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Feedback on my Pogostemon Stellata

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by nazrm, May 15, 2011.

  1. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    First a quick history.

    14th of April: Recieved the plants. They're from Tropica, very green and good quality.
    17th of April: Ran out of CO2 with no replacement bottle avaliable. Down to 2x24w lights for 4 hours a day. (250l aquarium)
    26th of April: CO2 back on. P.S has doubled in biomass even with the low and short light cycle. From this day I run 4x24w T5 + 2hour burst of 150W MH at end of each day.
    11th of May: P.S has quadroupled biomass and grown 10 or more cm in height since CO2 went on. Nesaea crassicaulis which I also have was green on lower light, but is now red. P.S still same color as when I got it.

    Dosing
    11ppm NO3 3x a week
    2ppm PO4 3x a week
    12ppm MG at WC
    17ppm CA at WC
    15ml TMG 3x a week

    I've not found any algae in the tank.
    Substrate is AS Amazonia I.

    This leaves me with a few questions.

    Are there any visible deficiencies judging from the picture below?
    Will the Pogostemon Stellata color up given time?


    [​IMG]


    (I posted this thread yesterday also, but it seems to have disappeared. :eek:)
     
    #1 nazrm, May 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2011
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    P.S. is a plant that needs a lot of CO2 to thrive and grow to it's full potential. I' ve grown them up to 9 inch in diameter. They don't need necessarily a lot of light to do that, but if you want them to get a nice colour, you probably will need more. The downside is that this plant stunts easily when not getting enough CO2, so the safety margin with good growth gets smaller.

    If you use more light, you also need more CO2. If you don't add enough, you will end up with red but stunted plants.

    Looking at your pic, I think CO2 is already on the low side.

    I think your GH is high, you add a lot of Ca. and Mg. Why add so much Mg? I just add 2 to 3 ppm per week.
     
    #2 dutchy, May 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2011
  3. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    I just had a 'duh' moment. I keep assuming CO2 is fine! I'll take your advice and increase CO2 a bit.

    One thing I think I may have asked you before.. I'm only using a AM1000 to dissolve CO2 (AM PH2000 pump) - do you think it's able to dissolve the amounts needed? I get noticeable decrease in flow when I stick a hose in the false gas valve and put that in pump intake. And it's quite noisy!

    The reason I add the MG is that someone on another forum told me having around 10ppm made his Proserpinaca Palustris (mermaid weed) bright red, instead of bright green. So I decided to try it out. (mine was green) Unfortunately it died during the period of no CO2, but I've just kept dosing it. I don't actually add the CA, not sure why it's on the dosing list. My GH is 4.5 according to a Tetra GH droptest.

    Thanks again dutchy!
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    We all tend assume CO2 is fine.............and often it ends up being the problem, perhaps for this very reason.
    Since if we limit say PO4 strongly, this will reduce CO2 demand, many assume that this is "proof" that limiting nutrients really helps horticulture and controls everything, but this is not the case and can be falsified resoundingly.
    Because there are effects from nutrients does not imply CO2 is independent in each case.

    Often it is not and there's no control for most of the myths about nutrients.

    PS gets massive and is quite easy to grow today, in 2000? Many had troubles and did poorly with it, many Germans claimed all sorts of weird things about it(See Baensch Atlas and Kasslemann etc).
    It's a weed and does not compete well if the CO2 is low. I've seen many pictures of it in it's native habitat. Have not yet been there, but I will get to the location an get my own pics at some point.
     
  5. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    The Pogostemon stellatus 'Narrow Leaf' has a purple color under leaf and bronze tint on the upper leaf in my tank. I have my drop checker color at greenish yellow and do EI dosing.
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    One AM1000 on a good pump should be enough for a tank your size. If you want to know if your system is adequate, I always keep a guideline of being able to reach the deisred pH value within 1 hour after it's switched on.
     
