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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1203

> From: davids at ols_net (David Shelton)
> Subject: ick in the plant tank
> if someone could please help me with this problem this tank has been
> doing to good for me to guess at something and  kill my fish and
> plants. i know the plants, plico, snails, shrimp, and neons all
> complicate this problem. also my ph 6.8,  kh 5 temp. 74, iron trace,
> nitrite 0 , nitrate trace. pressurized co2 on ph controller if you
> need more information let me know.
>  most things i read said use malachite green then it said use 1/2 dose
> for neons then i got confused if i should  raise the temperature to 80
> to as high as 86  with or without  any medication.  i like the idea of
> raising the temp. for about 10 days  without any medication but i

Well, I posted the same basic message as you a week ago...  I had the 
same  complications as you (neons, shrimp, snails, catfish, plants).  I
am still finishing out the treatment, but here's what I've done, and what
I've seen happen:

- 50% water change.

- Raised tank temp to 85 degrees.  Nothing seemed to mind this.  If
anything, all fish seemed more active than normal.

- Added salt (small amount, 1 TBS per 10 gallons)  I don't know if this
helped anything, but it didn't seem to hurt any of my inhabitants.

- Added Malachite Green / Formalin solution.  I got a brand I'd never heard
of before, Marine Enterprises Int. Malachite Plus.  .25% Malachite Green, 
99.75% Formaldehyde.   The suggested dosage was 3 drops per gallon, I went
with half that dosage.   The package warns that Malachite Green breaks down in
the presence of light, so treatment should be made with the tank light out.
I left the lights off for the first day, and reduced slightly for the whole

I added the Malachite Green stuff once on sunday, mid-day (that's when
I got it) and turned the lights off for the whole day sunday.  I cut the
lighting back to 1/3 (20 watts, normally 60 watts on my 29g tank) for Monday
and Tuesday.  Tuesday night, right at lights-off, I did another 50% water
change and added another tablespoon of salt, and another 1/2 dose of the
Malachite Green medicine.  Wednesday I brought the lighting up to 40 watts
(too many plants were starting to look bad...) and then did another
water change and Malachite treatment on Friday night.  Last spots were seen
on Wednesday.  I lowered the tank temp back down to 80 degrees on Friday, 
and I'm planning on leaving it up there.   Planning another water change /
treatment tonight, and at least one more treatment on Wednesday or Thursday.

None of the plants died, but the hornwort seemed real unhappy, with the lower
parts of the plants becoming dried out / brittle.  My guess is that the lack
of light did it.

I hadn't seen my Algae eating shrimp during the treatment, but I just
noticed both of them doing just fine yesterday, and all the snails are
ok too.  

One thing I did, but don't know if it was needed or not, was to discontinue 
my CO2.  I did this because my CO2 lowers the pH to 6.6, from the tap
water's normal 7.4.  I figured that since I was going to be doing frequent
large water changes, the pH would be swinging up and down if I left the CO2

Chuck Gadd