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2 Tanks For Testing (not As Extreme As The Rotala Kill Tanks)

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by yme, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi all,

    Long-time not posted, but I do want to share some experiences of the last 4 months and ask some advice.

    Previously, I had a 90 gallon bucephalandra tank that was nice, but there were problems: 1: curling of some of the new bucephalandra leaves, holes in new leaves of javaferns, bba, gsa. Tank was 100% osmosis water with re-addition of minerals by Sera mineral salts to 300 uS. The tanks was EI-style in terms of CO2 and fertilization with low light.

    This was it:

    enhance.jpg

    Last year, I moved to a new house and I had to breakdown my tank. Instead of rebuilding it, I chose to have to smaller tanks, so that I could test 2 different conditions (in order to fix my problems). Here they are:

    [​IMG]

    Main difference is that the left tank is 100% osmosis-based whereas the right is tapwater-based.

    [​IMG]
    Left: osmosis-based tank

    [​IMG]
    Right: tapwater-based tank

    After 4 months on this regime I can share that the curling bucephalandra leaves are likely induced by the salts that are present in Sera mineral salt and tapwater. Moreover, I see stunting of the staurogyne repens ONLY in the in the tapwatertank. (happy happy :D:D)

    To go a bit more in detail: I add to the osmosistank the following macro’s: CaSO4.2H2O, MgNO3.6h2O, KH2PO4, KHCO3. This results in 20 mg/l Ca, 5 mg/l Mg, 21 mg/l K, 25 mg/l NO3, 2 mg/l PO4, 1.5 KH, 300 uS, Ph 6.2, CO2: 25 mg/l (measured by oxyguard CO2 meter). Traces are more or less 1/3 EI dosis, nothing special. So this tank is very similar in water parameters in terms of pH/KH/CO2/low light/fert regime as my previous tank. The only very obvious difference is that instead of Sera mineral salts I mix my own salts. Sera mineral salts contains quite some NaCl: I dosed salts to reach 300 uS and this adds 17 mg/l Na and 60 mg/l Cl. Given the recent posts that “blame” NaCl or other “things/salts” I think it is interesting to report my findings.

    Now the comparison with the tapwater tank. I add the same amount of NO3 and PO4 to this tank, but because the tapwater already contains 6 mg/l Mg, I add NO3 via KNO3 instead of MgNO3. The tapwater contains further: 36 mg/l Ca, K:30 mg/l, Na: 62 mg/l, Cl: 55 mg/l, SO4: 26 mg/l, KH 8, 525 uS. Because I have an Oxyguard CO2 meter I can nicely quite precisely add CO2 to 25 mg/l. This results in a pH of around 7. Light, micro’s etc are the same as in the osmosistank.

    The main difference that I noticed quite readily was chlorosis of the blyxa japonica. I made an Fe mix of 50%Fe-EDTA/ 50%Fe-gluconate and give a daily dosis of 0.03 mg/l to maintain a level around 0.25 mg/l. This was sufficient in the osmosistank, but not in the tapwatertank despite the observation that I measured in both tanks around 0.03 mg/l. I therefore changed fe-gluconate to Fe-DTPA and this issue was solved :p

    However, this did not fix the stunting of the staurogyne repens nor did it fix the curling leaves of the bucephalandra. See the pics:

    enhance.jpg

    enhance.jpg
    This leave did not unfold further.

    I am very happy that I can deduce that the cause of bucephalandra unfolding problem must lie in the extra salts (NaCl?) of the Sera mineral salts and tapwater.



    However: the other 2 “problems” remain in both tanks: bba and holes in new leaves of javafern:

    enhance.jpg

    To minimize bba, I dose daily 5 ml of 1.6% home-mixed glutaraldehyde, which should correspond to a 1x maximal dose of Excel/easy carbo. I do not have the impression that this does anything. I also tried spot treatment, but ended up frying leaves as well. So the remedy was worse than the disease. I think that the organic load of the tanks is low: no fish, 50% waterchange per week and the 2 eheim canister filters are cleaned every month and are quite clean.
    I do see that the bba grows faster with more light. Not only absolute but also relative to the speed of the bucephalandra: bba emerges sooner on new leaves just below the lights than in places with lower light.
    So I am at a loss… (perhaps spot treatment at 1/2x strength? But this does not fix the cause…)

    [​IMG]
    Completely at a loss here… all 3 tanks show the same problem and I am seemly the only one on earth having this problem.

    I am currently transforming the tapwater tank to a second osmosis tank to test new stuff.

    So my question is: what do YOU think I should test? getting rid of bba is a priority :confused:
    Things that I can think of: the growth of bba around the edges of the bucephalandra leaves are only possible if the plant gives bba this opportunity. So perhaps there is a minor deficiency? I could increase trace levels. On the other hand, I do hardly see any drop in PO4/NO3 during the week, so consumption of elements is probably low in general (and I doubt that 25 mg/l NO3 and 2 mg/l are necessary).

    Greet,

    Yme

    ps: there are plenty cherry shrimps (and 6 amano's per tank)
     
  2. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Great post and very interesting stuff.

