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[APD] Re: Fish Stocking Level

On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 05:02:08 -0800, Beek, Graham <Graham_Beek at ds-s.com> wrote:

How is your tank progressing Andrew? Have you bought anything yet or are you
still reeling from the price shock?!

Um. Well at the moment our home (I'm 18 and still living at home) is undergoing serious DIY. So it could be a while. But it IS going to happen, even if I have to get a job over the summer (well maybe not THAT extreme, I like being an unemployed student).

I like the Daylight Plus tubes. I didn't realise it had a green spike in it - that would explain the plants 'glowing'.
Not sure I liked it as first, but I've got used to it now.
My H. polysperma in my 3' tank certainly likes it. I've
got one Daylight Plus towards the rear and a Sunglo at the
front, the Hygro grows much redder at the back of the tank.

That's purely what it looked like on the 1" big spectrum that came with; it could be the spike is very narrow (and so carries very little of the overall power) but I do think that Daylight bulbs tend towards green (easy with the colour temperature).

I think your price list is pretty reasonable, but you seem to be spending
alot on treatments. What are you including? Also, remember that you don't
have to buy everything in one go - take your time.

That's ~£10 on ~500g of API laterite, £9.99 on 60 API root tabs (sword plants get most of their nutrition from the substrate), about £5 on special peat granule for the filter (might skip that), about £6-7 each on a bottle of Kent Botanical Micro-nutrients and Grow (the first is traces, the second is a bit like what I think Excel is like - it's got CO2 (as carbonate), and boron/magnesium macros, but no phosphate or nitrate), and £2.99 on a bottle of Tetra Blackwater. I have just realised that the Grow is unsuitable for a soft water tank, and if anybody has any suggestions for better a better trace fertiliser, I'd be happy to hear it (remember I live in Britain; Seachem products are tricky to get).

I'd be interested to know what the plants are like from Birstall. I was
going to buy a few things from them but couldn't get the online payment to work and I never got round to phoning them. They're the only ones I
know that sell C. affinis (in the UK).

It looked just like the Tropica line to me, except really expensive compared to Green Line. I'd prefer to get them from somewhere else cheaper (obviously).

My C. Wendtii from Green Line are  growing nicely though. I wish Green
Line wouldn't sell marsh/land plants though, makes them look a bit
dodgy IMO. Can I say that? Oh well.

They seem to use a lot of names which either cannot be found on the Internet or are often incorrect identification of other names. Obviously not having seen any of the plants (not that it would make a lot of difference if I had), I can't be sure, but I've identified some of the plants as 'likely to not be this plant at all but in fact to be THIS plant'.
Examples: Echinodorus Paniculatus (Bleheri?), Echinodorus Magdalensis (Quadricostatus?). I would still like to know whether Echinodorus Mitchii (Curved Leaf Sword they claim) and Echinodorus Brevipedicellatus (they say it's Narrow Leaf Sword, but it might just be Echinodorus Amazonicus, which is otherwise missing from their catalogue, like Bleheri) are correctly identified (which I doubt). But at that price I'm not going to argue.

Some plants in my 2' have done well, others haven't. When I've pulled
out a plant that has lost all it's leaves and the stems going brown,
it still has lots of nice white roots though. I've used aquatic
soil (meant for ponds) under sand and am quite pleased. No C02,
but I am tempted. I would really like to grow A. roseafolia, but I
only have 3 sticks left, each of them having 4 small leaves at the
top :-(  I also have a large piece of bogwood which rises towards
the water surface and is growing an impressive amount of hair algae
near the top. I keep having to remove the strands to stop it taking
over the tank.

Sorry for the long post. I'll stop rambling now...

Nothing like a good ramble, and I should know.
One other thing - although my water (in S. Wales) in reasonably soft (60mg CaCO3 of KH, 100mg of GH), though it could be a little softer, the pH is about 7.6. Would peat filtration reduce this dramatically? Obviously about 6.5-7.0 is what I'd like.
Also how many large plants things (e.g. a group of stems, a clump of Vallis or a large sword) would be normal in a 30"x15"x18"? I was thinking 3 on the back wall, 1 in a front corner, and maybe 4 smaller midground plants in the gaps to the rear. It's going to be almost all Swords now, I just need to pick a few species to stop my tank becoming 'The Sword Plants Of The Amazon - Twenty Different Species in a 30 Gallon'.

Andrew McLeod
thefish at theabyssalplain_freeserve.co.uk

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