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Going Dutch with Aquasoil

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Pikez, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I can ask, but the tap has N and P in it also.
     
  2. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Recall the recent hiccup in my tank with calcium...when I tried to deliberately under-reconstitute? Some plants like Hygro 53B and Ludwigia Red, Lysimachia, Pantanal had stem and leaf melts.

    Bacopa madagascariensis did not show ANY melting, but did this:

    Bacopa_madagascariensis_Calcium_issue.jpg

    At the height of the problem, Ca was about 3 ppm. Believe it or not, that should be enough. But I had excess sodium and other such stuff confounding the issue.

    I'm no longer under-reconstituting. Still using 100% RO, but I'm back to EI levels of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and S - the macros. Ca and Mg are 18 and 5 ppm. Plants are fine. All the drama has completely stopped.
     
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  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Lake Tahoe is considered a very pure water, hyper oligotrophic lake.
    Ca++ is still over 5 ppm.



    Water changes with RO and adding GH booster, well......that will fix most things.

    If you want to test, add 10 ppm of Na+, or 5-10-25 ppm etc.
    Then see.

    Or Cl-
     
  4. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Drool is right! These tanks are a sobering reminder what an upstart I am.

    Impressive plant health with many species we find difficult...well, some of us anyway. But its not like these guys dont have issues from time to time just like the rest of us. Bart Laurens mentioned to George in the first video he'd been some algae issues lately. And you have to admit his AR doesnt seem too happy at the moment (0:29). So they're human too :)

    In Willem's tank, those Java fern/Riccia things up top look like little sunbursts. I think that is extremely cool. Also really like the "ramp" of H. japan
     
  5. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Even the most silty, soupy, muddy, nutrient-rich waters in the Amazon basin does not exceed 7 ppm Ca. That's on the high end...and considered very nutrient rich. Zillions of aquatic plants grow happily under this condition. (I actually don't enjoy these white water areas of the Amazon much. Bugs carry you away. You have to wear a mesh head net.)

    I saw some Crypt cordata growing near Krabi, Thailand this past summer - they were literally growing on calcareous deposits, which would have been several thousand ppm of Calcium at the roots.

    Ca is about 60 ppm in most of the calcium-rich springs in Florida - aquatic plant paradises in our own backyard.

    On the other hand, some of our plants are clearly oligotrophs in the wild. I'm thinking of Tonina. The creeks that run into Atabapo, Inirida, Vaupes, and Orinoco do not exceed 0.2 ppm Ca at the highest. Usually at 0.1 or so. You'd think nothing would grow here, but there is a bewildering variety of aquatic plants there too.

    So my experiment with 3 ppm Ca was somewhat low to middle of the road. For nature. But our tanks are not like nature. Not even 'Nature aquariums' are anything like nature. Don't kid yourself. We add natural things to our highly artificial tanks. But they don't mimic nature much. We are interested in pretty plants without algae. For that, I wouldn't be surprised if you need 5 to 10 ppm.

    The question is, when you combine genetically-engineered plants like 53B with plants that grow in calcium deposits, to Tonina, what should you dose to keep all of them happy? Even though Tonina in the wild get 0.1 ppm Ca, we know that they do fairly well at 10 or 20 ppm Ca in many people's tanks. So, if the oligotrphs are not bothered by higher Calcium levels and the likes of 53B and Crypt cordata Krabi need more Ca, why not just give them more?

    And that's what I've been doing. Increased from 3 ppm to about 15-17 ppm. Melting and stunting stopped and everything appears happy.

    Geek alert:

    Calcium plays a very important role in cell wall structure. It's Calcium pectate that strengthens cell walls. The degradation of pectates is mediated by an enzyme that is strongly inhibited by Calcium. In simple terms, calcium blocks the stuff that wants to melt your plants. The concentration of other cations also determines how much calcium you need in your tank. Again, in English, calcium gets easily knocked off or replaced by other cations from its binding sites at the surface of the cell membrane. Other cations like heavy metals or sodium. If you have tons of sodium in the water like I do, you will need artificially high levels of Ca to stop plants from melting. Ca requirement also increases with increasing external concentrations protons...translation: lower your pH, the more Calcium your plants will need. Note to self: don't let pH sink to 5 by the end of the week. Stupid aquasoil eats my carbonates and the pH drops a little more with every passing day.

    Pop quiz next week.
     
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  6. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    The winters are dark in Canada, it feels nice to have a bright green tank when it's -40 outside with the windchill. A lot of that green might be algae...
     
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  7. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Vin, I am having a conversation about using peat to remove metals from water on my journal, and I am wondering if it could help to remove the "bad stuff" as well such as chloride, sodium and sulfates from water... that could also explain why ADA AS absorbs so much from water in a similar way, mostly when it is brand new... any thoughts on that?
     
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  8. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    We used to use peat to soften water back in the day. RO wasn't popular until 1990 or so. It will probably bind some of the undesirable ions. Not sure how much...probably a little. Only way to know is test. Test your tap as is. And then dump a cup or two of peat into a bucker of tap water and test after a week or so.

    I think the chemistry of baked clay soils is a little different from peat. Gram for gram, peat would probably have a bigger impact on the water, but people use pounds and pounds of Aquasoil and only a little peat, so it feels like AS makes a bigger impact.
     
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  9. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    I typically force my nutritional will on most plants. Not this one. I can grow it well, but it defines the terms and conditions.

    I've consistently failed at growing it when I've subjected it to conditions of my liking. It's the boss. Not me.

