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re: Biowheels-CO2-plants redux

Thank you all for the time you spent on this topic. Apparently it's a tired
subject for some people, but I'm new to the list and it has helped me a
great deal. I appreciate all your input.

>> They seem to have left enough for the algae.

> This is a sign of too many fish/too much feeding for the plant mass.

Fortunately, algae isn't really a problem. It's there in small quantities
(for which the various algae eaters are no doubt thankful <g>), and I clean
a little bit off the glass once a month or so, but it is not at a level
where it covers the plants. To me it actually looks attractive growing on
the rocks and wood, especially the dark maroon-colored stuff (any good web
sources on identifying algae out there?).

>> BTW, can anyone recomment a good, sensitive, accurate nitrate test kit?


I enjoyed the rant and agree with the point (i.e., tracking changes is more
important than absolute accuracy). I am just wanting a test kit that is more
sensitive than the AP thing I have, which measures in 20ppm increments (and
that never reads even to 20ppm). The Tetra kit Karen mentioned that reads
12.5ppm increments still seems too insensitive. Is the SeaTest kit able to
measure in 1 or 2ppm increments between zero and about 15 or 20ppms? I read
somewhere that about 6ppm is the ideal level for plants. Opinions?

> Biofiltration and has some undesirable side effects: [snip] As a result of the
> side-effects, if biofilteration isn't needed for the safety of the animals in
> the tank, then it shouldn't be used.  Take the filter off. use it in some
> other tank and save yourself the cost of buying a new filter.

I believe the above is the consensus regarding my questions. Consequently,
I've turned off the biowheels because, so far at least, ammonia is not
detectible with them off (or even before I got the biowheels for that
matter, although quite a few more fish have since been added), CO2 content
in the water is higher and more consistent without them, and the tiny
bubbles formed by the biowheels lowers the clarity of the water.

Thanks again for all the info,

Dan Dixon