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Auto-reply: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #253

I will be out of the office until Tuesday May 26.  Steve Wertheimer is
in during my absence. 
Arrivederci America, 

Gregory Pongracz 
Consulting Member Technical Staff, Backup Restore and Recovery 
Server Technology Division 

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Aquatic Plants Digest      Saturday, May 9 1998      Volume 03 : Number 253

In this issue:

	Re: New tanks for beginners
	Re: Water Chemistry -- Remedial Help
	Re: Flagfish
	Re: Water chemistry--plant ID books
	Re: DIY Substrate Heating Cables
	Re:DIY Substrate Heating Cables 
	Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #252
	Re: Subtrate Rotten
	Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #251

See the end of the digest for information on unsubscribing from the
Aquatic Plants mailing list and on how to retrieve back issues.


Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 16:13:25 EDT
From: Dennis8425 <Dennis8425 at aol_com>
Subject: Re: New tanks for beginners

In a message dated 98-05-08 15:55:02 EDT, Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com
someone wrote which prompted my comments:

<< >Easy plants : Anubias barteri v. nana, Hygrophila polysperma or the
 >Hygrophila with good light/iron it show some nice red coloring, 

I have not had much luck with Hygrophilia in any of the varieties.  It
grows tall and has few leaves.  

 >caroliniana, Bacopa caroliniana,

Caution on the Cambodia.  I have found that occassionally the leaves drop and
make a nightmare cleaning the tank.

 > some of the Echinodorus are pretty hardy
 >try Echinodorus bleheri (paniculatus). 

I will agree here but caution is to get the right varieties to go with your
aquarium.  Some grow to 24 or 30 inches in nature and unless your tank is 
that tall you may be having problems with plants to large in time.  Get a
plant book and check on the hieght it grows to before buying.  Also the key
to these plants is a lot of light for 10 to 12 hours per day

 > Also type some Cryptocorynes like
 >the Cryptocoryne wendtii it is pretty easy to grow but likes to be left
 >alone.  Just plant in fertile substrate in a low to average lighted area of
 >your tank and don't move it. 

Yes another great group of plants.  You can mix varieties of the Crypts in
and get a great effect.  But remember they like low light of 16 to 20 hours a
and are not compatable with the plantthat need intense light for shorter time

 >Others to consider are different varieties of
 >Ceratopteris or Water Sprite and of course some Amazon Swords.  For more
 >"easy plants" look in the same sections mentioned below.

Yes but again be cautious on type to match the plant size with the aquarium.

 >Heavily planted tanks from the start are far less likely to be come algae
 >farms and cycle easier !
 > >>

Defenatly true but still  expect  get at least a breif splurge of algea when
you start up.
Also to help cycling add a few fish about 2 or 3 days after setup. 
I add
the scavangers first at this time as they are usually rugged enough to handle
the instable chemestry you may initially see untill everything settles down.



Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 12:04:59 -0700 (MST)
From: "Roger S. Miller" <rgrmill at rt66_com>
Subject: Re: Water Chemistry -- Remedial Help

Alysoun Mclaughlin wrote:

> I would also like to find a book which provides one or more of the
> following:
> 1)  Pictures and descriptions of a large number of plants, especially those
> which are less common (not just a few of the same old pictures and
> descriptions of rotala, swords and crypts);

Good luck finding Rataj and Horeman.  It has lots of photos and
descriptions of plants, but its short on good husbandry information.

> 2)  Detailed information about water chemistry, including explanations of
> why it matters (for instance, what you're actually testing when you use X
> product, and what that means, why we can or can't use it as a reliable
> indicator of a broader condition, what Y product does to your water and why
> fish/plants need it);

"Advanced Aquarist" by Ghadially (a reference you've already been given)
comes about as close to this as anything I've seen.  This too will be hard
to find.

The approach on this mailing list is rather heavily slanted toward
(paraphrasing the old ad campaign) "better horticulture through
chemistry".  While I find the chemistry interesting I think that a) you
may be stressing this need too much b) the source you're looking for may
not exist and c) this might be something where there's more good questions
than there are good answers. The last two points probably explains why the
topic is discussed so much on this list.

