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Dupla Fertilizers

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 1998 09:38:11 -0800 (PST)
From: Roxanne Bittman <rbittman at spock_dfg.ca.gov>
Subject: Dupla fertilizers
To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com

Walt asked:

My main questions are on (1) filters (2) testing equipment (3) Plant
nutrient supplements. (4) Books

(1) Filters:
Would a Penguin Biowheel be an adequate source of filtration for a 10
gal planted aquarium?

I use the Fluval 103 in aquariums 20g and smaller and it works great and is not 
too expensive.  One pet shop owner in Davis told me the Biowheel was a marketing 
scam and did very little useful filtering.

(2) Testing equipment
Besides Iron, Carbonate Hardness, pH, and CO2, what testing kits do I
need? Do I even need these? pH i'm pretty certain of but what brands are
the most accurate?

You could get away with not using the CO2 test kit if you have KH and pH kits, 
since you can read the CO2 levels off of charts.  I have found even cheap pH 
kits to be quite accurate (tested them against electronic testing equipment and 
they were within .1 unit).

(3) Plant nutrient supplements.
Besides laterite and Duplagan water conditioner, what is needed? Is
Florasan a good product? What is the best nutrient additive and why?

Duplagan goes best with the other Dupla products.  Or, use laterite and Tropica 
MasterGrow.  As Karen R. points out, what you add in addition to these depends 
on your water.

(4) Books
Besides "The Optimum Aquarium" what books are the most informative
regarding environmental conditions for plants and that aren't full of
filler text?

The Baensch series is good, so are Ines Scheuremann's books.  Barry James's book 
is not too bad.  Trouble with the smaller books is the small number of plant 
species discussed.  I refer to Baensch most often.


On another subject; Karen answered my post which complained that Dupla products 
were less than perfect:
Karen wrote:

Are you sure you do not have a magnesium deficiency?  Dupla drops and
tablets do not provide magnesium, this is supplemented (in the Dupla
system) with Duplagan.  

I use Duplagan as well.  

I use reconstituted R/O water since the local water in Davis is extremely hard 
and full of more Boron than most plants can stand.  I use R/O Right and MgSO4, 
CaCl, and K2SO4.  For example, following a 25% water change in the 40gal tank, I 
add 1/2 tsp. of each of those things.  After reading Neil Frank's article, this 
seemed to be approx. the right amount to acheive "soft" water with some 
nutrients in it.  Perhaps I am not adding _enough_ magnesium; I was concerned 
about making the GH too high...but, what is too high?

I certanily appreciate the suggestion about Mg since I am pretty sure I still 
have a minor nutrient deficiency but have not figured what yet.

I agree about the ease of adding any fertilizer once/week rather than every day. 
I am another person who can't be bothered to add it each day, so I'm hoping 
Mastergrow will work well for me.

Roxanne Bittman