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Re:clouded glass, name that plant, C. beckettii symptoms

re: clouded glass

Curtis Hoganson was wondering if high amounts of fluoride in my water were
responsible for the etching of the glass covers.  I think it is due
strictly to the glass dissolving in the SiO2-free water that condenses on
the tank top each night and then redepositing when that water dries up
during the day.  When the lights are off at night the glass top becomes
cooler than the water below, and so water condensis on the underside.  When
the lights come on in the morning, their heat dries up this condensation.
This cycle occurs every day, and in a years time there is a significant
amount of glass dissolved and redeposited. The water in the tank does not
etch the sides probably because it is already near saturation with respect
to SiO2.

Brian T Forsythe was wondering how to get lots of silica in the water.
Silica sand would probably do it. It has lots of surface area.  One of
those fluidized bed filters would be the ideal way to have the tank water
circulating through lots of sand.  But, is it necessary to have a lot of
silica in the water?  Also, are some naturally occurring water types low or
lacking in silica?

Jean Olson has the answer that I suspected was going to be the only answer,
namely using the grits used by amateur astronomers grinding their own
lenses.  Do these astronomers use elbow grease or motor driven polishers?
I need to know because I have quite a few square feet of clouded glass to
polish. Actually, it is several square yards.  I suppose that some place
like Edmund Scientific is the place to look for these grits.  The wet
sandpapers suggested by Peter W. O'Dwyer sound useful, but I certainly
would need a lot more than a finger-sized piece.

My heartfelt thanks to all who responded.

re: name that plant.

Brad Grenard wrote:
>The LFS has a plant for sale that is labeled "Ozelot Sword".  It
>strongly resembles an Amazon Sword but it has some redish veins in
>the stems and leaves.  It is about 5 -6 inces tall.  The staff at the
>LFS doesn't know the species name.  Anyone care to guess?  It's a
>really beautiful plant and I'm tempted to buy one, but at $14.99
>each, I'd like to know more about it first.  Thanks for any help.

Yes, There is a plant with that name, but it doesn't look like the plant
you describe.   Kasselmann, in Aquarienpflanzen, has a picture of it,
labeled as a new variety.  I wasn't able to find anything about it in the
text, however.  Kasselmann's photo shows irregular dark red freckles and
larger blotches on the leaves.  The red marks are between the veins, which
remain green.  The young leaves have a background reddish-tan color, and
the older leaves are green with the red marks still quite visible.

re: C. beckettii symptoms

Tom Brennan described gray streaks and some decay in the newer leaves of
his centerpiece C. beckettii plants.

Whenever one has symptoms in the newer growth, it is time to suspect
calcium, iron or boron deficiency.  I would try adding some calcium first.
Just add about 1/4 teaspoon of lime, dispersed in the water and see if
there isn't any improvement in growth.  I know you said your GH was 5, but
that might all be due to magnesium, or the GH might have dropped a lot if
you are not giving a recent measurment. Snails can reduce calcium even in
initially hard water down to levels where plants can become calcium
deficient.  Crypts are more tolerant of low calcium than a lot of aquarium
plants.   When you said your swords had stopped growing, that could also be
due to Ca deficiency causing failure of the meristematic region (growing
point) to produce leaves.  When I have had tanks where calcium is low,
calcium deficiency will show up in some plants and not others.  Sometimes
it shows up in some members, but not others, of the same species.

If the Ca addition doesn't work, then try extra iron.  If that doesn't do
anything try a bit of boric acid, something like a few milligrams (a small
pinch) in your 29 gallons.

Paul Krombholz, in soggy, chilly Madison, Mississippi