Books, UGF/Heater, Advice, APD, Trace Element Sup's

Subject: Aquatic Plant Books

> Greetings,
> I have to admit to being somewhat of a book freak. With this in 
> having read the FAQ, how about putting together a list of the aq
> plant books that we all own? The purpose would be to allow me (a
> so inclined) to purchase some of the books that are so casually 
> in the mailing list.

Do you know that the AGA as an extensive bibliography available 
for exactly this purpose?  This is a 36 page list of books and 
pamphlets on aquatic plants available to our members for $5.

Subject: UGF/heater method
> Hi.  I'm new to the web, and have learned alot the last couple m
> reading the mailing list, FAQs, and other postings.  I'm plannin
> up a 30-gallon plant tank........but still haven't decided wheth
> to go with UGF or not (one week - yes, the next week- no).  I've
> against heating cables  (too expensive, and I'm not handy with e
> components).  I've seen some discussions on the UGF/heater metho
> couldn't find a description of the set-up.  Could somebody tell 
> works, or point me in the right direction?

Although I am not the person who developed this method, (it was 
developed by Claus Christensen of Tropica in Denmark) I am the 
person who introduced it both to AGA and APD members.  

The advantages are that it is simple and inexpensive to install, 
and the electrical parts are easily accessible in the event of a 
failure.  Best of all it works. I have been running the system for 
almost 2 years now, as have several of my friends.  _ALL_ of us 
have seen increased growth and vigor in our root feeding plants.

The only possible disadvantages would be the fact that it probably 
doesn't move water evenly through the substrate, (but there are 
many people who don't think cables do either<g>) and the fact that 
it keeps the substrate the same temperature as the tank water, not 
warmer.  It _definitely moves enough water through the substrate 
to keep the bottom of the tank as warm as the rest of it.

Place a UGF plate in the bottom of the tank.  If you are using a 
fine substrate that might fall through the plate, wrap it in 
fiberglass screening first. (I use monofilament fishing line to 
"sew" the screen around mine) Put the riser tubes in place, and 
put your substrate on top of the plates.  Now comes the biggest 
difference between this system and a standard UGF.  Instead of 
placing airstones or power heads in the risers, drop a 7.5W 
submersible non-thermostatic down each one. (I use 2 in a 55G 

The warm water rising in the tubes moves water _very_ slowly 
through the substrate.  Remember that the purpose is to warm the 
substrate and bring nutrients down into it.  it can _not_ be 
expected to serve the function of an under gravel _filter_ when 
run in this manner.

Some people have mentioned experiments with plenums in planted 
tanks similar to those now being used by many reef keeper.  I 
wonder if part of the success of this method is the slightly 
anaerobic "empty" space under the substrate.


> From: Christine Martens <Christine_Martens at qmgates_affymax.com>
> Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 17:43:16 +0000
> Subject: RE:  Advice for a plant beginner?

<big snip>

> WARNING!!! With a little new growth showing, I got hooked!!!! No
> CO2 generator, and I added some Flourish tabs. I started feeding
> an iron chelate solution. I drooled on a copy of the Amano book 
> Place, $22 and really beautiful). I've fantasized about tearing 
> and setting it up "right" from the beginning!! Spring is here an
> weeding _outside_, but here I am cutting off the occasional brow
> tank. OH NO!! I'm HOOKED!!!
> Again, my BIG thanks go to people who have so kindly and generou
> to naive questions (from me and others) here. I recommend that y
> archives and listen to the advice. I hope some of these comments
> others decide to go for it. It's a LOT nicer than the old plasti
> had algae problems too)! 

Thanks for posting!  It's fun to here of a newly successful 
aquatic gardener!


Subject: Whole previous digests as posts

> Olga, the reposting of everything occurs when the brain-dead (us
> a buggy program) decides that it needs to repeat the mail it is
> bouncing in a bounce message.   Then the list decides the bounce
> is a posting.  Real list software (LISTSERV) has code in it to
> prevent this.  Hopefully, someday we can get actwin to run lists
> instead of majordomo.  If there is anything I can do to encourag
> this I will try.  

That may be part of the problem, but most that I have seen 
recently have been new posters not knowing how to cut out the rest 
of the digest when they reply to a single post it contains.


Subject: If it Ain't broke..............

> Now back to plants,
>      After adding a CO2 injector to my tank, I was amazed and de
> the tremendous growth in my tank. I was using Tetra Florapride a
> good results. My definition of good results being good plant gro
> little or no algae problems. 
>      Happy at my successful tinkering, I decided to tinker some 
> ordered some fertilizer. I ordered Coralife iron supplement and 
> freshwater micronutrient with iron. I also ordered Tetra's Crypt
> started adding small amounts of each at each water change. The p
> responded with even more tremendous growth. I bet you can probab
> happened next.
>      Yep that's right, Algae. Even the word is ugly. My best des
> would be a soft, light green fuzz. Almost invisible when viewed 
> it is quite visible from the side. It appears as 1/4 to 1/2 inch
> filaments attached mostly to the swords. My Otos won't touch the
> it is impossible to remove by hand. 
>      The 42 gallon hex is densely planted. It is virtually overg
> Limnophila Sessiflora. It also contains a large Echinodorus Cord
> large Echinodorus Paniculatus. The shade is divided up, by vario
> an A. Nana .
>  My next move is as follows: 
> 1. Stop the fertilizers for a while, maybe a long while!
> 2. Order a phosphate and nitrate test kit.
> 3. Change part of the water.
> 4. Hope that one of you has some great advice.

These are all good steps to take.  I would do largish water 
changes frequently (like twice a week if you can) until the 
problem starts to abate.  The good news is that problems that  can 
be attributed to a specific change are the easiest to fix.  Just 
stop doing what ever caused the problem and step up the water 

FWIW, it's probably not a good idea to mix trace element 
supplements.  Find a good, well balanced product _THAT WORKS WITH 
YOUR SPECIFIC TAP WATER CONDITIONS_ and stick with it.  The best 
product for me might not be the best product for you, based on the 
minerals already available in your water supply. 

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA