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Re: Rebuilt tank questions...

Robert, you may want to consider the sodium/calcium balance in your tank.

> ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 17:04:06 -0600
> From: Robert Chady <aquatic-plants at chady_org>
> Subject: Rebuilt tank questions...
> When I came back from vacation, I found my tank had crashed.  I lost 1/3
> of my fish and 3/4 of my plants.  I have gone through and cleaned the
> tank out completely.  I salvaged what I could of the remaining healthy
> plants.  I cleaned off the substrate to remove as much rotting
> vegetation as possible. I took this opportunity to add in some more
> substrate as I was lacking in that department - only had 2".
> I have replanted everything, including buying a couple more plants to
> give some variety to the tank.  
> Our well water has an unpleasantly high amount of iron and is naturally
> soft/acidic so we have a filtration system here that includes a water
> softener.  The water coming out of our tap right now is GH0/KH0 and is
> acidic (below 6 at least). 


I was killing lots of plants when I first moved to Modesto, last summer. 
The water was dead soft, out of the tap, and had a tds of only 34 ppm. I 
added a bit of salt (like your water softener will tend to do) to raise 
the tds to a more comfortable osmotic pressure for my fish.

The fish were stressed and I was even killing off my Java moss, which had 
previously lived OK in 50% sea water (SG of 1.010 to 1.015)!

I then recalled, vaguely, that proper cell transport relies on a balance 
between monovalent ions, like sodium, and divalent ones, like calcium, to 
function properly. I added enough Seachem "Equilibrium" to get the tds up 
around 100-200 and WOW! The plants took off and the general meltdowns I 
had been suffering stopped cold.

I'm sure the plant physiologists here can explain this experience better, 
but I am now convinced that even a tiny bit of salt can be deadly in a 
really soft-water environment. [Get rid of that water softener, as it 
probably does more harm than good.]

Now I can add salt (or be careless feeding bbs), or add baking soda to 
raise the KH, without killing everything.


Wright Huntley -- 209 521-0557 -- 731 Loletta Ave, Modesto CA 95351

Tax season to-do list:

1. Sharpen pencils.
2. Mark calendar.
3. Panic.

Then attend WCW XII, on April 26th and 27th and unwind: