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Re: Confused

Dear List

I am hoping someone can help me clear up some of my questions.  My very 
first plant tank has been up and running since Feb 99.  It is a 65 gallon 
tank filtered by a wet-dry filtration system.  Lighting is
just a little below 2 watts per gallon. (it should have been two watts per 
gallon but I incorrectly thought the tank was a 55 gallon not a 65 gallon)  
Heavily planted with a fish load consisting of three Discus (2 palm sized, 
one about half dollar sized), 17 cardinals, 4 glass cats, and 4 SAE's who 
are not touching the bright green (almost neon) bushy algae on my driftwood.

C02 addition from a canister and valve courtesy of Dave Gomberg.  Ph 6.6, KH 
4, C02 at 14mg/ltr.  Tropical Mastergrow added daily at 5cc based on 
dividing the weekly dose into daily doses. (A tip from Tom Barr)  Each week 
the tank gets a 50% water change and that is it. ( I use water straight from 
the tap, and live in San Francisco.)  I know many on the list live here in 
S.F. so you know the make-up of that water.  Last time I measured Phosphate 
it was 0.01 and Nitrate was somewhere between zero and 12.5mg/ltr on the 
tetra test kit.

What else should I be adding?  What else should I measure?

Tom Barr tells me I should use my Hygro's as measuring tools.  The tops grow 
great, even turning red near the surface, but the bottoms are barren of 
leaves.  My sword plants are good size, but all new leaf growth is thin, NOT 
wide and oval as it should be.  I figure something is missing from the 
nutrient department, or is it the low amount of lighting.  The few crypts I 
have in there seem perfect, but they get no bigger or smaller.

I see alot posted about KNO3 and KS04.  What are these?

Dave Gomberg informs me that Tropica Mastergrow does not have these 
nutrients in it.

I had written Dave the other day with these concerns and his reply is 
written below:

>The main thing for you to watch would be nitrate.   You need 1-3ppm >to 
>have any success with plants.   Otherwise your plants are >nitrogen 
>starved.   If you keep discus, you only get 100ppm total >dissolved solids, 
>so you have a real balancing act.  Say 10ppm NO3, >5ppm K, 25ppm Ca, 10ppm 
>Mg, 20ppm SO4, 1ppm misc.

I believe my Nitrate is in an acceptable range.  What exactly is Dave 
breaking down for me there...I am confused.

The algae in the tank is restricted to the driftwood, and to the lowest 
portion of the tank nearest the roots of my smaller plants.

I am hoping someone can give me more specific instructions to follow.  Thank 
you all.  Feel free to e-mail me privately if you wish.  Sorry for the long 

Mike Laflamme
spicolte at hotmail_com

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