Arrrhhh.... BBA

colonel

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

I have been adding MgSO4 for the past 2 weeks, 3/4 of a tsp. along with 1 tsp. of seachem Eq. Will Mg affect the color of new growth in a mild deficiency?

Older leaves arnt really yellowing on me, everything has mostly been seen in new growth. But I have also read I believe from chucks site that Mg can affect the plants ablity to use iron properly, making it sort of look like iron deficiency.

If there isnt any Mg in my tap water, which is possible as the water company told me that there is about 5ppm on average which would mean that could change through the year..... So saying that there wasnt any Mg coming from the tap would I need to dose closer to 5ppm to see much of a difference in plant growth? for the past few weeks what I have been adding only breaks down to just under 2ppm Mg..... maybe the tank needs more than this?
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Well, we can rule that one out.
Most things at this point.

Short of using RO and reconsitution, there's really not much else you can do given all that you have said is true/correct.

Mg does not block Fe uptake, at leats not at the level we deal with in this environment and certainly not of the easyb to grow plants with symptoms.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

colonel

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Thanks for the help Tom, Im trying a bit more Mg just to see if it makes a difference, I noticed while doing a water change today and looking that the plants from above while the water was low, that there are a lot of older leaves on hygro corymbosa that are lighter green, with dark green veins.
I mean its worth a try, so I did my water changed, and dosed 5ppm of MgSO4.... gonna give things a few weeks I guess just to make sure the plants arnt playing catch up. then maybe look into it again, and think about RO or something.....
 

colonel

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Well, Its been a while I have been reglious about doseing and water changes.... Nothing has really perked up in my tank at all.... in fact things got much worse after adding extra Mg for several weeks I assume from a build up of Mg from the plants not using nutrients.

I called the water company a few days ago and they are sending me out a water quality report. But while on the phone I did ask about sodium levels which he was able to answer. Apreantly it isnt something that is checked often but last time a test was ran they were 50 mg/l. Is this level of sodium in the high range where it would affect plant growth? I have done some searching and have found little to no info on what levels would be to high.... and what role sodium plays in plant growth..... if it blocks other nutrients out or what the reason is that makes it bad for plants.

anyway short from that I am back to the CO2 variable as by this point it has been proven over and over that nutrients arnt in short supply, my powders are what I think, they have been tested over and over against other sources.... and I dont think any amount of ratio's etc. are going to make or break a tank as I have been dealing with.....

A while back i added a few ricca rocks as tom suggested and I have yet to see very good pearling from them. Just recently they have stated to pearl a bit by the end of the day but even then it isnt a heavy covering, just here and there a bit..... CO2 has been stable this whole time, testing as before..... rested tank water test PH 7.0... tank PH 5.9 when the lights come on..... 5.5 when they go off..... fish dont really seem stressed..... is it possible I'm dealing with something totally throwing any means of CO2 readings off and I need to add more and drive the PH down further? im not sure my fish can handle it.... in the past they were at the surface at 5.5.... though this time I have done it very slowly over many days so they may have just adapted to the CO2 levels and thus the reason for not showing stress at the end of the day.....

Im at a loss..... I have a little 5.5 gallon with DIY CO2 that I also dose with excell that has had the same issues..... though non CO2 tanks dont with exception of a lace plant..... which in my expierence can be fussy anyway..... But would it be worth getting bottle distilled water and trying that out for a few weeks in the 5.5 to see if a different water source helps things? thanks for anyone willing to put time into this, I appriciate it

Matt
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Well, all things point to CO2 related issues, if you rule out the light, rule out the nutrients, it's the only significant variable left.

You have dealt with every nutrient for the most part.
Cleaned the tank good.
Doing water changes.
Have enough filtration etc.

Not much left.

I'd just watch the plants more and add till you see a response. I do not think that is particular high Na+ level really. Less is better.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

colonel

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Well this will have to be a very slow thing since in the past fish have shown much stress at PH of 5.5, also that is getting pretty low, would it be a good Idea to add some sodium bicarb. to get the PH up some? my KH is pretty low to begin with goes between 2.5 and 3.

Also as noted in earlier post, i have tried several different methods for getting the CO2 in there, currently for the past few months its been mist.... but anyway that has been the most consistant for me, doesnt it seem kind of odd that I get such a drop in PH from degassed tank water? I know you cant assume anything in this hobby.... but i guess i just still doubt that there isnt enough CO2 in the water to grow nice plants.....

Oh well guess I'll just add more, and hope i dont kill any fish..... I think i may still go ahead and try running that 5 gallon with distilled that I rebuild the GH with though.... it only has DIY CO2 and in the past.... dosing what I dose now.... I have gotten really decent plant growth from it...... another reason I doubt CO2..... maybe this hobby just isnt for me..... I dont know. oh well there are still a few things to try before i throw in the towl and make a sword crypt tank........
 

Martin

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

colenel, there's only one thing I can think of, that can cause the growth stop you mention. It seems to me like you have everything under control, and by the sound of it, you're adding ALOT of Co2..

anyway... you have 260W of PowerCompacts right?

