Februari 2002

Februari 2002


February 2002


Hello again to all:)

I hope everyone had a great time over the holidays:) Best wishes to all in this New Year:)

Well another month has gone by and as I left off in last month’s installment my Heteranthera zosterifolia was giving me a bit of trouble. If you remember it was breaking apart at the stem in different areas and was starting to grow sideways on me. Initially I thought that these problems were due to lighting levels for the plant. I had assumed this because of the bending and crooked growth and breakage of the stems. After doing a little more investigation it would seem that this was not the problem. The breakage of the stems was not only happening at the lower levels of the stems near the bottom of the plant were one would see this happening if due to low light levels but also near the top of the plant? As to the bending and crooked growth this was not happening just at the top of the plant near the surface, as one would expect if light levels were to high but also near the bottom of the plant? Both of these factors led me to believe it was something else, probably a deficiency of some kind in nutrient levels. After looking at the other plants in the tank for any signs of deficiencies of any kind and not being able to see any I decided to run all the tests I could on the tank to see what was up.

Well as with my previous setup it would seem that now my tank was settled and just sucking up the Nitrates. I was getting readings of zero even after a little experimentation of not doing a water change for a week in the tank. So far in any of my planted tanks I had never used PMDD or any supplementation of any kind of micro nutrients other then to add “Tropica Master” grow to the tank and the occasional shot of Potassium by “Sea Chem.”. Well off I went to see about looking up as much as I could about the addition of Nitrates to a planted tank. The way that a person can do this is to add Potassium Nitrate. You can buy Potassium Nitrate at your local Garden Center as “Stump Remover” it is almost pure Potassium Nitrate. Just to make sure that it is pure ask the vendor to supply you with a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for the product, they have to provide you one by law if asked (at least in Canada they do). This sheet will give you the chemical breakdown of the substance you will be buying (also lists fire and material handling data plus preventative and safety measures for the substance). Off I went and bought my Potassium Nitrate…Now what? After some more research on the Net and some searches on the APD (Aquatic Plants Digest) I was led to Chuck Chad’s website, it IMO has the best comprehensive page on how to mix, measure and add this stuff to your tank. Here is the web addy for you: http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/index.htm Well I mixed up a batch of stock solution and started to add it to my tank at 5ml at a time until I got a reading of 5ppm. After a couple of weeks of adding this solution to my tank at every water change (15% WC) every other day. I have figured out that with the new water in I have to add 5ml each time so .25ppm of Nitrate added. This seems to have corrected my problems with my Heteranthera zosterifolia:) It is now growing great and have had to prune it back already once. Not only has it helped this plant, I have noticed a marked difference in growth to all of my other plants. Pearling also starts earlier in the day almost an hour after lights come on! Also noticed a small bit of hair algae starting to grow before the addition of the Potassium Nitrate and it is no longer in my tank after the addition of this solution! I keep the solution in a brown plastic bottle I bought at the local pharmacy and store it under the tank in the cabinet so no light gets to it.

So with that all figured out for the moment sat back yet again on the couch and admired my handy work:) As usual something with the tank was just not right (Or a better description would be that I can’t just sit back I gotta fiddle hahahahaha). Looking at the tank I noticed again that I had not done the greatest job in planing my aquascape. Mind you a couple of the problems I could not have planed for, they only showed up when the tank had grown in a bit. The E. Tenellus in the shadowy areas of the tank grow to almost 4” in the bright areas almost right out in the open they grow only to 1.5” in height. Right beside this my Lileopsis Brasiliensis was growing to 4” in height beside the 1.5” E. Tenellus. Also as mentioned in last month’s article I had chance to pick up some E. Quadricostatus. Where I planted it, it was being hidden by the Lileopsis Brasiliensis. Also the Heteranthera zosterifolia was burying my happy hitchhiker I got when I bought the Lileopsis Brasiliensis, the Glossostigma elatinoides. Well off I went and did a little rearranging. Mmmmmmmmmmmm things seem ok now let’s see if the Glossostigma takes off now and fills the space provided it. Also I noticed that one of my swords that I had bought originally, as Echinodorus Uruguayensis was in fact an Echinodorus Martii. It actually looks real cool and I prefer it to the regular Amazon sword. Its leaf stems are a lot longer before the body of the leaf starts and the leaf itself has wavy edges to it. This plant is also not as dense as the Amazon sword. One part of the backwall was looking kinda bare and could see the back glass so out I went and bought another E. Martii and planted it in this bare spot. You can see my new setup below, I have redone the drawing and next month will have some more pictures for you. On another note I had the pleasure this month having my Golden Spotted Bushynosed Ancistrus breed for me in the tank. Wild to see the eggs of these guys, they are huge! They are yellow orange in colour and are about .5cm in diameter. The female laid the eggs and then took off to leave the male to tend to them never to be seen from again hahahaha. After a couple of days they hatched out to wigglers and were real cute! They were there for one day and then could not find any of them at all. Couple of days later was looking at the male because he was still guarding his crevice in the root pretty vehemently and noticed a baby fry about 1cm that looked exactly like the parents swimming around dad! WoooooooooHoooooooooo!!! Well one more day of watching and I had the pleasure of seeing about 5-6 of the fry kicking around! Went and looked for then again a couple of days latter and nothing? Now where did they go…………



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