    Don't have answers to your questions ATM, but just wanted to say all three tanks are beautiful.

    That larger first tank is just spectacular. Very, very nice indeed.
     
  3. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    First of all that 90 was stunning! And nice job on the two test tanks. The results are very interesting and thank you for sharing them.

    As for the current issue, I agree the bba appears because the plants are not quite happy. You seem to have all the bases well covered. The main thing now that stands out to me that you're dosing relatively low micros. All the plants you have are ones that in my tanks appear to absolutely love micros, especially Buces.

    Have you ever tried higher micro/Fe levels?

    You mentioned that macro uptake seemed to be low based on testing. It's probably safe to assume micro uptake is low as well. But consider that concentration affects absorption.

    My 120 for example might only use 2-3 ppm KNO3 per day, Lets be generous and say 20 ppm per week. But it doesnt do well unless NO3 in the water column is in the 40+ range. In fact 50-60 seems to be ideal.

    Things would quickly go south with water column nitrates in the 20 ppm range, even quicker if I tried to maintain a strict 3 ppm per day (the most plants actually use)

    So apparently, having 40-50 ppms in the water column makes it easier, and possible, for plants to get their 2-3 ppms per day/20 ppm per week.

    I'd probably try raising micros and Fe see what happens. Something like .5 ppm Fe in the water column or even 1ppm

    As you probably know, Fe and most other micros are immobile. This coincides with new growth having issues, especially new growth up close to the light. It may not be the light itself causing the bba, but because the plant is being forced to grow much faster which further compounds the need for whatever is lacking.

    Just some thoughts.

    Geat thread and I look forward to see what happens next!
     
  4. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Interesting note here Burr, and I tend to agree. As usual no proof but I see the same thing.
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Isn't it true that plants have to use energy to obtain their nutrients? Carbon, for example? If carbon is available in the favored form for the plants, they use it in that form instead of using a form that requires a bigger expenditure of energy to get it. Isn't it logical that this is true for other nutrients, too? So, while a plant could get nitrates from the water column if there is 5 ppm available, but get it with much less energy expenditure if it is available at 20 ppm. That makes sense to me, but that doesn't mean it is true. I have been assuming it is true.
     
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  6. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks all for thinking about it :D

    I have not. Basically because of the very simple observation that the Iron colours the water, which I do not like at all. One of the reasons that I change the tapwatertank is also that the Fe-DTPA colours the water even more than Fe-EDTA. (even at these relatively low levels)
    Hoevewer, I do like your reasoning and I think that I will increase the traces, including iron.

    What do you think about increasing PO4/NO3 as well? Let's say to 50 ppm NO3 and 5 ppm PO4. I do follow your line of reasoning and perhaps they also need more N/P alonside micro's?

    I will make some calculations tomorrow and post what my plans are :rolleyes:

    greets,

    Yme
     
  7. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    well... tomorrow arrived fast :p

    So I had a look at the traces. My calculations were correct and I indeed add 1/3 EI traces apart from Fe that I dose at 0.03 ppm. Because I believe that consumption is rather low, I dose my traces a bit differently distributed during the week: after the 50% water change I add back 50% of the weekly trace dose. the remaining 50% is given on a daily basis. In my line of reasoning this dosing regimen provides the most stable trace concentrations.

    I had also a look at the traces that Burr gives. It is more or less 2x EI daily dose (if I’m correct), with the exception of Zn, which is much higher (5x).

    One other thing that stands out is the Ni dose. Because of my javafern holes in new leaves, I also added Ni, but based on the Ni concentration in Micromix plus: 80x less than Mo. Compared to Burr, I dose 100x less Ni. For me, a possible Ni deficiency in the javaferns is suddenly again an option. I thought I ruled it out by my Ni dosing, but if Burr doses 100x more……

    So the idea is to increase trace dosing 3x, with the exception of Ni, which I will increase by 100x.

    Per week I will add:
    Fe: 1.4
    B: 0.252
    Mn: 0.406
    Zn: 0.084
    Mo: 0.014
    Cu: 0.014
    Ni: 0.0035

    If I would give this on a daily basis (which I won’t, see above) this corresponds to:

    Fe: 0.2 ppm
    B: 0.036 ppm
    Mn: 0.058 ppm
    Zn: 0.012 ppm
    Mo: 0.002 ppm
    Cu: 0.002 ppm
    Ni: 0.0005 ppm

    For comparison: this is Burr’s latest dosing per day

    Fe DTPA: 0.2 ppm
    B: 0.035 ppm
    Mn: 0.09 ppm
    Zn: 0.065 ppm
    Mo: 0.0025 ppm
    Cu: 0.002 ppm
    Ni: 0.0005 ppm

    Greets,

    Yme
     
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  8. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Is the Zn chelated? If not, I'd get that up at least even with B. That's just coming from my own experience using different levels, nothing scientific.

    Zn has a fairly low potential for toxicity. The main concern is competing with Fe but Im pretty sure we are a long way from that being an issue
     
  9. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Zn is indeed EDTA-chelated (as is Cu and Mn)

    I will add equal amounts of B and Zn. (3x Zn increase)

    greets,

    Yme
     
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