CO2 Charts and Micobacterium

Subject: Re: CO2 determinations etc.

>Dave said: [CO2 tables] are not actually in any way useful.
>George said: Thats a bit harsh.
>Dave replies: Yes, it is a bit harsh and actually they can be useful ... 
>a retraction no less! 

Hey, don't go soft on us now! ;-)

>I still think, however, that they should be used 
>with caution and with an understanding that the accuracy is unknown and 
>the precision is not great. After having worked in analytical labs for 
>years Im a bit prejudiced about quick and easy analyses since I know how 
>difficult it is to achieve acceptable accuracy and maintain precision 
>of analyses even under ideal conditions.

This is another example of why observation is more important thatn getting
hung up on testing.  IMO, as long as you use the same test kits each time,
and close to the same technique, you are going to be able to track TRENDS
in your tank, and that is as much accuracy as you need.  If the plants look
good and are growing well, and the fish look and act healthy, you're
probably OK, no matter what absolute value you get from any test kit or chart.

It reminds me of when my son was in the hospital with severe asthma as a
baby.  They had a heart monitor on him, but cautioned me that if I heard
the alarm go off  I should look at him before panicking... If he looked OK,
he probably was.  The leads have a way of working loose on active babies!


Subject: Re: Dangers of disease causing bacteria

>The recent thread on pathogens in R/O water is very interesting to me from
>both a personal perspective and as a aquarist. In the Feb. '97 issue of
>FAMA there is a note in the "For What It's Worth" column concerning
>Microbacterium marinum and how to avoid contracting it from your tank (if
>it is in fact present in your tank). For those who don't know, this critter
>causes painful growths on the hands and/or the forearms and can take months
>heal, requiring long term antibiotic treatment. The preventative suggested
>in the article is to wear rubber gloves while working in the tank.
>I have had aquariums for over thirty years and have never (to my knowledge)
>had any problems in this regard. How prevelant IS this problem and how
>dangerous is this microorganism to someone with a weakened immune system?

I can't tell you how dangerous Micobacterium are to those with weakened
immune systems, but I do personally know 3 healthy adults who have
contracted Micobacterium from their aquaria.  All have had to undergo long
term antibiotic treatment.  Two of them were sure they had open cuts (or
scrapes) on their hands when they contracted the disease, the third wasn't
sure.  Like you, I've been working on tanks for years without a problem,
but I do think twice about putting my hands in the water if I've got an
open wound of any sort.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association