Aquarium Heute and Recipe for failure

Subject: Aquarium Heute

> The following table is based on data from the Feb, 1988 "Today'
> Aquarium, the International Magazine of the Optimum Aquarium",
> ("Aquarium Heute" in German), published by Aquadocumenta Verlag 
> [Yes, it's the Dupla "mouthpiece"]

Another non-George plug for Dupla and Aquarium Heute:

I know some of the people who write for Aquarium Heute, (like me 
;-) And I know that they write what they want to write, and submit 
it to Aquarium Heute the way you would submit an article to any 
other magazine.  I'm not sure they would accept something 
specifically bashing Dupla's methods, but I have certainly seen 
articles offering differing view points.  Although the magazine is 
published by Dupla, I don't think they "manufacture data to fit 
their products.<g>

Subject: Recipe for failure

> I am experiencing now an outbreak of parasitic disease in the
> tank, and I had to reduce the schedule of water changes to allow
> medications to (hopefully) have their effect.
> For everyone's information, I used formaline and Fluke-tabs (met
> plus I guess mebendazole) without any apparent harm to plants, e
> the dust of eccipients (easy to siphon) coming from the Fluke-ta

Don't jump too quickly to the conclusion that your plants haven't 
been harmed.  Damage from medications or other chemicals can take 
a number of weeks to show up.  That's why so many people are 
"fooled" into thinking that a specific medication has not damaged 
their plants.
> As many experts stated, the Delaware Imports fertiliser tablets 
> positive for phosphates: I dissolved one in a gallon of water, a
> levels were >5 mg/l. Since my kit (HACH) has an high range optio
> is interested I can verify the levels up to 50 mg/l. Let me know
> they should still be OK if buried deep in the substrate.

I must caution that many of us with strongly lit tanks have had 
severe algae problems after using DAI plant tablets, even when 
they are inserted deep into the substrate.
> I also started using a modified PMDD: I have not added K nitrate
> NO3 levels are around 8 mg/l (N-nitrogen), I used 1 ml of PH 

Here comes the algae again.  Last time I checked, pH down was a 
phosphate based buffer. :-(

> HCl (no mold developing yet) and I used muriate of potash instea
> of K, which I can't find yet. No iron added yet, because the lev
> tank are still around 0.4 mg/l, and I want first to bring them d
> add more. I suspect it leaches from the laterite in the substrat

I'm not sure why iron would, when you think phosphate won't.

> be nice to add the other trace elements, but I do not know how t
> without adding extra iron. Maybe this eccess of iron shouldn't c
> The plants seem to do slightly better, although some remain a li
> stunted. Maybe I have just to persist, and adjust the PMDD compo
> I find what fits my tank. If I do not see results, I will first 
> trace elements (with more iron if I do not find an alternative w
> and then try also with K Nitrate, as Kevin said.

Sorry to pick on you in particular, but this is the sort of thing 
that worries me about people playing around with home made "trace 
element supplements".  You are just shooting randomly, hoping you 
will come up with some magic solution to your problem by pouring 
different chemicals into your tank.  You are much more likely to 
_cause_ problems than cure them with this approach.

Kevin's PMDD's are designed to be a balanced trace element 
supplement.  He's not just pouring a little of this and a dash of 
that into the tank and hoping for the best.  You would be _much_ 
better off determining _why_ your phosphate and iron levels are so 
high and remedying those problems rather than randomly applying 
new potential sources of polution.

The fact that you are having problems with your fish as well as 
your plants says to me that your tank has some pretty big 
problems, ones that are unlikely to be remedied by yet more 

If you want to give us a complete "picture" of what's going on in 
your tank so that we can help you get to the root of your 
problems, there is a "help form" stored at the AGA Web site: 


Feel free to down load it, fill in the blanks and post it either 
there, or here on the APD.

Again, I'm sorry if it seems like I'm coming down hard on you, but 
it looks to me like you are making matters worse instead of 

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA