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Sent:     08 Mar 1996 02:35:57
From:"owner-aquatic-plants at actwin_com" <Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com>
To: Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
Subject:   Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #310
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Aquatic Plants Digest        Friday, 8 March 1996        Volume 01 : Number 310

In this issue:

	My tank crashed.
	Karens' heating cables and Dave's rec.
	copper removal filter
	New List
	substrate heating
	a thought on removing copper (and everything else) from water
	Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #306
	Re[2]: Dupla Cables
	Re: electric current flow
	Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #308
	re: Pratical Fishkeeping Mag
	Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #307

See the end of the digest for information on subscribing to the
Aquatic Plants mailing list and on how to retrieve back issues.


From: Cathy Byland <cccathy at showme_missouri.edu>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 17:29:16 -0600 (CST)
Subject: My tank crashed.

Hi, I'm a new subscriber, with two freshwater planted tanks, one of which 
has been running for nearly 3 years, the other (higher tech) just over one 

Here's what's going on:  The plants in my 38 gallon tank that I've had
running for nearly 3 years died over a 5 day period. 

Specs:  38 gallons
	75 degrees
	7.5 Ph
	~350 ppm hardness.
	Low-tech tank:  River gravel substrate
	2 30 watt flourecents tubes badly in need of replacing.
	Tetra plant fertilizer (forget the name of it)

12 Australian Rainbows and 1 Striped Raphael Catfish.  The tank was 
heavily planted with Jungle valisneria, one HUGH beautiful Java Fern, and 
small asorted echinodorus species

What happened was this:  2 weeks ago, two of my Rainbows developed what 
looked like bacterial body slime, so I treated the tank with an 
anti-biotic called Furacyn.  I treated for five days (1 dose every other 
day) then waited thee days and repeated the cycle.  I had removed the 
carbon the filters (two whisper power filters).  Two days after I 
completed the second round of treatment (the fish seemed well on their 
way to recovery), I noticed that the jungle valisneria was turning 
yellow, as was the java fern, which had developed holes in the leaves.  I 
added the carbon back into the filters.  That was two days ago.  I 
planned to do a large water change this weekend.

Well, the plants continued to deteriorate.  The sword plants seemed for 
the most part unaffected.  They hadn't been doing all that well anyway, 
because they weren't receiving enough light (blocked by the other plants) 
But they may be the only plants to survive.

This morning, as I was getting ready for work, I noticed that the 
valisneria was collapsing back on itself instead of floating on the 
surface, and looked yellow and somewhat transparant.  I also caught a 
wiff of the tank.  It reeked of rotting plants.  

Fearing an ammonia spike (I haven't had a chance to test the water) I 
immediately netted all the fish and transferred them to the 110 gallon.  
The fish did not at all seem in distress before moving them.  I then 
ripped out all dead plants, and left in all the ones that seemed like 
they might make it (I really hope the java fern can recover--it was huge 
and beautiful and healthy only 2 weeks ago)

I *am* going to set up a quarantine tank as soon as I move into a bigger 
place (this may). I should have done it a long time ago.  *sigh*.

Anyway, anyone have any ideas what happened?  The Furacyn does NOT 
mention that it's bad for plants.  Has anyone had this happen to them?  I 
thought there might be a possibility that since it's a low-tech tank 
that's been running for 3 years, that it might have just been no longer 
able to sustain itself.  But I suspect that if that had been the case, 
the deterioration would have been more gradual, not over the course of a 

Thanks for your help.

Cathy Byland


From: krsfert at citilink_com (karl schoeler)
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 18:05:15 -0600
Subject: Karens' heating cables and Dave's rec.


I agree with Dave.  How about trying one of those newfangled watchamacallits
that I described earlier?  I have six of them running, and Murphy hasn't
bothered me yet.  

Karl R. Schoeler   (Minnesota Aquarium Society meeting this evening)


From: Mike Variano <mvariano at vnet_ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 19:43:40 -0500
Subject: copper removal filter

Karen,  and anyone else with copper trouble.  Poly-Bio
Marine sells a molecular absorbtion filter that removes
heavy metal from water. That includes copper. It also remove
phosphates, nitrates, organics, pestisides. I don't work
there... Many Mail order Cats. sell it, Called the PMA_1
Fin-l-filter. About $120. The tech at Poly told me the best
flow rate is about 4 gpm. Might be worth a try..
By the way Karen, if your bolbitis is getting out of hand,
wanna sell some?


From: Andrew Hamilton <andrewha at tafe_sa.edu.au>
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996 11:25:57 +1030
Subject: New List

Now that there is a f/water plants newsgroup available does this mean that
this list will no longer continue to exist???? That will mean the end of me
as I dont have news group access. Can I FTP it somehow? How?



From: JDAVIS at bio_tamu.edu
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 19:02:43 -0600
Subject: substrate heating

I think the answer to te questio is probably going to be E.  all of the 
above.  I think that the main reason that substrate heating does any good at 
all is that it stimulates bacterial growth in the substrate.  Under natural 
conditions you would have a cycling of the microbiological "flora" within 
the mud, some populations grow and some crash.  I think that the substrate 
heating may favor some of the bacteria that are needed in the tank.  If you 
don't heat you will have the same results.  But if you heat, and then the 
heating goes out, then you may experience a population crash or at least a 
change in the eclogy of the substrate.  Micriobiological ecology is a very 
new field in trying to explain what is going on in the wild...if anyone else 
has any comments on this please feel free.

I am not biased...I am a microbiologist-John Davis in now freezing Texas


From: JDAVIS at bio_tamu.edu
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 19:09:27 -0600
Subject: a thought on removing copper (and everything else) from water

Here in central texas we have a problem with incredible high carbonate 
hardness...i stopped counting after 38 drops of the terta test kit stuff.  I 
typically use RO water for my tanks and add a little tap water to bring up 
the carbonate hardness some, and RO right(tm) salts to make up for what was 
taken out.  You might want to consider just using RO water for your tanks.  
If you look at the time that you spend on hauling water around and filtering 
to "kinda" remove stuff from the water...and the money that you spend on 
plants and fish, then a small RO unit is a necessity (and even a big unit 
begins to be practical.  Of course...i can get water at work...so life is a 
little easier for me.

    John Davis (marooned in aggieland)
    Department of Biology
    jdavis at bio_tamu.edu
    jmd9261 at tam2000_tamu.edu
- ----------oOOo----oOOo-------------------------------------------------


From: oneill at airmail_net (ko)
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 19:16:16 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #306

>Now that I know that we are talking about Siamese Algae Eaters, could someone 
>please tell me if they are really the best fish going for planted tanks? Do 
>they never damage the plants? And last but not least, I live in NW Arkansas, 
>and I'm doing good to just find plants; Where in a 400 mile radius might I 
>find a few of these guys? St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas? 
>     I'm not too crazy about the idea of mail-order fish buying, because it 
>seems to be very stressful on the fish. If someone has any help for my 
>search, I'd really appreciate it.

The Pet Center in Dallas at 1910 Skillman (214)823-9000 has Algae Eaters and
Otocinclus.  I've never had either damage a single plant and they are super
efficient in cleaning every leaf of every plant I own.


From: KB Koh <KB_Koh at ccm_ipn.intel.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 96 09:28:00 PST
Subject: Re[2]: Dupla Cables

>From: nguyenh at nosc_mil (Hoa G. Nguyen)
>Date: Thu, 7 Mar 96 10:16:22 PST
>Subject: Re: Dupla Cables
>>From: KB Koh <KB_Koh at ccm_ipn.intel.com>
>>>From: chapman at SEDSystems_ca
>>>In the first place, electricity does not just take the path of least
>>>resistance -- it takes every available path.  You can see that this is true
>>>from your own experiences -- you can plug several different items into a
>>>power bar, and electricity flows into all of them, even though each has a
>>>different resistance.
>>Electric current actually take the path of least resistance. If one of your
>>several items has a short circuit to ground, all the current will flow
there and
>>none to the rest of your items. The sum of current to all items is equal to
>>input current. Something got to do with Kirchoff(sp?) Law.
>>>The purpose of the ground wire is to make a low resistance path to ground
>>>available so that if a fault occurs, a large current will flow and result in
>>>a blown fuse or circuit breaker.  If the cable has an internal fuse, as the
>>>salesperson implied, that is its purpose.  No fuse can tell if current is
>>>flowing through your body or not.
>>Partly true because the path to ground has the least resistance. All currents
>>flow to the ground and none through your body. The ELCB would then trip. The
>>fuse would blow only if the ELCB malfunction or the ground wire is open, as
>>mentioned by the sales person.
>As an electrical engineer, I must agree with the first poster, that
>"electricity takes all available paths."  Given a voltage source with
>parallel paths to ground, electricity will flow through all paths, with
>current varying inversely to the resistance in each path.

OK, my mistake in simplifying it too much. The wording should be "almost none to
the rest of your items." For a few MegaOhms of body resistance comparing with 
hundreds of Ohms for Ground, very little current would flow to cause any severe 
damage to human in such a short period of time before ELCB trip. It would take 
something like 1 Ampere to kill someone. Kirchoff Law still hold true.

>The reason the ground wire works is that no voltage source is an ideal
>voltage source.  If we have a ground path with near zero resistance, >the
>current drawn by that path will be so great that either:
>(a) the voltage drop across the internal resistance of the voltage >source
>(every non-ideal voltage source has a non-zero internal resistance)
>approaches the total voltage, so the output voltage is reduced to near >zero.
>It won't be zero, because there it will reach an equilibrium determined >by
>the ratio of the resistances (load/ground vs. internal).  Since the >output
>voltage is so low in this stage, the current through your body will be
>unnoticeable (although non-zero), but it will most probably be in this >state
>a very short period of time, because...

