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Watering the aquarium plants.



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 3rd 04, 03:29 AM
Cardman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.


For a long time I have just been running my aquarium in order to keep
my fish happy and alive, where I have certainly been doing well enough
in recent years.

However, this posting is about my plants, which until now are just
those thing that grow in the tank. As since I am aiming to achieve
perfection from my tanks these days, then so have I been annoyed that
two of my three new plants have been dying on me.

In my unwise way I just purchased three random plants from my local
fish shop and expected them to live. And of course live plants are
ideal to use up some of the masses of Nitrate, where also many of my
fish of course expect some plants and rocks.

To begin with the Vallisneria Americana one is doing so great that it
is starting to take over the surface, which is why it will soon have a
happier home in the larger tank.

However, the couple of Myriophyllum Tuberculatum (red) ones have been
subject to a rapid death, where only their core sections are still
alive and subject to a little new growth.

I have another plant that I cannot identify that is in the middle and
is losing its lower leafs while is otherwise not looking too bad.

Since my tank has enough light, then my problem with my plant growing
must be my water. And so I began looking into what is wrong, which is
why I purchased a simple test kit.

Up until this point I had been (foolishly) suspecting that maybe lack
of Nitrate was the problem, where of course now I know that my regular
water changes are in fact to remove ever increasing Nitrate from my
very efficient Nitrate production system.

Anyway, after testing my aquarium water a few times, then my test
results are this...

pH = 7.8
KH = 15
GH = 20.5
NO2 = 0.01 mg/l
NO3 = 100 mg/l

I have also seen that NO2 levels drop to zero at night time, when I
guess the fish must have stopped pooping and all the NO2 has been
converted to NO3.

Two obvious problems with my aquarium water is that first of all the
pH level is a little high at 7.8, but I am not really concerned about
this, when plants should do well enough. However, it is clearly the
General Hardness (GH) that is posing the biggest problem to my plants.

After testing the aquarium water, then so did I test the tap water,
where the results are as such...

pH = 7.8
KH = 18
GH = 19
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 50 mg/l

So my GH problem is clearly coming out of the water supply that I used
to fill my tank with. This is not too surprising, when my water is
known to be subject to lime scale thanks to the local hills.

The extra GH increase in the tank I suspect may be due to my long ago
added garden rock, which is why I recently replaced it with an
artificial rock.

And so to improve my tank further I need to lower the General Hardness
to a region that is more acceptable to both plants and fish. That is
my first plan, where my backup plan was just to stock plants suitable
for my local water.

Since I consider that saving the Myriophyllum Tuberculatum is a
hopefully case, when my plant search rates them as "very difficult"
ones to grow anyway, then I have been seriously considering simply
disposing of them. Still, I will give them one last shot, to see if
they can improve in better water.

However, the problem with getting plants for my hard water is that I
think that most of the available choices look ugly, where the better
looking plants (like Myriophyllum Tuberculatum) all prefer a softer
water level.

So, softening my water is my key plan, when then my choice of plants
can be a lot more flexible.

To begin with simply standing this new water I see helps very little,
even if the water fresh from the tap has GH of 21+, where it has to
settle a little while for GH to drop below 20.

I was giving thoughts to making use of rain water, where this more
acid nature would not be too bad when combined with tap water, but
since I live in a large town, then this could introduce undesirable
pollutants as well.

Then while researching about how to lower my GH I came across one
idea, which is simply to boil the water first.

And so I simply tested the same water from the electric kettle that I
had just made a cup to tea with, where naturally I let it cool down a
lot first, where my test results are as follows...

pH = 7.2
KH = 5
GH = 8
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 50 mg/l

Well I thought that boiled water may have some effect, but seeing
these results was a total surprise. In case of some temporary
chemistry effect, then a few hours later I tested this same water
again (now totally cold) and got the same results.

What I believe is going on here is that when I simply boiled up some
water and poured it into a clean jug, then after a short time a thin
film of "something" appeared on the surface.

So clearly I had boiled this "something" out of it, where my cup of
tea had removed this from the surface before my second pouring
achieved the test results above.

And so boil, pour, wait a little while, then pour off this film of
"something" is my apparent recipe to perfect aquarium water.

However, since this kettle water was subject to multiple boilings and
pourings, then doing this just once may produce an intermediate
result.

Since I have just tested a single boil batch of water, which displayed
much lesser improvements, then clearly this water needs a lot of
boiling. I will have to do yet more testing I see.

Anyway, that first multiple boiled water testing made me a lot more
happy, when pH is closer to perfection (if there is such a thing),
where all the other values are within the range of what fish tank
water should be.

I am a little concerned about the lower KH (Carbonate Hardness) value,
when as seen above KH 18 from the tap turns into KA 15 in the tank,
where KA dropping to 2 in the tank would not be good.

Still, since I had problems accurately matching up this new lower KH
value to the colour chart, then I will have to watch this value
closely in my tank.

What has gone on with this boiled water I am not fully sure, which is
one reason why I am doing this posting, but if everything is as I see,
then I can just use ex-boiled water in my weekly water change.

My only other problem is to remove NO3 (Nitrate) from my tap water,
when the ideal level to avoid algae growth is below 25 mg/l, where I
am already getting 50 mg/l direct from the tap.

And as I now see this will easily rise to over 100 mg/l before my next
water change, which of course pushes it back down a bit.

Lucky I guess that my tap water does not have an algae problem (not
that I would notice anyway), when unlike in the US here in the UK we
do not have chlorine added.

Anyway, I am soon to start slowly improving my aquarium water using
this method over the next month or so, where I can only hope that
everything goes well.

As if I can really get the GH down, then plant perfection will soon
follow, even if I stick to the types rated in the easy growing level
for now.

I also got in some super concentrated plant food recently, which
should add everything that plants need except for Nitrate. What it has
got in it I do not have a clue (beyond iron), but it does say to
discontinue in case of an algae outbreak.

Sorry, but in my higher Nitrate water algae is just a question of
keeping it in check, where I am hoping that adding lots of plants can
at least keep me closer to the 50 mg/l level. Going below that I see
as next to impossible, when my two White Mollies have bred to make the
current seven White Mollies who like to eat and poop a lot.

I swear that I must be over feeding them, even if those hungry mouths
consume all the double daily feeding within a minute or two. Those
White Mollies are so pro-food that they even eat some of the algae,
but of course not enough to keep it in control.

Well I am just here to air my current thoughts as I work on improving
my aquarium (20 gallon) and slowly getting the two new aquariums (one
20 gallon and one 40 gallon) up and running.

I have been wondering if in my new 40 gallon tank I should add a layer
of peat under the gravel (and a small sand section), with a layer of
protection between the two of course. As that could help the plants
further (the aquarium guides hardly mention this), but I am worried
about the effects this would have on the water.

Anyway, if you fancy commenting on any section, then just snip and
quote as you please. I am now off to give lots of water a heavy
boiling, which I am sure will achieve serious water improvement.

Cardman.
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #2  
Old April 3rd 04, 05:18 AM
Bob Alston
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

So how do you know you have enough light? Generally the lights that come
with aquariums only have enough light for relatively low light plants. In
my experience, Myriophyllum requires fairly bright lighting, perhaps 3 watts
per gallon or more? So I would either look into getting more light or
replace it with other low light requiring plants like: Java fern, java
moss, anubias, etc.

--
Bob Alston

bobalston9 AT aol DOT com
"Cardman" wrote in message
ws.com...

For a long time I have just been running my aquarium in order to keep
my fish happy and alive, where I have certainly been doing well enough
in recent years.

However, this posting is about my plants, which until now are just
those thing that grow in the tank. As since I am aiming to achieve
perfection from my tanks these days, then so have I been annoyed that
two of my three new plants have been dying on me.

In my unwise way I just purchased three random plants from my local
fish shop and expected them to live. And of course live plants are
ideal to use up some of the masses of Nitrate, where also many of my
fish of course expect some plants and rocks.

To begin with the Vallisneria Americana one is doing so great that it
is starting to take over the surface, which is why it will soon have a
happier home in the larger tank.

However, the couple of Myriophyllum Tuberculatum (red) ones have been
subject to a rapid death, where only their core sections are still
alive and subject to a little new growth.

I have another plant that I cannot identify that is in the middle and
is losing its lower leafs while is otherwise not looking too bad.

Since my tank has enough light, then my problem with my plant growing
must be my water. And so I began looking into what is wrong, which is
why I purchased a simple test kit.

Up until this point I had been (foolishly) suspecting that maybe lack
of Nitrate was the problem, where of course now I know that my regular
water changes are in fact to remove ever increasing Nitrate from my
very efficient Nitrate production system.

Anyway, after testing my aquarium water a few times, then my test
results are this...

pH = 7.8
KH = 15
GH = 20.5
NO2 = 0.01 mg/l
NO3 = 100 mg/l

I have also seen that NO2 levels drop to zero at night time, when I
guess the fish must have stopped pooping and all the NO2 has been
converted to NO3.

Two obvious problems with my aquarium water is that first of all the
pH level is a little high at 7.8, but I am not really concerned about
this, when plants should do well enough. However, it is clearly the
General Hardness (GH) that is posing the biggest problem to my plants.

After testing the aquarium water, then so did I test the tap water,
where the results are as such...

pH = 7.8
KH = 18
GH = 19
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 50 mg/l

So my GH problem is clearly coming out of the water supply that I used
to fill my tank with. This is not too surprising, when my water is
known to be subject to lime scale thanks to the local hills.

The extra GH increase in the tank I suspect may be due to my long ago
added garden rock, which is why I recently replaced it with an
artificial rock.

And so to improve my tank further I need to lower the General Hardness
to a region that is more acceptable to both plants and fish. That is
my first plan, where my backup plan was just to stock plants suitable
for my local water.

Since I consider that saving the Myriophyllum Tuberculatum is a
hopefully case, when my plant search rates them as "very difficult"
ones to grow anyway, then I have been seriously considering simply
disposing of them. Still, I will give them one last shot, to see if
they can improve in better water.

However, the problem with getting plants for my hard water is that I
think that most of the available choices look ugly, where the better
looking plants (like Myriophyllum Tuberculatum) all prefer a softer
water level.

So, softening my water is my key plan, when then my choice of plants
can be a lot more flexible.

To begin with simply standing this new water I see helps very little,
even if the water fresh from the tap has GH of 21+, where it has to
settle a little while for GH to drop below 20.

I was giving thoughts to making use of rain water, where this more
acid nature would not be too bad when combined with tap water, but
since I live in a large town, then this could introduce undesirable
pollutants as well.

Then while researching about how to lower my GH I came across one
idea, which is simply to boil the water first.

And so I simply tested the same water from the electric kettle that I
had just made a cup to tea with, where naturally I let it cool down a
lot first, where my test results are as follows...

pH = 7.2
KH = 5
GH = 8
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 50 mg/l

Well I thought that boiled water may have some effect, but seeing
these results was a total surprise. In case of some temporary
chemistry effect, then a few hours later I tested this same water
again (now totally cold) and got the same results.

What I believe is going on here is that when I simply boiled up some
water and poured it into a clean jug, then after a short time a thin
film of "something" appeared on the surface.

So clearly I had boiled this "something" out of it, where my cup of
tea had removed this from the surface before my second pouring
achieved the test results above.

And so boil, pour, wait a little while, then pour off this film of
"something" is my apparent recipe to perfect aquarium water.

However, since this kettle water was subject to multiple boilings and
pourings, then doing this just once may produce an intermediate
result.

Since I have just tested a single boil batch of water, which displayed
much lesser improvements, then clearly this water needs a lot of
boiling. I will have to do yet more testing I see.

Anyway, that first multiple boiled water testing made me a lot more
happy, when pH is closer to perfection (if there is such a thing),
where all the other values are within the range of what fish tank
water should be.

I am a little concerned about the lower KH (Carbonate Hardness) value,
when as seen above KH 18 from the tap turns into KA 15 in the tank,
where KA dropping to 2 in the tank would not be good.

Still, since I had problems accurately matching up this new lower KH
value to the colour chart, then I will have to watch this value
closely in my tank.

What has gone on with this boiled water I am not fully sure, which is
one reason why I am doing this posting, but if everything is as I see,
then I can just use ex-boiled water in my weekly water change.

My only other problem is to remove NO3 (Nitrate) from my tap water,
when the ideal level to avoid algae growth is below 25 mg/l, where I
am already getting 50 mg/l direct from the tap.

And as I now see this will easily rise to over 100 mg/l before my next
water change, which of course pushes it back down a bit.

Lucky I guess that my tap water does not have an algae problem (not
that I would notice anyway), when unlike in the US here in the UK we
do not have chlorine added.

Anyway, I am soon to start slowly improving my aquarium water using
this method over the next month or so, where I can only hope that
everything goes well.

As if I can really get the GH down, then plant perfection will soon
follow, even if I stick to the types rated in the easy growing level
for now.

I also got in some super concentrated plant food recently, which
should add everything that plants need except for Nitrate. What it has
got in it I do not have a clue (beyond iron), but it does say to
discontinue in case of an algae outbreak.

Sorry, but in my higher Nitrate water algae is just a question of
keeping it in check, where I am hoping that adding lots of plants can
at least keep me closer to the 50 mg/l level. Going below that I see
as next to impossible, when my two White Mollies have bred to make the
current seven White Mollies who like to eat and poop a lot.

I swear that I must be over feeding them, even if those hungry mouths
consume all the double daily feeding within a minute or two. Those
White Mollies are so pro-food that they even eat some of the algae,
but of course not enough to keep it in control.

Well I am just here to air my current thoughts as I work on improving
my aquarium (20 gallon) and slowly getting the two new aquariums (one
20 gallon and one 40 gallon) up and running.

I have been wondering if in my new 40 gallon tank I should add a layer
of peat under the gravel (and a small sand section), with a layer of
protection between the two of course. As that could help the plants
further (the aquarium guides hardly mention this), but I am worried
about the effects this would have on the water.

Anyway, if you fancy commenting on any section, then just snip and
quote as you please. I am now off to give lots of water a heavy
boiling, which I am sure will achieve serious water improvement.

Cardman.
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk



---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.648 / Virus Database: 415 - Release Date: 3/31/2004


  #3  
Old April 3rd 04, 10:33 PM
Michi Henning
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

"Bob Alston" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
So how do you know you have enough light? Generally the lights that come
with aquariums only have enough light for relatively low light plants. In
my experience, Myriophyllum requires fairly bright lighting, perhaps 3 watts
per gallon or more? So I would either look into getting more light or
replace it with other low light requiring plants like: Java fern, java
moss, anubias, etc.


Agreed.

pH = 7.8
KH = 15
GH = 20.5
NO2 = 0.01 mg/l
NO3 = 100 mg/l



Also, Myriophyllum is happer in slightly acidic and soft water.
Your conditions may well be too alkaline and hard for the plant to
thrive. (Even under ideal conditions, Myriophyllum Tuberculatum
is considered a difficult plant to grow and will not do well in many
tanks.)

BTW -- you should try to get those nitrate levels down. 100ppm is
definitely on the very high side where it will be toxic for at least some
fish species. Adding lots more plants will help in reducing nitrate
levels.

Cheers,

Michi.

  #4  
Old April 4th 04, 02:39 AM
Cardman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 21:33:29 GMT, "Michi Henning"
wrote:

My previous rambling...
pH = 7.8
KH = 15
GH = 20.5
NO2 = 0.01 mg/l
NO3 = 100 mg/l


Also, Myriophyllum is happer in slightly acidic and soft water.


Well my tank water will one day soon be this...

pH = 7.0-7.2
KH = 5
GH = 7
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 50-100 mg/l

You can see my more recent postings for the details, which makes for
water that may be more favourable to this plant.

Your conditions may well be too alkaline and hard for the plant to
thrive.


Maybe that is one reason why these two plants suffered a rapid death,
where only their core sections are now alive.

From what I have read Myriophyllum Tuberculatum is a little more
flexible in the water quality than what you seem to indicate, where it
just does not like the extremes.

Like my former extremely hard water.

(Even under ideal conditions, Myriophyllum Tuberculatum
is considered a difficult plant to grow and will not do well in many
tanks.)


Yes, I found that out, when I began searching into why these plants
were dying. Since it is a question of trying to save them, or having
them visit my bin, then it is best to see if I can save them first.

I am starting to think that this could be rather hopeless though.

And there they were doing so well in the pet shop with no real
maintenance sources, like a light, either. I think we know why that
is...

BTW -- you should try to get those nitrate levels down. 100ppm is
definitely on the very high side where it will be toxic for at least some
fish species.


My fish can live in much higher levels perfectly fine, where they just
become unhappy in a world where algae rules. So they are very happy
with anything between 50 and 150 mg/l, when algae growth is very slow
at this level.

Adding lots more plants will help in reducing nitrate
levels.


A nice idea, but what you do not mention is that plants in fact use up
very little Nitrate, which is why I would have to bed plants very
heavily for any beneficial effects.

And so there is nothing that I can really do when it comes out the tap
at 50 mg/l +-20% to begin with, where the fish pooping will only cause
it to go higher.

That is unless you know of some way to turn Nitrate into something
else that won't harm fish?

So my objective is always to try and keep Nitrate levels below 100
mg/l, when going above 150 mg/l poses a rapid algae problem. Like even
now I am starting to get a little algae growth on the glass again,
after I had scraped the last lot off.

Plants I am sure will help slow the Nitrate advancement to an unknown
degree, but at this time I have 7 White Mollies, 5 Red-Eyed Tetras and
2 other fish (not in my fish book...). And with the White Mollies at
least that is a lot of end Nitrate production.

In case you are interested, then I am soon to stock a load of varies
plants that are rated in the "easy" level and suitable for my water.

My shopping list is currently...

5 x Hygrophila Polysperma
1 x Anubias Nana
3 x Crinium Thainium
5 x Microsorium Pteropus
5 x (Assorted) Cryptocorynes

Since I am in the process of changing my water quality by a
considerable degree, then I will have to review these and make sure
that they are suitable for my new water.

Any comments in my 18 plant choice welcome.

My only issue at the moment is with these Crinium Thainium (onion like
plants), when they need lots of space. For my small 20 gallon tank
that would be impossible, but I will soon have my other 20 and 40
gallon tanks up and running. So one in each tank could have them
growing just fine in lots of space.

Cardman.
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #5  
Old April 4th 04, 03:18 AM
Cardman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

On Fri, 2 Apr 2004 22:18:47 -0600, "Bob Alston"
wrote:

So how do you know you have enough light?


The manufacturer of my light seems happy enough. ;-]

You can read about it here...
http://www.arcadia-uk.com/fwatlamp.htm

Generally the lights that come
with aquariums only have enough light for relatively low light plants. In
my experience, Myriophyllum requires fairly bright lighting, perhaps 3 watts
per gallon or more?


I agree that my two Myriophyllum plants need more than what I am
currently providing, but well these are an evil plant to grow as it
is.

So I would either look into getting more light or
replace it with other low light requiring plants like: Java fern, java
moss, anubias, etc.


Well now that this subject is raised, then I would be fully happy with
switching to a twin light system. However, my tank only takes one
tube, where I have yet to see a suitable twin tube upgrade option.

So adding more lighting is currently not possible.

I guess that I will look more into it, when even my tube manufacturer
recommends buying two of their tubes. Don't think that I will shoot
for extremely bright light though, when I wish to use lighting for
both plants and fish.

I wonder if there is a triple tube option for my tank? This is not for
going for super bright lighting I should add, but I have always
fancied using that moonlight effect tube.

So one tube for the plants, one tube for the fish, then one tube to
see those elusive night fish (when I have some...) would be ideal.

Since I am getting two new tank hoods very soon, then I will have a
good look into the option of multiple tubing. Maybe I could even go
into four tubes, but then how much lighting do I need?

My Myriophyllum mistake can be excluded from this calculation, when I
will certainly choose more suitable plants in the future. When
considering my local water supply, then this pet shop should not have
been selling this plant in the first place.

Cardman.
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #6  
Old April 4th 04, 03:21 AM
Cardman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.


Note: This message has been reposted using a different news server,
when it failed to propergate within 24 hours. My appologies in the
unlikely event that this message appears twice.

Well I have now perfected my water softening technique, where just
boiling batches of water in a large saucepan (with the lid on!) for a
few minutes on heavy boil does the trick.

My previous test from multiple boiled kettle water was this...

pH = 7.2
KH = 5
GH = 8
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 50 mg/l

I have improved slightly on that, when my latest test on my fully
processed (and slowly cooling) water now gives me a General Hardness
level of 7.

From my water processing the hardness in my water must be due to
Calcium Carbonate (lime scale), which also explains the large
reduction in the KH (Carbonate Hardness) level.

Heavy boiled water is subject to this mentioned film on the surface, a
whitened power over the emptied saucepan. And to top that off their is
also a white power sediment in the transfer jug.

Since I have seen that it is impossible and wasteful to try and
manually remove this junk, then I have moved on to filtering. And my
filter medium just happens to be coffee machine filter paper, which
has been hanging around here for a few years. Well no one here drinks
coffee much and would now use the instant kind anyway.

This filter paper I am sure is suitable, when there will be none of
those paper bits, where it appears to do a perfect job.

So later today I will do my first 20% to 30% aquarium water change
with this much softened water, where I can only hope that my fish can
slowly adjust to living in this water full time.

I can always mix it in with some regular tap water I guess, but I see
little wrong with this new near perfect water. As it is just a
question of if my fish can live fine in it, when my plants sure can.

It is sure going to use up a lot of energy with boiling all this water
each week or two, but doing so is much better than having my fish and
plants living in this calcium carbonate crap. And well you do not have
to boil the water for too long to draw it out.

So that seems like my water problem solved, without the need for any
expensive equipment either, where I just wish that years ago I knew
that a little water boiling and filtering could give me great aquarium
water.

All thanks to chemistry it seems, which makes me wonder where that KH
drop in the aquarium level comes from. When clearly something in the
tank is eating some of the calcium.

Seems almost like magic to me, when with one wave of my magical
saucepan, then plant killing water suddenly changes into the water of
life.

Not even Harry Potter could have done so well. =8-

Cardman.
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #7  
Old April 4th 04, 03:22 AM
Cardman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.


Note: This message has been reposted using a different news server,
when it failed to propergate within 24 hours. My appologies in the
unlikely event that this message appears twice.

I have just completed my first water change using my new processed
water. Naturally, I tested this water first so that it had acceptable
values including a low enough temperature.

That final test seemed to indicate a pH level of lower than 7.2, where
either 7.0 or 7.1 seemed about right.

Anyway, after deciding that my fish should have no problems quickly
adjusting to this new better water, when after all it will be diluted
in the old hard water first, then so could this change be done fairly
rapidly.

So maybe I will have it completely switched over within one to two
weeks, but I will closely monitor my fish during this. I hardly doubt
that they will have any problems with neutral soft water, but then
this is a rather new event around here.

Anyway, since I decided that more of the old water being removed the
better, then so did I remove 40% of the volume. The new water added
back 30% of this volume, which means that I have a 10% gap to soon
fill.

This warmer water increased the tank temperature by 3 degrees C, but
as this was done slowly and within acceptable limits, then so did my
fish have no problems.

One odd thing that I did see was that my fish actually enjoyed
swimming into this water as I was pouring in. Maybe they just liked
the unusual warmth, when my usual new water is much colder, but then
maybe they could also sense the major water quality change.

After yet another water test, then so does my tank mixed water (60%
hard + 30% soft) now look like this...

pH = 7.6
KH = 10
GH = 13
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 75

So this 30% soft water addition lowered the pH by 0.2 and the general
hardness has gone down by 7.5, where of course the Carbonate Hardness
has gone down by 5, thanks to my boiling and filtering out almost all
the Calcium Carbonate.

I guess Calcium Carbonate is an alkaline, when this explains my former
7.8 pH, when pH will drop the more of it that is removed.

Most pleasing of all is that the General Hardness of my water has
changed from the early stages of Extremely Hard, to the upper stages
of Average Hardness.

That alone offers me much greater choice in the plants that I can now
have, but the best is yet to come, when all this aquarium water is
slowly removed and diluted into the upper realm of Soft Water.

So as long as I remember to never use "water with rocks in it"
straight from the tap, then my aquarium can have Soft Water in an
Extremely Hard Water area.

I am very pleased by this fact, where I am sure that my dying plants
will like no longer living in alkaline based extremely hard water,
when myself, my fish and my plants are on the road to total neutral.

It is going to take a long time for these water change benefits to
appear in the plants and maybe even the fish, but this certainly won't
be a bad thing.

In the end I am just wondering what you can do with filtered out
Calcium Carbonate, besides throwing it away, when my filter paper has
amassed quite a collection.

Anyway, I hope that other aquarium owners in hard water areas found
this useful, when in my case at least you do not need to spend a small
fortune to have Soft Water.

I am now wondering if I should drink this water instead (prior to the
fish pooping in it!), when is Calcium Carbonate good for you? Y/N.

Cardman.
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #8  
Old April 4th 04, 09:23 AM
Cardman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.


I have just completed my second water change with the objective of
changing my extremely hard alkaline aquarium water into soft neutral
water.

Not to mention that these water changes will also lower the Nitrate
level ever closer to 50 mg/l, which keeps the algae from spreading.

My aquarium used to be...

pH = 7.8
KH = 15
GH = 20.5
NO2 = 0.01 mg/l
NO3 = 100 mg/l

After this second water change this has now changed to...

pH = 7.4
KH = 8
GH = 10
NO2 = 0
NO3 = 70 mg/l

So today my aquarium has just moved from alkaline based water to
neutral based water, even if in the end I can get the pH down to very
close to 7.0.

Not that this aspect matters too much, when it is the General Hardness
that is the important aspect here, where this aspect has now gone from
the start of extremely hard, straight through hard, into medium, where
now we are on the lower end of medium hardness.

And so one more water change should have the pH at around 7.2 and the
GH at either the bottom of Medium or the very top of Soft.

My fish are doing just fine, as I expected they would, even if the
White Mollies prefer things more how they were.

Today I decided to get more lighting for my aquarium, which should
increase the range of plants that I can support. Since I will soon
have three aquariums up and running, then it would be a bit much to go
past two main tubes per tank.

I have found out a lot of information on the lighting subject now,
which means that I am very close to buying.

Also during my lighting search I came across a couple of devices known
as Nitrate Filters, which does just what I need in removing Nitrate
from my local water supply. Kind of on the costly side though, but
that would solve my algae problem once and for all.

In the end you are always left in wonder at how much it costs to
support a few cheap fish. I of course won't run through the price list
of items that you should know well, but getting these two new (or
correctly second hand) aquariums up and running makes for an expensive
shopping list.

At least all this is a one time only expense, excluding items that
fail of course, when apart from the food these fish only need your
attention in keeping their living conditions fine.

Using all that expensive and numerous equipment...

Sometimes I think that I should buy expensive fish to match my
expensive equipment, but in the case of my local fish shop, then it is
more a case of not having the new fish dying of one disease of
another.

Like that my last purchase came with two diseases.

First of all there was the common White Spot. And the problem here was
that the fish that came with this White Spot were my new Mollies. And
the thing about White Spot disease is that it is White, where the
thing about my Mollies is that they are also White.

And so to begin with I was only suspicious that they may have it,
where it was only when my Angel Fish (who was black) caught it, then
did I know for sure.

The problem there was that I spotted this late on Friday and placed an
on-line order minutes later, where the White Spot cure arrived on
Tuesday. By then one of my original three White Mollies had died, one
Golden Tiger Barb as well (three is now down to one), where the Angel
Fish having a large amount of surface area died rather quickly.

I was not too upset about that Angel Fish death, when he was a fish
murdering fish. As when I was making this aquarium into a peaceful
fish community, then so did my brother go out and buy this Angel Fish.

Lets just say that my 20 neon tetras were obliterated. And as this
Angel Fish slowly picked them off one by one, then it was only when
their numbers halved did I notice the problem.

That Angel Fish was like Jack the Ripper, where it would certainly go
for just about anything that got too close. So most fish learned to
stay out of it's way, where for years my care in keeping all these
fish alive also limited my fish choice due to this one Angel Fish.

So I was not too unhappy when White Spot quickly took out that mass
murdering Angel Fish, when I certainly won't allow any Angel Fish in
my aquariums again.

The second disease that my pet shop supplied was Tuberculosis, which
came with my very short lived Starlight Bristolnose Plecos. As they
died one by one, where it was only when all of them had died did I
discover the cause.

