Group Order, and Another Seattle Guy

2 topics...

Regarding Dave's big group order split, I have a few suggestions based on 
the 2 years I ran our club's annual plant auction:

First, beware winter.  It will freeze shipments to the Great White North 
and other places.  Might want to do your order soon for this reason.

Second, beware idle time.  Try and get the plants unpacked and reshipped 
as soon as you can.  In or auction, we left the plants in a tank over a 
weekend without the best light, and the stem plants were already starting 
to go south after 3 days of this.  Potted rosette plants like crypts and 
anubias are OK though.  Suggest getting them shipped next day and 
shipping back out the same.

Best of luck.  Might join in if I buy my 100 in the next few days.

> From: Matt Rhoten <mrhoten at oz_net>
> Date: Fri, 15 Sep 1995 23:36:49 -0700
> [50g tank, 4x30W tritons - 10 hours a day, bunch of Raspboras and gouramis,
>  Hygro and mystery plant (egeria?), set up for 6 months, No CO2, no
>  fertilizing, used to be 1.7dKH, 12ppm nitrate, 0 phosphate, ph 7.0-7.2]

> Lately the temperatures around here (Seattle) have been high, and the
> tank temperature has been straying high during the day as a result.
> Sometimes it gets up to 84-85F. My water chemistry has been changing
> rather drastically too. In the past three-four weeks the following
> values have changed: temperature (as noted). pH has risen to 7.6.
> Phosphate has risen to measurable levels (.1ppm). And, here's the
> weird part, nitrate has bottomed out at zero. I can't get a nitrate
> reading on any of the three test kits I've tried.
> Here's my interpretation. In case you haven't guessed, the Hygrophila
> are growing quickly. I am also removing a large amount of green film
> algae from the tank sides and from driftwood. I am guessing that the
> plants (the algae and the vascular plants) are sucking the nitrogen
> out of the water faster than the fish are putting it in. (I feed
> sparingly).

Good guess.  You can probably up the feeding.

> They are also blocked on CO2 roughly as much as nitrogen,
> so are removing nearly all of it from the tank, which is causing the
> pH to remain high. I have no idea why the phosphate value is high.

Another good theory.
Check your pH AT NIGHT, and see if it's dropped down to 7.0-7.2 when the 
plants aren't using it; this will confirm your suspicion.

> My plan of attack for the short term is to reduce the lighting for a
> while, aerate the water more (to get CO2 _into_ the water, of all
> things) and, God forbid, feed more heavily.

Or try some more exotic and slower growing plants.  Contact me; I have 
lots of cuttings you might be interested in, and I'm local. :)  

> For the long term, I plan to inject CO2, since apparently this is a
> blocking factor. I will be buying CO2, iron, and perhaps potassium
> test kits soon, with an eye towards setting up a "high-tech"
> (cannister) CO2 injection system. I have been planning and putting
> this off for a long time, nearly six months. I will probably have to
> add sodium bicarbonate to keep my carbonate hardness up and my pH
> stable, big deal.

A mixture of baking soda and magnesium carbonate/calcium carbonate will 
do the trick nicely, depending on what you want for your GH as well.  I 
buy it at a chemical supply house (ECCI in West Seattle).  I also know 
some local places to get all the ingredients for a gas cylinder CO2 system.

> The reason I'm worried about
> my water is that I know with these water values I am ripe for
> cyanobacteria to slime every surface on the tank. 

Why?  Except for the phosphate you've got a very nutrient-poor tank.

Erik D. Olson					              I'm baaaack!
eriko at wrq_com (was olson at phys_washington.edu)