Re: Nitrates & sludge problem

> From: Stephen.Pushak at hcsd_hac.com
> Date: Wed, 16 Aug 95 13:05:48 PDT
> Subject: Re: Nitrate deficiency
> Joanne wrote:
> > 
> > I've been noticing that every time my nitrates get down to zero in my
> > planted tanks I get a yucky brown slimy sludge growing.  I'd like to
> > know if anyone else has encountered this.
> These are diatoms I suspect. Odd however if you have plenty of light
> and catfish to stir up the bottom and good water circulation to keep
> detritus from accumulating too much on the bottom. Perhaps it is
> uneaten food and fish poop? I don't know if it is right to associate
> zero nitrates with this.

Well, actually these tanks don't have the greatest circulation.  The
worst affected is my 25 gallon tank which only has two aquaclear 150
powerfilters on it & these keep getting clogged up with this slimey
sludge stuff.  This tank does not have any catfish in it at the moment
but I keep intending to get some for it.  The sludgey stuff grows on
plants (particularly near the base) and inside the filters a lot (in
the foam & inside the filter & intake tubes).

I'm pretty convinced it grows more when nitrates are zero - maybe it's
just a decomposition product from dying plants when nitrates get
limiting.  The pH is 7.2, CO2 15-20 ppm (DIY sugar + yeast), GH 5, temp
82 deg F and lighting: 3 18" bulbs (1 coralife full spectrum, 1 coralife
50/50 and 1 vitalite).

I will just try keeping nitrates > 0 & see if that helps (& buy some
catfish soon).


P.S.  I will be gone all next week at a conference just in case people
try to contact me & can't.

P.P.S.  I have been using a Tetra kit for KH & it just ran out.  Anybody
got any suggestions for a different brand or stick with the same?