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Guys and Gals,
A few years ago Paul K. described symptoms similar to calcium deficiency
that he finally attributed to a toxin released into his tank from a nylon
net. I wonder if other plastics might cause similar symptoms.
Some of the plants in one of my tanks exhibit apparent calcium deficiency
symptoms, but only in one tank. Plants with the symptoms can be moved to
other tanks and will recover from the symptoms even though I use the same
tap water and fertilizer and follow the same water change and cleaning
schedule in all my tanks.
I've worked on the substrate already, thinking that may be the difference.
It didn't help. The problem may be getting worse because I now see
symptoms in a giant hygrophilla which has never shown the symptoms
So, I've inventoried the synthetic materials in the tank, and I'm
wondering if anyone has had problems, or knows of similar problems caused
by any of these plastics:
Plastic components on a Rio powerhead and "Tronic" heater
Clear plastic tubing used for lift tubes and rigid air lines
White styrene plates and tubes (four half-dollar sized plates and
a 1-inch tube)
vinyl tubing (about an inch total))
hot glue, epoxy glue
Of the several possibilities I'm most suspicious of the styrene and the
hot glue. Someone on this list once lectured us on the dangers of vinyl
tubing, but the stuff has been in use for so long that I have a hard time
imagining that it's causing the problem. I know some of us have used hot
glue; has anyone else had long-term problems while using it?
Come to think of it, there's also the 10-year old, unused UGF plate still
under the gravel. I don't know what sort of plastic that is, but there
sure is a lot of it.
In Albuquerque, hoping for some positives