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Fablau 75 gallon tank

Discussion in 'Journals' started by fablau, Jan 28, 2017.

  1. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Im coming to realize it's about more than micros, although "larding them on" will definitely cause it, and worse in my set ups...for whatever reason.


    Ive grown them flatter than mine are currently, about like yours are now. Just happens to not be the case atm, dammit. :)
     
  2. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thanks Rajkm for your posting.


    Why do you think that? I am currently dosing 17ppm/week of NO3 from KNO3, 6.60ppm/week of K from KSO4 and 5.16ppm/week of PO4 from KH2PO4. I think that's enough. As for Co2, I am pumping over 80ml/minute of Co2 with a PH drop of 1.4. Isn't that enough?


    I think that if Pantanal curving down is an issue, it is caused by something else. I have noticed a big improvement in growth since I lowered micros, so I don't think that's caused by low micros either. Instead, maybe I'd need to lower them again...


    Thoughts?
     
    #22 fablau, Feb 5, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2017
  3. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    I don't know Burr. I got that plant from Vin (PIkez) a couple of weeks ago, and I though to kill it in a few days, instead it looks thriving, and well also! For the first days I thought it still had some "reserves" that pushed growth, but after 2 weeks I am confident that the current conditions appear good for that plant. I also noticed a lot of new roots coming out, which is usually a good sign.


    Take Pantanal, similar issue with lower micros. I got that plant from Tom a couple of months ago (3 months ago?). The stems he gave me were gorgeous (what do you expect from Tom?), but in just 5 days they began melting away and becoming BBA magnets... and in 1 week I could save just 1 stem by putting it very close to light in order to push growth as much as I could to save it. At that time I was still dosing high traces (about 1.1ppm/week Fe from CSM). Then Tom suggested to use 50% RO and 50% tap to put down KH from 7 to 2-3. I did that, and the plant got a little better, but not that much. Even if I split the plant, the top part kept growing slowly, but no new sprouts came out from the rooted cut stem. And it got stuck that way until I began lowering traces and reaching 0.15ppm/week Fe from CSM. That's the point I began seeing Pantanal sprouting from the cut stems (!!). At the same time my Java Moss resurrected after 3 years of "hibernation". And keep in mind, lowering traces is the only variable I have played with in the past 3 months, so... I am pretty confident that's what make those plants change behavior.


    But the work is still in progress: I still have BBA around and I still need to see regular AR sprouting well from the cut stems. As soon as I'll see that growing well, I'll have reached my first goal: have all plants growing well.
     
  4. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Oh, absolutely. I had to get my traces way way down to even have a chance with many plants. And it took me a couple of laborous years to figure that out. Im not surprised you are seeing better results with lower levels.
     
    #24 burr740, Feb 5, 2017
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  5. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Good to have confirmation one more time from you about that! And also that it took a while for you as well. As I said, I am taking things very slowly, I wants to change dosing every 2 weeks to leave time to plants to give me some feedback. So, I am now entering the second week of 0.037ppm Fe from CSM per dose, and I will re-assess the situation the next weekend with my next trimming. If I still see things not perfect, I'll begin another 2-week round with further lower traces: 0.0275ppm Fe from CSM per dose. Would you suggest lowering DTPA and Glut Fe as well? I am currently dosing 0.01ppm from 11% DTPA and 0.01ppm from Glut per dose together with the CSM (every other day, 3 times a week).


    Thanks for helping me with this Burr!
     
  6. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Not sure man. What seems to work best for me is between .01 and .015 csmb, and .015-.02 dtpa, 3x week.


    I ditched the gluc a few months ago because my PH is too high for it to do any good. All it did was deposit brown slime in my filters and around the outputs. (7.7 degassed, 6.4s with co2)


    Past couple months Ive been dosing .015/.015 3x week, along with .005 Mn to keep an overall 3:1 ratio. Pikez kill tank gets .015 csmb and .02 dtpa 3x, iinm.


    I think you're taking the right approach by decreasing slowly and watching the plants.
     
  7. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Ok, thanks, makes sense. I have low KH right now (using mostly RO water), so my KH is 2-3, that's why I am using Glut, never used it before with tap-hard water... so I'll keep Fe DTPA and Glut the same, and lower just CSM. I'll see what difference makes.


    I'll keep you posted!


