Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #306

I have been lurking for awhile but am experienced with a lushly planted tank
without undergravel heating. I am glad to see someone else state that it is
not necessary. I have Dupla CO2 and metal halide/flourescent lighting and
use RO water and Duplagan drops daily (or whenever I remember). I do not
have any unhealthy plants, from swords, to crypts, to aponog., etc... My
only problem is pruning the fast growth. BTW I really enjoy reading the
digest and am impressed with its contents. Also, I was unsure how to post in
the right place (I intended to follow/reply to the comment by Neil Frank. If
I did it wrong, would someone please e-mail me to set me straight? Thanks in

Robin, using husbands address: sryan at skypoint_com

>Aquatic Plants Digest       Thursday, 7 March 1996       Volume 01 : Number 306
>In this issue:
>	Re: Aquaclear Filters
>	Re: substrate heating
>	Sub. Heat, Ammonium, Aquaclears, R.macrandra, Copper
>	Re: Urghhh
>	Re: Dupla Cables (The whole message)
>	Substrate Heating
>	Copper - my two cent's worth...
>	Re: Surface XTractor
>See the end of the digest for information on subscribing to the
>Aquatic Plants mailing list and on how to retrieve back issues.
>From: PacNeil at aol_com
>Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 15:52:01 -0500
>Subject: Re: Aquaclear Filters
>In a message dated 96-03-06 04:01:49 EST, Mike Variano wrote:
>MV>I was wondering about the noise produced by the Aquaclear filters. I have
>several MV>Whispers, and they are all quiet. I have one Aquaclear Mini, and
>it tends to buzz. MV>Is it just a lemon? Also when I put CO2 into the Whisper
>it makes a racket each MV>time a bubble hits the impeller. I no longer use
>that method. Does the Aquclear do MV>the same?  If so is there any way around
>it? I do like the rinsable sponge instead of MV>the throw away filters....
>My aquaclear will buzz sometimes, it usually means I didn't get the top on
>right or something is touching it that shouldn't. I use yeast generated CO2
>injection and have never heard any unusual noises from the CO2 bubbles. 
>Temps in the low 70's and the sun is shining in beautiful Poway, California.
>PacNeil at aol_com [Neil Schneider]
>From: nfrank at nando_net (Neil Frank)
>Date: Wed, 6 Mar 96 17:35:43 EST
>Subject: Re: substrate heating
>This is in response to Didi, other novices and everyone else.
>>From: nitro at oeonline_com (Didi Soichin)
>>Date: Tue, 5 Mar 96 20:48 EST
>>Subject: Sandpoint substrate heating
>> Today, in my Endless Quest For The Perfect And Affordable
>>Substrate Heating Cable I called Sandpoint.
>>They're being replaced with just one model, a 40W 110V (mains) model
>>that is supposed to be kept plugged in at all times. When I expressed
>>my electrocution concerns, the guy told me not to worry about it since
>>the cable has a grounding wire right along and that in case....
>> I think I will surrender now and buy the Dupla 25W cable. I have a
>>feeling I will endlessly torture myself afterwards if I setup the tank
>>without substrate heating.<g>
>Don't torture yourself!!!! 
>Don't believe that substrate heating is absolutely necessary to have a
>successful, or even optimal plant tank. Maybe it helps for long term
>stability, maybe not. Maybe it helps during the initial set up, maybe not.
>Use lots of healthy plants, provide good intial conditions, eliminate all
>the nasty algae and you will be off to a great start. I don't ues substrate
>heating is all that important (I do not yet use it, although I have to admit
>I am still curious); Takashi Amano doesn't use it!!!, Claus Christensen
>doesn't believe it is necessary, Paul Kromholz doesn't use it (he doesn't
>believe in any technology <g>), Diana Walstad doesn't use it, Dorothy Reimer
>doesn't use it ..... etc., etc. I have seen all of their tanks (except
>Claus's and Paul's) and beleive any beginner would be quite happy with their
>results (or mine <VBG>)
>PLEASE do not believe that substrate heating is a prerequisite for having a
>beautiful plant tank. It may help, but it isn't the first thing I would
>concentrate on and because of its cost and/or trouble , it isn't the best
>way for someone interested in growing plants (and on a low budget)  to get
>Neil Frank                 Aquatic Gardeners Association,  Raleigh NC
>From: krandall at world_std.com (Karen A Randall)
>Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 18:08:21 -0500
>Subject: Sub. Heat, Ammonium, Aquaclears, R.macrandra, Copper
> Subject: Substrate Heating
>Dave Gomberg wrote:
>> On Tue, 5 Mar 1996 15:39:02 -0500 you wrote:
>> >So the tank is again without substrate heating. (oh well, it's
>> >done fine without it for years) 
>> Karen, if you are up for experimentation, this might be a great 
>> to try a heating element (like a heating pad or ????) under the 
>>  Since you are all set up for warm gravel anyway....
