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Cat instigated problem

A number of months ago, my cat decided that he had to indicate to me in no
uncertain terms that he was not happy with what he considered to be neglect
of himself.  He chewed up the CO2 hose.

I thought I'd spliced out the damaged portion but it turned out that there
were two more holes and the CO2 was escaping thata way.

Meanwhile my pH monitor needed a new electrode and I had lots of other 'life
situations' to deal with so the tank was not right up there as a priority.

So the pH went up and the clown loaches altered their behaviour.  For years
they were nice guys leaving the plants alone.   Now, they literally tore the
tank apart.  Leaves floating everywhere, other leaves looking like Swiss
cheese.  Considering how this tank looked a year ago, to look at it now is
to weep+ACE-

Finally I got my act together and started with replacing the CO2 hose,
calibrating the pH monitor, and adding correct amounts of PMDD to the change
water.  The first thing I noticed was that the Clown Loaches no longer
attacked the plants.  Has anyone else seen such behavioural change?

Next, the duckweed and Salvinia started to grow back with a vengeance.  The
plants that survived carnage started to put out new leaves.   Cryptocoryne
which had been chewed down to the 'disappearance' level started to grow new
leaves from the gravel.

However, there developed over the CO2 deprived time a type of brush algae.
I guess it's red because I can rub it off leaves etc. with my fingers.
Today I purchased 4 baby real Siamese Algae eaters.  What bliss+ACE-  This furry
stuff appears to be their 'algae of choice'.  Rocks look as though they'd
been barbered+ACE-

Now for the mystery:  The Jungle Vals are no longer.  They are rather
mini-Vals these days and don't seem to be interested in developing back to
their former glory.  (Mixed blessing in a way.)  Is it possible that the
Cryptocoryne have exuded some type of allelopathic chemical substance into
the substrate that is causing the Vallisneria to be dwarfed?

Also, my pH from the tap is 7.8,  KH 4. (maybe 4.5)  If I lower the pH to
6.8, the fish are puffing in the a.m.  If I increase surface movement to
increase O2 levels, the pH goes up because the CO2 is bleeding off.  Is this
because there aren't enough plants as yet to provide sufficent O2?

Gabriella Kadar
p.s. anyone want a cat who gains oral satisfaction through destruction of
various cords, cables and hoses?  He's smart.  Never chews live wires or
ones with max. voltage running through them.  :)