  7. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    It's just too bad most localized forums have people who still insist on limiting PO4 and even NO3 to "reduce algae". I think it's a bit strange that even Tropica has a (small) warning label on TPN "Contains PO4 and NO3". In the long run I guess the only real way for clearing up some of these misconceptions is to rely on own experiences and show the results to those who doubt. (since not many will actively pursue information, and filtering out what's good and bad info can be tough)


    It's not dropping that fast. When it turns on it drops very quickly about 0.4 PH points, and then slows down. In a day the PH changes from 6.0 to 5.2. (KH3) My fish are breathing quite heavily later in the day, and not moving around much. And when I read about people using 1-5 BPS I just get blown away. My stream of bubbles is probably 2-5x that. (I guess there's lots of variables tho, bubblesize and output pressure etc)

    In any case I will see if there's any change in a couple of weeks. And try to leave it alone in the meantime.. always a challenge.
     
  8. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Close off the false gas valve. It uses a lot of CO2, while the effectiveness of the reactor drops off quite fast. I'm using an estimated 6 to 7 bubbles per second on an 180 gallon.

    My approach was that if the AM1000 fills up with CO2, the capacity is not high enough. It's always a balance between GPH water flow and amount of CO2 you want to dissolve. That's why I decided to use 2 AM1000's on two 450 GPH filters and modified the in- and outlet tubes to 3/4 inch. I have no gas buildup and no lag in the system. I can drop pH 1 point in one hour.

    In your case I'd slow it down somewhat because your fish are showing distress. I always prefer that my fish are ok.
     
    #8 dutchy, May 19, 2011
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  9. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    hm, I see. Closed it now. If it's not too much to ask, would you mind taking a picture of your reactors and how it's all connected? I imagine you don't have flexible hoses all over. I'll most likely get another reactor, I just need to find a (relatively inexpensive) way to plumb it. At the moment I just have eheim flexible hoses, (no pvc plumbing) and it's not pretty.

    Want a sump too, but one thing at a time. :p
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Frode had little problems growing it well back 10 years ago in Norway.
    Nice dutch style examples.

    Tropica came up with TPN due to a discussion Calus and myself had in 1998, took them awhile to get it market........but......
    Many European water sources have high NO3 and some have high PO4 as well. This is not the case in much of Norway and a few other locations or a good deal of the USA.

    So a water change with this type of tap water might = more fertilizer.
    Another issue is light, many in Europe seem to be much more conservative with lighting.
    This is good and one of the problems many in the USA had/still have.

    It's not just the fertilizers in otherwords.
    It is easy to draw bad conclusions based on correlation alone.

    Still, when someone make such claims.....and you see aquariums that have been dosed high PO4/NO3 for many years without any issues and the fish breed and they trim the plants often........lighting etc no longer matters, SUCCESS in these aquariums cannot be due to limiting PO4 or NO3 or traces etc..........
    It does not say why 1001 people do not have success, only what it cannot be due to.

    After all, 1001 people can not have success for many many reasons other than PO4 and NO3 ppm's.........simply having poor plant growth will cause these ppm's to rise, this might be due and often is......to poor CO2 management......
    Unless there is a control for CO2, and testing with cheap and bad methods will not cut it, they cannot conclude much of anything.

    If your fish are breathing hard, then current might be part of the issue.
    A good ripple on the surface of the water is a good rule of thumb. But........not breaking the surface or causing aeration bubbles.

    This will add more O2 to the water. Respiration is both CO@ and O2, so with more O2, there is much less stress on the fish.
    This means it's far easier to add CO2.

    A drop of about 1 full unit is a general rule, but assumes the CO2 is at ambient when the morning CO2 is tuned on.
    Often times, it is higher than ambient, so you need to be careful there.

    Do a good sized water change, leave the lights off and increase current for 24 hours and see what the pH is after this.
    This will give you a better idea of the starting pH.

    It should drop in 1-2 hours to about 1 full unit.

    If not, more current and mixing, perhaps a better CO2 diffusion methods etc, might help.
     