The only thing I can think of, is that the bulbs themselves are just not made for aquariums, or just not good for plants.
What bulbs are you using? Kelvin etc....


Symbiot
 

colonel

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

all four are 6700 K..... the original orbit fixture did have 50/50 10000 actinic bulbs in it.... but obviously those arnt good for growing plants and I swiched them out for 6700 k's... along with the 6700 k that comes in the coralife freshwater fixtures...... :( and it does SEEM like there is a lot of CO2.... thought maybe it isnt the case I dont know....... Tom things symptoms point towards CO2.... and I have tried everything else.... so im just going to try adding more....
 

Martin

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

colonel said:
all four are 6700 K..... the original orbit fixture did have 50/50 10000 actinic bulbs in it.... but obviously those arnt good for growing plants and I swiched them out for 6700 k's... along with the 6700 k that comes in the coralife freshwater fixtures...... :( and it does SEEM like there is a lot of CO2.... thought maybe it isnt the case I dont know....... Tom things symptoms point towards CO2.... and I have tried everything else.... so im just going to try adding more....


the bulbs should be ok... I think... 6700K is good for plants. Can you try another type of light? T5 of MH or anything else? T8...?

If you have sooooo much Co2, and everything else is in top shape...you should have pearl-bonanza, unless the light is the issue... I've learned that lesson.... just look at my 2 4000K lamps, that are more or less useless....
 

colonel

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Its a good thought, but lights arn't the issue here.... I wish it was as easy as changing something like that.... I have had nice healthy plants in this tank before... back when I read the PMDD paper over a year ago and wasnt adding any PO4.... the didnt grow very fast and I had some algae issues.... but the plants were healthy and nice for the most part of than fall off of the oldest leaves from lack of PO4.... since then some has gone very wrong :( and i just cant seem to get it right again......
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Concerned for fish:

Make sure you have good surface movement, good filtration, clean the filter, this will defibntuiterly make a huge difference in the fish health and greatly reduce potential for gassing them.

Also add CO2 at 30 minutes or so prior to lights on and turn it off about 1 till the lights go off.

You might try that, that will minimize the potential build up and allow the max amount of CO2 with the least impact on the fish health.

Do not worry much about surface movement, you can always add a bit more CO2, main thing is to prevent too much of a build up of CO2 rapidly, surface movement will reduce that and allow higher levels to degas and exchange more O2 if it's low also.

There is a good reason the plants did not grow fast with PMDD but you had no BBA, plants grow faster and demand much more CO2 when you add that + high light, the tank is still a very high light tank by any standard.

You used PO4 to slow the growth rate down, but adjusting up to the real rate of growth, is the thing that's given you problems.

If this still does not work, we have 2 more options to try out.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

colonel

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Thanks for the reply Tom.... those are all pretty much things that have been taken into consideration and have been done, I made sure there was good surface movement a while back along with setting up the timmer to come on an hour before lights and shut off an hour early.....

Like I have mentioned before I really dont think I can get much more CO2 in there before the fish cant take it..... but ill try to see what I can get.... I added some sodium bicarb. to raise the KH to 5... only reason for that is to bring the PH up a bit.... getting down to the lower end of 5 makes me a little nervous more so for fish than anything else I guess.

What were the other two options you had in mind if CO2 isnt the issue? just curious since I have a feeling I may have to go down that road........

~Matt
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

The two options:
1.RO water
2. Go non CO2.
3. There's a third also, Excel and CO2 or excel alone.

There are always other methods to try out.

Stick with the plan now.
Go to excel from here + CO2.
Then RO
Then Excel only+ less light, plant changes
Then non CO2 and plant changes

You have many options with the Excel and non carbon methods actyually, the tanks do look quite nice and always surpise someone that has only used CO2 is a good way.

I suffered for about 2 years before solving a BBA issue.
I had no clue, no web or internet .......nothing.

But I was determined to beat it, and I did and it's not returned since.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

colonel

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Hmmm intresting stuff, wonder why going gas plus excell would make any difference in the plant growth? Im sort of doing that on the 5 gallon only difference being that tank only has yeast reactors, and the 75 is canned.... anyway the 5 gallon doesnt look any better right now though in the past i have grown nice plants in that tank with little algae..... and im doing everything pretty much the same now that I did then..... wonder why the turn of events? oh well.....

I went ahead last night and changed up the CO2...... i added a power head behind the most dense grouping of plants and stuck the limewood stone in the strainer of the powerhead that is working out a lot better.... for whatever reason my lime wood stone didnt really make a lot of fine mist bubbles most of them were larger and went right to the surface.... even though it was fairly new... and I tried sanding it down but it didnt really help..... so now with the help of the power head I have super fine mist, much smaller bubbles than I ever had before and they are getting pushed all through the dense areas also.... probably as good of use of the mist method that you can get.... and I guess each night Im going to keep bumping up my CO2 until the fish surface again to find the limit.

It weird before they would have been at the surface with the amount I had been adding for a while.... but now after adding more via *tiny* turns on the needle valve they dont seem bothered..... along with some stag horn algae and lack of pearling..... its like there really isnt enough CO2..... but with a PH sooooo low.... and a degassed sample a good 1.5 unit higher than the tank PH..... seemes like there is something really messed up with my water that either throwing off CO2 reading completely in any form..... or keeping the plants from properly growing..... its got me scraching my head.... even plants in my non CO2 tanks dont really grow much.... they look decent but after several months they are luck to have put on an inch or two..... hmmmm odd.... I'll get to the bottom of it some how.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Well, you can rule out the ferts you add like KNO3 etc, light, etc.

That leaves very few things left.

Many are CO2 doubter and then learn this lesson the hard way, most of us have to learn this at least once over the years in this hobby. We think it's something else, something unexplainable..........

Then I end up hearing all sorts of reasons....there must be something "special about my tank", or that the "ecosystem is too complex to know and predict what is occuring", of "K+ is blocking Ca", I've heard most doubters come up with all sorts of things.

It's fairly easy to pinpoint CO2 if you add EI, lights, do decent water changes , pruning etc.

There is no hocus pocus......

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

colonel

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LoL, i guess I have been one of those who am doubting CO2.... and is "positive that CO2 is good!" guess thats just because of the low PH.... and given standards that everyone goes by.... first being PH KH CO2 relationship.... now people going by the rested tank water PH change method..... and even having my fish respond to given amounts of CO2 in the past... yadda yadda yadda.... like everyone else I have my reasons for why I think it just cant be CO2.... but unlike many at this point in the game im willing to push it as far as I can go to *try* to rule it out.... though I dont think CO2 is one of those things you can ever rule out forever since it has such potential to change up on us....

Anyway like I mentioned before I took the time to to max the effect of my mist.... allowing better penteration into the plant groups, better over all circulation (even though it was already good) and smaller more even micro bubbles.... so in that respect I think I have done all I can to get the mist to work "better"

Now I just add more until fish respond..... though my PH is still really low after raising the KH from 3 up to 5..... im still down in the 5's.... is there any adverse side effects with such low PH's?
 

VaughnH

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

How reliable is your PH measurement? I see you use a Hanna PH test meter. Do you calibrate it at two points? And, do you make sure there is no electrical interference at all when you make the measurements? If your PH measuring is off by even 0.3 you could still have too little CO2. I'm starting to question how accurate my Aquarium Pharmaceutical test is, and if it is giving me a higher reading than I really have too.
 

colonel

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

It seems to be pretty alright..... will I ever really know? no.... but it is calibrate often.... only with a 7.0 solution though, I was under the impression that it didnt really matter which method you used.... that they both worked the same to do the same thing..... any way its never more than .1 unit off and it usually only strays that far if its been several weeks.... as far as interference I always take a sample of tank water away down the hall to the bath room and test away from the ballest....

Remember also I am not using the PH to measure how much CO2 to add in.... its more of a tool to moniter and use to mark points of fish stress, and target points..... but at any rate as I have stated before I dont really think this is what causes my plants to look so sick.... do people not grow nice plants with DIY CO2? or with excell? Are there not those out there who choose to keep CO2 levels lower for one reason or another.... It is possible to have beautiful healthy plants and not have through the roof CO2 levels.... i have seen this personally in my tanks in the past when I know that CO2 was not up to par...... and when using DIY.... yet for some reason lately things just arnt working out very well some algae with stunted tips..... slow growth, pinholes, yellow and dead leaf tissue in older leaves......

An odd bunch of syptoms.... giving what I dose.... I dont know I swiched the 5 gallon over to distilled water today that I rebuilt with CaSO4 and MgSO4..... it was pearling good tonight even the HC..... but then again the plants were also exposed to the air....... any way thanks for all the thought thats going into this..... the plants have to respond to something at some point..... I'll get to the bottom of it with time its driving me crazy now ;)
 

PeterGwee

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Note that the temperature difference between the small amount of tank water sample and the tank water could make a difference as well. When I on my AC, the degassed sample pH went down from 7.4 to 7.2 (ambient temperature 30-33 to 25 degrees celsius on the AC setting).

Regards
Peter Gwee
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Arrrhhh.... BBA

Well, I think the test you did, the make up water and the CaSO4/MgSO4 told you something.

We know the plants can pearl.

Use this.

CO2, Na+, Ca/Mg/SO4.

Those are the things you changed.
KH at that amount of water change will have little effect, same for Na+.
SO4=> probably not.
Same for Ca

Mg is easy enough to rule out.
But adding CaSO4/MgSO4 is not bad to see about either, it will not hurt.

CO2 will be all that's left here.
Eyeball the pearling you saw and see how you can add enough CO2 to do that same effect.

DIY.............change it often, it does vary considerably.
Also, see that little DIY reactor internal, try that out if you use DIY, it'll save you a _great deal of headache_, it maximizes the CO2 early in the day and this mist the excess later, it gives a good simple indication if you have good CO2 or not midday.

I think if you are using DIY, using one of those really helops a great deal and makes adding CO2 much easier.

The good news Col, you are getting closer.


Regrds,
Tom Barr