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GH on amano tanks

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by luismoniz, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. luismoniz

    luismoniz Prolific Poster

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    Hi Tom,
    Can you tell me how Mr. Amano have Gh on 20mg/l and sometimes 10mg/l of GH, when all the people recomends 3º dgh (60mg/l +/-) can we have 20mg/l too?

    Regards,

    Luís Moniz
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sure.
    As long as you add a little Mg/Ca/SO4.........all of which are plant nutrients..............
    You want to add them daily etc to keep such a riduculously low level.

    That's up to you, but fish and plants seem to do very well when it's higher.
    Just keep in mind, what you find in natural systems is not the best thing for myour garden.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Most obviously Amano can grow plants in such low levels to some degree....;)

    Tom, do you think that he's adding Ca, Mg and SO4 to each of his gallery tanks every day? Did he tell you anything why he kept TH so low other than for reasons of duplicating natural biotops?

    I'm well aware that lots of aquarists with GH's of 5,6,7 or even higher are able to grow plants equally well!

    Regards,
    Detlef
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sure, if you assume those readings to be correct for all times during the week, dosing etc.

    Also, think about 50% weekly water changes and adding some Mg/Ca back each time, we do not know what Mg and Ca are in the tap water he uses or not...........

    So that's an unknown, nor do such supply stay stable, they might be much higher than anyone realizes.

    Also, the CEC effects from the clay sediments used, ADA, binds the Ca and Mg.
    So while it might not be present in the water column, the bacteria and plant roots can still have access to it.

    So water column measurements for nutrients is really not that relevant, it's only 1/2 the picture here.

    Something some folks seem to want to and in some cases actively chose to ignore.

    This not only applies to Ca and Mg, it applies to NO3, PO4, Fe etc.

    Using both water column and sediment dosing allows you to better supply nutrients both with respect to the human factor(who hasn't spaced out and forgotten to dose the water column a few times?) as well providing both locations for the plants to grow best.

    Rate of growth is another issue, but ADA uses less light to do that and if they do use a lot of light, it ain't for long.

    This is not modeled at all after nature as claimed, rather, practical experience.
    If you model it after nature, then the light should be about 2-6X more and for the full 12 hours with full 10-12w/gal on HQI for no less than 8-10 hours per day.
    That is the equivalent measure from the regions where the plants grow and live.

    So with less light= less CO2 demand= less nutrient demand=> less reliance on higher dosing levels and more time for assimilation. Basically it's much easier to grow plants slower than faster.

    The other real issue here/question is: why do you want 20ppm of GH?
    What good is it to go so low?
    Do fish prefer it?
    Do plants prefer it?
    Are their any negative effects at higher levels?

    None anyone's seen or shown that I know of.
    Showing that to be the case is a rather difficult proposition.
    Especially when I keep altums at 50ppm.
    And any plant species..........
    So do other folks and they have for many years.

    That is the control test that falsifies such a hypothesis.
    So the burden of proof, is to show that these observations and results are false, a rather tough prospect:)

    So the real question is why should we go to such lengths to replication a method?
    Why would it be so fragile that we have to do such parameters?

    Shouldn't plants, fish etc be able to tolerant a much wider range?
    Most of the aquatic plants are weeds.
    Most tropical fish are fairly hardy.

    So yes.
    It's fine to be curious, but I think many thing they will find nirvana by having some parameter, rather than good basic care, good routine maintenance etc. Old timer aquarist often tell folks this, but many do not listen, believing they have everything in place.

    I led the low GH challenge maybe back in the late 1990's.
    Others tried it, with Discus, various so called soft water plants, R macrandra etc and only ended up with better colors, healthy growth, good fish health.

    If you add the pH/KH measurements on the ADA's parameter listing, they are functionally impossible.

    You can have interference from the CO2 appearing too high relative to those parameters, but never the reverse that I am aware of.
    So I hold a lot of suspect for that data.

    If someone can explain how someone can have a KH of 2 and pH 6.9 and a CO2 of 15ppm, I'm all ears.

    And every tank has the same data, which if you keep many tanks, you know is rather unlikely(and the parameters change through time as well). Seems like they fudged some data to me to say what folks would like to see/read/here.

    But we can go to an ADA store, and measure the parameters and find they are not as stated..........

    We have such a store here.

    ADA is about selling their product. Keep that in mind, marketing is "perception".
    Amano has a business to run. But he promotes the hobby well and to a higher level in doing so. So that is admirable. I like their products and look, the ADA As is great. But some of the things are not really jiving well.

    An exmaple is the Tourmaline business, this is poppy cock.
    CO2 levels with the KH/pH's.
    All the tanks always reporting the same parameters
    Etc.

    I do not ask anyone to use belief, I'd rather see folks question things for themselves and see if it makes sense or not. Just make sure you have controls in place to make sure the results are something you can talk about and discuss.
    That's just basic logic, philosophy etc.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr








    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Oliver Knott today confirmed that Amano's parameters for KH, GH and pH are correct yet lots of CO2 was injected. Oliver attended the testing when it was done at ADA couple years ago. He has no idea what’s going on with the water at the NA gallery either. He suspects some stabilizing elements and promised to ask ADA for more information.

    It seems as if no one has asked Amano about the specifics of the water he uses. Or am I wrong and people are holding back their wisdom?

    Best regards,
    Detlef
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Something is suspect to achieve that type of growth shown in good detail with excellent photographic skills/art.

    Look, I do not care what is claimed, I know what drives plant growth, there are no fairies, gnomes, magic going on here.
    ADA Aqua soil lowers pH vs the ambient levels, and if you add CO2 on top of that, and have a KH of 2 etc, your pH's should be down in the upper 5's.

    Not near 7.

    If anyone can explain that, plus excellent growth that mirrors the pH ranges I've measured using lab equipment for the last few years, hey, I'm all ears.

    I can tell you how to do this, you can turn off the CO2 for a few hours, then have everyone stop by, then turn it on right before they come, you can do massive water changes right before folks come etc.

    I use to do large water changes the morning folks would come over for open houses.

    But even with peat(and we all know there is a lot in ADA AS, PS etc), the pH/kh does not match, adding that, it's really suspect.

    Now I've never seen(does not mean it does not exist, but no one has ever said anything ever) any chemical that will act as a pH buffer with no influence on GH/KH in a FW planted tank. Even if you had other buffering system, say Borate like in marine systems, it would require 2 full units of pH difference(which is huge) and require more ppms than you have KH.

    I do not believe in magic tap water.
    ADA's, Marin county's, SF etc.

    I do believe folks can make testing mistakes and we all know if you do not add CO2 all night, then test pH right after/when the lights come on, the pH will be much higher.

    So doing a ph test through the day every 1-2 hours is the way go.
    I go to AF in SF, they have ADA tanks and follow ADA to the letter.

    I do not have to go to Japan in other words also.
    The pH's are low.
    Especially in the afternoon.........
    Growth is similar etc.
    They do not even bother with measuring pH.
    I also get similar growth and health.

    I do not think there's a secret here or their tap water is weird etc.
    Folks are overlooking something.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. detlef

    detlef Member

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    I've been wondering about this same issue for many years and would really like to know a sound explanation for this discrepancy. It's indeed more than suspect.

    Being at the NA gallery Oliver Knott observed KH's of a little less than 1, GH around 2 and pH of no less than 6,7 measured in the evening!!! Obscure......

    Lately I went down to very low GH's myself of about 7ppm Ca and 1ppm Mg in an ADA AS tank with lots of CO2. Growth wasn't super duper but it worked out quite nicely. I didn't think of testing pH at the time though.

    Regards,
    Detlef
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, does the plant growth look and grow faster with higher GH's?