    Thank you :)
     
  8. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    Based on PH drop I would say its enough. So I would consider flow issues.


    I don't know how many mls of CO2 I dose but I empty a 5 lb tank in 4-5 weeks. I do have high surface agitation too so I waste a lot of it.


    In my tank the sure signs of something is wrong is that my Pantanal, Ludwigis sp mini red, and Rotala florida, all give me the same droopy leaf symptoms and once I fix the CO2 I am usually good. I just went thru a round of that and I found that though my PH was dropping just fine, it used to increase has day went on. I think that was due to plants taking up CO2 faster than I was injecting and that was causing fluctuations in CO2 levels. I have moved to using a reactor now and its much stable, still not fully flat but its more CO2 than I used to inject. Obviously, it does not mean anything in my tank otherwise because I am still struggling with algae.


    My Pantanal grows 2x per week and I dose full EI so if you are seeing improved growth after micro limitation, it means something else is wrong. I got my Pantanal from Tom too and all but one stem melted away, but now I almost cannot kill it unless I screw up big time.


    Each tank is different so each tank has its tolerance levels.
     
  9. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Interesting to know that, thank you Rajkm. About flow issues, I'll take a video in the coming days to show the flow I currently have, but I think I have plenty. Co2 should be pretty stable, if you look at the pH curve shown on the first page of this journal you should have an idea of it. But, as you said, maybe something else is screwed here. I am trying the low-trace method now because so far it has been the only one giving me some positive feedback (Java Moss growing again after 3 years of being stuck, and AR sprouting and growing again as well, and Pantanal growing also, despite your mentioned drooping leaves). I'll keep experimenting with low-traces before to move on with Co2 or anything else, but I really appreciated your feedback on that.


    Thanks!
     
  10. gnovince

    gnovince Junior Poster

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    Amazing setup! I gotta get the sound proof stuff for mine now that seen yours! My wife would be happy! Haha
     
  11. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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  12. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    UPDATE 2-12-2017


    Today I got my WC and trimming, so I could assess my situation. I can say that the very-low micro dosing got some good results overall, even though some plants are sort of "stuck" and maybe I have reached some sort of Fe deficiency... not sure though. For sure, some plants got better.


    The best winners this last 2 weeks have been Java Moss, Ambulia (Limnophila Indica) and Rotala Rotoundifolia. They really got better.


    Here is a overall shot of the tank before water change taken yesterday evening:


    FullTankBefore.jpg


    If you take Rotala, I have never seen such a big growth and so many roots (seeing growing roots is usually a good sign), color also changed more toward the "pink" side, which I guess is also a good sign:


    Rotala1.jpg


    Rotala2.jpg


    Java Moss grew like crazy, after years of struggling with full IE, moss in my tank really love low traces dosing:


    Moss.jpg


    Mirio, Ambulia, Limno Aromatica and Star Grass also grew pretty well:


    Stems.jpg


    But Cabomba is sort of "stuck" it doesn't grow that much, used to grow better with full EI dosing (ideas why??) Ludwigia Puerensis also is growing pretty slow, I am wondering of those plants are suffering a little the low-trace dosing... but seeing the incredible growth of Ambulia, I have my doubts on that. Unless it is a Ca and Mg problem (see below...)


    AR finally seems to grow, look at this shot before water change, despite being "suffocated" a little bit by the star grass and limno on the two sides:


    ARbefore.jpg


    And here is another shot after water change and trimming, and with more "room" around it:


    AR.jpg


    AR really looks promising, I hope I can make it grow well again! I haven't seen it growing like this in years.


    Now, I have noticed some leaves from the micro swords to be a little bit too "white" which makes me think about a possible Fe deficiency:


    MicroSwords_FE.jpg


    MicroSwords2_FE.jpg


    MicroSwords3_FE.jpg


    MicroSwords4_FE.jpg


    But on the other side, I am not sure I miss Fe since Ludwigia Puerensis is pretty well red, and most of all other stems and hygros also are very green:


    LudwigiabBefore.jpg


    What do you think about that? Do I need more Fe? For the past 2 weeks I have been dosing just 0.035 ppm Fe from CSM plus 0.01 ppm from DTPA and 0.01 ppm from Glut, but I'd like to try to increase DTPA to 0.03 ppm and see if that makes any difference, even because I want to try to lower CSM dosing even more to reach 0.028 ppm Fe from CSM in order to see if I can improve AR even more.