>Well the tank isn't set up any differently than any of my other 
>tanks except that it has (unuseable) cables in it.  But there's 
>_no way_ I'm willing to risk (however slight the risk may be) 
>cracking the bottom of an older, thick paned 70G tank in my family 
>room with hardwood floor and oriental rugs!<g>  I can't afford to 
>replace the tank, nor do I want to contemplate the ensuing 
>possibility of divorce ;-)
>In another 4 or 5 years, I'll take it apart again, and at that 
>point _maybe_ I'll try cables again, but more likely, I'll just 
>use the UGF/heater method... I _know_ that works, it's cheap and 
>it's easy.
> ------------------------------
>> From: Allen Sandifer <ibi007 at mail_connect.more.net>
>> Date: Tue, 05 Mar 1996 17:18:03 -0600
>> Subject: Re: Plants and Ammonia
>> >Plants do use ammonium in preference to nitrate.  Also, just 
>> >because you don't set up a dedicated biological filter, there i
>> >_still_ lots of biological filtration going on in the average 
>> >mature aquarium.  Nitrifying bacteria attach to every surface i
>> >the tank.  I run my heavily planted, lightly stocked 70G tank o
>> >single 350 Magnum filter, and have for years without problems.
>> >
>> From my understanding if the pH is below 7.0 ammonium is produc
>> is above 7.0 ammonia is produced. If the pH of the tank is say 7
>> ammonia is produced will the plants still use it?
>Well, if I understand correctly, it's not a complete change, it's 
>a sliding scale.  Below 7.0, all ammonia is in the form of 
>ammoniUM.  Above 7.0, there is more ammoniA and less ammoniUM, 
>until, at some point, it is all in the form of ammoniA.  I don't 
>remember where that higher cut off is, because it's too high for 
>me to worry about it.  But plants _still_ prefer ammoniA to 
>nitrate too.  They will preferentially use the AmmoniUM first, 
>then the ammoniA, then the nitrate.
>> I have no intentions of setting up a tank without any filtration
>> intended to use my Magnuim 350 for mechanical filtration. I did 
>> that the basket would collapse if it was not filled, thanks for 
>Glad someone else could profit from my mistakes ;-)
>> Currently I have a 29g with the Magnium 350 and a Bio-Wheel 30 o
>> couple of weeks ago I turned the Bio-Wheel off to see what would
>> Checked the ammonia, nitrite, & nitrate levels yesterday, they w
>> undetectable. My intentions was not to have no bio filtration at
>> not to have any extra like bio-wheels etc. 
>Your reading are what I would expect.  You don't need the extra 
>biological filtration.
>> My plants are doing pretty well in the 29g the way I have it set
>> of lighting, no substrate heating, & no CO2 injection. I will be
>> the livestock from the 29g to the 45g. I plan on putting 4 20w b
>> for lighting so hopefully I can duplicate the sucess of the 29g 
>Sound's like you're on the right track!<g>
> ------------------------------
>Subject: Aquaclear vs Whisper
>> I was wondering about the noise produced by the Aquaclear
>> filters. I have several Whispers, and they are all quiet. I
>> have one Aquaclear Mini, and it tends to buzz. Is it just a
>> lemon? Also when I put CO2 into the Whisper it makes a
>> racket each time a bubble hits the impeller. I no longer use
>> that method. Does the Aquclear do the same?  If so is there
>> any way around it? I do like the rinsable sponge instead of
>> the throw away filters....
>I think you've got lemon.  I have several Aquaclears of several 
>sizes and they are all absolutely quiet as long as the water level 
>in the tank is high enough that the return water doesn't splash.  
