Adding microelements to the aquarium and BBA.

Jarden Sk

New Member
Oct 31, 2022
28
0
1
Slovakia
jardenakvaristika.sk
Hi, I want to ask you about my idea of adding metal chelates to the aquarium. I mentioned the information in another thread that chelates break down with light under 520 nm and chelate again, the problem is that in water with higher DOC they chelate with DOC and that is the problem with the occurrence of BBA in my opinion. To avoid this, it would be interesting to add chelates only during illumination above 520 nm or in the evening after the lights are turned off, when the chelate remains in the original bond. When asked how much, I would say enough so that there is no chelated or free iron in the water in the morning /Measure with a test that also measures chelates, for example Seachem, JBL..../ , this will guarantee that the chelates in the water will not break down and the metals will not chelate with DOC. Plants are able to receive metals in chelates, so it should not be a problem and the chelate will probably last longer in the plant before it breaks down and the plant slowly consumes it. Further addition would depend on the condition of the plants and their manifestation of iron deficiency and not regularly. Plantex CSM (also in B) is only an EDTA binding, Tenso cocktail is a combination of EDTA DTPA. At a pH above 6.5, about 80% of Fe-EDTA breaks down within 14 days. As a guide, they should be added as I described above, every 10-14 days. Observations with this system and with other chelates will be interesting. I'll give it a try when I'm done with my elaborate experiment. However, I don't have much BBA in the aquarium on plants anymore, and I don't have very demanding plants either, and maybe someone can try it for me. However, cleaning and removing infected leaves with water changes is necessary, it probably won't affect the already formed BBA, but I think it will definitely affect the new BBA. Write your observations here.
Important:
However, the night dose of microelements must not be very high, / rather give half the weekly dose / so as not to limit the activity of bacteria.
Read this story Detritus Mulm : https://barrreport.com/threads/iron-toxicity.6494/
A large dose of microelements at once, in the morning Fe 0 ppm in the water, but the ammonia rose !!! Everything was absorbed by plants and biofilms and it was bad.

An excellent experiment with chelates that can help determine the dose: https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/plant-deficiencies-and-the-fe-experiment.71191/
My opinion is that Fe gluconate may be more effective in chlorosis, however, among other compounds, it can chelate with DOC and this will be encouraging for BBA.
I think that by adding more CO2 with the EI method, we force the plants to high consumption of nutrients and microelements, the problem is that we cannot direct the addition of micronutrients not only for plants, but also for bacteria, and especially young biofilms suffer from their toxicity. Therefore, it is important to find a balance between fertilizing plants and maintaining good bacterial function. Sufficient oxygen in the aquarium is not the only factor for the good activity of biofilms in the aquarium, but also the amount of pollutants limiting their activity.
 
Last edited:

Jarden Sk

New Member
Oct 31, 2022
28
0
1
Slovakia
jardenakvaristika.sk
After finishing the experiment with the Seiryu stones: https://barrreport.com/threads/seiryu-stones-fe-bba.17637/ ,
I'm starting another one here. Today I added the first dose after about 24 days to my 450 liter aquarium in the evening. I take Tenso cocktail 50g/500ml of water +HCL. The water is hard, the Ph in the aquarium is 6.8 when CO2 is added. Gh 14 and Kh 6 treated with HCL. I put 6ml of solution in the aquarium. I will add all my other observations to this thread only and edit it so that you have space for your observations and do the same. In this way, we can finally evaluate all contributions. Thank you Jarden Sk.

Today, 23.1.2023, two days after the first dose, I added another 5 ml of microelements again in the evening after the lights went out. Why? My Ph dropped again by 0.1 at full brightness and CO2 is probably not consumed like yesterday. I will try to orient myself according to Ph. Please don't be surprised, I add CO2 according to its consumption in the aquarium.

I'm going to improve your EI method a bit.
I came up with a system that is similar to your method, but it doesn't match in two things. I will create enough macronutrients in the aquarium, but I will not push CO2 senselessly into the system, but I will go according to my system of the System of direct consumption of CO2 in the aquarium and I described it here:
This is how I will achieve that I will be able to monitor the consumption of the limiting element /microelements/ in the aquarium /Liebig/. Since I have my Ph set to 6.8 every day before CO2 carbonation, I can monitor the consumption of micronutrients by the plants and the movement of the Ph.
If Ph moves during or at the end of the light period by 0.1, i.e. to 6.7, there will be an excess of CO2 in the aquarium and thus a lack of limiting microelements /Tenso cocktail/, because CO2 will begin to accumulate in the water. If the Ph moves up to 6.9, there will be enough microelements in the aquarium and CO2 becomes the limit and I have to stop fertilizing microelements. At this stage it is possible to add a little more CO2 at the bottle valve, for more plant mass.
I will not change the valve setting on the bottle, it must remain the same and I have that for a long time. This way I won't be trying for maximum plant growth like EI is trying, but just for growth without creating toxicity or excess nutrients.

There will be enough light in the aquarium and algae will not form from an excess of micronutrients, also because of better bacteria function. The Fe in the water will still be 0 ppm when the aquarium is lit.

1/24/2023- Today, Ph decreased again by 0.1 during the light period. I turned off the blue spectrum and left only red and green on. At the end of the light period, I added 10 ml of Tenso cocktail. Tomorrow I will shine again at full blast and watch Ph.
1/25/2023 today, after yesterday's addition of 10 ml of microelements, I measured 0.05 ppm in the water with the JBL test after 14 hours. The dose is too high, it was not enough for the plants to absorb it. I don't know if the test also measures chelates or only free iron, but if only free, then the tensococtail chelate must have disintegrated, I don't know if it could be due to the action of 15% HCL in the solution of microelements, where I add about 3-4 ml of it. It certainly couldn't be the light. If Fe is not 0ppm before turning on the lights, then I will only shine with the red and green spectrum. EDTA breaks down at a ph above 6.3, so it will be due to natural or bacterial decomposition, since my Ph is 6.8 during the day and 7 in the morning. The plants do not show significant improvement yet. The breakdown of EDTA is gradual, so there should be enough microelements in the plants as well, when I measured in the water, and I will limit further additions.
1/26/2023 Today, after 38 hours, the iron level is about 0.04ppm and I have not been able to get to zero. I overdid it with the last dose of TC. This is followed by a big exchange without microelements, only macro. Full lighting also with blue spectrum. Again I am trying to get the Fe status to 0ppm in the water. The JBL measures probably free iron and it is clear that it is being released from the chelates quite quickly at my water readings. Plants have new green growths. The changes on the plants are not as fast as I expected, they react more slowly. It's been 5 days since I added microelements for the first time. After the water change 4/5 and at the end of the light period, Fe is 0ppm. In the evening, I add 3 ml of TC/Tenso cocktail/. I expect Fe 0ppm in the morning.
1/27/2023-today, after yesterday's evening fertilization, I did not measure after 13 hours, no free iron. Excellent condition and I will shine fully. I add 5ml in the evening and I am curious about the level of Fe in the water in the morning.
1/28/2023-today, after an evening dose of TC 5ml, the level after 13 hours is about Fe 0.02ppm. The lights don't come on until 4.5 hours later, so it should be Fe 0ppm by then. I finally set the addition of TC and thus the evening dose is 4-5ml/day of TC for my aquarium and water will be Fe 0 ppm during the light period. I will continue like this for about a week and monitor the changes. The plants are still not fully grown because the Ph always drops by 0.1 at the end of the light period. No new BBA is created. Tomorrow there will be another 4/5 water change. Allwissend was right to recommend a low dosage, because with a higher dosage I would not reach zero Fe in the water during the light period.
 
Last edited:

Allwissend

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Lifetime Member
Jun 20, 2016
745
346
63
www.intuitiveaqua.net
Hi, I want to ask you about my idea of adding metal chelates to the aquarium. I mentioned the information in another thread that chelates break down with light under 520 nm and chelate again, the problem is that in water with higher DOC they chelate with DOC and that is the problem with the occurrence of BBA in my opinion. To avoid this, it would be interesting to add chelates only during illumination above 520 nm or in the evening after the lights are turned off, when the chelate remains in the original bond. When asked how much, I would say enough so that there is no chelated or free iron in the water in the morning /Measure with a test that also measures chelates, for example Seachem./ , this will guarantee that the chelates in the water will not break down and the metals will not chelate with DOC. Plants are able to receive metals in chelates, so it should not be a problem and the chelate will probably last longer in the plant before it breaks down and the plant slowly consumes it. Further addition would depend on the condition of the plants and their manifestation of iron deficiency and not regularly.

Most studies of Fe-EDTA photodegradation, I am aware of, have been done with UV light, sunlight or UV+visible at what would be considered very high light for the aquarium. If you have a UV C running on the tank that will break the chelation, but otherwise I would be more focused on the pH issue. I don't understand what you mean by "they chelate with DOC" and how that would affect the BBA formation. Chelates, like EDTA, have by definition ...well... a high affinity for metals and form a 'claw' around it, if Fe is somehow lost there is plenty of Ca to bind. EDTA is an organic molecule with 10 carbon atoms so it is part of DOC. The same can be said for other chelates.

In-vitro-affinity-of-EDTA-for-metal-ions-The-curve-represents-the-affinity-of-EDTA-for.jpg


Plantex CSM (also in B) is only an EDTA binding, Tenso cocktail is a combination of EDTA DTPA. At a pH above 6.5, about 80% of Fe-EDTA breaks down within 14 days. As a guide, they should be added as I described above, every 10-14 days. Observations with this system and with other chelates will be interesting. I'll give it a try when I'm done with my elaborate experiment. However, I don't have much BBA in the aquarium on plants anymore, and I don't have very demanding plants either, and maybe someone can try it for me. However, cleaning and removing infected leaves with water changes is necessary, it probably won't affect the already formed BBA, but I think it will definitely affect the new BBA. Write your observations here.

Given the issue with Fe-EDTA stability, I would suggest frequent small doses would be a more sensible approach rather than large ones covering 14 days of demand.

