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Pothos/planting question

Posted By: greg <gregandeileen@juno.com>
Date: Wednesday, 14 August 2002, at 6:02 p.m.

Kelvin, Susan, Martin and other plant people!

I went to K-Mart and found the indestructible Pothos plant- $3.50 for a 6", a bluelight special! I knew this plant all along, but I never had a clue it could be used as a waterplant!

As I said, I plan to clean up a few long tendrils and wrap them around the UF riser-tubes and heads! Purists who complain about "unsightly" UF risers and heads- take that!! (HA HA,hey Susan?)

One more question before I plant some "cockroach" vine (impossible to kill).

Last time I "did" plants I had problems with Ph shifts, due to low levels of nutrients (clean tank) and low CO2 levels (high turnover).

This causes biogenic decalcification, where the plants utilize mineral salts (KH salts) for photosynthesis, causing the water to Ph shift UP. The higher Ph shifts can kill fish quickly, because any ammonia that does build up is extremely toxic at higher Ph levels. These conditions often breed massive algae blooms. These are the main reasons people grow to HATE plants!! The answer is "fertilize and add a CO2 tank".

I had this problem. I am now using RO water, and adding back some mineral salts, but still keeping a relatively low KH level (at about 3 degrees)due to the fact my RO water starts out very acid and depleted of minerals. 3 degrees of KH and GH is about the best I can do without adding so many salts I start pushing up the Ph, but 3/3 is GREAT for all types of tropical fish!

My tank is SO clean I am paranoid of any imbalance! What type water are you starting with, at what KH/GH levels, and are you having to add ANYTHING to keep the plants from stripping the tank of KH?

If I put plants into my tank, the available levels of by-products for them to live off is about zero- I have an almost zero algae problem, and I mean extremely low!

Susan said she added zero plant food due to algae-blooms- (this was my experience), so with all the bio-filtration I am running will the plants be starving to the point they scrub all the KH out of the water, causing me to have radical Ph shifts? The plants will try to grow- I am running pretty good lighting, in a good range for plants.

Let me know what you are doing that is keeping these plants alive- they are FAST growers, and must need some source of food. Susan has the same extra-clean tank setup as me, so I would like to know what the ph of the water she uses STARTS at, and what it runs in the tank growing these plants! I have no doubt these planta ARE as hard to kill as you claim, but plants really add a new dimension to the chemical/biochemical balance of a tank! I have about the cleanest tank I have ever seen, anywhere, and I would like to keep it that way! Thanks much- GREG

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