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Re: PMDD/test kit/pond snails/A. gracilis

Hello folks,

I have a few questions which some of you might care to answer.

The first concerns a batch of PMDD which I recently concocted.
In 300 ml of distilled water were sequentially dissolved

1.5 tsp micronutrient mix
1.5 tsp MgSO4:5H2O
1.5 tsp KNO3
2.0 tsp K2SO4
2.0 tsp CaCl2
0.5 ml muriatic acid

Usually all goes well and the solutes dissolve properly.
However, this time I changed the mix to include the calcium
chloride as listed above. A white precipitate was formed which
occupied 1/4 of the volume. A day in the refrigerator has
subsequently increased the amount to about 3/4 of the volume
of the jar. Would anyone care to explain the chemistry to me?
What is the precipitate and will it dissolve on its own in
the tank in less saturated circumstances?

The second question deals with the Wardley Nitrate Test Kit.
Although it remains a two tablet/two stage test, I am assuming
that the reagents were recently changed since the endpoint
is now orange instead of purple. I find it more difficult to
read, and wonder if anyone has had doubts about its accuracy.
Wardley's 1-800 number is only available to continental U.S.A.

The third question relates to pond snail control. I don't like
these creatures and the loaches leave the small snails alone.
I bought an African clawed frog, the one inch variety, to deal
with them, but I can't really tell if it is making much headway
in the thirty gallon tank. Has anyone else tried this?

Fourthly, has anyone managed to maintain and grow Anubias
gracilis so that its appearance is a credit to its name?
If so, what conditions do you maintain? I grow mine in very
soft water with CO2, PMDD and bright light, but it grows slowly
and the leaves look a bit ratty. Maybe it's the ice buildup
on the stems.

"In Eastern Canada where tropical fish aren't selling all that
well this week."

Dave Whittaker
ac554 at FreeNet_Carleton.ca