> 3)  Detailed troubleshooting information, including explanations of what's
> going on (not just "Cryptocoryne disease, treat with X product");

As you know, the inexpensive Barron's book is pretty good for this.  I'm
not sure there's anything better.  The Krib contains lots of
trouble-shooting information.  Combing through that for a while might be

> With, of course, the emphasis on #2.  It seems there's a lot of criticism
> this list of how most aquarium literature handles the issue -- am I
> searching for the holy grail?  IS there a book or FAQ in existence which
> serve as a primer on basic water chemistry, without excluding important
> variables or leading me into false assumptions?

You might look at the Baensch atlases (Rael and Baensch, I think.  Maybe
someone else can help with the full title), which is in at least 3 volumes
now.  I don't have them all, but I know many people are pleased with the
information they contain.  What I've seen quoted from them seems to be in
the "intermediate" category you're looking for.

Roger Miller

In Albuquerque, where the spring winds have passed and hot air balloons
are once again flying every morning.


Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 14:13:15 -0700 (MST)
From: Michael D Nielsen <mnielsen at U_Arizona.EDU>
Subject: Re: Flagfish

I had a really, really nasty green hair algae problem that they cleared up
in only a couple of weeks with no help on my part.  I did not have any
beard algae, but I would guess they might eat that too.

Good luck
o    Mike Nielsen                                                        u 
m    Department of Geography         THE OPTIMIST BELIEVES WE LIVE IN    ? 
a    Harvill Bldg Box #2             THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS;    w
r    Tucson, AZ 85721                THE PESSIMIST FEARS THIS IS SO      h 
e    mnielsen at u_arizona.edu                                              o


Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 14:25:38 -0700 (MST)
From: Michael D Nielsen <mnielsen at U_Arizona.EDU>
Subject: Re: Water chemistry--plant ID books

JUst a personal opnion, but if you have the money some of the best books
are the Aquarium atla s series  by Baensch, vols, 1, 2, which have literally 
hundreds of species of plants as well as a couple thousand fish.  THey
give some info on the plants and in general have beautiful pictures of

A bonus for you is the first volume also has some basic info on tanks and
some on water chemistry.

They are about $40 a piece in the hard cover, but I have seen some
reprints in softcover for about $25 each I think.

I love the books.
o    Mike Nielsen                                                        u 
m    Department of Geography         THE OPTIMIST BELIEVES WE LIVE IN    ? 
a    Harvill Bldg Box #2             THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS;    w
r    Tucson, AZ 85721                THE PESSIMIST FEARS THIS IS SO      h 
e    mnielsen at u_arizona.edu                                              o


Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 16:32:59 -0500
From: Steve Garinger <sgaringer at pivotint_com>
Subject: Re: DIY Substrate Heating Cables

I have built cables like you are contemplating.  I did not repeat your
calculations, but the wire length sounds similar to what I used.  My
advice is to add 5% to the length before cutting the wire, then measure
the resistance and trim the wire to match your desired output.

It has been awhile since I read the file, so I don't recall if this next
part is in there, but if it is, it bears repeating:  Be very careful to
make the connection between your feeder wire, and the heating cable
watertight.  I used 14 ga. wire between the transformer and the heating
cable.  I put heat shrink over the solder joint between the wire and the
cable, then sealed the ends of the heat shrink with silicone rubber,
then (after curing) put a larger heat shrink tube over that and sealed
its ends with silicone rubber.

I have had no troubles in long term (2 years+) usage.  My plants love
it.  The fish-room manager of my LFS was over the other day and could
not believe my aquarium.  He had never seen crypt wendtiis (that's what
the seller called them, I have not researched it) with leaves up to the
surface of a 55, or with such a deep maroon color on the underside.  But
then, his exposure is mainly to what comes in the door, not to the tanks
of the folks on this list.

Good luck,

Steve Garinger
In Lawrence, KS, where we are about to reclaim the town from the KU
students (for the summer).


Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 14:44:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jim Spencer <jimsp at yahoo_com>
Subject: Re:DIY Substrate Heating Cables 

Jay wrote,

>Hello All!

