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>Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 11:58:56 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Anthony Ciarochi <Anthony.Ciarochi at eng_Sun.COM>
>I would like to get a second opinion about some advice I received over
>Despite the fact that my tank is heavily planted with mostly fast growing
>plants, I am still unable to get my NO4 levels under control. I have a fairly
>heavy fish load, but don't think I'm feeding them excessively for the population
>(feel free to verbally abuse me if I'm wrong).
>The suggestion was to add potassium, either in the form of potassium chloride
>(salt substitute), or potassium sulfate. I understand potassium is a
>macronutrient that I might be lacking, but I have questions:
>1 - Is lack of potassium a reasonable assumption, given my other stats? How can
>I tell if I'm 'potassium challenged' (PC)? I've never seen a potassium test kit.
>2 - If I am PC, should my plants be growing so fast? My Cabomba and Hygro. grow
>more than the height of my tank in ONE WEEK, every week, with the ambulia and
>pennywort not far behind! I won't even describe the hornwort. If I don't weed
>constantly, there's no room for the fish!
>3 - How much do I use? I don't want fish for dinner, even if they are well
>My stats are:
>gravel only substrate (Monterey beach sand from LFS)
>RO for make-up water, tap water (very hard) occasionally depending on tank's KH
>established several months
>60 ppm NO4 (!)
>Kent freshwater plant micronutrient added regularly
>fish: 4 discus (2 large, one juvenile, one baby), two 5" clown botia, 3 Ottos, 2
>zebra danios, 3 rams, two large but very well-behaved snails (one apple, one
>food: 2-3 frozen gumdrops twice per day (4-6 total per day), plus a pinch of
>10 species plants: Hygro. polysperma, Hornwort, Ambulia, L. cardinalis, C.
>wendtii, Cabomba, Anacharis, Amazon Swordplant, dwarf Sag., Pennywort.
>15+ species algae :\
> - Anthony
You forgot the most important stat....
How often do you change your water?
With your fish load and feeding, I'd guess that you should be doing
about a 33% water change every two weeks to keep your nitrates and
phosphate under control.
Ron Wozniak Allentown PA, USA
rjwozniak at lucent_com