Books, Phosphate, UG Heating

Subject: Re: aquatic plant book list

> I am sort of a book freak too. :-) Sort of a collector! I would 
> interested in finding out who else that reads this list likes to
> books (or old aquarium magazines) with useful information on aqu
> Sometimes I have extra (used) copies of out-of print books that 
> trade.

Well, I'm a "book freak" too, but that's no news to you! ;-)


Subject: High Phosphate and fish

> Does anyone know the impact of high Phosphate (3.0 or higher) on
> health?  I have a test tank with a peat/vermiculite/clay mix and
> Phosphate readings (Red Fish Pharm) around 2.0.  After transferi
> plants to the new tank (so I see the root development) I will re
> list on the results.

Phosphate will cause severe algae problems before it bothers your 
fish. 2ppm is high enough to give you loads of algae unless your 
tank is very dimmly lit, but will not bother your fish.

Subject: Re: Phosphates 

Kevin Conlin wrote:


> At the moment you are probably nitrate limited as shown by the g
> of cyanobacteria.  KNO3 alone will probably help, but once you a
> there is the possibility that the plant growth will be limited b
> other than phosphate.  This is why Paul and I recommend adding t
> whether you think you need them or not.  Try adding a 1/4tsp KNO
> your nitrates into the 10ppm range and see if this helps.  If in
> the cyanobacteria are replaced by green algae, you will probably
> K2SO4 and/or trace elements.  Once you've tweaked the nutrient l
> your tank you should see very little algae of any kind.

I have OFTEN seen cyanobacteria present even with high nitrate 
levels.  I also am not sure it's a good idea to suggest adding 
nitrate to the average planted tank containing fish.  In a tank 
without fish, it is certainly possible to end up with a nitrogen 
deficiency. But in tanks with even a fairly light fish load, there 
is usually plenty of nitrogen available to the plants.  In a tank 
containing Discus, I suspect that the possibility of nitrogen 
deficiency is somewhere between slim and none.

My tanks show _no_ measureable nitrate (low range test kit) and I 
have tremendous grow with little algae. (none on the plants, some 
on the glass that is easily removed at water change time) IMO 
recommending a nitrate level of 10ppm is asking for trouble.  Some 
people, with other parameters just right, get away with it, but 
I'm fairly certain that it doesn't contribute to good plant growth 
as long as ammonium is available, and it _can_ cause algae 

That's one reason that I wouldn't call the DIY fertilizer "poor 
man's Dupla drops"... Dupla drops do _not_ contain nitrate.

 Subject: UGF Heating Alternative

Bob Woolley

> I was thinking about UGF and came up with the following: What ab
> putting a spaced coil of hard PVC tubing(say 1/8 inch diam) unde
> the substrate and pumping warm( or hot) water through it in a cl
> loop system? Any thoughts on this??

It's been done.  In fact, there was an article about it in AFM 
about a year ago.  I can't tell you how well it works, since I've 
never used it.  I have heard comments that it's hard to hide all 
the tubing.  I also wonder how well the PVC conducts heat.


Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA