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Karen Randall Tank

I'm planning to set up a 75 gallon planted tank a la Karen Randall. I
like the approach since it seems simple enough, even for me, and it's
been used successfully in a number of different water supplies. Karen,
if you're out there, I live in a town near where you have set up some
tanks (Milford). I was curious if you've had any experience with our
water supply. 

I have a couple of questions on your system. I'm going to run 220 watts
and pressurized CO2 in the 75 gallon with a gravel and laterite
substrate. Thanks to this list, I found a source for Tropica Master
Grow. Would you suggest that I use the Jobe's 16-2-6 given the lighting
and CO2 or should I start with Master Grow and see how the plants do
first ? Will substances in the substrate such as iron show up in water

I also have some other questions for anyone regarding my other tank
which has been running for 3 weeks. The basic setup is a 30 gallon tank
with 90 watts on for 12 hours/day, laterite and gravel substrate, yeast
reactor, and fertilization with Kent in the water column and Sera
tablets in the substrate. Both products contain iron. The tank was
heavily planted with Hygrophilia Polysperma, Hygrophilia Difformis, and
Sagittaria Subulata.

Plant growth has been rapid. There has been some yellowing of the blades
of the Sagittaria, and some blades, but no whole plants have died. I'm
still getting new growth on the Sag. I have some thread type algae which
not serious at the moment. 

My tap water and tank tested at .5 mg/l for phosphate and iron. I
noticed the iron level remained constant even immediately after
fertilizing with iron fortified nutrients. I ran Chemi Pure for 4 days
in an attempt to reduce the iron level with no success. I stopped
because I was concerned about pulling other elements out of the water.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do ? 

I tested for nitrates and got no reading as I expected in a new tank.
Are the Sagittaria  possibly nitrogen limited ?

Also, I was interested getting opinions on the advisability of
fertilizing both my substrate and water column ? Am I overdoing it ? 

Finally, I really enjoy this list as well as the Krib. I'm printing so
many postings and articles that I went out and bought a faster printer.
I think most people new to plants like me appreciate the time and effort
of the experts on this list.  

Henry Hatch
2 Kennedy Lane apt. 3
Milford, Ma. 01757
hhatch at sprynet_com