>Even then, there's no mechanical noise, it just starts to sound 
>like you're in the rain forest!<VBG>
>- ------------------------------------------------------------
>Subject: Need Rotala macaranda help
>> About four weeks ago, I set up my 40-gallon plant tank and every
>> has grown very well except for a bunch of Rotala macaranda. The 
>> not taken root and although some stems are throwing out new bran
>> almost every stem is decomposing from the ground up. This was no
>> healthy bunch to start with but I wonder what to do now. Should 
>> topping them off and planting the still healthy portions? Thanks
>> advance.
>R. macrandra is hard to transport without damage, and it's hard to 
>start get stared from a sickly lot.  Still, if you're getting 
>_some_ new growth, it's an encouraging sign.
>> When I planted them, I stripped off two sets of leaves and stuck
>> stems in the substrate with tweezers. I am using a sand substrat
>> grains) 1-inch thick over a sand/vermiculite mixture (much finer
>> mesh) 1-1/2" thick. There is a 1-1/2" layer of the fine sand and
>> below this. I added a sprinkling of crushed lily tablet to the m
>> layer. Temp is 67F. pH is 6.5 and stable. There is CO2 from DIY 
>> solution. dKh is 5. Oh, yeah, there's lots of light.
>It has been my experience that this plant needs a rich substrate 
>to grow well.  My substrate set up is similar to yours, and when I 
>planted R. macrandra directly in the substrate, it never did 
>particularly well.  I started potting it with soil and some 
>micronized iron or laterite, and it now it grows like gangbusters. 
>I've found that within about 3 months, the R. macrandra in any 
>individual 4" pot has become totally pot bound, and starts to slow 
>down.  At that point, I toss out the now solid plug of roots (with 
>the soil completely hidden inside.  I fill the pot back up, 
>replant the stems, and off it goes again.  
>In between repotting, the stems grow up to and curl around on the 
>surface of the tank.  I think the growing tips are prettier than 
>cut stems, so What I do is have enough stems in each pot that when 
>I pinch back, I can do about half the stems, but do them down 
>quite low.  That way, the cut off part will branch into two new 
>growing tips, and in the mean time, I still have tall ones going 
>up to nearly the top of the tank.  The stems removed can be added 
>back to the pot during the first few weeks, or as the pots fill 
>with roots, the stems can be used to start new pots.
> ------------------------------
> ------------------------------
> Subject: Copper in tap water
>> Karen Randall wrote...... 
>> > The vals I've seen collected from the wild came with seashells
>> > imbedded in their roots, which gives you an idea of the kind o
>> > water they were growing in. (some of the clams were still aliv
>> > So i suppose it could be the soft water causing them a problem
>> > know it is also intolerant of copper, which is why I can't gro
>> > it.
>> If  I am not mistaken Karen you wrote on the several occasions, 
>> cannot grow some plants because of high copper content in your 
>> (Boston?) area water.
>I'm not on MDC (Boston) water, which until recently has been 
>pretty good for plants, although I've been told they've started 
>monkeying with the pH.  Our town has it's own wells (3).  
>Depending on which well is being used, the amount of copper 
>> Why don't you try to remove (reduce) it?? 
>I do, and I have been more aggressive about it in the past.  For a 
>long time, I pretreated all water first by filtering through GAC, 
>then Cuprasorb.  This worked pretty well, and I still use this 
>method in the summer time if it gets really bad (can get to 3ppm)
>But it was a lot of work.  I now use double doses of Novaqua at 
>water changes.  Novaqua binds copper (among other metals) and I 
>can get the levels down to .25ppm most of the time.  The trouble 
>is, that my substrate is full of precipitated copper, that is an 
>ongoing problem even if the water tests pretty close to )ppm 
>> can just add a drop of iron chloride. You have to be carefull th
>> because in this process hydrogen carbonate is consumed and this 
>> lead to a fall of Ph value (on overdose only).  As far as I can 
>> this is the only side effect that you should be concerned with. 
>> am not mistaken Dupla sells this product under the trade name 
>> "Duplacrys". I have never bought it myself (no need for this wat
>> but I think it should work just fine.
>Does this work differently than Novaqua?  I would think that the 
>bound copper would still be in the tank, and that in the reducing 
>environment of the substrate, it would still be taken up by the 
>> If you are concerned about adding chemicals to your water (I kno
>> always am) perhaps some of the chemists on the list may care to
>> elaborate on this; dosing etc...
