Greggz 120G Planted Rainbow Tank

Greggz

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Greggz, I am using 3 stage RO filtered water based on The GreenMachine guys formula (can't find link)
I mix it in bulk and then add 2X a week, but the KH doesn't seem stable.
I also tried autodosing with a 2 gal bucket and a powerhead to stir up, but it still sinks to the bottom and forms concrete block.
Can you please describe what you use to remineralize? Formula? Equipment? Means of Dosing?

Thanks, Greg
I'm not exactly sure all of what you are asking, but I will describe how I prepare my RO water and see if that helps.

I keep two holding tanks (55G's) of RO water for my weekly water changes (70G).

After a water change, I dose the holding tanks to raise GH and KH (MgSO4 13ppm/CaSO4 35ppm/K2CO3 KH 2.5). The water is circulated with powerheads/air pumps throughout the week and everything dissolves.

And maybe I am missing something, but I don't understand what you mean by "dosing"? I just use RO water for water changes. All other dosing is done with dry macros and a liquid custom micro mix.

Maybe you can clarify a bit as I am not sure exactly what you are trying to do.
 

gsjmia

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I was curious about your mention of a 7 stage RO. I have a micron filter, two carbon blocks and the RO membrane, so I guess that is 4 stages.
What are your other 3 stages?

Is it worthwhile since you also dose GH and KH?

Sounds like the other 3 stages are only a partial solution.

Let me explain about autodosing. I have an auto water change of about 15% a day, which completely eliminated BGA and the need for weekly WC.

I autodose ferts with peristaltic pumps, so except for monthly WC's to trim plants and clean the glass, its all automated.

But I can't seem to remember to manually dose GH and KH. So I took the dry mixtures and put in 2 gallon plastic jar, filled with water, added a powerhead to circulate and keep in suspension, then put a peristaltic pump on it. Worked fine for a while, but eventually the stuff falls out of suspension (and eventually wore out the power head) and turned into a cement block in the bottom.
Are you manually dosing or did you have some kind of auto system (the mystery 3 stages).
 

Greggz

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I was curious about your mention of a 7 stage RO. I have a micron filter, two carbon blocks and the RO membrane, so I guess that is 4 stages.
What are your other 3 stages?

Is it worthwhile since you also dose GH and KH?

Sounds like the other 3 stages are only a partial solution.

Let me explain about autodosing. I have an auto water change of about 15% a day, which completely eliminated BGA and the need for weekly WC.

I autodose ferts with peristaltic pumps, so except for monthly WC's to trim plants and clean the glass, its all automated.

But I can't seem to remember to manually dose GH and KH. So I took the dry mixtures and put in 2 gallon plastic jar, filled with water, added a powerhead to circulate and keep in suspension, then put a peristaltic pump on it. Worked fine for a while, but eventually the stuff falls out of suspension (and eventually wore out the power head) and turned into a cement block in the bottom.
Are you manually dosing or did you have some kind of auto system (the mystery 3 stages).
Mine is actually a 6 stage. Here is a pic with the filters listed. The biggest difference is the Alkaline Remineralization filter. It's adds back in some minerals, which makes the drinking water taste better. Keep in mind I am on a well, so I want it well filtered for kitchen use.

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I manually dose my holding tanks right after a water change. But keep in mind I am dosing 70 gallons of new RO water, with about 100 gallons total. As Phishless said above, 2 gallons will not keep much CaSO4 soluble. And I can see how daily automated water changes would be tricky for dosing GH/KH. You either have to dose it daily or keep a large reservoir dosed. I don't know what other option you would have.

And in the bigger picture, I don't know that I see any correlation between daily small water changes and BGA. I'm not saying it didn't eradicate it, just saying if everything is well taken care of it should not be an issue. But if it works for you, glad to see it. Just don't think it's necessary, as if there is BGA then there are other issues which need to be addressed.

I have no automated system, so I manually dose all ferts. I front load all macros right after a water change, then dose custom micros daily.

And you should start a journal. Sounds like you have an interesting system, and I'm sure many would be curious to see the set up.
 
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gsjmia

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Thanks for the info. I will look into what the the Alkaline Remineralization filter puts into the water. Maybe 3 or 4 were in series and then into a reservoir and then only need to dose a supplement and not the whole thing.

BGA was never a problem but every couple of months the return pump outflow one piece of wood, etc. used to get BGA, wasn't really a problem. But for some reason the AWC cured it. I even tried to cause it by turning up the lights and increasing PAR to 150 at substrate, and no BGA.

Yes, I am making notes of things and will do a journal one day.

Thanks
 
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Phishless

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Here is a link regarding remineralization.
https://bestwaterpurificationblog.com/do-remineralizing-filters-really-work/

Basic answer is no.
A bit of carbonates is released to provide a pH that doesn't appear acidic.
But it's RO water, the tiniest amount of anything introduced will alter the water dramatically.

This being said the alkalinity of the water may rise a bit but Ca & Mg will still need to be added.

@Greggz have you ever tested TDS pre & post the remineralization cartridge?
 
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Greggz

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Here is a link regarding remineralization.
https://bestwaterpurificationblog.com/do-remineralizing-filters-really-work/

Basic answer is no.
A bit of carbonates is released to provide a pH that doesn't appear acidic.
But it's RO water, the tiniest amount of anything introduced will alter the water dramatically.

This being said the alkalinity of the water may rise a bit but Ca & Mg will still need to be added.

@Greggz have you ever tested TDS pre & post the remineralization cartridge?
Yes the remineralization filter brings KH up just over a point. I then further dose to get to 3.5 KH.

GH is basically zero, so I dose to get to about 6 GH.

RO comes out at pretty much zero, then goes to about 12 after the last filter.

And for the poster above, the solubility issue is mainly with CaSO4, which you will still need to dose.

Honestly I wouldn't do daily changes. Will be very difficult to keep KH stable, which in turn makes it trickier to have stable pH drop. My guess is that the daily changes just made the tank cleaner. The same thing can be done with good tank maintenance. More filter cleanings, larger weekly water change, more gravel vacs, more plant trimming, removing any dying/decaying leaves, etc.
 
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gsjmia

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Yes, the KH and GH are all over the place. When I was auto dosing it was stable, but I was lazy and didn't dump the 2 gal solution often enough. I live in South Fla and there is a lot of salt in my tap water. I suspect the salt was killing shrimp and stunting some plants which caused BGA, no matter how clean I tried to keep it.

Next I will try using 50/50 RO and tap water.

Wish there was a way to auto dose the dry powders, like a small screw/auger type of mechanism.

Greg
 
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Greggz

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Thought I should report here my experience with upping B in my micro mix. Had been slowly raising up B, from .032 to 0.055. There were some positive responses, and saw Burr was up to .072. Now I know better than to change something too much at one time, and in general small incremental changes are better. But for some reason I went and bumped it up to .09.

Reaction was swift. Withing three days a beautiful big patch of Macranda Var. lost all it's color. AR Mini, Ludwigia Sp. Red, L. Cuba, and Pantanal all stunted. Performed several back to back water changes, and went back to .055.

In general things bounced back pretty quick. Unfortunately the old growth on the Macranda that lost color did not. New growth pink, but old growth dying. Made the decision to remove all the old growth, and plant a bunch of little 3" tops that had formed. You can see it peeking up to the left of the driftwood below. Was almost to the top of the tank before the incident.

Oh well, live and learn. Wasn't the first and won't be the last dumb thing I do.

So here's where I am at, waiting for some things to hopefully fill back in.
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In other news, a while back I put together a dosing spreadsheet to make it easy to post my fert dosing. That turned into a spreadsheet with of all my tanks basic information. I uploaded that spreadsheet to a Google Drive, so others could download it and enter in their information.

It really helps make it easy to post a snap shot of all your tank parameters at one time, and to keep track when you make changes. When I change anything I take a snapshot and date it, so it's easy to go back and see where I was at any point in time. And I have enjoyed seeing others using it and posting, as it makes it easier to see what they are up to in their tank, which I always find very interesting.

So recently I had some time, and starting messing around with it, and came up with version 2. The biggest change is the way it totals the weekly PPM's. In the old version you had to calculate the totals. Now it's all automatic.