     


    Another issue that puzzles me is the strange growth of
    Cuphea Anagalloidea Vin (Pikez) gave me a while ago. In a small 2 gallons tank with just ADA AQ grows very well, but in this tank it seems to struggle, I am not sure if it is the light being too low, too soft water or what else, look at this pic, the tip of the stems seem "struggling":


    Cuphea%20anagalloidea.jpg


    I doubt it is the low micro dosing since all other plants don't seem to have problems at their tips, and also Vin used to grow this plant in his Kill Tank with even lower dosing... so... what else can that be?!


    So, finally, here is a full tank shot after WC and trimming today:


    FullAfter.jpg


    In the overall, I am pretty satisfied, but still have a lot of BBA around (you can spot it on Anubia leaves). Today before WC I have deep-vacumed a lot of the substrate (I'd say, 50%?). I'll keep doing it in the next weeks and see if makes any difference. I still have some carbon and Purigen in the sump, and I see Purigen getting dark after 1-2 weeks, so I guess there is decent load of organics. Maybe that contributes to the BBA problem.


    Another issue happened this past week, is that most of my Vals melted due to the use of Peroxide (H2O2). As I wrote earlier, I tried what Tom suggested to do during water change: 1ml per gallon, but that was probably too much for my Vals, and then they melted in a few days. Funny thing, BBA didn't die and it is still there. So... I am not sure I wanna do that again, I could try with a lower dosage though, but I see no benefits BBA side. BBA is the only algae in my tank, so... if that doesn't work for BBA, I won't bother with it with the risk to kill my Vals again.


    Another thing I have done today is to dose 2 tsp of CaCl2 to add 10 ppm of Ca and 2 tsp of MgSO4 to add 5 ppm of Mg because by keep adding RO water, I reached pretty low levels of GH and KH (4.5 dH and 1.5 dH respectively), so, I wanted to see if by dosing that will help with the above mentioned Cuphea Anagalloidea issue. Vin was growing it well in hard water, and I can grow it well in my 2 gl tank with hard water, so... maybe that's the problem more than the low micros? We'll see in a couple of weeks...


    So, for the next 2 weeks I plan dosing this:


    Macros still the same, micros will be:


    0.028 Fe from CSM plus 0.03 ppm Fe drom DTPA 11% and 0.01 Fe from Glutamate.


    And addition of 10 ppm Ca and 5 ppm Mg right after WC in 1 week.


    I'll re-assess the situation in 2 weeks and let you know. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts about the issues above, I'll really appreciate it!


    Thanks for watching ;)
     
  13. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Junior Poster

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    Hi fablau,


    first of all, thank you very much for sharing your planted tank history with us! I really like these kind of threads.


    I have a few questions:


    1) EI: Can you post some pictures of your tank during the EI period also (for comparison)?


    Which plants did fine and which poor in your EI tank?


    2) Fertilization: You say you use currently 17 ppm KNO3, 6.6 ppm K2SO4, 5.2 ppm PO4. What does 17 ppm KNO3 and 6.6 ppm K2SO4 mean? Does it mean 17 ppm NO3 (as KNO3) + 6.6 K (as K2SO4)? But with 17 ppm NO3 from KNO3, you got another 10.7 ppm K. So what's then your K in total? Is it 17 ppm (6.6 + 10.7)? Also 5.2 ppm PO4 per week seems quite high to me. Do you think it's needed in such an amount? I suppose that such a high PO4 would suck out all the available iron from your water column. In my tanks I was dosing no more than 1 ppm, and I never saw any issues. In fact, I have experienced the most beautiful plants under about 0.05-0.2 ppm PO4 present in my water column. To add to what burr740 have said in post #26, I also have very good experiences with 0.1 ppm Fe per week (sometimes I use Fe-DTPA as the only iron source, other times I use a combination of 4 different chelates, but the target level remains the same = 0.1 ppm Fe/week). I never saw any issues with this level (but I did not grow all plants available). As far as KH I use 5-10°dKH (usually around 7°dKH) in my tanks with good results.