>I would LOVE a "magic bullet" for my copper problem, and if this 
>is it, I'd love to hear from somone with experience with the 
>Until that point, I have made a conscious decision to stick to 
>plants (and fish) that don't mind my water conditions.  My tanks 
>are too spread out, and in the living areas of the house to make 
>pretreating large quantities of water anything less than a major 
>task.  There are more species of plant that _will_ grow in my 
>tanks than I can fit, so I've decided it's silly to turn myself 
>inside out for the ones that don't do well.  
>And copper isn't _all_ bad... I have _never_ had a case of ich in 
>any tank since we moved to this house, snails die on contact with 
>my water, and red algae wouldn't even _consider_ moving in.<G>
>Karen Randall
>Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
>Boston, MA
>From: Len Trigg <trigg at jane_cs.waikato.ac.nz>
>Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 12:30:14 +0000 (+1200)
>Subject: Re: Urghhh
>> From: Len Trigg <trigg at jane_cs.waikato.ac.nz>
>> Date: Thu, 07 Mar 1996 08:50:52 +0000 (+1200)
>> Subject: Re: Cultivation of Glossostigma
>> - --=20
>>  Len Trigg =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
>> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
>> =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
>>  Comp Sci Grad   DoD#1334   trigg at cs_waikato.ac.nz            =20
>>  Waikato Uni     GPX250     http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/~trigg         =20=
>Excuse the ugly quoted-printable encoding - I thought the list server
>be able to handle it - at least the main part of the message was
>readable :-)
>ObPlants: I have a cryptocoryne (probably siamensis?) which is just
>to flower, even though it's completely submerged. (I haven't had
>crypts flowering before, so it's another first for me)
>    Len.
>- -- 
> Len Trigg ===================================================
> Comp Sci Grad   DoD#1334   trigg at cs_waikato.ac.nz             
> Waikato Uni     GPX250     http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/~trigg          
> Finger trigg at jane_cs.waikato.ac.nz for PGP Public key
>From: Pat Bowerman <bowerman at rog_ar.ispnet.com>
>Date: Wed, 06 Mar 1996 19:17:02 -0800
>Subject: CO2+HOT
>>>>>>HOT Magnum; to which I might try to add a Eheim surface extractor.
>What concerns me is that it is rated at 250 gal/hr (though I think
>that is through empty box) and I might end up with too much water
>movement. I also have in mind using the Bio-Wheel adaptor (a tee) to
>split the outflow in two, one just above the bottom and the other one
>at the opposite end of the tank just below the surface, both slightly
>angled towards the front. Also, does anybody have any experience
>injecting CO2 in a HOT Magnum ? I'm concerned about the vapor lock
>possibility, like in the Fluvals.<<<<<
>I have an HOT Magnum on a 20 long, and I have a DIY CO2 injected into the
intake. My setup sounds very similar to what you are contemplating. I have
had this up and running for about 4 weeks without any problems. The Magnum
does generate quite a water flow, but I don't think this has hurt anything,
and may even be beneficial. As for any vapor-lock problems, they don't
exist. Occasionally you can hear the bubbling of the CO2 into the filter,
but it is hardly noticeable.
>From: KB Koh <KB_Koh at ccm_ipn.intel.com>
>Date: Thu, 07 Mar 96 09:34:00 PST
>Subject: Re: Dupla Cables (The whole message)
>>From: chapman at SEDSystems_ca
>>Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 10:36:48 -0600
>>Subject: Dupla Cables (The whole message)
>>Despite assurances that Didi received from the guy at the pet store, I'd still
>>have "grave" concerns about running the 120 V heating cables in my tank:
>>> the guy told me not to worry about it since the cable has a grounding wire
>>> right along and that in case of failure the path of least resistance will
>>> be the ground just in case that doesn't work, the wire has a fuse that will
>>> blow really fast should the electric current choose the body. "After all,
>>> people put powerheads in their tanks all the time"
>>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.
>>It is possible for a fault to occur that would only allow a little bit of
>>current to flow to ground, preventing the fuse from blowing.  In this
>>situation, a potentially serious shock hazard will exist.
>ELCB would take care of that unless you don't have one. ELCB installation is 
>compulsory in Malaysia. We have more confidence of the submerged powerhead, 
>aren't we?
>From: Pat Bowerman <bowerman at rog_ar.ispnet.com>
>Date: Wed, 06 Mar 1996 19:40:10 -0800
>Subject: Substrate Heating
>OK, just when I thought I had it figured out, I hear something different.
>Is the purpose of heating the substrate:
>A: Plants need warm roots
>B: we are trying to create alternating zones of warm & cool so that we 
>improve water circulation and therefore nutrient exchange.
