Re: 1) Triton Lights 2) Rotting stems

>From: Marty Durkin <durkin at stsci_edu>
>Date: Thu, 1 Aug 96 14:01:54 EDT
>Subject: Triton Bulbs and Stem Rot
>I have a 55 gallon aquarium which currently has 3 48" bulbs (1 Triton,
>1 regular, 1 coral life).  These bulbs are now 6 months old.  How
>necessary is it to replace these bulbs at 6 months?  Can I wait up to
>a year?  Also, should I go ahead and replace all 3 of them with 
>Tritons.  I have heard that Tritons have a higher light intensity and
>will also help to eliminate algae problems.  Currently, I have a 
>thread algae problem.
>Also, about 2 weeks ago I posted a message about several of my 
>bunch plants rotting at the stems.  My nitrates don't register on
>the Tetra kit - no traces of ammonia or nitrites  either.  The PH is 
>and my KH is 2.5.  The water temp is 76 degrees.  I am also using a 
>injection system which I have been using for the past 2 months.  
>The plants that are rotting are the ones that I had to trim about
>once a week because they were growing so fast.  These plants include
>Hygro, Foxtail, and Tropic Sunset.  Most of these plants I have 
>had to completing throw away.  I had only fertilized with ferovit
>one time over the last month because I had a thread algae problem
>which has become better.  I did not get any response to my last 
>about this problem.  If anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate 
>about them.  I am also wondering if I can go ahead and replace these
>plants or will this problem probably occur again.
>Thanks in advance for any advice on these two issues.

Don't change your Triton fluorescent tubes -- they are effective until 
they shut off!  This is another big advantage of them and their patent. 
If anything, replace the one that is not a Triton as it goes "down 
hill" in less than six months.  I suggest that you replace it with 
another Triton.

Be sure that you are not putting any of the leaves from the stems of 
the "bunch" plants that you mentioned under the gravel.  You must strip 
the leaves from the stem that is being planted. Leaves under the gravel 
cause the stems to rot.  Also, if your water is very soft (lacking 
calcium), put in a clean clam shell or some oyster shell.  These plants 
need calcium.

Your "Fervorit" is not causing the "thread algae".  Use it according to 
directions.  You have "thread algae" because your rotting stem problem 
is causing the other plants to not grow as well and the energy produced 
by your light has to be utilized -- or "Mother Nature" forms her own 
plants (your thread algae) to utilize the energy.

Good luck.