This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

A little confused on why something is working, I think :). Too many variables.

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by fjf888, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    I have had my tank setup for close to two months now. The first month was a relative breeze and the start of the second month i got Diatoms and green dust, which did not alarm me at at all, some otos and maintenance did the trick. Then I started getting staghorn on my Stauro 049, in addition to poor growth. Not just slow growth but spindly dwarf type growth.

    The tank is a 72G 48in wide 4x54 T5 HO 10k lights (but I only was using 2), about 24 inches deep, the top of the light fixture to the substrate is 23 inches. The substrate is boiled wormcastings (done by the letter the way Tom describes) as the lowest layer supplemented by osmocote, and dolomite (to help me deal with my sometime erratic dosing due to work travel) topped with EcoComplete. I was using pressurized CO2 going into the tank via a RIO RVT 800. CO2 was going into the venturi and making a mist, which was spread throughout the tank. After about 5-6 weeks I was dissatisfied with the growth, the rotala indica has spindly green growth, ludwigia was green and small even the moneywort which I put in to get some quick mass was not growing that much and that well, the cambomba furcata I put in was disaster as well, the crypts I had were actually the only plant doing well. Then more green dust, diatoms and staghorn showed up. I figured it was CO2, then I read a post discussing my light fixture and its apparently crappy reflectors and really only put out at T5 levels rather than the T5HO levels, so I switched on a 3rd bulb of 6500k and actinic. Right before this I decided to setup a cerges reactor, but I couldn't find the right PVC pipe so I just ran the CO2 into the intake of my Mag 5 in my wet dry. Less than a week later, the growth in size of the Ludwigia repens leaves was 4x larger, the rotala growth was thicker, I still have the staghorn on the stauro, but its not getting worse.

    A little more background. The original plants for the redo came from a neglected tank, I had rotala indica in its classic emersed form with just stems in the water, It was going no CO2, for a few weeks. I had plants growing out the sides and down my tank including the ludwigia repens and moneywort, but basically all the parts of the plants in the tank had to be cut off and tossed. To top this, my mail order plant order was delayed by month, so I could not get the dense planting in my tank right away like I wanted and had to rely more on my existing plants which were basically all in emergent form. However, I thought the CO2 would help in their transition back. I have also just added Dwarf Hairgrass and HC, a week ago, which basically looks like it did a week ago. The Staruo is rooting, but hasn't really taken off yet.

    So it will probably be a mystery, but I am trying to find out what factor(s) have caused what appears to be a sudden improvement in growth, and what I should do next.

    Was it the CO2?, I didn't change the rate, and not really even the method, i'm just running through a different pump that is in sump as opposed to a powerhead in the tank, there's not much of a change in the drop checker. However, the mist is virtually invisible now.

    Was it the lighting? I cranked up my lighting with one more bulb, plus the actinic. I have been keeping up with water changes and maintenance, the fish are fine. Was it the transition of emergent to immersed that caused the delay. Could it be the plants are finally tapping the nutrients from the roots/substrate, my dosing has been EI since I restarted.

    Or is it simply just time? Does it usually take two months for things to start growing even with CO2?

    Based on what I provided any educated guess and advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    8
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    The Three Princes of Serendip.

    Wow, a lot of interesting aspects to this. Maintaining EI, a return to non-limiting nutrients. The lighting with the one actinic and a little more light overall.

    Still, I would attribute this change to improved mixing of CO2. No surprise here. This is why changing the way CO2 is added to the water is so huge. It should always be our first consideration when trying to improve CO2 supplementation. What I couldn't tell you (even though I have been following the idea on my own) is what advantage using the wet dry has for plants. Fish yes, but plants? :confused:

    IME, CO2 is the one area of this hobby we still have to think outside the box. Extremely helpful. Thank you.

    The Three Princes of Serendip (Sri Lanka):
    "as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of...."
     
    #2 Tug, Oct 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2010
  3. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    Thanks for the reply. I have been on vacation and have just gotten around to reading. After a week away I have been greeted with a lovely GDA algae bloom all over everything and the death of 2 gbr's for reasons I can not determine. Since all the other fish appeared fine, I don't think I gassed them. It appears the plants are growing slowly, but have a lot of GDA. I did a 75% water change, and as much manual cleanup as I could before it got late. I only used 2x55 lights t5 HO lighting while away.

    I'm thinking perhaps the planting of a bunch of new plants like dwarf hairgrass and rotala indica a week before my vacation may have stirred up the substrate a little too much and perhaps the lower layer of WC got mixed in somehow. I also took out a piece of wood in anticipation of replacing it with Manzy I got from Tom. It had a slate bottom, more stirring up.

    So now I am confused once again. One step forward two steps back.
     
  4. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    8
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    What actually causes this algae is not known but intense light is favored by GDA. Maybe your reflectors are better then you think. Green Dust Algae are actually zoo-spores and should be left alone to grow, without wiping the glass for about 3 weeks and then removed. Maybe raise your levels of nitrate, http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7910-Green-Dust-Algae-on-the-glass.-UV

    How high above the tank are the lights and how long are they on?
    What light fixture are you using?
     
    #4 Tug, Nov 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2010
  5. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    Its a current Nova Extreme 4x55 T5 HO. Its about 6 inches above the water line. I measured the distance from the top of the fixture to the substrate to be approximately 24 in. The GDA was there after I came back from vacation, and I only used 2x55 when on vacation.

    This can be maddening.
     
  6. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    8
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    As Mad as a Hatter.

    You're not alone,
    If nothing else, it seams your vacation proved 2xT5HO's provide plenty of light. Why would someone say Current's reflectors are poorly designed? The fixtures have some poor design elements, but the reflectors? I have always been under the impression (possibly delusion) that Current fixtures provided excellent reflectors.

    The problem is, one bulb will give you low light but poor spread. Two bulbs give you better spread but high levels of light and your fixture is not designed to be suspended from the ceiling - limiting your options. With 2xT5HO, 1 meter above the substrate seams to provide an optimal amount of light for planted tanks.

    Window screening placed to soften the light would help. Keep the photo period short, about 8 hours. Give the GDA three weeks before scraping it off the glass. Yes, it will look awful for a few weeks. :eek:
     
  7. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    Too late for that ;)

    It offended me too much, but I won't touch the back of the tank now. Another factor, perhaps a more inportant one, that I am embarrassed to say I just noticed is that it seems in the week I was gone, my otos have disappeared. I originally bought 12, I had about 8-9 when I left, not a hint of one in there. It also appears I lost my SAE as well, along with 2 GBR's (which I immediately realized). I have all my angel fish, Cardinal tetras, diamond tetras and dwarf neon rainbow fish that I had before the trip, but no hint of anything fish bodies anywhere in the tank. All these fish have been in this tank for a minimum of 6 weeks before the trip, the angels and DT's for 3+ years. Not sure what would kill all my workhorse fish and the GBR's and leave the other fish completely unaffected. My only thought is that perhaps the wet dry water level went low which killed the surface ripple, which in turn, caused too high ppm of CO2 for a period of time which killed off some fish. I had someone come in to check on the tank for a couple days and top off while I was away (the pump and flow were normal when I returned). The dead bodies could have been consumed by the other fish, especially the angels and Diamond tetras which are ravenous at feeding time. This also might have caused a temporary NH4 spike which led to an algae bloom. Still I would have expected to lose fish across the board and not primarily the algae eating fish.


    As far as the plants go the HC is completely melted but the Dwarf HG is holding on and the Stauro is actually growing, some will need to be trimmed soon and L Repens has hit the surface and is growing rapidly, Rotala indica is growing but comparable to when I grow in a no CO2 setup again, the moneywort which I put in there to grow rapidly is actually growing better in my non CO2 tank. So the plants are a mixed bag as well.

    Argh more maddening then ever!

    Thanks for your help.




    Thanks for your help.
     
    #7 fjf888, Nov 15, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2010
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    Fred,

    I really think you should raise your lights some...1 meter as suggested from the substrate is fine...

    I think T5HO are MUCH brighter than we think even with poor reflectors....

    I personally think you have too much light and an inbalance with c02 and/or other nutes.

    Just a guess, but is maybe worth looking at...

    I am finding I can grow stauro repens 049 with T8 @ 1 meter from the substrate with a max of 25 micromoles PAR.

    So, I am feeling more confident that many of us have much more light than:

    a) we think we do :)
    b) we really need for our goals..

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    I really want to believe. I do. In fact I still have my old t-12 t-8 light fixture that I initially started with, Here's a couple of issues I'm trying to get my arms around.

    1. Growth quality really improves on the stems the closer to the light. i don't care about the rate so much as the quality. For instance my Ludwigia repens has much better color and wider leaves, as does the rotala the higher up it goes, closer to the light. Yet I see plenty of pics of many planted tanks that have fine growth on these stems and others from top to bottom.

    2. I have improved by CO2 dissolution significantly lately, with much finer mist, running it through the mag 5, as opposed to the rio powerhead, so that also probably will take some time to take effect as well.

    3. The grassy plants are slow to establish, or melt away (HC). However my crypts are sending out runners lke mad and new plants pop up all over the place

    I want to believe its all CO2/ too much light, but I'm not sure based on the above.

    My goal is probably the same as many. For this CO2 injected tank I want to run it with with enough light for solid growth that I would cut back every weekly water change or every 2 weeks, not encourage algae, and to be able to take a little less fertilizer from time to time while I am travelling on business. I thought with the WC substrate and osmocote and dolomite, capped with eco that I would have a sufficient nutrient buffer when I have to travel for a week.

    Thanks for your help
     
  10. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    Bump

    Forums been relatively active lately. I know I'm completely incapable of stumping the gurus out there ;)
     
  11. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:09 AM
    After going through the Tom's .8 thread I am going to try to answer some of my questions and see I can get some of this through my thick skull

     
Loading...

Share This Page