>C: By heating the substrate, we improve the plants' abililty to use the 
>available nutrients in some magical way that we will never understand.
>D: It gives us something to spend our money on, and is really just a mean 
>trick played by those crazy guys at Dupla.
>E: None of the above
>From: Pat Bowerman <bowerman at rog_ar.ispnet.com>
>Date: Wed, 06 Mar 1996 19:49:31 -0800
>Subject: SAE
>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.
>    One more thing, the list is the best source of information on planted 
>aquariums on the planet. Keep up the great work!
>From: Roger Sieloff ISDH <sieloff at ideanet_doe.state.in.us>
>Date: Wed, 6 Mar 1996 21:02:28 -0600 (EST)
>Subject: Copper - my two cent's worth...
>> 	Re: removing copper
>> > 
>> > (Boston?) area water. Why don't you try to remove (reduce) it?? You
>> > can just add a drop of iron chloride. You have to be carefull though 
>> > because in this process hydrogen carbonate is consumed and this may 
>> > lead to a fall of Ph value (on overdose only).  As far as I can think
>> >
>> 	I can't imagine how this would work.  I'm afraid the posting
>> above makes little sense.
>> Paul Sears    (One of the chemists on the list)  Ottawa, Canada 
>As (another Chemist on the list) I must concur with Mr. Sears.  Reduced 
>Iron will reduce copper in solution (the old iron nail in the copper 
>sulphate solution trick..) but reduced copper is not necessarily REMOVED 
>copper.  I remember reading of someone accidently dropping a copper penny 
>into a tank of anglefish.  He could not fathom why everything died until 
>he found the chalky blue assasin hiding in the gravel much, much later... 
>Again, I recommend a ion exchange resin to permenantly remove the fatal 
>cupric nemesis (on a transient basis).  Zeolite is readily available and is 
>recharged like a battery (by soaking it in a salt solution).  Salt - 
>Sodium chloride - is generally  used, but this tends to increase the 
>Sodium concentration over time (bad for plants, fish and those with 
>hypertension).  A clever route around this is to use Potassium chloride, 
>but this is not generally available to the public.  Bostonians (and those 
>of you who have high Copper concentrations in the public water supply) 
>might actually benefit from the "sand method" mentioned earlier.  I 
>suspect the sand has enough lime to drive the soluable Copper into its 
>insoluable carbonate salt, which the sand then will filter out rather 
>effectivly if one percolates the tainted water through it.  Of course, 
>the excess lime will increase the PH somewhat, but remember, Copper is 
>far less toxic at a higher PH. 
>I have no idea how "hydrogen Carbonate" (Coca Cola Fizz) is consumed by 
>an overdose of Iron chloride in a solution of copper ions...
>		Roger L. Sieloff
>From: didi at wwnet_com (Didi Soichin)
>Date: Thu, 7 Mar 96 01:00 EST
>Subject: Re: Surface XTractor
>DIONIGI MALADORNO "rnisd0::mrgate::a1::maladord"@rnisd0.DNET.roche.com
>>I did not know that plants produce floating film and scum. Can anyone
>>explain in simple terms how that happens? I have mixed floating plants
>>(duckweed, frogbite and Pistia: did I spell them right?)in my 180 gal. tank,
>>in addition to a good number of submersed plants (mostly swords, Cabomba and
>>Crinum). I normally have little or no floating film despite a medium fish
>>load (no surface extractor) and I thought that the root system of the
>>floating plants absorbed it in some way. Does this make sense?
>I've noticed the same thing, if I have at least half the surface of
>the water covered with floating plants it stays crystal clear. I don't
>have an explanation why that happens, though, maybe somebody else
>knows anything about this? This surface scum is very frustrating. I've
>read that breaking the surface film with an outside power filter makes
>it go away, I've been filtering my heavily planted 10 gal for about 2
>mos now with an Aquaclear mini which for the 1st mo was on full flow
>(before I started adding CO2) and and I haven't noticed any
>improvement. The Dennerle book says it's caused by iron consuming
>bacteria which indicates that there is enough iron in the water and
>that it dissapeares on it's own after a short while ?! Did anybody
>notice this to happen ?
> Didi Soichin
> didi at wwnet_com    <---I just changed my internet provider, the old
> Westland, MI, USA     address will still work for 2 more wks
>End of Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #306
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Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing.