Algae control, RO water use

Subject: Re: Sears and Conlin paper

> > Second, do you have any ideas on why many people (ie Dupla use
> > good results without additional N (other than fish food).  I t
> > be an interesting topic for the Discussion.
> This issue is complicated by substrate additives such as laterit
> is no way of knowing (for me, anyway) what these additives contr
> than iron.  In a tank with a relatively inert substrate, using t
> water conditioners, tablets, and drops, I would expect that tank
> a low fish load would do relatively poorly due to trace element 
> macronutrient deficiency.  With a moderate to high fish load, th
> food would provide the trace elements and macronutrients, and th
> would do fine.  However, the food would provide excess phosphate
> algae would also prosper. I predict, with tongue firmly in cheek
> is a high probability of finding SAEs in Dupla tanks.

I know that you are poking fun, but I'd like to point out that in 
my tanks, which do NOT have a high fish load, and are not heavily 
fed, and supplemented with Dupla drops and tablets I have not seen 
much sign of macronutrient deficiency.  I have always had very 
good growth.  

I also have not had any real algae problems that were not 
attributable to an isolated event. (like the time I inadvertently 
ran out of CO2, and could not get the system back on line for over 
a week)  Until about 6-9 months ago, SAE's were not available in 
this area, so it the lack of algae was not attributable to their 
presence.  In fact, the only algae eating fish were a group of 
Otos in each tank.  While I like Otos a lot, I don't think they 
are big enough to make a dent in "problem" levels of algae.

I like keeping SAE's now that they are available, because I don't 
have to worry about them starving if algae levels are low, which 
is always a worry with Otos.


Subject: Turning Yellow
> I gather from all the discussion of "limiting factors" something
> recently come into short supply in my aquarium, 


> The only thing I can think of
> that has changed is that I switched to RO water (to try to cut d
> phosphates I was adding to the tank).  I'm having a bit of diffi
> bringing the KH up without bringing the pH too high, and this wi
> worse now that I have heard that the silicates in Acid Buffer ar
> Anyway, I also have a yeast CO2 on the tank, but have had it for
> helped at first.  I add a little Flourish 2x/week.  Is it time f
> buy some of the pricier test kits, like iron and phosphates?  Or
> try something else first?

What are you using to reconstitute the RO water? Straight RO water 
is too pure for aquarium use.  I suspect this is the greatest part 
of your trouble.

IMO, the only buffering system that makes sense in the planted 
aquarium is the carbonate buffering system.  In my experience all 
the other pH adjusters are bad news.  At best, they make you feel 
good because you have the pH where you want it and aren't really 
doing anything positive for the plants, at worst, they casue 
problems.  Using RO water, a reliable reconstitution product and 
even a yeast based CO2 system, you should be able to put the pH 
anywhere you want it.


Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA