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Re: KH and hair algae, valisneria

In a message dated 3/16/99 9:05:21 AM, Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

<<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)

Well, that was particularly interesting reading for me. Not that I'm having
any major problems growing Vals or under siege from hair algae. I've got low
alkalinity,  2dKH with general hardness at  5. Depending on how lazy I am
(read make a yeast reactor frequently enough), the pH can be anywhere from 6.5
to 7.6. 

The vals, initially about 20 of them, have multiplied to the point where I
need to thin them out about once a month. It isn't lighting either. I consider
80 watts of a Chroma 50 pretty skimpy over a 38 gallon tank.

Now if anyone can figure out why the vals grow better on one side of the tank
as opposed to the other, I'd be very thankful. I've tried changing currents,
added heaters to create a more even heat, transplanted bigger ones over to the
other side. Nothing seems to work. What's odd is that the plants on the "poor"
side of the tank multiply but don't grow tall. Anyone have any thoughts on

Great...more twists and turns to add to the mystery <G>