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220L Build log

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Bishop, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    I just wanted to clarify why I suggested you measure the pH before it goes into the tank. I wasn’t sure how large of a water change you do, but with a canister filter it can take a long time for the CO2 to completely degass. Mine usually doesn’t fully degass by morning. So maybe a better way of getting a baseline would be to do an 80% change fill up the tank, let the filter circulate it for a few hours, no CO2 yet, then take a reading. I wouldn’t want residual CO2 to mess up your baseline.

    The other thing to watch is make sure you clean out all your tubing when you change your filter (are you using a canister?), there can be a surprising amount of schmoo built up in those pipes, your best bet is to get yourself a CPAP cleaning brush. It's basically a brush on a long flexible metal spring. I cut of the metal looped end, and feed it in backwards, fish the spring through first, then pull the brush in last. Does a great job, and goes around tight bends. You can buy them in different diameters on amazon, they are cheap. I have a 7 foot long one, makes pipe cleaning very fast.
     
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  2. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Nice build!

    I would suggest a ph pen instead of the liquid or strip tests, easy to leave the probe in the tank for a day to get a better idea of the co2 curve throughout the day.

    My tap has a lot of co2 in it, and after a water change the degassing doesn’t really stabilize until the next day. This is typically after being in the reservoir mixing and heating up overnight with a circulation pump. FWIW.
     
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  3. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Little update:
    80% water change yesterday.
    Moved the co2 outlet and inlet pipes to the other end of the tank.
    Mcranadra has been removed and new stems added, they were from a low tech tank but had done well.
    Same for Red Pine.
    Temp has been lowered on heater 2 degrees C, but today was crazy hot so it shot up to 27.6 C this afternoon, but sat around 24 C from early Am to mid day.
    Co2 test was the same, but liquid test, still as Ph probes still not arrived.

    Have noticed co2 bubbles floating freely at lower levels in the rear of the tank due to moving the pipes.

    I realize this is many changes and will be more once the reactor arrives. I might delay attaching this but my idea here is a basic reset and monitor. So don't touch anything for 2 weeks to a month and observe the results.
    Then I will report back and see what else I can do if needed.

    Agreed, cheers. Have some Ph probes arriving soon.

    No stress. It makes sense even if it was to just to gain more data to observe.

    Good call on the pipes.
    o/
     
  4. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Deficiency pics...

    Mcrandra..
    oc2p8Gq.jpg
    Have never seen the colour patchy like this, looks almost like it can rub off ( it can't )
    Lower leaves brown and dead, these caps were cut off damaged stems and replanted, the death just races up towards the terminal bud. Colour fades to green and there is always just one or two leaves healthy at the top.

    AS a side note these two pics were maybe one month ago but they are the same Mcrandra plants as in the deficiency pic, you can see in the second one that same leaf distortion is happening as below on he Reinekii.
    XBB1Lwr.jpg
    b28GlAe.jpg

    I wouldn't call these two healthy but they certainly got worse.

    Rotundfolia..
    tFzofdq.jpg
    Healthy growth here is a new sideshoot but you can see the leaves here do the same in that they chase up the stem leaving just healthy tops.
    Leaves curl tightly downwards and they have thick black lines through them like cut marks.
    Stem in the back is same plant but stem is red and thick, leaves are longer but same behaviour.
    Looks like diatoms on leaf but its actually same colour patchyness as the Mcrandra.
    XEid1HS.jpg
    This lone stem is what I assume Ca Deficiency looks like but had been adding it since tank start.

    Reinekii..
    J3l6OtM.jpg
    Bad timing here in that I threw most of the bad stuff out. It was severely deformed, tiny leaves crinkled up and deformed.
    Oddly enough that's actually what started all of this as everything was growing fine bar one or two stems of Reinekii out of 4-5
    This one has been a solid soldier since the tank started but you can see here one leaf is folded right over on itself. This is the least effected plant, the others were thrown out of hard to get a pic of but I put one of FB page a while back that Ill try and find. Advice there was lower light but the healthiest ones have always been in direct light.
     
  5. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Everything has finally arrived apart from the co2 reactor.
    New Leds, they seem much dimmer but at least they spread the light around better.
    60 x 3W ( 180W total ) 120cm long 90 degree lense I think, doesn't say.

    Pipes have been cleaned too :D

    Spent a couple of days trying to get some good data from the Ph probe and ended up getting a full day before a water change and the day after.
    Quite eye opening stuff, I had heard that Ph fluctuates more than we think but this was quite a surprise.
    Made a little graph to highlight whats going on, hopefully its readable.
    I double checked the calibration throughout the day as that level freaked me out. Fish were all in a tight group at the bottom of the tank. Surface is very agitated.
    1TYm8Oc.jpg

    Mcrandra is still deformed patchy colours all over and yellow.
    Crypts are melting but I believe this is from the change in light.
    Repens lower leaves have all pretty much gone, top few leaves look really good.
    Reinekii looks like that butlers hand from scary movie. I can't figure it out and it's slowly killing me.
    Bmkw0_ICAAAlpmj.jpg
    mnSsU5O.jpg
    VtvyDuu.jpg
    Acuata is growing very slowly but looks healthy.
    Rotundfolia has made the best progress and seems much healthier.
    Red pine terminal buds aren't tiny anymore but no regrowth yet after trim.

    Are there any targets for water column tests on ferts.? i.e. is 10ppm No3 much different from 30ppm in the morning before next dose, or is it just showing excess is fine?
     
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  6. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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  7. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    That picture from scary movie had my sides hurting! I loved that character, so funny!

    I never had much luck when my CO2 fluctuated that much throughout the day. Things started to get a lot better for me when I could keep things stable throughout the photoperiod. Once I could keep the CO2 stable and over 1pH drop for a couple weeks, things really started to pick up. It sounds like your livestock are struggling a bit, if they are all bunched up in the corner. Here's a couple days just before I ran out of CO2. My lights come on at 13:00.
    6rRZSNr.png

    If you have some way of directing the filter outflow upwards towards the waters surface, so that the water makes a little hill on the surface, you can get more O2 into you tank that way. Like a piece of Locline, or even a small section of curved vinyl tubing. You could experiment with that and see how your fish respond. When you get your reactor thing's should be easier to control.
     
  8. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    every time I look into my tank I see his hand lol.

    they were only struggling at the low pH other than those two hours they have been all good.

    Thats one impressive graph. Graph envy lol, how have you goten that data?

    Well, here is hoping, was supposed to be here last week. I cant for the life or me work out how everyday is so different, even today and yesterday were close but not enough to be happy with.
    There is surface agitaion, I made my own pipes so I should be able to aim them up a little more and see how it goes.

    Thanks.
     
  9. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Take my strong hand! Hahaha.

    Yes, I was always amazed at how a little change could affect my CO2. Did I move my skimmer? CO2 level changed. Did the water level drop a bit too much, bringing the surface close to the power head? Co2 changed. Are my pipes getting clogged? CO2 changed. Are my shrimp all hiding? CO2 definitely changed. Are their bubbles on my CO2 probe? CO2 appears to change, but maybe it hasn’t. This hobby really has me looking closely at things. The light level can really affect my CO2, higher light and co2 vanishes faster.

    The graphs are from Apex Fusion. I have one of their controllers, and it has a pH probe that records the information for me and puts it online. I could have the unit control pH by just setting the desired pH, but I still find it better if I can dial it in manually, as others have suggested here. I hate calibrating my probe, the low pH calibration solution seems toxic....mmmm potassium hydrogen phthalate. @Allwissend how bad is it for me? Granted I use double gloves, and wear a lab coat, and I store the leftover in a jar that I take for proper disposal.
     
    #29 Kyalgae, Jan 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
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  10. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Like most substances on earth, the dose makes the poison. Standard solution for pH has 0.05mol/kg ... which is about 10g/L(?)
    Dermal, guinea pig: LD50 = >1 gm(KHP)/kg(animal);
    Oral, rat: LD50 = >3200 mg/kg;

    So if my quick math is correct and toxicology would be so simple as to just scale up the dose for rats to humans, after drinking 25L of pH calibration solution half of the subjects would die. The msds (material safety data sheet) file shows pretty much the standard precautions for slightly acidic powder. The instructions for many micronutrients are more severe. Bottom line, treat it with respect and use it accordingly... don't mix while eating a baloney sandwich ;)

    If the probe is still good it should not need recalibration that often. A quick monthly check is rather fast.

    Regarding the macrandra and althernathera problems, I have noticed them also from time to time.Typically it is when I am too busy to trim so it might be light or CO2. Plants that are alone and have more free space around them show no symptoms even though they are in the same water and aprox. similar light conditions, this to me says dosing is good but flow is bad. It would be interesting to pin this down to certain conditions, but alas I do not have enough time.
     
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  11. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Tell me about it. Funny though as I was at a point where I felt I was happy and then after the last 6 months I have learned quite a bit.

    Just had a google, wished I didn't. Very cool piece of kit.

    Yeah, I am trying to eliminate everything slowly but i'm no closer to a theory on why. Will keep plugging along, can't do much until I sort this co2 or at least thats my major focus right now.
    Thanks
     
  12. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    I think what had me more uncertain about that stuff is because it has phthalates in it, which could be bad for your reproductive organs. I know lead does the same thing, but I think the body gets rid of lead over time. I think the fact they have to do more research to understand phthalates makes me more leery. Thanks for looking up that info, you’re right I just need to keep using me PPE!
     
  13. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Been a pretty crap few weeks.

    New Co2 reactor is garbage. Utter garbage. Couldn't count the bps on the inline but pretty sure i'm using more Co2 with the reactor and looks like more bubbles in the tank.
    Spent the week making some adjustments to co2 but seems it was either 50ppm and above or 32ppm or below. I was aiming for 40 but never got there.
    One day the hose wouldn't stay on the check valve. One day was 50ppm Co2 and without adjusting anything the next day it was 70ppm.
    The day after that was almost perfect except id gone through my co2 in about 2 weeks and the bottle was empty.
    Next day, BBA, Clad and hair algae.
    Been hard not to introduce my tank to my sledge hammer.

    Installing the reactor cost me a glass lilly pipe, found out my filter has some weird leak inside the head where if I close the valves the head fills with water and then leaks from the handles.

    New bottle yesterday afternoon. Kh was 1.5 as it is from the tap and how it had been all week and previous weeks.
    Trying to dial in co2 again today, sitting around 48 ppm co2 but checked Kh just to make sure my records were clear.
    Kh = 2.0 today for some reason so actual ppm was around 70ppm.

    Have a 5kg co2 bottle on the way. Next month ill be getting a serra reactor and probably try that. Unless anybody has anything else they recommend. Inline made my tank look like a shaken beer. And the plants and equipment were covered in bubbles after a few hours.

    Massive trim back of left side of tank, and water change tomorrow.

    So crazy, my last tank I could do anything to it and it would survive, very little algae good growth etc. One day I will laugh, but today and possibly tomorrow are not that day.
     
  14. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Little update:
    5kg bottle arrived as I was sick of having to replace the smaller one every few weeks.
    Managed to get similar numbers to previous bottle quickly and turned it up from there.
    Found out I was using the co2 chart wrong but luckily it didn't put me out too much.
    I was getting a ph drop of roughly .85 when lights come on and the about same now .90, however the co2 drops much lower over day. So im going to go ahead and try and get that 1.0 drop at lights on and i'm guessing I will get about .30 drops as the day progresses.
    The variation in pre injection ph over a few days is quite a bit which surprised me. At its highest it was 7.2 and its lowest was 6.8.

    Does the Co2 drop get measured from the start of each day? or measured from a known lowest number.
    My tap reads about 7.40, and as mentioned before the morning Ph can fluctuate quite a bit. That's quite a difference if the drop is measured from each days start Ph.
    All new to me but glad I've learned something.

    Green is what I am aiming for tomorrow unless anybody thinks what I have now is good enough.
    Ghgr2Ms.jpg

    Reactor is still garbage, thinking of Diy one day.

    Flow in back of tank was killing the stem plants because of the layout so after a bit of inspection and poking round I found there were a few dead spots on the tanks flow.
    Mostly behind the wood. I think somebody here mentioned it so looked into it further. I thought it weird that the Reinekii would grow in some spots and not in others. So I threw out half a bucket of distorted butlers hand Reinekii, saved what I could and replanted.
    I also planted a bit into a separate container with a basic substrate and put it in a known flow area. No results yet.

    Removed the outflow at the back of the tank an made up a dodgy spray bar. It looked hideous so Ive moved it right down the bottom at the back of the tank and it runs across the substrate where there was previously very little flow. At the end it collects a bit of bubbles from the co2 and they seem to sit there all night but gone by morning. this might be causing the Ph fluctuations in the morning.
    Drilled a tiny hole to let the bubbles escape when they get too big so hopefully that helps too.

    Not much else to report lower stems still terrible, tops grow back healthy. Rotundfolia is looking good, stems are much fatter and redder than they were.
    Weirdly one stem is short leaf and fat and yellow the other stem is long leaf and skinny but much redder. Ive not seen such variation before in the same plant.
    This right near the top , maybe light is the issue but worry about that once co2 dialed in.
    8Vxvgh5.jpg

    Also, couldn't figure out why new lights felt really dull. When I looked at an earlier pic I realized the T5's spread heaps of light onto the wall and down the back of the tank. These lights didn't at all. So I added a strip of wood with RGB led's on top of the tank at the back. One hangs over the back two over the back row of plants. Its kind of cool playing with the back ground colour on frosted glass but really just light blue and white are only worth the effort for this tank.
    Dropped it about 10 times so it a bit sad looking right now. Just a prototype for a while to see if I can figure out if its worth it.
    Before and after Pic. You can see the first feels really dull with no back light.
    sEjTlRQ.jpg
     
  15. pablo8412

    pablo8412 New Member

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    Amazing tank
     
  16. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Thanks Pablo. Tank is going down hill a bit, but hoping to save it.
     
  17. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Co2 is now steady but the overall number has dropped by .10 Ph. So it doesn't gas off back to 7.03 int he morning it's at about 6.92 and the drop when lights come on is 6.03. Tank water left over night is about 7.11 So think i'm good for Co2.

    Overall the plant quality is much better because of it. Leaf and stems seem thicker almost or fatter . Problems from some plants seem much better but others that were fine now have problems.
    I think this is due to the higher co2 increasing the nutrient uptake. This week I have increased No3 and also increased Po4 as I am struggling with keeping lower leaves alive on stems.
    Last month I increased Po4 slightly to try and combat some GSA and had Cyano everywhere. Unsure if its gone now but just another part of the problems I am having.
    ( read plenty of info suggesting increased phosphate isn't the cause of cyano outbreaks but in my case it was the day after. Rather than tuning it down I'll make it a bit more and see how it goes. )

    Had to remove all the Mcrandra. Too much dead leaves floating around the tank. Just cant keep the lower leaves alive. Have replanted the tops a few times and they always look like garbage but I think removing them for now will help lower decaying plant matter a little.
    Roots looked healthy tops were okay but a little distorted, everything in between was mush.
    hNcqe4Y.jpg

    Lower leaf from Repens ( underside ). Decaying from stem outwards, rather than leaf tip inwards, anybody seen this before? Much the same as the Macrandra, although this seems to show signs of deficiency on lower leaves. But cant tell exactly what. Or if its a issue of too much something causing something else. Getting tiresome though. But slowly eliminating causes.
    azglanv.jpg

    Green pine being silly now too and some are completely stunted. I think this is due to low nitrates from the increases uptake from Co2 but got more No3 now so will give it 2 weeks as it is and see if there are any changes.
    So hard not to change little bits and pieces here n there.
    YUFSucu.jpg

    Rotundfolia, although quite green now is looking soo much better overall.

    Think I need to plant something that shows clear deficiencies . What I have now are all either very tiny leaf or red etc that make it harder from my experience to identify any issues.

