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Re: cycling issues

> Questions:
> 1.  Should I increase the fish load of the tank going on the theory that the
> plants are out-competing the bacteria for nutrients?  Possibly adding an
> apple snail or two?

I'd add some algae eaters. 30 Amano shrimp would go through and clean
everything. The bacteria will simply adjust their populations to whatever
they have available to them. Good news: your high O2 levels will help you
and the bacteria(and plants).
I'd stay away from apple snails or other larger(most generally are that are
larger sized) plant eating snails. Otto cats etc work. Shrimps are very good
at picking the surfaces.

> 2.  Is the small amount of ammonium in the tank enough to cause my algae
> problems?

Perhaps(duration + amount concentration etc). Water changes will reduce it.

> 3.  (An unrelated question)-how will I be able to determine my CO2 level if
> I want to switch to peat-filtration for the final tank residents?

It'll be fine as long as you don't over do the peat thing. A little is fine.

> It is my
> understanding that the KH/CO2/pH table will no longer be valid and that CO2
> test kits are confounded by the humic acids produced by the peat.

At higher levels it probably has more effect, IME, than at lower levels, not
so much. Generally, I don't monkey with the water, a KH of 3 pH of 6.4
should be fine for the fish you want to keep or breed. Playing with peat at
a KH of 3 is a bit risky, I think you might use it in moderation if nothing
else works. Food is the main key to many breeding/growing issues
Apisto's/Discus Angels etc work fine and will bred in your tank's water if
you feed them well/varied diet etc.

Tom Barr
> Any help in alleviating my frustrations would be great.  Thanks to everyone
> for the help you have already given to others, and indirectly to me, in past
> posts.
> Nick Anderson