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Re: fluorite and algae outbreaks

Earlier this year I changed the substrate in a 30 gallon tank from plain
gravel to only Fluorite.  I syphoned out 1/3 of the gravel every third day,
and replaced it with Fluorite.  I did this because I was concerned about the
sudden potential lack of beneficial bacteria.  Also, I didn't want to make a
huge mess or have to remove the fish.  The gravel was +ACI-cordoned+ACI- off with
rocks so the two substrates would not mix.

I did not have a significant algae bloom of any kind in this tank.  Not only
that, but within 24 hours of having changed all the gravel to Fluorite, the
water was crystal clear.  I have a sponge filter and a mini-jet powerhead in
the tank.  Mind you, I didn't have an algae problem before the switchover

All the plants are doing very well.  In fact, I was surprised that there was
no die-back of the echinodorus I planted.  Recently, I introduced some water
sprite which is now growing successfully.  Prior to this, I could not get
water sprite to grow at all in spite of PMDD.

I have 2 30 gallon tanks side by side in front of a W-SW facing window.  The
tank with the Fluorite has a pH of 6.6 consistently.  The other tank which
has a mixture of gravel and Terralit has a pH of 7.2.  Both tanks receive
the same water.  This pH difference is something I cannot explain.  Perhaps
Dr. Greg Morin could give me some input on this.  Does the Fluorite have
some effect on the pH?

G. Kadar