    Also, realize that the GH is locked up in the sediment CEC, the peat and the humics are binding the Ca and Mg.

    Available to roots, but not your test kit unless you measure exchangable nutrients of sediments.

    Also, the tap might be higher in GH, then the peat removes and locks it up.

    As far as the pH, that one is just too suspect.
    I know of no buffer chemical, even Bicarb that can do that trick.

    I suppose you can add Tris, like the pH down chemicals, for a time and not worry about the pH/KH issues to measure CO2............but there is no good reason to have a pH of 6.7 to 6.9 etc.............none and it is far from the natural systems which ADA likes to suggest they model everything after.........

    If you have been to blackwaters.........5 or less............are the pH's...and clear waters have high KH's and high CO2 and neutral pH's.........

    Also, when you measure very low KH's, you need to be very careful with the pH measurement, the relationship changes as you get low and special probes are required for very low buffered systems.

    It might be that is what is occurring.

    I cannot repeat those results, so when they are published, the reasons cannot be for they claim, no one can verify them.

    So I have grave doubts.
    But while interesting, I have no issues growing any plant at that same health and growth rate as ADA.

    So as far as horticulture, it's a non issue.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Stumbled across this measurement issue recently in "Amazonas" a German magazine for freshwater plants and fish keeping. May be that this is actually the explanation I was looking for if only what I was reading would be consistent with your description of the problem.

    The premise was:
    ADA's tank water is very low in KH but high in (measured) pH despite lots of CO2 injection.

    If what you claim is right ADA's KH/pH data would likely give false i.e. too high pH readings for their very low buffered water.

    What Gerd Kassebeer describes in "Amazonas" appears to be just the opposite to me. He says if conductivity is very low pH measurements using probes will produce minus errors. The actual pH would be higher than that what the device was displaying.

    Of course I assume low conductivity = low KH/low buffering. Could you please explain?

    Regards,
    Detlef
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Fewer salts, whether they are baking soda or NaCl= less conductivity.
    Without buffered systems, the pH will fly all over with a little addition of base of acid(say NaOH and HCl).

    The pH probe is based on the buffered system, however, they do make specilized pH probes for supper soft water.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Summary of what's been said explaining Amano's suspect water values (KH < 1, lots of CO2, pH no less than 6.7)

    1. Amano uses magic water with buffering properties unknown to the rest of the world so far --> unreasonable

    2. He does not add CO2 at night and tests water right after/when the lights come on. In AJ #35 Amano describes the RpH (reserve pH) which seems
    to be the pH in the morning before CO2 injection starts again --> most likely what is occurring despite Oliver Knotts observation who says he tested in the evening.

    3. ADA uses pH probes unsuitable for testing water with very low KH's resulting in suspect high pH readings --> not very likely, they should know better

    4. Folks at ADA are overlooking something thus providing incorrect water specifics --> not very likely

    5. ADA provides bogus data intentionally --> unreasonable





    Thanks Tom for assistance in helping to understand what might be going on!

    Best regards,
    Detlef
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, the pH probe for super soft is not a typical thing they would know to catch or account for.

    That might be the issue.

    I can go down to Aqua forest and measure quite different parameters.
    Same tanks, same equipment, very high quality Tap water that's very soft, same chemicals etc.

    I do not measure no 6.7-7.2 pH's.

    There is no buffering system that can do what is being claimed and still have 15-30ppm of CO2 at those KH's and pH's.

    That much is clear.

    Bottom line is while somewhat curious, etc, it's not something as far as practicality you or other folks need to fret over. I think politely ignoring it is likely a better option.

    I've tested the ADA line of liquid fertilizers, so folks can mimic that line up.
    I'll test the ADA AS in detail, may as well for PS as well, this spring sometime.

    So then you know what is going into the tanks.
    As far as light, we have a good idea and as far as CO2, 30ppm is pretty good target as long as it's 30ppm for the entire light cycle + good current.

    So I think it's a testing issue.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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