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IceCap MH woes

On Tuesday, October 28, 1997 3:48 AM, Aquatic Plants Digest 
[SMTP:Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com] wrote:
> Aquatic Plants Digest    Tuesday, October 28 1997    Volume 02 : Number
> 1042
> In this issue:
> 	Restart 55
> 	Re: Ideas, please
> 	Newbie Question
> See the end of the digest for information on unsubscribing from the
> Aquatic Plants mailing list and on how to retrieve back issues.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 20:58:27 -0500
> From: "Adam R. Novitt" <novitt at javanet_com>
> Subject: Restart 55
> I am in almost the same position as you.  I just tore down a 55 planted
> and rebuilt it bet not before reading allot.  One thing is i used Sera
> Flour Depot and thought I was not so good.  I am using A Chemical
> cocktail of Dupla Laterite, $22.50 for a box recommended size for 55,
> from J.P. Burleson  www.jpburleson.com and Kitty Litter and a hydroponic
> micronutrient mix.  The plants are recovering from their iron
> chlorosis.  Also check out Hamilton Technologies for a cheaper
> alternative to the Tetra system.  I've had one for six months and its
> been fine.  It uses a standard 5# bottle from a local supplier.  And
> Check out this site for info, boy am I in trouble now, and very good
> quality plants at a reasonable price.  I got the $50 "Dan selects
> special" and am very happy, http://www.malloftheworld.com/aquarium/ .
> You can buy the Optimum Aquarium book from Burleson.  It is helpful but
> a bit of a sales pitch.  It made the principles pretty clear then I just
> ignored on the basis of cost or distrust of salesmen.  You are very
> right about pet shop salespeople.  This aspect of the hobby is pretty
> rare.  Good Luck and dont give up!!!
> ------------------------------
> Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 22:28:44 -0500
> From: krombhol at teclink_net (Paul Krombholz)
> Subject: Re: Ideas, please
> Roger Miller wrote Mon, Oct 27:
> >
> >I'm looking for plants that will coexist in unfertilized, very brightly
> >lit tanks with val. americana, hornwort and crypt. wendtii.  The water
> >has
> >very little general hardness, but plenty of carbonate hardness and I've
> >measured the pH in the tanks over 9.  Soon (when the leaves finally fall
> >outside) these tanks will be getting about 6 hours/day of direct
> >sunlight,
> >and they each have 2 15-watt flourescent tubes with soon-to be upgraded
> >reflectors.  Over the last couple years I've tried java fern, anubias
> >nana
> >and a myriophyllum sp. with varying degrees of miserable failure.
> >
> >I want to get enough growth in these tanks to put up some significant
> >competition with the green water.  Alternatively, can anyone think of
> >any
> >(available) filter feeders that will live with grass shrimp, guppies and
> >otos?  One tank has a clam in it already - clams do so-so, but I haven't
> >been able to keep them alive more than about 9 months or so.
> >
> One possible filter feeder is the tadpole of the African clawed frog,
> Xenopus.  They clear up green water fairly well, but, unfortunately, they
> soon turn into frogs.
> If green water is the major problem, then maybe the solution is a denser
> growth of the plants you already have.  I would try to get more of the
> val
> established.  Hornwort isn't very effective in clearing green water, even
> when the tank is  packed with it.  Val, I think, is better.  Najas is
> also
> a plant that grows well under high light, low CO2 conditions.  So is
> Egeria
> (Elodea).  Perhaps some of the swords can also duke it out seccessfully
> under these conditions.  To get rid of persistant green water I net out
> my
> fish and add Daphnia.  After they clear the water, I keep the fish out
> for
> several months longer, allowing the plants to grow more.  Then, when I
> return the fish, the water has always stayed clear for at least a year.
>  My
> planted tanks with any fish at all tend to have a rather low ratio of
> fish
> to plants.  The higher this ratio gets, the better the chances for green
> water.
> Another low tech solution is the Daphnia cage, a cage of monofilament
> polymer cloth where the mesh size is just small enough to keep Daphnia
> from
> getting out.  The water circulates through, and the Daphnia clear out the
> algae but are protected from the fish.  It works quite well for me and
> requires very little upkeep.  See TAG 5:3, pp 50-54 for an article on the
> Daphnia cage.
> Paul Krombholz in chilly, Jackson, Mississippi, where we are forcast to
> get
> our first frost tomorrow morning.
> ------------------------------
> Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 21:45:18 -0600
> From: "Matt Kowske" <xc at innocent_com>
> Subject: Newbie Question
> Hi, I have kept tropical fish in the past for some time, but with mostly
> fake plants.  I tried to keep some live plants a couple times but they
> died
> within a month or so.  I've acquired a new aquarium and want to try it
> again
> but this time I want to have all plants in the tank with a few fish.
>  From
> what I've read on the web, it seems as if the main thing is live plants
> need
> a lot of light.   I read something like 2 watts per gallon. My question
> is
> what type of light should be used with live plants how much is 
> My second question is in regards to CO2 injection.  I've read that it is
> not
> absolutely necessary for plant growth, but is very helpful.  What goes
> into
> creating a homeade C02 injection system for my tank and what different
> methods are there?  Is there a FAQ or how-to on the web someplace that
> instructs you on how to build them?  TIA for any feedback.
> Matt Kowske
> xc at innocent_com
> ------------------------------
> End of Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1042
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Another episode in the ongoing story of my new 280 gallon open topped 

It was with great excitement that I ordered and then waited for the arrival 
of five MH pendants with IceCap ballasts.  I have never used IC ballasts, 
but I have often read about how happy people using them on florescent 
lights are with them.  I have Energy Saver ballasts powering the lights on 
my other tanks, and they run very hot and quite loud.

A few days ago I had them installed, and I have had nothing but frustration 
from them since then.  At first nothing would light up at all.  The 
instructions with the ballasts say that sometimes, especially with new 
bulbs, one may need to cycle the power a few times to get them lit.  (This 
worried me right away - I want these on timers!)

Now I have three that never light, and two  that will light quite reliably, 
but then go dark after 10 or 20 minutes.

I borrowed an energy saver ballast from one of my other tanks last night 
and was able to light lamps that the IC ballasts are not ligbting, so I 
know that the bulbs and fixtures are okay.

Does anybody else have experience with these ballasts, or suggestions as to 
how I might improve things?


The very act of seeking sets something in motion to meet us;
something in the universe, or in the unconscious responds as if
to an invitation.  - Jean Shinoda Bolen