Important:
However, the night dose of microelements must not be very high, / rather give half the weekly dose / so as not to limit the activity of bacteria.
Read this story Detritus Mulm : https://barrreport.com/threads/iron-toxicity.6494/
A large dose of microelements at once, in the morning Fe 0 ppm in the water, but the ammonia rose !!! Everything was absorbed by plants and biofilms and it was bad.

Where exactly does it say it was bad? The OP says nothing was lost or damaged.
Did the WC expecting the worst, but did not find any casualties, Shrimp or Snails. [...]I did have a lot of pruning to do though, the Ludwigia is growing like it used to and the Sword was taking over the tank again.
. The 0 mg/L Fe is after the water change so we can't tell how much was taken up.
Did the WC expecting the worst,[...] I tested the Iron today and it came out very close to zero.

I think that by adding more CO2 with the EI method, we force the plants to high consumption of nutrients and microelements, the problem is that we cannot direct the addition of micronutrients not only for plants, but also for bacteria, and especially young biofilms suffer from their toxicity. Therefore, it is important to find a balance between fertilizing plants and maintaining good bacterial function. Sufficient oxygen in the aquarium is not the only factor for the good activity of biofilms in the aquarium, but also the amount of pollutants limiting their activity.

If the goal is growing bacterial biofilm I don't think there is much to fear. A possible toxicity issue would depend on the concentration of individual micronutrients and their availability, where chelated micronutrients are less toxic but available for a longer time. To start with, if plant uptake is high there are less micronutrients available for other organisms. Most plant micronutrients are also bacterial micronutrients, so their presence would help improve the growth of some bacteria.
 

Jarden Sk

New Member
Oct 31, 2022
28
0
1
Slovakia
jardenakvaristika.sk
Most studies of Fe-EDTA photodegradation, I am aware of, have been done with UV light, sunlight or UV+visible at what would be considered very high light for the aquarium. If you have a UV C running on the tank that will break the chelation, but otherwise I would be more focused on the pH issue. I don't understand what you mean by "they chelate with DOC" and how that would affect the BBA formation. Chelates, like EDTA, have by definition ...well... a high affinity for metals and form a 'claw' around it, if Fe is somehow lost there is plenty of Ca to bind. EDTA is an organic molecule with 10 carbon atoms so it is part of DOC. The same can be said for other chelates.
Hello, lamps also emit UV radiation in their spectrum, and Walstad in Photoreduction of iron writes not only about UV radiation but also experiments with different types of lighting /cold white, fluorescent lighting .../ Blue light has a wavelength of less than 520 nm and therefore can also release chelate bonds of iron and metals. If these are released and chelated again under such light, then the free ions can combine with DOC and it is formed in the aquarium from the waste, so DOC-FeIII+light=FeII +oxygenated DOC. I am convinced that the chelate DOC+metal/ Fe/ is responsible for BBA in the aquarium. EDTA, DTPA and others are artificial chelators and bind with Fe or metals in a 1:1 ratio, to chelate DOC+ metal we need more DOC and it binds differently depending on the metal ion. It's quite complicated and I don't know the whole issue of metal bonds in water. Jarden Sk
Given the issue with Fe-EDTA stability, I would suggest frequent small doses would be a more sensible approach rather than large ones covering 14 days of demand.
I do not object, every observation can be beneficial. Jarden Sk
The 0 mg/L Fe is after the water change so we can't tell how much was taken up.
We don't know and that's why I want to try it gradually. I already have a significant deficit in the aquarium, as you have seen and read, so I start when the plants are in bad condition, but the others start adding doses as soon as there are signs of chlorosis or slow growth. There are more options.I assume that if the plants are hungry and have no reserves of micronutrients, they will gobble up more and faster than biofilms. It's just a hypothesis. Jarden Sk
If the goal is growing bacterial biofilm I don't think there is much to fear. A possible toxicity issue would depend on the concentration of individual micronutrients and their availability, where chelated micronutrients are less toxic but available for a longer time. To start with, if plant uptake is high there are less micronutrients available for other organisms. Most plant micronutrients are also bacterial micronutrients, so their presence would help improve the growth of some bacteria.
Bacteria have a significantly lower consumption of micronutrients than plants in the same time, therefore chelates stored in plants will be consumed faster than those in biofilms. Water changes will not affect the amount of chelates either in the plant or in the biofilm, and therefore those in the biofilm will accumulate regardless of maintenance. After changing the water, microelements are fertilized again! By destroying biofilms during maintenance, new ones are formed, but they also take up chelates. New biofilms are more sensitive to metals in water than older biofilms.
An acquaintance of mine recently asked me for help with an aquarium and a lot of BBA. When I set it up for him and told him what he should do, he wrote to me that after the repair, he had a lot of detritus in the gravel when draining, and that was about a week after the repair. He told me that before when he was doing 50% water changes and there was a lot of BBA and algae there was almost nothing at the bottom. I told him that before DOC accumulated in his aquarium and did not decompose, and now the waste is already decomposed and that is why he can see it, it is already humus. DOC is not visible, slightly yellow color in the water. What do you think? He completely stopped adding microelements, the bottom was clay and gravel. Jarden Sk
 
Last edited: