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  1. JamesC

    Just got back from TGM...

    Remember that Brighty K also contains carbonate so will raise you alkalinity (KH) James
  2. JamesC

    Just got back from TGM...

    There is potassium (K) in both their TPN and TPN+ products. Here is the breakdown of TPN+ from the Tropica website. N 1.34% P 0.10% K 1.03% Mg 0.39% S 0.91% B 0.004% Cu 0.006% Fe 0.07% Mn 0.04% Mo 0.002% Zn 0.002%
  3. JamesC

    Chemical abbreviations

  4. JamesC

    fissidens and liquid co2

    It can vary from tank to tank. Some people report no problems whilst others do. James
  5. JamesC

    Glutaraldehyde - Other names and uses

    You asked an almost identical question in this thread which I replied to - http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=10557 The product is a mixture of chemicals. It has 150g glutaraldehyde and also 100g of a Quartenary Ammonium Compound in 1 litre of water. It is a pretty nasty solution...
  6. JamesC

    Fishless cycling and EI dosing

    You don't fishless cycle planted tanks. I would stop all ammonia dosing and do a water change. If you really want to do a fishless cycle then take the plants out and turn off the lights until it is complete. Adding large amounts of ammonia to a brightly lit planted tank is asking for mega...
  7. JamesC

    Fish welfare vs CO2 levels.

    Fish welfare has popped up before. Some people like to buy fish for a certain scape only to return them some weeks later. Others like to treat them as pets and keep them until they die. As long as the fish are well looked after and transported with care then there shouldn't imho be that much...
  8. JamesC

    Parasite... uninvited guest in tank... can anyone identify?

    Could be copepods - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copepod James
  9. JamesC

    The Planted Aquarium Podcast. #3 with Tom Barr

    Just stumbled across this website where a couple interview people. The latest podcast is with Tom Barr and is really worth listening to. Website is http://www.theplantedaquariumpodcast.com/. James
  10. JamesC

    Does carbon remove trace elements?

    Here's a table that gives you a good idea of what is removed by carbon. High to very good adsorption on: Antimony, Arsenic (Treated wood Leaches Arsenic into the Water), Bismuth, Bleach, Chloramines( Chlorine only), Chlorine, Chromium, Colors, Dyes, Gold, Hydrogen Peroxide, Insecticides...
  11. JamesC

    Substrate didnt fix it.

    I was pleased from a personal view point to see that it wasn't the Akadama that was causing the problems. I know CO2 has been mentioned many times, but I still think that it could still be the cause of your problems. The signs all point towards it. I see in a different post you said this I get...
  12. JamesC

    Does carbon remove trace elements?

    You also have to remember that most of the metals in the traces that are used are in an organic compound (chelator). So if carbon/purigen are good at removing organic compounds then the chances are that they are good at removing your traces. I can only speculate though as I haven't got the...
  13. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    viewtopic.php?f=46&t=5602#p61977 The UK has it's own set of rules called CHIP. This makes interesting reading - http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg350.pdf. As the liquid carbon is a preparation containing a dangerous substance then there are requirements that need to be met in regard to...
  14. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    Thank you. As I suspected it is quite acidic. I would guess the art of storing it successfully is in the buffer used to keep it at the correct pH. James
  15. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    Being doing some more investigating as I like to do and stumbled across this: Now if you remember from before I mentioned that Seachem had created a generic name for their isomer called polycycloglutaracetal. Well looking at the quote from above you may recognise some of the parts for the name...
  16. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    Terrible stuff. What on earth do you want it for? Are you embalming bodies? :shock: Seachem have always known that it acts as an algaecide. They just don't say it is an algaecide otherwise they would have the EPA on their case. It's much easier to sell if it's just an aquarium fertiliser. James
  17. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    I would think the reason Seachem keep it secret is to stop it from being copied. They keep quiet about the algaecide properties to keep the EPA from being involved. As Excel is being used as an aquarium fertiliser the EPA couldn't care less about it, but if they marketed it as an algaecide and...
  18. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    I've done a bit of researching on this glutaraldehyde and what Seachem may have done. There are different possibilities but I'd guess they would go for a fairly simple option to keep costs down. The chemical they state as Polycycloglutaracetal doesn't actually exist so it would seem that this...
  19. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    Re: AE excel/easycarbo Seachem are a bit secretive about eactly what they have done. All I know it that it isn't glutaraldehyde but an isomeric form of it. Because it is derived from glutaraldehyde, then this is what they are alowed to put on the msds. For obvious company secrecy they aren't...
  20. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    Re: AE excel/easycarbo I'm afraid it isn't glutaraldehyde. Seachem are quite open about this and have stated many times that it isn't glutaraldehyde. MSDS doesn't tell you anything about what is actually contains. One of Seachem's many postings James
  21. JamesC

    What's in AE excel/easycarbo

    I don't know what is used in AE's carbon or Easycarbo but I know for sure that Seachem's Excel is not a solution of glutaraldehyde. It is a solution containg Polycycloglutaracetal which is safer to use than Glutaraldehyde and acording to Seachem is more easily utilised by the plants...
  22. JamesC

    Is mulm useful after a couple of days dry?

    The only reason I add mulm is because of the large population of bacteria which kick starts the substrate into action. If the bacteria are all dead I see no great benefit of adding it. Adding small amounts of peat moss would IMHO be more beneficial. James
  23. JamesC

    Explain this...

    To keep KH more stable. Otherwise it will drop to zero. If you don't have any fish in there then no worries. James
  24. JamesC

    Explain this...

    I'm now thinking it's probably best not to pre-treat the Akadama and just do plenty of water changes for the first few weeks. Give it a good rinse first is best IMHO to get rid of all the dust. James
  25. JamesC

    Explain this...

    Ah, didn't realise you had tried different substrates. I'm out of ideas. James
  26. JamesC

    Explain this...

    It's not the Akadama itself that could be the issue, but what is done to it. In the far east it is widely used and even Amano used it for years until he developed AS. I've had it a while now and growth is great. James
  27. JamesC

    Explain this...

    mmmm, did you give it a rinse afterwards? It's best to use calcium and magnesium sulphates really if you wish to prevent the initial KH dropping problems. You added loads of potassium which may or may not be a problem, I don't know. Also how much in the way of trace did you add? May be some...
  28. JamesC

    Explain this...

    Did you do anything with the akadama before putting it in the tank, ie, pre-treating, rinsing, etc? James
  29. JamesC

    Explain this...

    How about deodrant or other personal hygene products that you may use that can get in the tank on hands, arms or if a deep tank armpits :lol: Air freshners around the house can cause problems. James
  30. JamesC

    Are you an Iwagumi fan?

    It's by someone called Hironori Handa. Got 5th place on IAPLC 2004. I'd never seen it before. James
  31. JamesC

    Are you an Iwagumi fan?

    Wish I'd never mentioned it now. Is it this one? - http://www.adaeuro.com/zoom.asp?foto=images/contenuti/Fgrande/contest05.jpg&descr= James
  32. JamesC

    Are you an Iwagumi fan?

    I like originality best regardless of what type of scape it is. Iwagumi's are ok but there is only so much you can do with 3 stones. Most are pretty boring IMHO but every now and again a really good one comes along with a slight twist on the theme. Looking at the competitions most of the scapes...
  33. JamesC

    Newsletter discussion

    PM or email me the email address you used to register James
  34. JamesC

    Newsletter discussion

    Copy the web link and paste it into your web browser. If you can't get it to work then PM me your email address and I'll activate you here. James
  35. JamesC

    Newsletter discussion

    Mmmmmmm. Noticed nearly every single unactivated account is either hotmail or googlemail. Coincidence? perhaps James
  36. JamesC

    Newsletter discussion

    Your activation email should arrive within seconds of registering. I'll activate your account from here. James
  37. JamesC

    Newsletter discussion

    I can see that quite a lot of people have registered for the newsletter with most having activated their account. There are a few though that haven't activated yet and am wondering if this is because they didn't receive the activation email. Could I ask that anyone who has registered but never...
  38. JamesC

    Newsletter discussion

    Yes, all newsletters will be published for all to see. Most likely on the main website. A lot of people don't often read the forums and so would miss out on a lot of what goes on here. But they may wish to be kept informed of what is happening with UKAPS and in the UK aquatic plant scene...
  39. JamesC

    Newsletter discussion

    We now have a newsletter that will be sent out periodically - http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5219 If you have any questions or problems regarding subscribing, etc, could you please post up here. Thanks James
  40. JamesC

    Turns out plants don't do well at high temps. Tank wipeout.

    Sorry to hear that. It's not the first time I've heard it happen and I'm sure it won't be the last. As a tip with the Hydor heaters once the temp is set and stable using a tank thermometer I use some electrical tape and place it across the dial to prevent it from turning. James
  41. JamesC

    Fish deaths after starting EI ?

    It's good to hear you found the problem. I'm lazy and keep my drop checker solution for weeks and weeks before I get round to changing it. Can't say that I really notice any colour difference between the old and new. Probably is good paractice to renew the solution a lot more often than what I...
  42. JamesC

    Fish deaths after starting EI ?

    Sounds like CO2 to me as well. With optimum CO2 levels you also need good oxygen levels. Have you got some surface agitation and is you water's surface clear of any scum? Not all fish react the same to high CO2 levels. Some hang round the surface, others gulp air at the surface whilst others...
  43. JamesC

    New Forum Rules and Guidelines

    Unfortunately not. If it's on the UKaps website or forum then its UKaps that will get in trouble. Even ISP's have problems with members putting libel content on their websites, discussion groups, etc. James
  44. JamesC

    ADA's Francesco Nardelli

    I just use Google toolbar which translates web pages and also lots of other goodies like spell checking. James
  45. JamesC

    PVC Compression Fittings

    If the seals are rubber then I wouldn't use them in a reactor as CO2 attacks rubber which would cause the seals to fail. Even some people have had problems injecting CO2 into their filter intakes causing the rubber seals to fail. James
  46. JamesC

    What do you do with fish that you no longer want?

    I don't take fish back once I'm bored with them. I just don't think it's very kind and like to think I'm doing the best I can for my fish. Only downside is that I have to wait some years until they die naturally before I can have a change. Not that many shops in my part of the world are very...
  47. JamesC

    Tuning the system - what should a novice do next?

    There are different types of staghorn. On my web page I have 3 photo's of staghorn of which the second one is the type of staghorn which is often associated with over feeding, whilst 1 and 3 are down to poor CO2. http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm James
  48. JamesC

    Oxygenation of water and CO2 infusion

    Snap! I've used a central heating timer for years to control my lights. Looks good too. James
  49. JamesC

    Anyone else have problems with T5 lighting?

    WOW that is a lot. Shrimp will start dying at those NO3 levels. Having NO3 levels that high is detrimental to the plants IMHO. I dose 10ppm NO3 a week compared to your 120ppm. Standard EI adds about 24ppm NO3 a week and I'm sure I read somewhere that Tom B. doses 1/2 EI which equates to 12ppm...
  50. JamesC

    Anyone else have problems with T5 lighting?

    Pre-soaking Akadama with PO4 and NO3 won't really do much as they are anions (positively charged). It's only cations that Akadama holds on to. But saying that it won't do any harm unless you've got masses in there. I mainly pre soak CA++ and Mg++ to stop the water's KH dropping. As a side note...
  51. JamesC

    Overdosing non-aquatic plants

    Potassium excess can cause problems with terrestrial plants with calcium and magnesium blocking. Other chemical excesses also can cause problems. Levels we have in planted tanks are generally relatively low but with soft water you can get problems if you're not careful. No doubt I'll get flamed...
  52. JamesC

    Water change practice

    All very interesting but it doesn't get away from the fact that in an open system it requires more injected CO2 to hold a constant CO2 concentration in a high KH water than in a low KH water. Does it really matter that much? No, not really. Just increase bubble rate a bit. James
  53. JamesC

    Water change practice

    Planter was correct all along regarding disolving CO2 in water with varying KH's. The higher the water's KH the more difficult it becomes to dissolve CO2 in the water and hence the more CO2 is needed to be injected to compensate for greater CO2 loss. It's not a great difference but it is...
  54. JamesC

    Surface Scum - Keeps Coming Back

    Sounds like iron bacteria. In the wild it's normally a reddish brown but in an aquarium it is a whitish colour. When broken with your finger it doesn't flow back together again. Only way I've found to clear it is through surface agitation or skimming. If you read German then this site has a very...
  55. JamesC

    Photos of your tanks from around the UK

    London is an awkward one. I'm in Bexley which has a Kent postal address and post code but is officially part of Greater London. James
  56. JamesC

    How to remove fine scratches on glass on inside of Aquarium?

    And for those with young children it's unwise to leave the magnetic algae scraper in the tank when not in use. Came home one day to find some lovely scratches :x . James
  57. JamesC

    How to remove fine scratches on glass on inside of Aquarium?

    You need to polish it out using something called cerium oxide. Briefly lower the tank water to below the level of the scratch. Dry the glass and use masking tape to seal off the tank water using a bin liner. Takes a while to do using a power drill with the polishing attachment, but it does work...
  58. JamesC

    Removing Limescale from top of the tank

    Once the glass has become etched then there isn't much you can do. The glass cross braces on my Rena have become etched and I've tried really hard to clean them up. I even removed them and used a glass polishing compound and then bufferring which helps a lot but doesn't make the glass look like...
  59. JamesC

    JBL Aqua In-out

    Using water from newly installed copper piping and hot water tanks has killed entire shrimp populations in some peoples tanks that I know of. Once the pipes have aged for a few years they are normally a lot safer. If you have new copper piping then runing the water beforehand for a minute or two...
  60. JamesC

    Really struggling...

    That's the theory, but in practise it doesn't work. pH can change due to other factors like wood, nitrates, gravel, etc. pH controllers need recalibrating quite often as they tend to drift. They work by adding CO2 to a preset pH and then stop the CO2 flow until a different preset pH is reached...
  61. JamesC

    Really struggling...

    I did think about PO4 but I've really limited PO4 and it doesn't produce those sorts of results, but does slow growth as it reduces demand for NO3 and CO2. As long as some PO4 is added daily it should be OK, but possibly if PO4 is extremely low then it could cause stunting. Normally for that...
  62. JamesC

    Really struggling...

    That's stunting you have there. Caused by a shortage of one or more of the macro's - Carbon, Nitrogen, Calcium, Magnesium or Phosphorus. Looks unlikely to be phosphorus or calcium unless your water is very soft. This leaves carbon, nitrogen and magnesium to look at. Suspect one is CO2. Do you...
  63. JamesC

    Really struggling...

    Without seeing the plants concerned it's very hard to say. James
  64. JamesC

    Really struggling...

    What you are dosing is the standard PPS-Pro mix. Don't go 2x or 4x dosing this or you will run into trouble. The standard formulation works OK and only needs a little tweak here and there, not double dosing. Just so you know this is what you are adding daily with your 5ml addition: 1.1ppm NO3...
  65. JamesC

    Akadama - Used as a water conditioner?

    It could be but it'd be quite expensive and not very controllable. Akadama itself doesn't actually lower KH but is a result of hydrogen exchange with cations. It's the hydrogen ions (H+) or more commonly known as acid that causes the KH to drop. You could therefore add an acid to the water to...
  66. JamesC

    I just can't resist it - Can you?

    Grow and Mow :D The more plants you try the more you learn how the different plants grow and which ones are the most suitable for you. It's the only way to learn. James
  67. JamesC

    A bit of research - heater cable poll

    A big NO from me James
  68. JamesC

    I won!

    Well done. I entered that competition as well. The only PFK competition I've won is some fishy stamps about 20 years ago. :D James
  69. JamesC


    Hi Richard, Great to see you here. James
  70. JamesC

    what is a calibrated test kit

    Calibration solutions are made up by adding known amounts of chemicals to deionised water to give you various ppm solutions. So lets say for nitrate you could make up three calibration solutions. One at 5ppm, one at 10ppm and one at 20ppm. Making the solutions is hard as the amounts used are...
  71. JamesC

    Can you let me know all the online/mail order companies?

    Expert Aquatics - http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Expert-Aquatics. Think they are only an eBay shop though if that matters. James
  72. JamesC

    Anyone tried Easy-Life EasyCarbo?

    Zeolite does actually hold ammonia by absorption and also by cation exchange. Take a read of what it says on this website - http://www.bearriverzeolite.com/BRZ%20Pages/animalodor.html Interesting bit about plants under the heading BASIC PRINCIPLES Wandered a bit off topic here - sorry :) James
  73. JamesC

    Low tech, high tech or mid tech? Discussion on PFK website

    Take a read of this on the PFK website - http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/blog.php?blogid=127 James
  74. JamesC

    Topic Titles

    Totally agree. I don't always have very much time so tend to scroll quickly through the new threads and often just look at the ones of interest. Any non descriptive threads often just get passed I'm afraid. James
  75. JamesC

    Aeration - Does it affect nutrient levels?

    With excel dosing I think you should be fine. Just don't have too a vigorous stream of bubbles going. Aerating the water will not affect any of the nutrient levels except for CO2. Excel provides carbon in a different way so won't be affected by aeration. I have an airstone in my shrimp tank...
  76. JamesC

    Congratulations Graeme!!

    Yep, well done Graeme and all the other winners. James
  77. JamesC

    Test your knowledge of aquatic plants???

    I blame dodgy answers :D
  78. JamesC

    Test your knowledge of aquatic plants???

    Got 21 as well and I'm c**p with plant names. Agree with some dodgy answers. I can see where they're coming from with the non-zero nitrite but IME peat is much more likely to lower KH. Also the lighting question seems odd. I've always thought that per watt, metal halide is a lot more intense...
  79. JamesC

    a few beginer queries

    Lighting can be pretty complicated. Lumens are a very poor way to measure light output for plants as it is a measurement for the green part of the spectrum, ie what us humans are most sensitive to. Plants need red and blue spectrums which Lumens don't measure. Par is more accurate as this...
  80. JamesC

    a few beginer queries

    pH and KH tables can often be very inaccurate due to buffering capabilities of other substances like peat, bog wood and phosphates to name a few. This will throw the CO2 calculation out as it is only designed to work with CO3 and HCO3. According to the pH/KH tables my CO2 levels are over 100ppm...
  81. JamesC

    Nature Aquarium World by Takashi Amano Book 2

    Yep, ME. Been meaning to buy it for yonks but never got round to it. And the good news for me it's just round the corner from where I work :D Thanks Dan for drawing my attention to it. James
  82. JamesC


    One of his quotes that really cracks me up is: "Because like a slinky they serve no purpose in life. But they do bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs." There's a whole thread on his quotes -...