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>Thank you Thomas for a good answer; I think you are in effect saying that
>carbon filtration is usually not as cost effective as water changes, as I

And you know that everything is being remioved, nothing added except the
tap water.
And it goes well with re setting routines each week etc.

>Peat contributes to DOC but does it prevent macrophytes from utilizing
>nutrients? Little has been said about peat adsorbing cations like calcium &
It can certainly remove some of the Ca/Mg from the water column.
But there's often an excess of these and with regular large water changes,
this typically does not occur.

Point is, it's not going to make or break the plants relative to the
It's not a lot of peat and it's in the best place for the lowest
diffusion.It just adds some OM and reductive power intially when you start
a tank up.

If you add a lot of Peat, it binds the Mg/Ca but then releases it with time
slowly. This is good for those non CO2 tanks. 

>What is DOC? That deserves a more informative answer than I can give. I
>to say something about the 6 carbon ring structural building blocks of
>plants but I need to go look at my BGA tank filled with fry. :%) I am
>recovering & feeling almost normal today.
DOC is a lot of things.  

>There are many reasons why a tank may not have enough water exchanged that
>do not relate to being lazy. It could be a tank with fry, or with an active
>infusorial culture or a daphnia culture.

Fish? They are just there for the plants:)
Bait talk.

 >The primary tank caregiver may have
>gone on a business trip, vacation, been ill or simply busy. With a planted
>aquarium, you needn't change water as often since its been said that the
>plants detoxify the water for the fish but Tom's comments have been
>extremely enlightening for me.
Well, there are times when you have to take some time off.
At some point, everyone does.
You can whip it back into shape rather fast, 3-4 weeks for semi
presentable(to the family at least) 

>Is there a causal relationship with feeding frozen bloodworms & BGA?
 >Steve P

Perhaps overfeeding. I've just never had that much issue with BGA except as
a pesky little issue with the vegetative cones of stem plants. But that's
easy to solve.
I've taken care of BGA for many folks in tanks that are not my own.I also
never once had Green water till I started playing with NH4. 

The blackout method works so well, I've found no reason to worry much about
the BGA. 
I mainly just focus on the plants, cleaning the tank out so that I know
what's in there(big water changes frequently).

My set up tanks are simple, I have a total of two electric powerplugs per
tank. Low wattage pumps/filters, efficient lighting/CO2, good substrate,
good dosing routine. Tank/stands match, hoods are all open top, tanks have
been modified(Rims removes, custom braces and glass light suspenders that
allow the lighting to slide back easily for work but you do not really see
the glass suspenders. I really like the 75 with an open top and the PC
lighting. The tanks are also silent, something that is important to me. 

Tom Barr


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