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Re: Bob Dixon's PMDD search

In a message dated 2/7/99 1:49:22 PM Mountain Standard Time, Aquatic-Plants-
Owner at actwin_com writes:

> Mmmmmm, Bob, perhaps you had better go reread the original Sears-Conlin
> article again.  PMDD is not N-P-K free. 

You're right.  I apologize.  I reread the recipe while at the Homegrown
Hydroponics website.

> All of the chemicals
> for PMDD are packaged in under 8 oz quantities so there isn't a problem with
> large bags of leftover chemicals.

And I think I may take that route at some point.

> But PMDD is not for everyone - sounds to me like you are one of them. You
>  want a premixed supplement in a small size which is affordable to you.

I've heard from Karl Schoeler off-list and he suggested Natural Gold.  It is
not N-P-K free, but the quantities are small.
>  May I ask why you are looking to limit the amount of Potassium in your
>  (The K in N-P-K?).  Potassium is an essential element and is quite often
>  deficient in tap water.

I'm not trying to limit it in the tank, only in the water column.  Job's
spikes should work quite nicely at providing it in the substrate, and Natural
Gold will provide small, manageable amounts in the water column for the
floating plants without overfeeding the algae.  My interest in plants is for
the sake of my fish, who are less skittish in the presence of plants, and
healthier if I can get a handle on nitrate levels between water changes.  And
folks who come to visit are always more impressed with a tank that is well
planted than one that supports only fish.

Okay, so I confess.  I'm one of those newbies trying to mix methods.  But I
couldn't justify the expense of Duplarit at $10 a lb, when redart is $.60.
And it looks like I can build a suitable trace mix using the parts of
Homegrown's "Six-pack", or use Karl's Natural Gold, which sounds easier at
this point, and I will adjust as I go.  In a few years I will get a handle on
the "Dixon" approach, just as Karen uses the shape and color of her leaves
instead of test kits, and Steve mixes up all kinds of substrates, and you,
James, are forever in a state of experimentation and "exploration".  I've been
on this list for a year now, reading, asking, commenting, suggesting, and just
plain absorbing.  I started out here because Dave Gomberg suggested I could
learn about algae control and snails here.  But I've got the itch.  I want to
make this planted tank thing work.  I've got 90 watts of Tritons over my 30
gallon tank, and 56 watts of CFs on my ten.  I'm designing and building an
elevated lexan top on my 55, and will be running 160 watts of light on it.
Meanwhile I am using the 30 and 10 to experiment with substrate, nutrients,
and CO2.  By the I get the 55 going, I should at least know whether my
substrate and nutrient mix are working.

I'm also going to run compressed gas and a "Dolomite reactor" as CO2 sources
on the different tanks.  The compressed gas will be a standard available
system, and the dolomite reactor is my own idea, having used muriatic acid to
reduce carbonate levels in my tap water in order to drop the pH.

I guess I have an experimenter's heart, like you do, James.  And so at some
point I will be mixing my own PMDD.  Just not yet if I can concentrate on
other things for now.

Bob Dixon