    3) Plant growth: You say you seems to have problems with Althernanthera reineckii and Rotala nanjenshan. I recall one thread one TPT.net started by burr740, that seemed to indicate A.reineckii prefers the uptake of (some) nutrients from substrate rather than from water column. What if some plant species need a nutrient-rich substrate for best growth/condition? I know there is a lot of controversy about this topic, but to test it in your tank, you can try to plant this plant into a small flower pot with some nutrient-rich substrate, and watch carefully how good or bad it will grow. I would put it at the same place your A.reineckii is in your tank, so that both have +- the same conditions. Just an idea ... Also, I'm quite sure some plants grow best under very high nutrient levels, while others may suffer under such conditions. So it's not a surprise for me that the growth of some plants (like Cabomba) will decline under lower doses of nutrients (be it micros or macros). As far as CO2, I agree with Nuno M. I had very good experiences with 10-20 ppm CO2 in all my tanks. In some of them I was using glass diffusers while in others CO2 reactors. I never saw any difference, except the fact that with diffuser you see right in your tank how much CO2 is going into it (and when your CO2 cylinder is empty). BTW, most aquascapers here in my country use glass diffuser for CO2 dissolution, and are happy with it, recommending it on local forums. To be honest, I don't know many folks who use CO2 reactors here in Europe. ADA recommends glass diffusers also. Just a side note ... Also, be aware that plants are able to store some nutrients as reserve for future use. This means, that they can grow well (or bad) even though your actual dosing schedule may not provide them enough (or provide them too high) nutrients. Just be carefull with lowering your dose. I would suggest you wait for 2-3 weeks before you make another change. But you know that probably.


    4) What's the main reason (in your opinion) of the bad growth of some plants in your tank in the past when did you use the EI method? From what you have said, it seems to me like higher concentrations of micros can be detrimental to some plants. But how then do you explain that Tom is able to grow many sensitive plants in his tank with (probably) even higher micros? What do you think is the cause?


    Once again, thank you very much for your effort you put into sharing your experiences and findings!
     
    #33 Ragnarok, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2017
  14. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Thank you Ragnarok for participating on this thread!

    Yes, of course, I'll collect some pictures showing the most compelling differences and post them here soon. Good idea!

    I am sorry for the confusion, to clarify: I dose enough KNO3 to reach 17 ppm of NO3 a week PLUS enough K2SO4 to add additional 6.6 ppm of K a week, so the total K is about 10 ppm.


    As for PO4, yes, I currently dose about 5.16ppm PO4 a week. It is actually a little too high, and I could try to lower that and see if helps in some way... I'll try that to see if it makes any difference. Maybe I can reduce that of 1/3. Thanks for pointing that out!


    About GH/KH, I have used 100% tap water until a few months ago, and my tap GH is 15 and KH 7, so it is pretty hard. Never had particular problems due to that, but since I had issues with Pantanal about 3 months ago, I tried to mix tap/RO to have softer water thinking could hep with Pantanal, but it looks like lower-traces are helping more than water softness.


    Actually I plan to revert back to full tap once I overrule the low-traces test I am doing now. Once I have 99% of my plants growing well, and that'll mean I have found the correct dosing amount, I'll slowly revert back to full tap and see if that'll make any difference. Making RO water is just a big hassle I'd like to avoid!

    I have tried several times to let AR grow inside a pot with just ADA AQ, but no avail. That didn't help. Actually made things worse. If you think about it, if the problem is "too much traces in the water column" ADA AQ could exacerbate the problem... am I right?


    Of course I can try now to do the same with Cabomba (thanks for the idea!), if logic works as it should, and really my Cabomba is lacking some traces, by putting it into a pot with some ADA AQ should help, shouldn't it? But I'll wait a couple of weeks before trying that, I wanna see first if by having dosed extra Ca and Mg helps with that in any way.


    As for Co2, that's another realm I want to experiment more as soon as I have finished this low-traces testing. And of course, I am doing it very carefully, by lowering the dose slowly every 2 weeks. Before moving to the lower dose, I wanna see the feedback I get from the plants, and I need to wait at least 2 weeks to see that. So far so good, but as you said, some plants could still "thrive" because of some "reserves" that will show up later, so my plan is: keep reducing slowly the dosage until I see any clear signs of stress from plants that were growing well before (that should work, right?). So far the only two plants showing me distress compared with the previous regime is Cabomba, but I need to overrule the soft water issues first. All this takes some time...


