Sorry, I can't give you the exact name of the heaters as they are deep in the
uplift tubes.<g>

 I _can_ tell you that they are submersible, 7.5 watts, non-thermostatic, and
were sold for use in "mini" tanks.  I bought them at different times, from
different stores.  The first I had used for several years for warming brine
shrimp hatchers.

 I bought one at a large independent aquarium shop, the other I bought at a
discount pet shop chain.  I know other people have bought them form mail-order
sources, but they haven't found them in the catalogs... they've need to call
and ask for them specifically.

 Subject: HELP! High CO2


 I am not sure what happened to Joanne's tank, though I suspect that she was
playing with different buffering systems using peat, a Seachem buffer of
unknown origin, and and the carbonate buffering system familiar to us users of
supplemental CO2.  I would question the reliability of CO2 reading under these

 What ever the cause, I question some of your advice.

 >> TRY:  I would immediately  lower the PH to BELOW 7.0 to *reduce* the 
toxicity level of the Ammonia (I would say 6.7-6.7).  Ammonia is less toxic at
lower PH levels (below 7.0). <<

 >> Suspend use of your CO2 injector completely for now. <<

 While it is true that the ammonium present at a pH below neutral is less
toxic than ammonia, (and more easily used by the plants) if you want her to
suspend use of supplemental CO2, how do you propose that she go about lowering
the pH in the tank?

 Also, I'd like to point out that on a tank adjusted to steady application of
supplemental CO2, the change to no supplemental CO2 is adding yet another
instability to an already unstable environment.

 While Joanne's 40ppm of CO2, (if it really was that high, considering the
other chemicals in the "brew" at that point) while high was not out of the
range considered to be tolerable to most fish.  I suspect it was the rapid
change in the amount of CO2, and the resultant rapid pH shift that caused her
fish distress, along with whatever decay process caused her ammonia level to
spike and, probably, her O2 levels to fall as well.

 >> Making water changes aggrevated the situation by diluting the percentage
(amount) of Nitro-Bacter in the water. <<

 Nitritrifying bacteria (whether we are discussing nitrobacter or
nitrosomonas) are, to my knowledge, not free floating bacteria, but attached
to a substrate. (be it aquarium gravel, plants or the glass walls themselves)
Water changes unless in done with water toxic to the bacteria should not
interfere with the nitrogen cycle.

 >> If you didn't rinse the Carbon Insert/Cartridge for the Powerfilter, that
will also  introduce Carbon Dust into the water, which creates Carbonic Acid.

 I have never heard that!  This would mean that the carbon containing diatom
filter powders would cause the same problem.  I find this highly unlikely!

 Subject: Suspended Particles


 >> never heard if you are believers in the use of power heads in plant tanks!

 I use power heads below the surface level in several of my tanks to increase
circulation.  As you mention, it keeps "stuff" (detritus, algae,
what-have-you) from settling on the leaves.  Some sources suggest that it also
keeps nutrient laden water moving past the leaves in a more consistent manner.

  E-mail from: Karen Randall, 15-Jul-1995