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Re: Some thoughts and questions
RuevenM at aol_com wrote:
> How do you grow java moss and java fern? I have tried for 25 years and
> always fail. At best it exists. I have used high light and low light; small
> tanks and big; soft and hard water; acid and alkaline; fertilizer and no
> fert.; wood and gravel to grow it -- everything. I see some guys with buckets
> of it. What is the secret? Is there something these just hate?
Yes, there are a lot of things plants hate. IDK what you are putting in your
tanks that is stopping them, but your Hydra question gives a pretty strong
The Javas are both hardy plants that I have even kept (without good growth)
in 50% sea water! They obviously do not like copper and other heavy metals,
in excess, and do need a normal range of micro- and macro-nutrients to
flourish. Use of normal hard tap water and feeding fish takes care of that
need pretty well. They do less well in really soft water, but mine grow
> How do you get rid of hydra? I have tried salt, copper, formalin and
> Bausman's fish tonic and nothing works. All I ever do is kill my floating
> najas -- formalin wiped it out over night.
Obviously you did it wrong, or that would not happen. 3 drops of drugstore
37% formaldehyde per 5G, repeated every other day for about 3-4 times always
does it. Never do more than 1 drop/G more often than every two days.
The first dose makes them contract into a ball, but just weakens them. The
second starts to kill them, and the third usually finishes off the hardiest
ones. Overdosing does no good and harms the rest of the tank, fish and
plants alike. The trick is to do reliable, every-other-day treatment at the
The fish store stuff is often decomposed into hazardous compounds, so I
never use it. It's also way too weak to be very useful, anyway. Fresh 37%
formaldehyde ("Formalin" is a brand name) is pretty unstable, so that's why
the multi dosing at plant-safe levels. It gets absorbed by mulm and other
organic stuff in the tank, so ordinary water changes and normal cleaning get
rid of any tiny bit left. No carbon filtering is needed.
> I never had hydra years ago and
> now any tank that gets bbs becomes filled with it. What is up? Is there a
> sure fire cure in a tank with fish? Is the only way to end it to get rid of
> all live plants?
I have found the above treatment to be pretty fool proof, and never lost a
plant. I have also found that a slight overdose of "Amquel" or "Ammo Lock 2"
does much the same thing. I avoid either unless really needed, for anything
that gets to Hydra can also kill off all the infusoria in the tank, and that
-- in turn -- can permit bacterial blooms if food for them is present. Hydra
are only a real problem for very small baby fish.
BTW, some Gouramis consider Hydra a tasty delicacy. They will clean them out
in a hurry!
You can avoid infecting other tanks by soaking nets in a dipping solution,
and *briefly* rinsing moved plants in a strong bath of either Epsom Salts or
in Chlorox, diluted 20:1. Wash off all the latter, before putting in a tank
with fish. Hydra always come in on plants or nets, and rarely with fish, and
is one great argument for *never* putting LFS tank water into your tanks.
Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntleyone at home dot com
"No wonder Al Gore thinks he is president. This is a
most confusing time. The leading rap singer is white,
the world's best golfer is black, and Bill Clinton
just got back from Vietnam." - Paul Harvey
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