    In any case, keep in mind that I am still dosing more than double CSM of what Burr is dosing in its tank, and 7-8 times more of what I used to dose with Flourish Comprehensive when I could grow fantastic AR and Rotala Nanjenshan (see the old pics of my tank, at the beginning of this thread.) So... I think to still have some room to play with low-traces. Please, let me know if you see anything that could tell you differently, I'd really appreciate it!


    Yes, it looks like too high traces must have been the main cause (not 100% sure yet!). As for Tom and other people not having any issues with EI, from what I have discussed on these forums and others, it looks like that really every tank is different. That may be different water (hard, soft, etc), different elements in the "source" water (maybe I have some metals in my tap already that Tom doesn't have, hence possible accumulation, or similar...)... and then different substrate, different light, Co2, etc. As for the substrate, I think that plays a big role. It looks to me that ADA AQ has much higher CEC capacity that Eco Complete or similar stuff, hence the ability to "suck" extra stuff put in the water... and finally, let's not forget how much maintenance Tom performs on his tanks: multiple water changes a week, etc. I can't afford changing water more than once a week, so stuff accumulates more easily... hard to pin-point single elements and differences, but I think this gives you an idea. I think you should try a method and see if it works, otherwise try to tweak it until you find the right one for you :)


    Thank you for your comments and questions! Keep them coming!

    Save




    Save




    Save

     
    #34 fablau, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2017
  15. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Junior Poster

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    Hi fablau,


    as far as the fertilization, if you add 8.3 grams of KNO3 into 75G of water, you'll get 17 ppm NO3 + 10.7 ppm K (for each 10 ppm NO3, you'll get 6.3 ppm K using KNO3 => the ratio of NO3:K in KNO3 is 1 : 0.63). When you add another 6.6 ppm K from K2SO4, your target concentration of potassium in your weekly dose is 17.3 ppm K (not 10 ppm). So the amounts you add in your weekly dose are 17 ppm NO3 + 17 ppm K, rather than 17 ppm NO3 + 10 ppm K. I say this only because I have read one thread in our local forum where some folks were saying that lowering K helped them to get rid of twisting leaves in some plants. I don't know much about this being true or not, but we should be aware of the fact that the amounts you add in your fertilizer does not probably equal to the concentrations in your tank. If you do 50% water change once a week, then your actual concentration of nutrients would be twice as high as you add in your fetilizer (because most nutrients will accummulate by the factor of 2 under 50% water changes). So when you add 17 ppm K, then your actual concentration of potassium can be as high as 34 ppm K in your tank (of course part of it will end up in plant tissue, but I don't think plants are able to eat up that much K). I say this just to be aware of it. I don't imply this have to be an issue, but it can become an issue if the amounts accumulate too much (whether be it K or other nutrients). Some nutrients are extremely reactive, so they tend to form precipitates very quickly. Thus the risk of their accumulation is much smaller.


    All in all, I think that you have a very good plan. I like the way you plan to proceed. It seems to be well thought-out, and based on a good logic (if I can judge). :)


    It's a pity that you did not documented your experiments with Althernanthera in the flower pots. This can add a lot to our understanding of its issues, IMO. When you put together your results + burr740 results + XY results one day, you can get quite comprehensive mosaic (picture) of the actual demands of this plant. If it seems a good idea to you, I'll be glad if you do it with the Cabomba, and share the results. (No need to hurry.)


    The only possible problem I see in your method is the elements ratio. Based on what I have read so far, I don't believe that there is any magical universal ratio that all aquatic plants will love/prefer, but on the other hand, if some element will be in unnecessary high concentration (compared to the concentration of other essential elements), plants may begin to have a hard time absorbing them in enough amount, thus experiencing some kind of deficiencies. Based on the average content of elements in plant tissue (dry matter), I calculated the average ratio about as follows:


    10 NO3 : 2 K : 1 PO4 : 0.02 Cl : 0.01 Fe : 0.01 Mn : 0.01 B : 0.004 Zn : 0.001 Co : 0.00007 Mo (ppm)


    The only exceptions to this seems to be calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sulfates (SO4), bicarbonates (HCO3), and probably chloride (Cl) whose utilizability in plants tend to be negligible, thus plants seem to need much more of it to be able to utilize enough amount. In other words, you can (and probably should) have quite high levels of Ca, Mg, SO4, and HCO3 in your water without any negative effects on most plants. By "high levels" I mean 25-50 ppm Ca, 10-20 ppm Mg, up to about 250 ppm SO4 (and the same for HCO3). I think that up to about 50 ppm Cl should be fine also.


    In my opinion, if you exceed this ratio by a big factor with some element, you may trigger (activate) issues with the uptake of other elements. For example, in your case, you are using 17 ppm NO3, but more than 5 ppm PO4 (that's a ratio of 17:5 or nearly 3:1), while according to the above average ratios it may be better (more balanced) to use about 1.7 ppm PO4 instead (= 10-times less than NO3), in which case you would have a ratio of NO3:pO4 = 10:1. So you are using about 3-times more PO4 now than the above average ratio suggests. This may cause problems (at least to some extent) with the uptake of iron or calcium. I do not insist on any strict ratios, but I just want to point out that the mechanism of nutrient uptake is quite a complicated science (I wish I understand it better). Each above-stated-value in the ratio has its range, but I believe that all the elements must be in a reasonable balance for optimal nutrient uptake/photosynthesis/growth/condition.


    Based on the above reasons, I am inclined to believe that this is the main difference between different tanks, and the main reason why some folks can grow excellent plants (and some even without any effort) while others can't, no matter what. I don't believe CO2 is the main culprit, but I don't want to persuade anyone or start a war over this issue (I want to live in peace). In my experience, I had very good results even with an ordinary glass diffuser and relatively low/fluctuating CO2 levels (as I already mentioned). I even know of one guy that used a DIY CO2 (yeast), and dosed it irregularly, but his plants were just amazing and healthy (incl. Rotala wallichii) => see https://rybicky.net/nadrze/8274. We have pictures of his plants in our plant database on local forum. So to me it seems that water parameters (nutrient levels/ratios) are the main key in explaining the success or failure. I wish lab analysis of substrate, water and plant tissue is more affordable for folks, so that we have more data that can give us much better understanding of what's going on in our tanks. Observations are also a good tool in our quest for truth, but sometimes we have to rely on speculations, because the facts are just missing (unreachable for average folks).


    I'm sorry to interrupt your thread with such a long posts, although I hope my comments may be helpful.
     
    #35 Ragnarok, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2017
    Vijay likes this.
  16. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    5:06 AM
    Don't be sorry! That's why I created this thread! And I thank you very much :)


    And yes, I am sorry about the mismatch of the K contents, you are right, I am dosing probably too much, even though if I am not mistaken, EI suggest dosing around 7.5 ppm K per dose (which means, with 3 doses a week, well over 20 ppm!!)... so, I still would be under that with K dosing.


    From my understanding, ratios between nutrients have some value, but not so fundamentally. I have read Tom writing that several times on these forums, and I have touched with my own hands that by having different ratios by the ones you have suggested, aren't cause of big issues. Of course they should be overruled anyway until all plants grow well, and I am still far from that goal ;)


    So... I'll try everything you have suggested, one by one. Thanks for the suggestion. And I agree with you that dosing is most important than Co2, in my own experience I have seen that as well.


    Thanks again.
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have two examples: the garage tanks which get no dosing........and the tanks inside that get a load of all nutrients. Different CO2 diffuser methods(diffusers in the garage/reactors inside and clients), this "method" difference does not matter. I a spent a few years going back and forth.


    Water change routines: opposite(none vs 1-2x a week 50-80%). Dosing routines: opposite(less than any and everyone and more than most). Filtration: sponge filter to sock based sumps. Tank sizes: 180 gallons down to 20 gallon. Light types, LED, MH and T5's. Flows? Pretty gentle flow, maybe 30-60 gph through the sponge filters? About 6-8X tank turn over an hour inside tanks. I had more flow with a canister and vortech with good results in the past. If you think dosing ferts is more important than CO2, I suggest you re evaluate that conclusion. I've heard this same issue almost exactly from perhaps a dozen different aquarist cohorts over the years.


    Can you fuss with some fert routine and try and slightly limit something and that slows the demand for CO2 more than the demand for that nutrients? Yes, that was one of the 1st methods suggested on line. PMDD. It worked also. But it's a lot more labor and care, and you really do not get nearly as much out of that than say, a more focused overall approach on CO2.


    Learn to do it right and then none of this matter and you have more control over growth of almost any set up or dosing method.


    Why learn one when you can nail them all?
     
