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Betsy's Tank

Tank description posted previously ...

Jonathan Kirschner wrote ...

The first thing is not to rely on the Red Sea kit for your iron numbers (I prefer the LaMotte).  If your tap water is from a municipal water company, call them and get an
analysis data sheet.

I definitely agree ... LaMotte, however, is currently out of budget ... I will call to get the water analysis.

Personally, I feel that adding a drop a day of Duplaplant 24 is too much, however, since you haven't seen any green thread algae up at the top of the plants,
near your lights, perhaps you're in bounds

I haven't seen thread algae at all, but a slight case of beard algae on just a few leaves and the blue-green on the gravel.  The blue-green also creeps up to the crypt leaves if I let it go.  How much of the drops would you think is appropriate?  At Dupla's suggestion of 1/50 liters/day, that would be more like three drops, so I cut it back to one after reading that many people use it at half the suggested dose or so.

The other thing to verify is your nitrates. Remember, with the LaMotte kit you have to multiply your test results by 4.4 to get the actual nitrate value

I did multiply it, however, it is an estimate ... they sent me the wrong size spoon for measuring the reagent, so I reduced the reading in proportion.  At any rate, this is not entirely accurate at this point, but appears to be in the ballpark of what I get (10 ppm) with a cheaper kit.  

Also, check the age of your flourescent tubes and replace any that are more than 6 months old.  You may also want to think about diluting your tap water with R.O. or deionized water to bring that KH down a couple of degrees.
The fluorescent tubes were all replaced when I started the CO2 injection.  R.O. is possibly something for the future when the budget allows ...
Thanks, Jonathan, for your suggestions.
Ken Guin wrote ...
>I have read in some of the threads here that plant growth had taken off
>immediately and had even doubled in a week after initiating CO2
>injection.  I thought that might be a little hyperbole, but I would
>settle for "some" growth at this time.   
I did not mean to suggest that CO2 has not provided any benefits or increase in growth.  I have seen a definite decrease in the amount of blue-green algae and some plants (particularly rotala magenta) that previously rotted are not rotting so far and have grown a little.  I would not expect growth to double in a week, as I'm sure there is an adjustment period as the plants establish themselves.  

My question was more along the lines of getting the group's assessment as to whether the growth I am seeing is what should be expected from the plants that I have chosen and my tank conditions.   Also, any other suggestions as to what may be limiting growth and causing the algae, as I am not sure if the plants I have chosen are appropriate for the hard water conditions.

After I posted my question, it occurred to me that some of the plants that had been subjected to the high pH/low CO2 conditions may have been damaged as a result.  I have purchased a few new bunches of the same plants and will watch them to see if they respond to the improved conditions.   My growing suspicion is that my tank conditions are improving and I am watching it too closely to notice!   :-)

Thanks for the assistance,