    This light pink color is what you get when it's lacking something. If you starve the crap out of it, it will still look pretty, but the color gets washed out. Gets redder in richer nutrients.

    I've been unable to hurt its leaf morphology with starvation. But overfeeding can affect leaf morphology. Cuphea is like that too. Very resistant to starvation. Most other plants look far worse when you starve them. Not these two.

    IMG_8052.jpg
     
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  10. LRJ

    LRJ Subscriber

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    Is this in the dutch or in a kill tank? Do I recall correctly that you previously had trouble with this in the dutch even when you tried low nutrient conditions? Maybe it's time to take another shot with Pogo erectus.
     
  11. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Sorry - should have clarified. This is from the Kill Tank with hard water, low light, good CO2, EI macros, very low micros.

    There is no freaking way I can grow pretty wallichii like this in the Dutch tank, even if I provide the exact same conditions as the Kill Tanks.

    In the Dutch, it does not care if I provide high nutrient or low. It will look like hell half the time and do OK (at best) the other half. I attribute this to gunk absorbed into the aquasoil. I have some Maka Red Wallichii in the Dutch that looks half Ok and half stunted.

    Pogo erectus will also not grow in the Dutch. BUT...I have uncovered my secret to growing Pogo erectus by the pound: hard water + inert gravel + CO2 + Flourish Comprehensive dosed at label instructions. Under those conditions, I can grow enough Pogo erectus to take over the world.

    I'll update the Kill Tank thread when I have enough data, but I am comparing soft vs hard water under relatively high macros and very low micros. The Pogo erectus in 100% RO soft water is small, short, very branchy and basically looks like a pincushion. Does not want to grow much. If Trump saw the plant, he'd tweet 'SAD!'

    The exact same fert, light, substrate and CO2 routine but in hard, alkaline tap water produces tall, healthy bottle brush looking Pogo that don't branch.

    Pretty much the same story (but less dramatic) for Rotala Sunset. I reintroduced Sunset into all 3 tanks about 6 weeks ago. The lone stem in the Dutch branched from 1 stem into 6 branches and remained small. Droop set in after 5 weeks. So I yanked the plant. The stems in the Kill Tanks are still alive. The ones in the hard water tank are looking better even though the soft water kill tank is generally doing much better with the other Rotalas.

    The Dutch tank is where all Rotala, Ammannia, and Pogo erectus go to die. Every. Single. F-ing. Time.
     
  12. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Burr sent a big baggie of traces. (Thanks!) I typically toss trace blends into a 1 liter mason jar with RO water acidified with white vinegar. Shake it and it's fully dissolved after letting it sit overnight.

    But this batch of traces was kinda big, so it was taking its sweet time dissolving.

    Wife was out running errands, so I took over her Vitamix. Half hour at medium speed did the trick. I'll pass on her next batch of smoothie. I've already stolen her measuring spoons. Funnels. Tupperware. Turkey baster. Kitchens are awesome for pillaging.

    IMG_8416.jpg

    FWIW - this is what is being dosed 3X a week.

    Fe DTPA - 75 ppb
    Fe gluconate - 50 ppb
    Mn - 50 ppb
    B - 26 ppb
    Zn - 18 ppb
    Mo - .9 ppb
    Cu - 1.3 ppb
     
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  13. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    LOLOLOL

    I had my doubts about doing a 1 ml per 30 gal strength

    Be sure to let us know if your wife's skin tone improves from that big dose of micros. If she colors up nice I might start adding 5 ml to my protein shake.
     
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  14. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    This story is phenomenal Vin, I couldn't even think about using the "family" blender for my dirty stuff. I have still to use elbow grease and hours of shaking...

    So... how long have you been using this new Burr's Custom Dosing Mix? How your plant are doing with it?
     
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  15. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    lol! Yes, I have gotten in trouble many a time for pillaging from the kitchen!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    No sudden hair-curling or facial spots from the dose of CSM. Tom's wife does not have any issues, I hear.
     
  17. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    I have not used regular CSM+B in several months. Burr keeps sending me his Mad Scientist blends. FWIW, the current version is called V.5.12g. Yeah. I might suggest to @burr740 that he watch Breaking Bad as inspiration to redirect his fervor into more profitable channels.

    As for using the family blender, oh boy, if only she knew of the worms, bugs, and crap that's been in the garage fridge right next to her chardonnay. I recently went hiking with my college buddy and came back with one less sock than I left with. She noticed it and I deflected. What I didn't tell her was that we caught a garter snake during the hike. We had nowhere to put it, so we stuck it in my sock and tied a knot in the sock. The sock went in a brown paper bag next to the chardonnay. It was there for 3 day until my buddy flew back to Indianapolis with my sock baggie. TSA at the airport did not bother him, but I wish they had. :eek:

    So, yeah, a little extra DTPA in the smoothie is nothing...probably good for gluten intolerance.

    And, Fab, you're signing a non-disclosure agreement the next time you come over.
     
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  18. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Ah ah! Ready to sign it!

    Ok, so, my question is this: have you noticed any positive or negative difference in dosing Burr's mix compared to CSM with Aquasoil? Just curious, because in Burr's tank the mix is doing wonders, and in my tank seems to have similar effects (I have increased dosing in the past week and I have noticed a big improvement in all plants, AR included!)... in Burr's case and maybe in my case as well, it really looks like EDTA Fe was the main cause of problems.
     
  19. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Is that like using her coffee grinder to turn flake food into fry powder? Purely hypothetical of course! ;)
     
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  20. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    Mmmm... fry powder...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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