  18. Ragnarok

    Ragnarok Junior Poster

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    I did that many times, but never found any solid arguments (so far) that would make me change my mind in this respect. On the contrary, many experiments and consultations with scientists (as well as other hobbyists) strenghten/confirm this position. As I said already, different plants have different demands and different physiological mechanisms to manage nutrient utilization. The plant nutrition is a very complicated matter. You can't provide unlimited nutrient amount to your plants and think that they all will manage it in the same way. Some species are more sensitive to elevated levels of nutrients than others. Some species have mechanisms that help them get rid of the excess much better than others. Science confirms this very well by the results of lab analysis of plant dry matter. In agriculture there are lists of elements content in dry matter that is considered to be optimal, deficient, or excessive (toxic) for different crops (see for example <this publication>). Each crop has its own ranges of what is considered to be deficient, optimal, or toxic. If you provide too much nutrients, or if the plants grow in soil with excessive nutrient content, some elements may easily poison them. It's only logical that the same applies in aquatic plants also. And because aquatic plants can uptake nutrients not only by their roots from the sediment, but also by their leaves from water column, this issue becomes much more important here. There is quite a number of hobbyists that admit growth issues under EI levels of nutrients (Pikez's "Kill tank" is one such example ... you can't deny it). If I would use your logic, then this should be considered a clear falsification of the premise that EI levels are safe under all circumstances, and for all aquatic plants. As far as I know, Pikez (and many others) has used very high CO2 levels, and has very expensive equipment for CO2 management ensuring him a perfectly stable CO2 levels. Still, he experienced a serious growth issues with many plant species. Again, if I use your logic, this would clearly falsify the premise that 95% of issues are caused by poor CO2 management. It seems quite clear to me that plant nutrition, nutrients uptake mechanism, or physiological mechanisms that engage in it are the key factors in these growth issues. Even Paul Krombholz (who probably inspired you in the formulation of your EI method) admited that about 30% of his plants (limited sample of species) grown under 1/5 Hoagland solution did quite poor. You use your tank for falsification of my hypothesis, I use my tanks for falsification of your hypothesis. The falsification method won't help us much here. What would help is the lab analysis of substrate, water, and plant tissue (dry matter) ... but that's not affordable for most folks. This will prove very well what levels of nutrients are actually available to our plants, and how much of them they have in their tissue. Only when you have quite a number of samples with the same content of all elements, but some of them showing serious growth issues, can you rule out the nutrients as the primary cause of the issue.
     
    #38 Ragnarok, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2017
  19. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    In my own experience, I have struggled for years to have perfect growth of some plants, even though I have immersed them in tons of Co2. Now that I have lowered traces, finally I saw a positive response from those plants. Does that mean that basic fertilization is MORE important of Co2 in an absolute sense? No, of course. That's not what I meant. I should have been more specific, and I would revise my statement above by saying that BOTH of them matters, as any element contribute to plants health, but the lack of just a single element (either one) may prevent plants to grow well. And specifically in my case, the problem was in the fertilization amount for those particular plants in my specific situation. Of course I could have easily screw up with Co2 in the opposite direction. Revising my statement above, I don't think there is an absolute statement of saying "Co2 is more important than fertilization" or vice-versa. All elements are important, as well as the balance between those elements (from my own experience right here about these specific plants and my own specific tank!).


    I think that the necessity of using high Co2, so as using ferts, boils down to your final goals. Wether if you want a high-light tank, or a low-light, low-tech tank, hard plants, easy plants, etc.., you may need all of those elements or you can forget some of them, and still grow good plants. I have clearly demonstrated at the beginning of this thread how I could grow plants with almost zero fertilization, and low Co2. Light was low though...


    I hope this clarify my thoughts. Thanks for the feedback!
     
    #39 fablau, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2017
  20. nicpapa

    nicpapa Guru Class Expert

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    For years i keep planted tanks.


    I learn that there is no any ratio between ferts, or any rules - magic solution to keep plants healthy.


    Plants need it all, other more other less.


    Ei is a start point, u can adjust or add lower , all tanks are diferent.


    The key for a healhty plantend tank, is mainteance...


    Water changes and gardening.


    I run 10 tanks, and all of them have diferent water, lights , and routines.


    Ragnarok Just out of curiosity , what are your ''magic ppm'' for healthy plants?
     
    #40 nicpapa, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2017
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