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Re: Making friends with new water

From: "John W. Lemons III" <jlemons at alpha1_net>
>I'm in Bryan also, and I can attest to the water measurments (except I
>measured pH of 8.4-8.6).  What you didn't list (didn't test for?) was the
>high phoshate content as well.

Hi! My pH test kit only goes up to 8, so that's why I put pH > 8. It takes
some time to get it down to a measurable level, even with CO2, peat, and RO
water. =( I didn't test for phosphate - no test kit. However, I have not
had excessive algae growth in my tanks, and *I don't know why.* I know it's
a stage they're supposed to go through, but  I figured the water was just
so horrible that nothing but java moss would stay alive without
supplements, and I've just been adding Fluorish. Of course, I say that now,
so watch me come back from classes today to mounds of algae everywhere.

I do have somewhat greenish water in my designated plant tank, but I got a
dozen glass shrimp from Carolina Biologicals and added them. The pleco in
the tank seems to be taking care of anything that might settle. Other tanks
are just now starting to grow things again, but not algae. <crossing
fingers, toes, eyes>

>  When I first started my tank, the
>conbination of all those things provided for a wonderful algae tank, but
>killed most of the plants I bought.  I was able to get it under control by
>using 80% RO with 20% tap and supplementing the RO with Kent RO Right and
>some Baking soda.  That brought my pH down to about 7.2, kept my hardness
>up, and reduced the phosphates dramatically. 

In my killie breeding tanks (all pretty small), I use about 2/3 RO water to
1/3 tap. That brings hardness down to about 5 dKH (I'm going to have to
start using ppm.) Then I add Marc Weiss Amazon River peat pellets
(contents: black peat, humus, tannins, fulvins, enzymes, and trace
elements) to the water, for that nice brown color. 

For the 29 gal plant tank, I gradually added 3 gallons of RO water (from
Glacier machine at Kroger on S. Texas in Bryan - tests great, & 29 cents
per gallon.) Thought I'd let things settle & then test. I haven't found a
local source for dolomite yet, so got a "weekend feeder" and added chunks
to the filter. I just started baking soda as a buffer to yeast/sugar/water
CO2 factory; I'll have to see what happens in a regular tank. Thanks for
the suggestions. =)

Nice to meet another plant person in the area!
in Bryan, Texas