I am currently in the process of setting up a 75G planted tank, and am
considering building a DIY substrate heating system as described in the
Dan Resler and Uwe Behle article published in the March 1995 issue of
Aquarium Fish Magazine.  Has anyone out there built a system like this,
including the cables?  

For about $25 I installed substrate heating cables very similar to 
what you describe a little over a year ago. See  my post at 

I don't now how much it has contributed to my success but it seems to 
be working fine. I used a 12V-5amp transformer ($11 from all
electronics  www.allcorp.com) and have had no problems with it.

You may want a higher wattage transformer which you can find in the
current MPJA catalog. (www.mpja.com)

They have a 13.5V-20A transformer for $19.95 and a 13.5V-35A one for

Jim Spencer
Sayre, PA

Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com


Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 15:47:30 -0700
From: Dave Gomberg <gomberg at wcf_com>
Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #252

At 03:48 PM 5/8/1998 -0400, Alysoun McLaughlin said:
>I've ordered K. Rataji and T. Horeman's "Aquarium Plants" -- since it's
>billed on fishlinkcentral.com as "the most complete volume ever published
>about aquarium plants".  448 pages should include at least a few pieces of
>relevant information!  It's out of print, though.  

        The Edmonton Book Store , 11216 - 76 Avenue , Edmonton , AB ,
Canada , T6G 0K1 
        Phone (403)433-1781 / Fax (403)433-4569 , Email
ebs at compusmart_ab.ca ... A member of
        ABAC See their homepage here! 
                                                  ... buyer's email id
        Rataj, Karel and Horeman, Thomas J. Aquarium Plants, Their
        Cultivation and Ecology New Jersey T. F. H. Publications 1977. VG
in illus. boards. Binding
        is HB. US$ 15.00. 
        V/MC/cheque. Prices $US net. Cdn. orders add GST. Postage $5.00 US
        for surface, add $1.50 US for each additional book. Air mail, other
        carriers extra, please inquire. Dj's Brodarted. 

Good luck.

- --
Dave Gomberg	mailto:gomberg at wcf_com
FormMaestro  <http://www.wcf.com>
- -----------------------------------------------------------------


Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 18:12:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: pcshop at rockisland_com (Dieter Schuman)
Subject: Re: Subtrate Rotten

I have about 2" of flourite in my 125g, which I covered with about 2" of
silica sand.  I also began to notice the substrate bubbling, even though the
plants looked great.  I took out as much of the sand as I could, about 90%,
and that seems to have done the trick.  No more bubbles and happy thriving
plants.  Take care.  -Kes Stargard


Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 00:16:07 -0400
From: westland at ma_ultranet.com (MJ Westland)
Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #251

Jeff asked about:
>Also does anyone know of a web site with info and preferably photos of
>Farlwella (sp) or whip tail cats?  I was hoping to find out more about them.
>I have seen them suggested as algae eaters. Maybe I can find them in my

I've been lurking for a few weeks trying to learn enough to make the leap
and setup the planted tank my husband and son gave me for my birthday. My
son's tank (15 gal) was set up for fish only, but I got so interested in
plants that we made a deal--the fish are his and the plants are mine. Well,
we're learning, anyway.

We bought a Farlowella (aka Twig Catfish) because we got green algae on the
glass when the winter sun hit the tank. "Herb" did a marvelous job of
cleaning the glass. Alas, when we got an infestation of this long black
hairy stuff, he wouldn't touch it. We bought what we were told was an SAE,
but he (Harry) won't touch the new algae either. In the mean time, Herb
died (starved? somehting else that took a few Danios too?) and the hairy
algae grows on. We are now in search of Flagfish.

BTW, Whiptail Catfish (Rineloricaria) are totally different than
Farlowella. Tails are a bit different, and the Farlowella has a long snout
that sticks out beyond the sucker. (I wanted to name ours after Jimmy
Durante, but my son would have none of it.) I know nothing about Whiptails
other than what I read in my book, don't know if they'll eat algae as well
as our Farlowella did.

Sorry, I don't have a URL to share with you. My "Aquarium Fish" by Dick
Mill, Dorling Kindersley pub. has great pics and info though.

Mary Westland
westland at ma_ultranet.com


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