Magnesium additions

Subject: Magnesium additions

> Karen, you mentioned some damage caused by adding epsom salts.  
> the package, does it say that MgSO4 is the only ingredient?  How
> you add per gallon?

The package is labeled, "Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate USP)"

I usually dissolve about a tablespoon in a glass of warm water, 
then pour this into my 70G tank, proportionately less in the 
smaller tanks.  I _think_ what happened this time that made it 
different is that instead of waiting for the plants to look 
deficient, I was trying to keep ahead.  So I added it when I did 
my water change, even though the plants looked OK.  My theory is 
that there was still too much left from last time, and this pushed 
it over the limit for some plants.  

As I think I mentioned, not all plants were adversely effected.  
During the same period of time, my Bacopa, several Anubias and two 
species of Echinodorus bloomed, and are all looking as good as 
I've ever seen them.  But the H. difformis took a big hit, and my 
Lillaeopsis carpet in the 70 looks sickly, although it is 
recovering faster than the difformis.  

Of course, I'm not _positive_ that this is what caused the 
problem, but it is the only change in routine that I can pinpoint 
before this happened.  I find it interesting that the plants 
afffected were ones that normally I have to weed out on at least a 
weekly basis.  Is it possible that too much magnesium can block 
the uptake of some other nutrient?

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA