Surface Film, Copper and DIY heating cables
Subject: Surface film
> Bob_Hoesch at fws_gov wrote:
> > My (densely planted) tank
> > throws out enormous amounts of floating film and scum, and
> > extractor keeps the surface completely clear. It's a bit
> > to maintain, as it is very sensitive to water level and it
> > get clogged with bits of debris. Also it's not as inconspi
> > like. But it does an essential job. I don't know of bett
> > except a built in spill-over.
DIONIGI MALADORNO wrote:
> I did not know that plants produce floating film and scum. Can a
> explain in simple terms how that happens? I have mixed floating
> (duckweed, frogbite and Pistia: did I spell them right?)in my 18
> in addition to a good number of submersed plants (mostly swords,
> Crinum). I normally have little or no floating film despite a me
> load (no surface extractor) and I thought that the root system o
> floating plants absorbed it in some way. Does this make sense?
I have a number of tanks, some with floating plants, others
without. None of them have surface extractors and none have much
of any surface agitation. I don't have surface scum in any of
them. I've once or twice seen it in non-planted breeder set-ups,
but never in one of my planted tanks.
Subject: copper in the water
> Karen Randall wrote about not being able to grow Valisneria beca
> sensitivity to copper.
> Karen, I used to be in Boston, and the water there had 5 mg per
> copper. After standing in a tank for a month, that water would
> snail in 30 minutes and a fish in four days. I figured that oth
> kept their fish alive only because they used activated charcoal
> filters that captured the copper. I didn't want to do that, so
> the problem by borrowing some 5 gallon plastic containers from a
> and going to the outflow from one of the local reservoirs and co
> water there. I filtered the water through sand to catch any hai
> that might have been picked up and kept it in a covered aquarium
> excellent water and I never had any problems with it. In fact,
> wondering if all that copper was OK to drink, and I began drinki
> water I had collected. No problems, and I am still here to tell
Gee, I'm glad that there's someone else who's actually experienced
this problem!<g> I was worried enough about the copper levels
that I did check with the pediatrician about it, but he said it
was within acceptable limits.
If I had less tanks, kids and horses, I might be tempted to
collect water somewhere or get an RO or DI unit. As it is, at
least for now, I just work around it.
It is a royal pain in the, uh, neck, though!<g>
Subject: DIY substrate heating
> Hi Karen,
> I'm sorry to hear that your foray into substrate heating
> didn't work out. From your description I would guess that
> the problem wasn't caused by a fragile (broken) wire, but
> by a failure of the insulation at some point. Probably one
> of the connections was not properly sealed, and some current
> started flowing to ground through the water. I don't remember
> what method your friend used to seal his connections; I used
> several layers of heatshrink tubing on my setup, and it has
> worked very well.
I really don't know where the failure occurred. I didn't mean that
the wire actually broke, I meant that the insulation had been
compromised. But, you are right, it could have been anywhere.
> By the way, that Bolbitis you gave me is growing like crazy!
Great! It's a pretty plant. Unfortunately, mine is again growing
like crazy too!<VBG>
(For those of you who couldn't attend this little AGA/APD/BAS
"happening", I removed about 60% of the plant mass from this tank,
and it still looked fully planted when we got done... I think some
rearranging was definitely in order whether substrate heating got
installed or not!<g>)
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.