I have to partly disagree here. This is true to a small power supply but would 
apply little to the utility supply. I don't know what is the rating in the 
United States, in Malaysia we are using 240V with 60A main fuse. For home 
supply, the utility voltage would not have the time to drop when grounded. 
Without ELCB, the current shoot up to 60A very fast and cause the main fuse to 
blow. The voltage don't event have the time to drop during that short period of 
time. It would take a very hugh current and no fuse or circuit breaker all the 
way to power generator to cause the huge voltage drop and eventually cause a 
shutdown to the entire electrical grid. The reason the current is so low when 
flowing through your body is because almost all the current flow to the ground 
and not because the output voltage went low. Remember, the original poster was 
talking about substrate heater using main 110V ;-) Again, I'm simplifying a lot 
here, removing lots of details. 

Lets get back to talking plants instead.


From: KB Koh <KB_Koh at ccm_ipn.intel.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Mar 96 09:55:00 PST
Subject: Re: electric current flow

>From: eis at alto1_altonet.com (Paul Nicholson)
>Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 13:57:16 -0800
>Subject: electric current flow
>KB Koh wrote
>Electric current actually take the path of least resistance. If one of your
>several items has a short circuit to ground, all the current will
>flow there and
>none to the rest of your items. The sum of current to all items is equal to the
>input current. Something got to do with Kirchoff(sp?) Law.
>Nope, electric current takes all paths in inverse proportion to their
>resistance, to oversimplify "Most of the electric current takes the path of
>least resistance". It's the currrent that does not go through the ground
>wire that you need to be concerned with.

In my reply to Nguyen post, I admitted my mistake in oversimplifying too much to
the original post. I'm could be electrical engineer too but won't admit it as 
I'm doing too much software :-)

Paranoid mode on:

Quick Boys and Girls, start removing all your powerhead, canister filter, power 
filter, internal canister or what have you got in your tank that directly use 
main 110V supply. The main supply can leak to your tank any time and cause major
health hazard. The insulator may break. The impeller housing may spring a leak. 
Your shark may bite the main cable in your tank that carry 110V. blah..blah... 
I'm paranoid already ;-)

Paranoid mode off:

If the heating cable has been tested by electrical appliances certification 
laboratory, then we can trust it, just like we trust our powerhead, heater etc.,
etc. The DIY is the one we have to worry about.

Paranoid mode back on:

rgds..KB Koh, the now paranoid guy in Malaysia who is right now rushing 
              back home to turn off all power to his fish tank.


From: gtong at sirius_com (G.Tong)
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 18:25:56 -0800
Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #308

>> Now that I know that we are talking about Siamese Algae Eaters, could
>> please tell me if they are really the best fish going for planted tanks? Do
>> they never damage the plants?
>Yes, they are very good in planted aquariums:  they don't dig, they don't
>tear plants, they don't eat plants (except some duckweed and frogbit
>every now and then) and they don't harass other fishes.  Only problem
>with them is that they get big and are very actice, and so they need a
>big tank to live in.

One thing my SAEs have been doing is eating the finer hairs on the roots of
my floating watersprite and frogbit. This has not harmed the plants
themselves however.

I would love to see them tear across a 6-foot or longer tank! Now that my
4-incher has spent a few weeks in his 40-gallon home (3' long) and
stretched his muscles, that new tank is looking as cramped as his former
10-gallon (20" long) tank.

Greg. Tong
San Francisco, CA, USA
gtong at sirius_com

"Every infinity is composed of only two halves."


From: Doug Valverde <75051.160 at compuserve_com>
Date: 07 Mar 96 21:43:23 EST
Subject: re: Pratical Fishkeeping Mag

>> From: "Williams, Rochelle - DCSPIM" <williaro at ftmcphsn-emh1_army.mil>
>> Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 08:36:44 -0500
>> Subject: Practical Fishkeeping Mag

>> Hardjono reminded us that the Dec 95 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine
>> has a picture of THE shrimp many of us are looking for.  Does anyone know if
>> this UK magazine is available in the US?

The US end is handled by Motorsport, 550 Honey Locust Rd., Jonesburg,
MO63351-9600. Subs cost $42 a year.

Doug Valverde 75051.160 at compuserve_com -or- dvalver at ibm_net


From:  (Dirk)
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 23:04:34 -0600
Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #307

>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.

I think I mentioned this before, but I read somewhere on a FAQ that someone
pulled their DIY UGH wires through flexible airline tubing before setup.
Unfortunately, I don't believe I saw a follow-up.  This would seem to be
the perfect solution to the thin-insulator problem.  I'm left wondering,
however, whether the obvious reduction in the speed of heat dissipation
could cause any problems for the wire insulation (heat buildup in the
tubing), *or* whether the slower heat exchange would significantly reduce
the benefits of UGH.  Any thoughts anyone?



End of Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #310

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