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Please help..giving up!

>Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 01:54:52 +0200
>From: "Bebbetufs" <bebenum at c2i_net>
>Subject: Please help, giving up!!!

>- -Then I boiled all the gravel and the roots.
>The problems started 4-5 days after I had finished setting up my tank.
>- -my giant Vals turned brown from the tips down. This continued for about 2
>weeks, then they slowly started to recover
>- -Then my swords started to look really pale, like the chlorophyll was eaten
>out of them.
>- -Finally this happened to my Crypts as well.

Bebbetufs,(be nice to have a "real" name)

This makes it sound as though you put the plants into a plain, boiled
gravel substrate. If you did that is not surprizing that they didn't do
well. You eliminated suddenly all the nutrients they had in the gravel.

>- -Of course with my plants not growing the hair and brush algae did and
>despite all my efforts it soon covered most of my ,by now recovering, giant
>- -Then the snails returned, so I got some Botias to get rid of them. As you
>probably guessed it failed.

What kind of snails? The snails probably would have eaten the algae. If
these are small pond snails you don't have to panic about them unless they
are taking over the tank. If they are Malaysian Trumpet snails, just leave
them be.

>- -Because of all the debris from the dying plants I had to start cleaning my
>tank every 2-3 days and change 1/2 of the water, this goes on even now six
>month later.

This much water changing never gives the tank a chance to become stable. If
you have been doing this for 6 months it is likely a big reason for your

>- -I added 14 algae eaters of different kinds to get rid of the algae
>including a Panaque nigroleniatis and some SAEs. By the way, the Panaque
>eats the hair algae like spaghetti, in fact 1 Panaque is ten times as
>efficient as 3 SAEs, honest!!!

But is it red algae (black)? That is what SAEs are famous for eating.

>nitrate: 0
Some of this would be better than none.

>Phosphate: unknown, but my guess is 0 because of the frequent water changes.
>iron: now this is strange, it seems like no matter how much I put in, it
>never rises above (or even close to) 0.5 ppm.

Definately too many water changes.

>pH: ranges between approx  6,2-6,5

This is rather low. I think 6.5 - 7 would be better.

>I use pre-stored, pre-heated and peat treated water.
>My 120 gal tank is set up like before, 2" of clay substrate, quarts-free
>gravel 2-6 mm grain size, One thin layer of SERA floredepot enough for 13,2
>gal. , lots of mangrove roots bought at my LFS.,

So you don't have plain, boiled gravel. What do you mean by "clay"
substrate? What kind of clay .. from where? In which layer is the
floredepot? I presume that it is a substrate additive meant for aquariums.

>- -Preveausly I had approx. 70w of fluorecent lightning, but decided to get a
>250w MH. lamp.

You have changed your lighting drastically. Swords and crypts do well in
low-medium light. They would take time to adjust to such a big light boost
plus they both like a rich substrate which was also disturbed. One could
expect the crypts to melt [right Steve?].

>- -Following recomondations from my LFS. I decided to add a DIY yeast based
>co2 system
>injecting the co2 into the intake of my 403.- I removed it today because of
>my fish's condition.

Good for your LFS!  With that much light you *need* CO2. But you need to
buffer your water up from 6.2 if you are going to add C02. Why are you
using peat-treated water? Is your water naturally hard?

>I have considered starting all over again, but at this time my student-loan
>and upcoming exams won't allow it.

You don't need to start over. Be patient. Other's will give advice. It will
come out okay. Stop adding things like algae removing chemicals and
changing the water so often and let your tank stabalize. Algae may be nasty
to us but it is natural and isn't *that* terrible.

I've just conquered yet another algae outbreak in my own tank which came
from not balancing my fertilizers properly. Which reminds me: you didn't
say what kind of fertilizer or how much you are adding to the water, if

Don't give up. Relax a bit and all will unfold as it should. :) Where do
you live? Perhaps there is an experienced plant person in your area who
could come over and help.

in Vancouver where we have a glorious, sunny, blue-sky day.