Normally when a fish dies I remove it from the aquarium as quickly as
possible, when I do not wish my other fish to catch what it died of,
but unfortunately the last Pleco died in a very inconvenient and hard
to spot location.

I soon had it located, but not before one of my catfish was feasting
upon it, where sure enough the bacterium that causes Tuberculosis
(Mycobacterium Piscium) spread and this catfish fell ill. I separated
it from the other fish, where this one displayed much better signs of
what it had.

Since there is no cure, then so did it soon die of a horrible death,
which is maybe one reason why the fish book recommends fish
termination. Even if they say it is to stop this disease spreading.

So I was not too happy with my local fish store, when 5 of these new
fish and 2 of my existing fish died. I lost my second Golden Tiger
Barb not long following for some unknown reason, where the final one
has been doing just fine for the months following all alone.

Tiger Barbs I find are those fish that will die before all others when
anything is going on the extremely bad side, but they look so nice and
so worth the risk. And so now I have to get more Golden Tiger Barbs,
when I always hate single species fish.

My second and last catfish also died following this time, but I would
put that one down to old age, when it had lived many years. Then again
it could have just been lonely, when it outlived two catfish friends
in that time.

No more deaths since then, when my aquarium works well enough even
with the hard water and higher Nitrate levels. One day soon I may even
risk a trip to my local fish shop again, where this time I will have a
separate aquarium to let them die in.

Think I may get me some loaches this time, when I always wanted to
master this creature of the darkness. Not to mention that I really had
to pity those loaches in the fish store, which were under a bright
light with no shelter at all.

I am sure that such stores should not be allowed to keep these fish so
badly, but then that is often due to ignorance. As I have certainly
learned the hard way how not to kill fish, where if you think about
it, then letting the inexperienced public own fish is really cruel to
these fish.

Many of these fish simply die due to their lack of understanding of
why they are dying. Not to mention their belief that all it takes to
keep them alive is to feed them.

Anyway, I guess any fish would be lucky to have me as their owner,
when I am slowly inching towards perfection. So fish are safe with me
as long as they don't catch anything from new fish, which is what one
of these two extra aquariums will solve.

I would also like to get a Fighting Fish as well along with a few
females, when these fish are safe enough. Sure they will go at
anything that gets too close, but they are just too slow to ever pose
a real problem.

And knowing me I would also buy any fish that is in any way unusual,
but currently the fish I have are rather boring. At this time I am
just planning to move my White Mollies to the larger tank, when these
two breeding to seven is coming close to maximum capacity.

Anyway, time to go and sort out my lighting, then to add yet more
costly items needed to get these other two aquariums active.

Cardman.
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
  #9  
Old April 5th 04, 12:58 PM
Graham Broadbridge
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

"Michi Henning" wrote in message
...

BTW -- you should try to get those nitrate levels down. 100ppm is
definitely on the very high side where it will be toxic for at least some
fish species. Adding lots more plants will help in reducing nitrate
levels.


At 100 ppm NO3 there is some evidence that plants themselves shut down at
normal (0.05 - 0.1 ppm) Fe and trace levels.

Graham .


  #10  
Old April 5th 04, 01:09 PM
Graham Broadbridge
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Watering the aquarium plants.

"Cardman" wrote in message
...

BTW -- you should try to get those nitrate levels down. 100ppm is
definitely on the very high side where it will be toxic for at least some
fish species.


My fish can live in much higher levels perfectly fine, where they just
become unhappy in a world where algae rules. So they are very happy
with anything between 50 and 150 mg/l, when algae growth is very slow
at this level.


100 ppm NO3 is extremely toxic for freshwater fish, but of course any animal
can acclimatize to unsavoury conditions given time. I'm not surprised that
algae growth is slow at 100 ppm Nitrates. Algae is opportunistic and will
find a better environment or hibernate.

Adding lots more plants will help in reducing nitrate
levels.


A nice idea, but what you do not mention is that plants in fact use up
very little Nitrate, which is why I would have to bed plants very
heavily for any beneficial effects.


Plants use a lot of NO3 here. Given that your nitrate levels exceed 100ppm
I'm not surprised that you see no NO3 consumption.
The poor plants have no chance to even get started.

I'd suggest you reduce nitrate from your tap water to start with.

Regards
Graham.




 




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