  11. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    http://folk.ntnu.no/foksen/Aquascaping.htm - That Frode? I saw his site a while back. Haven't seen any of his recent aquariums though, if he has any. The ones he pictured are quite amazing!

    Could a surface film affect O2? I'm confident the surface agitation is good compared to what I've seen in your tanks and others. But if the film is preventing O2 from mixing that might be part of the issue. The film isn't broken where the flow is directed upwards. I remove it once a week. (if I only had an overflow/sump!) If this is the case I assume increasing surface movement to the point that the film breaks would be beneficial.

    And as you say my PH doesn't recover fully overnight. It's usually 0.2 or 0.3 lower than "default". (I had 1,5 week without CO2 not long ago, so I have the number)

    I'm very tempted to do CO2 like dutchy, but it's also another investment in gear, which I really would like to avoid. If there's a way to increase diffusion that doesn't cost alot I'm all ears! (One AM1000 costs $122 if I buy it from a Norwegian online shop, double that if I go to the local shop. AM PH2000 pump about the same.)

    EDIT: 2 hours after shutting false gas valve the AM1000 is now only half full of water, heh. :p
     
    #11 nazrm, May 19, 2011
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  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, that is his tanks.

    Yes, surface film does affect exchange of O2 from above and builds up CO2 in the tank........
    I think you'd be wiser to use a needle wheel approach.

    Cheap, very effective etc.

    You can DIY.

    AM 1000 are too $$$ for what you get. DIY is better with PCV etc.
    You can also loop the valve on the AM back into the intake side of a filter or pump.
    This should purge the gas build up and run it better.

    But........I'd just do the needlw wheel and be done with it.

    Needle wheels can knock the pH down rapidly and are about the most diretc method I have used.

    A Rio 1000 and a needle wheel impeller runs about 20$ for the pump and 16-17$ for the needle wheel impeller. These will knock the pH much much faster.
    Even a 200-300 gal tank is easy. Fairly small also and quiet.

    Most people do not notice the mist since it is so fine.
     
  13. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    #13 dutchy, May 19, 2011
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  14. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    Ah, yes. I tried DIY'ing this with the pump I use to drive the AM1000, but it's just too powerful for my 250L. All stem plants are horizontal when I turn it on. Seemed to work good tho! (altho probably not as good as a real needle wheel) I remember you making a thread about Rio 1000 needle wheel impellers Tom, unless I've been dreaming. Are they hard to come by? (I see them listed on the Rio site)
    Just doing a quick search I can't find any european sites that sell Rio pumps nor the impeller, I'll have to check closer later. Usually the german sites have alot of things.

    I sent a mail to TAAM asking for dealers closeby.

    thanks guys
     
    #14 nazrm, May 19, 2011
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  15. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sure, but they, even the smallest one, are 2-3x as big as Rio 1000. They are very large, not the least bit discrete.

    Your local region might have some similar pumps available, but those pumps listed are too bulky really for our needs.
     
  17. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    Found a cheap AM skimmer pump, 1200l/h and venturi intake. Needle wheel and all. Hopefully that'll do!
     
  18. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    And 1,5week later. All plants have shown better growth with needle wheel, but no change on PS color. Although the tip that recently reached water surface is red-ish..

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Just let them run along the surface a little, maybe 2-4 days and then trim.
     
  20. nazrm

    nazrm Prolific Poster

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    Alright, trimmed them to about half size and replanted some of them.

    With this needle wheel CO2 drops really quickly (almost gassed my fish the first day I put it in, had to reduce CO2 to half of what I used before), and if I understand correctly the PS won't color up without more lightning.

    So how do you get both color and avoid gassing the fish? Right now I'm running 4x24w T5s only, and I have a 150W MH in the same fixture which I haven't been using. I'm not sure how I should move forward with this.

    6th of May (pretty bad, especially the HC, didn't grow at all, and it had been in there for over a month, color is also very bad)
    [​IMG]

    11th of June (somewhat better, mostly since needle wheel. Taken right after trim. Ludwigia Red and Neassea C. to the left.)
    [​IMG]
     
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