikari daphnia, and was wondering if people just throw 
> the whole frozen cube into the tank and let the fish nibble on a frozen 
> or you thaw it out first and then, I guess, just dump it into the 
> slowly.

I don't use the frozen daphnia, but frozen brine shrimp. At one point I was 
having an irritating NO2 problem that I believed was related to the 
dropping the frozen cubes into the tank. I began thawing the cube as you 
do, and straining the result through a brine shrimp net to flush the liquid 
out. I don't know if that was the cause of the NO2 problem or not, but it 
went away.

Douglas Guynn, in west Texas, where we would be intensely grateful for the 
rain Mr. Krombholz is enjoying of late.