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Eye of the Shrimptigers

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Kyalgae, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    My rotala isn't looking so hot now after trimming off their roots. The leaf edges are all going brown. From what I've read this should be textbook potassium deficiency, I am expecting to get my K2SO4 in the mail hopefully tomorrow. Before Saturday the plants were fine, none of this happening to the leaves. I really hope its potassium deficiency......

    Edit: I just ran to the store and grabbed some flourish potassium then dosed it at 30ppm.

    J17g7iX.jpg
     
    #121 Kyalgae, Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  2. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Graphic Designer
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    What is your Iron dosing? Since you did not mention it, I get the impression this is the issue. From my experience, the usual deficiencies are K, Fe and N. This is what I see around here, P and Mg occasionaly...

    If you took care of NPK, it leaves Fe open.
    If there is any concern about NPK, I would suggest making a 500ml solution with 40g of KNO3, 10g of KH2PO4 and 5g of K2SO4, and dosing 20ml per 100l. This is an easy to remember formula for a macronutrient solution. This adds 8.23ppm K, 9.81ppm NO3 and 2.79ppm PO4. Dosing this 3x per week is enough to make sure you have non limiting levels. We are able then to focus on Iron.

    I would suggest dosing 0.6 Fe EDTA/DTPA weekly. Maybe 0.1 Fe daily (0.7 in total). It might sound weird but larding on NPK and leaving Fe out will really slow things down.
    Hygrophilas in general and Stauro Repens are fast growers. I have a low tech tank with it and it grows effortlessly. Gut feeling says "There is a nutrient missing."

    These are not complicated plants, so the answer shouldn't be so complicated. High macros, high micros, CO2, light, filtration and circulation. It is all there, but I would guess Iron is not enough. What Iron is being dosed (chelator/complexing agent) and at what amounts? Change it and then give it 2 weeks.

    I tried dosing 0.3 Fe weekly for 2 months and it almost killed the tank: no growth on some plants, lethargic growth on others, algae, etc. I found out my tank consumes/loses approximately 0.05 Fe daily. Either I dose a minimum of 0.075 daily or I will bottom out. So I dose 0.2 Fe EDTA/DTPA/HEDTA 3x per week, 0.1 Fe Gluconate daily (or 0.2 3x per week, alternating with the EDTA, etc). This keeps a nice residual, around the 0.4ppm Fe range.

    You can dose less, depends on your tank, specially the substrate/soil. But go from the top down, lowering the doses, not the opposite. It is easier to rule things out this way. I weekly dosed 70 NO3, 60 K and 15 PO4, but was always afraid to dose more than 0.5 Fe. It makes no sense. I upped the Fe dose to 2ppm weekly and worked my way from there. Much easier :)

    Test dosing 0.6 to 1.0 Fe weekly for 2 weeks, assuming you dose EDTA. Mn should be dosed from 1/4 to 1/3 from Iron levels (0.15 to 0.33 ppm in this case). Leave traces (Zn, B, Mo, Cu) as they are, in the 0.00XX ppm range, unless you cannot control them separately (e.g. you only have CSM+B).

    Im sure it will pay out :)
     
    #122 edelry.junior, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    Kyalgae likes this.
  3. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Graphic Designer
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    prvZr9mh.jpg
    These small aquariums have never seen CO2 and have 2+ ppm of Fe.

    Top aquarium has 10 liters total volume, bottom has 3 liters. Each tank uses a 11w fluorescent lamp with 900 lumens. Very little to no algae.

    Both aquariums have no aqua soil, top has a cheap dark quartz, bottom has playsand from my daughters play area. I wanted to see what would happen.

    Not advocating high Fe levels. Just saying it is not nocive on every scenario. I will not address toxicity until I exhausted everything else.
     
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  4. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Thank you for the detailed post.

    My Rotala bonsai stopped dying after my emergency dose of 30ppm K. My staurogyne seems to be growing faster now, and I noticed my hygrophila has been putting out some new roots. I dosed another 5ppm K today along with my other macros. I bumped up my Nitrates to 24ppm weekly now. I have been hesitant to increase those rapidly, because I don't want my shrimp too stressed out. I was having an issue with them being lethargic, but I reintroduced my powerhead and everything with them seems good now after increased O2, but back on my last tank I was dosing 41ppm nitrates, I can't say for sure it was the nitrates, but I don't think the shrimp appreciated it. Granted I also didn't do such large water changes (i.e. 80%).

    My Fe dosing has been 3x week 0.2ppm Fe from CSM+B, so 0.6 total for the week
    And on macro days, midway through the photoperiod I was dosing 0.26ppm Fe gluconate, I noticed I misread the labels on the gluconate.

    My weekly totals for Fe 1.38ppm

    I was dosing 6.61ppm KNO3 3 times a week:

    So my dosing was, to be more exact(weekly):

    19.83 NO3
    16.35 K
    9.3ppm PO4

    1.38ppm Fe

    Going forward it's going to be (weekly)

    24 ppm NO3
    30 ppm K
    9.3 ppm PO4

    0.9 ppm Fe

    I think this resembles your weekly recommendation of 30-9-30.

    @fablau I noticed the calculator gives two different numbers for 1/8 of a tsp. According to my teaspoons 1/8 = 0.60mL, but the output for 1/8 of a tsp is 6.89ppm, vs 6.61ppm for 0.60mL, I noticed a similar thing for the volume in mL for the 1/16 tsp 0.30mL. 0.30 gives 3.1 ppm for PO4 (KH2PO4) and 1/16 gives 3.23ppm PO4. I guess it doesn't matter too much, but I just thought I'd mention it.

    Things are looking better, with the increased potassium, so that's hopeful. I was reading this page about potassium. https://www.ipni.net/ppiweb/agbrief.nsf/5a4b8be72a35cd46852568d9001a18da/098d1384ac67e0d08525714700579b6a!OpenDocument
    How do I dose magnesium? Just Epsom salts, magnesium sulfate right, from the local drug store?

    I'm going to let this new dosing regime play out the next couple of weeks, and ill report back with the results, I'll go get some magnesium sulfate to.
     
    #124 Kyalgae, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  5. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Graphic Designer
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    The dosing sounds good :)

    Magnesium Sulfate (i.e. Epsom Salt) can be dosed at a 1/3 from the Calcium concentration. Adding 1ppm should not be an issue, unless you have very soft water or RO. In this case, dose Mg according to Ca. You could also check if your remineralization product contains Mg. My guess is it probably does.
     
    #125 edelry.junior, Nov 16, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
  6. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    I use this GH+
    http://www.saltyshrimp.de/english/beesalt_bee_shrimp_mineral_gh_plus.html

    And the KH/GH+
    http://www.saltyshrimp.de/english/shrimp_mineral_gh_kh_plus.html

    They don't list anything as far as breakdowns go. They are based out of Germany and they have a German phone and email, I should email them. I'll see where I get in English. If I get nowhere can you try some German on them for me :p?
     
  7. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Graphic Designer
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    #127 edelry.junior, Nov 21, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  8. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Just spent 4 hours doing a full maintenance. I cleaned the filter, all of the tubing, all of the surfaces, and equipment. Then I trimmed, and changed the water, changed the CO2 tank (my 10lb lasted 49 days), calibrated the probe. The addition of the potassium (K2SO4) has made a difference. I also got rid of that Cryptocoryne, it went into a holding tank, it was just too tall for my tank, so I brought in some java fern and tied it to the wood, and I tied my tiny buces to the wood. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I think this looks more appealing, I also added 12 Crystal red shrimp, and 24 Chili Rasboras, 3 fish have gotten eaten by the skimmer so far, so I'm down to 21. Although my HC is starting to make a comeback, so that's a plus. Thoughts/feedback appreciated.
     
    Mike k, snarkingturtle and Phishless like this.
  9. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Update: I started the new dosing plan about 4 weeks ago.

    24 ppm NO3
    30 ppm K
    9.3 ppm PO4

    0.9 ppm Fe

    The first couple weeks, I think I missed 1 dose of macros a week, these last two weeks I haven't skipped anything. The plants are looking good, but this last past week I have lost about 6 shrimp both Red Cherry, and Crystal Red. The only thing I changed this week was that I upped the CO2. I did this by reducing the amount of time the skimmer operates. What I find really odd is that my fish aren't gasping for air, they seem content, but I will lose shrimp. I honestly don't know why. I love the little buggers so it really sucks. On the one hand plants doing great, and then my shrimp start to go....(I have been feeding them)

    [​IMG]
     
    #129 Kyalgae, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  10. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    I think the plant I have been looking to the most as a CO2 indicator has been the HC cuba. I can really see the difference in the leaves when I compare lower CO2 and then higher CO2. This week I have been getting much faster growth by dropping my surface agitation a little. The leaves are getting really large and healthy with more CO2.
    GkJL4GY.jpg
     
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  11. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    The staurogyne is growing faster, and the leaves have gotten rid of the algae on most of the new growth.
    IWHxTcw.jpg

    My rotala bonsai continues to grow algae free, it hasn't really done anything too interesting, but that's ok. My AR mini is starting to look different, but it's a bit early to tell, the leaves usually go green with algae after a couple of days.
    9h94YwY.jpg prvNyp9.jpg

    My Buce are doing alright, the one that is doing the best seems to be the one that has good shading, the buce near the water surface has the tiniest leaves (also something keeps eating it, argh!) but the leaves are the most colourful, my java fern is starting to wakeup and grow now.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Merry Christmas all!
     
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  12. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    My shrimp are still dying. Mt initial thoughts were that the fish would be more sensitive to lower O2 than shrimp, but my rasbora are not showing signs of low O2. They seem normal, they swim around hunting for little specs. After reducing the frequency my skimmer operates, it used to run all day during CO2, I seem to notice shrimp dropping off one by one. Fish are OK, but the shrimp are not as active. I would have expected to see dead shrimp only during the day, but sometimes at in the morning I find one that didn't make it though the night.

    I have been waiting a while for that electrolysis unit to come in the mail from china but it still hasn't reached the border yet. I reduced my fertilizer dosing, thinking that was the issue, but it hasn't made a difference. For the longest time I thought the fish would be the ones to show CO2 signs, but maybe its the shrimp in this case? My rasboras are basically the same size as the shrimp, maybe they have a lower O2 requirement than a larger fish? I am going to start running the skimmer again for the next while and see if that makes a difference. I wish I had a definitive answer.

    Edit: Did a little forum poking Tom's Crystal Red tank set up Maybe they are more sensitive to low O2 afterall. I don't have a wet dry sump, so maybe turning off the skimmer multiple times a day is what is doing it?
     
    #132 Kyalgae, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  13. Swissal

    Swissal Lifetime Members
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    Just a thought you might like to explore: You said you gave the tank a really good clean, right. Could it be that the nitrite has gone up after the filter being off for some time. IMHO shrimp are quite sensitive to nitrite spikes, which fish can endure for longer.

    I made some major changes to a small rearing tank recently. I took a substantial amount of filter material from my main tank as the filter material for the small tank, just to be sure the filtration would still be good after such a large change. But the precautions were not good enough. After loosing a few shrimp, I checked all parameters and found high nitrite. The young pearl danios were behaving fine (which corresponds to your observations). I haven't had such filter maturity problems for years, but in this case I disturbed the filter balance too much with my changes, and assumed too much afterwards.
    I made 2 back to back water changes, and then for the next few days I used a commercial Ammonia / Nitrite binding product. After a couple of days the Nitrite levels were back to acceptable, so the tank stabilised really fast after the mistake was corrected.

    Might be nothing, just thought I'd mention it. After 40 years of fish keeping, you can still get caught out with the basics!
     