    So this is where I am at for next two weeks

    Weekly totals

    Macro


    P04
    6.44

    K
    22.4

    No3
    31.29

    Mg
    4.11
    ( Dosing mg and not Ca, for no other reason that trying to see if what appears to be mg deficiency can be resolved.
    Tap water is about 18 to 8.2 ppm depending on the weather or time of year. Tried to eliminate Ca and Chloride as the cause, zero change in plant condition from removing them so don't add Ca now. )


    Trace

    B Boron
    0.0950

    Mn Manganese
    0.4000

    Mo Molybdenum
    0.0200

    Zn Zinc
    0.0300

    Cu Copper
    0.0300

    Fe Iron
    1.050

    Copper and Molybdenum seem way higher than they should be and zinc is pretty low. But that's only compared to what rotala butterfly suggests to CSMb for example.


    Kh - 1.5
    Gh - 5
     
  18. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Rough week, My Led lights died so going to grab a t5 Hood from online . Problem there is the shipping is almost double the cots of the item.
    Lights look nice anyway. Certainly one way to drain the bank account.
    Some real differences you notice from the switch back to t5's that I don't notice from other peoples tanks. I am going to miss the LEDs for a while but my next tank will probably be dutch so I can learn how to actually grow some plants, so the t5s will help there :D. Think i'm going to look into building my own led unit much later.

    Hair algae in a few places, that may have been in part of the LEDs causing hot spots in those areas.

    Cant tell if this is a deficiency or is supposed to look like this?
    9uiZbpq.jpg

    Lower leaves are dying at an alarming rate.
    z3eoUIr.jpg


    It's not low Po4 as that's much higher now, not co2 as mine now sits at 5.6Ph from a 7.0 start.
    Nitrate is high. Only thing I can think of is is the trace but keen to let the high nitrate test play out for a little bit.
    These damn lights breaking has happened at a pretty rubbish time.

    All the deficiency stuff I read is on terrestrial plants and doesn't seem to help much at all.
    One thing I did read was high Po4 can block out a few other things and cause leaves to turn black and die which is exactly whats happening, however Po4 isn't that high by comparison to others.
    Another thing to add to the list.

    Going to do a few water changes next week and try a new trace, might mix my own or something.
    If I end up putting a sledge hammer through this thing I will be sure to take pictures.

    Aside from a few dying stem plants most of it looks much better than it has been at least.
    Frustrating as I feel like I am providing everything the plants need, so kind of lost in the fine tuning.
    Oh well :D
     
    #38 Bishop, Feb 23, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  19. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Tried literally everything I can think of to save this tank but going from bad to worse sadly.
    Lost a few fish from co2 getting so high and thought it was looking better after I made a cerges reactor but on water change today basically everything was the same.
    Quite sure this isn't co2 related as I dosed my low tech with same ferts and they all stunted for a few weeks.
    Oddly though I uprooted some sunset hygro in the main tank that was planted over a month ago and all of them had no roots, pretty much same story all over.
    Growth is very slow.
    One stem of green pine will be okay the one right next to it will be stunted and dying. Pretty much like that all over even the java fern is stunted and mangled in places.

    Bit over having a moan about it all now so will eventually pull it all up and go really simple, learn more about growing plants and try some more extreme tests.
    Hopefully I can get a photo worth saving before I tear it down.


    Weekly dosages.

    Macros x 3 a week =
    Po4 4.92ppm
    K 33ppm
    No3 33.54ppm
    Mg 3.2ppm

    Trace x6 a week =
    Fe 1.02ppm
    Mn 0.300
    B 0.065
    Zn 0.402
    Mo 0.150
    Cu 0.010
     
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  20. Bishop

    Bishop Member

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    Managed to get an okay photo before breaking the tank down this week.
    On to trying a Dutch Scape.
    Trying not to be too pessimistic, I learn't a fair bit this time round.

    Final observations:
    Flow in the tank seems super important in terms of distributing ferts and Co2 around the tank. The wall in the middle of the tank didn't help at all.
    New lights and lowering the intensity, and arranging the spray bar that is for co2 outlet at the very bottom of the tank and I managed to stop the L.Repens from melting so that's a plus.

    Pulled up some plants to day the roots on most are non existent or melted. No Idea whats caused this. Any ideas?

    Java fern leaves are so different. Some are plump and fat some are very long or distorted, probably a reflection of how much I changed the fert routine over the year.

    End Result:
    [​IMG]
     
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