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Re: Michael Gerhardt's Four Questions

In Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #1513 Michael Gerhardt asked:

1)  In other words, can a plant be pearling
and dying at the same time?

Sure, if the plant is being covered by algae while pearling out the end of a
broken stem, that plant isn't too healthy. Pearling can be one sign of good
health, but a good looking plant overall is probably a better indicator.

2)With all the discussion of test kits on APD, can somebody tell me what
brand is the best?  Is Lamott worth the price?  I would like to measure Fe,
CO2, KH, Ph and Phosphate.

As with many things in life "best" is subjective. I use the cheap Aquarium
Pharmaceutical test kits for KH, pH and Nitrate. Plenty accurate for me. I
own a LaMotte nitrate kit and don't care for it all that much. I use Seachem
kits for Fe and Phosphate, also relatively cheap and effective. I wouldn't
bother with a CO2 test kit, measure KH and pH and then use the charts at
http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/kh-ph-co2-chart.html Also, once you know
your KH is above say 3-4, then you can safely bubble in at a rate of 1
bubble per 40 gallons per second and get close enough to the desired

3)A few of my clown loaches began to show signs of ich just before
Christmas.  My wife gave me a UV filter for xmas which I just plumbed
in(yes, I know it may be a waste of money).  With the UV filter on, will the
ich that is on the fish go through it's life cycle (13-16 days) and then
disappear?  Or do I need to treat my tank with Rid-Ich or similar product?

Fix the underlying problem first, there's something about the water quality
that is stressing the fish. I've waited out ich on clown loaches and they
were able to throw it off without my help, except for fixing the water
quality problem (dead fish not seen in this case). Clout will treat it
faster if you can't wait. Since loaches are bottom dwellers, they nose
around where the Ich larvae reside, so the UV may not be completely
effective against it anyway. But you'll like having the UV in place this
spring when green water usually makes an appearance.

4)Are there any other teachers who read this list and have done planted
tanks in their classrooms?

Mike, meet Karen Randall.

Tom Wood
Austin, Texas, ya'll