  14. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Thank you for the suggestion, I gave the water a nitrite test, but it came up empty handed. I think I will move the remaining crystal red survivors out of my tank, and put them in the low tech for now. I was hoping it would be that, still scratching my head.

    I’ve lost more crystal reds than cherry shrimp. The cherries are still breeding even though I lost a couple. My ideas so far are:

    - I’ve read the crystal red shrimp get calcium from their food for their exoskeleton, maybe the food I’m giving them doesn’t have enough?
    - red cherry shrimp get calcium from the hardness in the water and not their food, maybe me running less than 1KH is starting to affect the red cherries after a couple of months?
    - low O2, although I lost another Crystal red last night even though I kept the powerhead on all night.
     
  15. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    I keep meaning to post an update, but I just haven't gotten around to it until now. I left off, where I was having some shrimp dying off on me. I ended up moving my Crystal red shrimp to a holding tank, where they kept dying off, I lost all of them except one. I moved him back to the main tank, where he seems quite active and happy after the installation of the O2 generator (Chirihiros doctor mini; electrolysis unit). Ever since I have had this thing going the shrimp have been a lot more active in their foraging behavior, they have been reproducing very regularly now. I do recommend one of these "algae inhibitors," if your shrimp are struggling in your high tech tank, I feel the added O2 really does make a difference, especially if you don't have an overflow, and are using a canister filter. My shrimp are behaving like they did when I was just running a low tech excel tank. It's nice to see the little buggers flourishing again.

    The last three weeks, I have neglected the tank, but it seems to be showing a lot more resilience than before. I let my CO2 run out for 5 days, and I didn't have any noticeable algae growth, which was fantastic. I put in the new tank today, after doing a water change. I got 52 days out of my 10lb tank of CO2. I have been approaching fertilizer dosing erratically. I didn't really operate on a schedule the last 3 weeks and things seem to be just fine, which really adds more weight to the "estimative" part of the EI method. I want to say I run lower light than most. I use two LED units, one operating at 14 watts 8.5 hours a day, and a "booster" light operating at 11 watts for 3.5 hours a day, overall I'm using 25 watts total. Growth is nice and slow, but it's algae free, so I could care less how fast things grow. Every month I do a big trim, and things are just peachy the rest of the time. I do make sure I gravel vacuum every second water change.

    I feel like I might be at the point where I can play around a little bit more with my layout, the right side of the tank bugs me, I have big symmetry with the two clumps of rotala bonsai, maybe I'd like to add some wood or something to break it up, maybe a different plant entirely over there. I am really pleased with things, they just chug along now. Everything extra is gravy. I really do owe it all to this forum though, I would be nowhere if I didn't stumbled across @Tom Barr and his excellent forum. For the amount of enjoyment I get out of the tank, the price of a membership has paid itself many times over. I just want to thank everyone who has given me advice over the last 1.5 years.

    [​IMG] b7t7bAV.jpg jqoOZmY.jpg

    This last picture is the thing I made to make my water changes less tedious. Basically it is a GFCI protected switched plug. Everything upstream of that bubble cover is protected from current leakage, barring GFCI failure. The decora style switch, which I leave on the ground makes a very handy foot switch. I can have one hand holding the vinyl tubing, from the pump in the bottom of the wheeled brute bucket, and the other holding some filter floss to cushion the water coming into the tank. With a shallower tank, I find this necessary. It sort of allows me to have three "hands" while I do a water change. Being able to turn off the pump for whatever reason, with my foot, is ten times better than reaching down pulling the plug out by hand. Disclaimer (build at your own risk) - Now my contraption isn't exactly up to electrical code, I cheaped out, and used push in wire connectors for things that were GFCI protected, they won't keep water out, so don't crucify me for that. I did use watertight/strain relief fittings on the PVC box holding the GFCI, but the bubble cover isn't 100% water tight, but it would keep the GFCI out of the water if there was a huge spill all over the floor.
     
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