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KH and hair algae, valisneria

>Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 17:01:14 -0500
>From: cwells <cdwells at concentric_net>
>Subject: GH and hair algae

>All though I've kept aquariums for a long time - I've been serious about
>plants for only about the last year and have  learned a lot on this
>list.  I have a 120G plant tank that I've been having trouble with hair
>algae in - BBA and from my algae key what looks like Rhizoclonium or
>perhaps Cladophora - a coarse, kinky, stringy, nasty algae that my SAEs
>don't touch.

>I have lots of test kits but just recently got a KH test to supplement
>my GH kit and found that my carbonate hardness is next to nothing coming
>out of the tap (1dKH) and even less in my plant tank.  Some of my plants
>like crypts are doing fine buy my vals and sags are the pits.   I plan
>to get an iron test kit soon. (looking for resolution on this thread
>posted recently as to what is a good affordable kit)

>Any ways my question is -
>Am I correct in assuming that the low KH  is a limiting factor on the
>growth of plants in the aquarium and is it contributing to the hair

>Any related input welcomed!

>dGH ~ 10, dKH < 1
>Ph ~6.5 but was lower when the hair algae started.

>Chris Wells
>cdwells at concentric_net

Chris, I don't think a low KH is contributing to you hair algae growth.
My KH is between 2 and 0 (my test kit can't even measure that low) and I
have no hair algae problems. I don't know if a low KH is limiting plant 
growth, but I can't grow Valisneria either. But I have to say that the 
petshops here only sell bad quality vals, crushed, with rotting leaves, 
and I stopped buying them when they told me that 'they're seasonal plants,
which are short lived, like flowers'. That's a nice way of saying 'buy some
new every month.' But there is more to it because the incidental runners
are undamaged and die off. I think our vals are doing bad because I read
they like alkaline water. (my ph is about 7)

Hugo Hoekstra