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Re: Balancing fish and plants
on 01:48 PM 9/27/99 , Aquatic Plants Digest wrote:
>1) moderately soft and acidic water is incompatible with CO2
...unless you do something to increase the KH, which may or may not be good
for your particular plants and fish.
>2) in a heavily planted tank with constant CO2, the standard advice to
>eliminate all surface agitation is lethal to many species of fish, at least
>in the conditions I keep them in: moderately high stocking levels and large
I agree again. After I eliminated surface agitation, the fish were still
gasping for air at the surface in the morning, even when the plants had
been bubbling furiously the night before - and if the plants had a bad day
for any reason, it caused even more stress and occasionally killed a fish.
I got suspicious after I discovered that every time a fish died, it
happened in the early morning before the lights came on, when the oxygen
levels were at their lowest.
I ended up putting an airstone on a timer to turn on for a few hours every
night. This wouldn't be a good idea except that my water has a high KH, so
there is very little pH variation. Now the fish are happy, and I haven't
had a death since. It takes care of surface scum and duckweed, too.
I think lots of plant enthusiasts let oxygen levels get a bit low. I've
read many stories about SAEs jumping the night after a major pruning (i.e.
less plants means less oxygen) and I'm sure it would explain a lot of other
problems. I think I'm going to stick to the "high KH and aeration at night"
school of thought for my tanks (especially with my tap water.)
Of course, I stock tanks heavily compared to some plant people. A
lightly-stocked tank could get away with oxygen from the plants, but mine
has trouble. (I do stay under one inch of fish per gallon, though.)
michael moncur mgm at starlingtech_com http://www.starlingtech.com/
"You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty."
-- Sacha Guitry