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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1003

Subject: Re: my tiny tank (again)

>Hi all you lighting people, here's a question for you! I've got my five
>gallon tiny tank set up with crypt. wendtii, pygmy swords, and some java
>moss. The crypts and swords melted about a week ago and are beginning to
>show new growth (yea!). I've got a thirteen watt florescent desk lamp
>(the kind that bend in the middle, so I can easily adjust the height)
>overhead, and after reading about the flat crypts, I was wondering how
>far above the tank it should be? I'm no good with equations
>(lightxdistance=wattage etc), so if those of you who are could give me
>an idea of the appropriate distance to be directing 1.5-2 watts per
>gallon onto the plants, I'd appreciate it. All my plant are lower light
>since I thought I'd stick to incandesent (till the melting...), so I
>don't want to over-do it and be giving them nearly 3 watts per gallon.
>Right now it's about thirteen inches above the tank, so I must me losing
>some wattage, right? Thanks in advance for the help.

I don't think you'll have a problem.  I use a 5000K 13W CF desk lamp over
my 2 1/2G tank.  The lamp sits 1/2" above the glass cover.  The Crypts in
the tank grow upright and happy.  

Subject: to bleach or not to bleach, that is the question

Olga wrote (in part):

>>Blair, I don't recommend that you bleach your plants. It only wreaks havoc
>>on the plants and won't prevent algae in the long run.
>>Jeff, I agree with you one hundred percent. The best way to fight algae is
>>to balance the nutrients in the tank properly. It is frustrating and takes
>>time but it works. 


>>If I get a chance I am going to run an experiment on "infecting a tank with
>>algae". Trouble is I have to get another tank. I just sneaked in one more 5
>>gallon tank with only a mild grumble from the mate. I'd prefer a larger one
>>but maybe I can experiment with the little tank. I'll keep folks posted.

Like Olga, I've never had an algae problem that couldn't be resolved with
less drastic measures, but knowing how frustrating algae can be, I'd never
say never.<g>  

I'd like to comment specifically on Olga's proposed experiment on
"infecting" a tank with algae.
In my experience, most algae need very specific conditions to thrive.  I
have often collected badly algae infested plants from the wild.  While I
always quarantine these plants for a number of reasons, I have _never_ had
any of these "wild algae" infest even my quarantine tanks.  To the
contrary, the algae dies off quite rapidly, and I am more concerned about
over loading the biofilter.  

I have had similar experience with plants containing algae from other
hobbyists.  Either I have conditions that will support a specific species
of algae, or I don't.  If I don't, it will not take hold.  If I do, I
probably already know that that type of algae is a problem for me.  I think
the algae species which are a problem for us are those few that need
conditions very close to those of the plant species we keep.
Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association