So here's what it looks like now.

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Note that weekly ppm's are now calculated from earlier entries. You can enter the number of daily doses, and it will calculate the weekly totals. And if you already have N, P, or K in your tap (in my case zero from RO), it will add that in too.

K total is from all sources, including anything added from either a KH or GH booster (In my case K2CO3).

Yeah, I know for some this seems a bit over the top, but it sure helps me to better understand where I am at with my dosing. So if anyone wants to use it, I'm happy to share and have posted it up to a Google Drive folder here.

And if anyone has any feedback to make it better, I am glad to hear it.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CI7FdUKHGv7CgfA3lRJZdxESN07exBsu
 

Greggz

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Two weeks ago I reduced all dosing by 25%, except for Ca/Mg. This meant lowering my K2CO3 dosing so that K levels would be lowered as well. If you recall, my K was always very high due to dosing my RO water for KH.

The idea was that maybe my high K level was creating the need for more of everything else (Mulders’s Chart). So I set out to see if I lowered everything at one time, keeping the same ratios, would I be able to get by with less total ferts?

So far the answer is yes. Tank is as least as good, and maybe better. Many small signs here and there that the tank likes the new dosing. Now it’s still a bit early to be sure, and I will keep it right where it’s at for at least a few more weeks before coming to any conclusions.

The other effect is that my KH has dropped as well, down to about 2 KH now. Degassed pH has gone down from 7.2 to about 7.1. Not sure if this is having any influence at all, but it’s always possible.

Now there is one other change that could be affecting the tank as well. Two weeks ago I did a major trimming of mass, and removed some species. Tank might be enjoying the extra elbow room.

So here we were two weeks ago after the major trim.

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And then last weekend I posted a video of the tank, really more for the fish than the plants. After watching it over, I really wasn’t too happy with the right side of the tank. I think I removed too much green, and just wasn’t feeling it. So I reached out to Burr, and he was able to send me some Limno Rugosa, which is one of the plants I pulled (and a couple of other extras too!).

Funny how that works. Burr and I have helped each restock species we got rid of several times now over the years. Anyways, as always thanks [MENTION=149450]burr740[/MENTION] !

This morning during regular maintenance I spent some extra time and rearranged the right side of the tank.
Here is the overgrown right side last night right before lights out………..

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Here’s a pic during the process. All tall plants removed from the back. Shortly after this pic everything in this photo was out of the tank. Took the opportunity to give the entire area a good gravel vac.

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After lots of trimming and replanting, here’s the tank filling back up. I always pull the driftwood up and give it a preventative quick spray of an H2O2/glut mix.
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The good thing when I scape is that I have no rules at all to follow. Really have little of a plan at all. Pretty much just put things where they look good to my eye. So here’s the tank with a little more splash of green from just a few minutes ago…………………………..

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fablau

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Super beautiful Greg! Love your tank, and all the details you posted above. I also like the soundtrack in your video, very relaxing ;)

It’s interesting how increasing B has been proven detrimental for your tank. I haven’t dosed B in my tank in months as you know, it I have plenty in tap though.

It is not surprise to me that reducing NPK helped as well, I also have reduced it of about 1/3 in the past month (micros included) and look at my AR now:

ba4cf097be0f214d94f4c0c1d038902e.jpg


Or Ambulia, finally back!!

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I still need to find the time to update my journal... but these are good news. It looks like the reduction of everything helped. I actually dose macros on WC day and then micros daily.

The only plant that got worse is actually Valisneria as you can see in the back of the pic above, which is strange... that’s usually a tough plant. Unless that’s due to GH that has been slowly going down by adding regularly some RO to the mix when I change water (currently around 7 dGh).

Anyway, I will post more details on my own journal. I wanted must to share my similar experience with reducing dosing of about 1/3.

Thanks and I will keep following :)
 

Greggz

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Super beautiful Greg! Love your tank, and all the details you posted above. I also like the soundtrack in your video, very relaxing ;)

It’s interesting how increasing B has been proven detrimental for your tank. I haven’t dosed B in my tank in months as you know, it I have plenty in tap though.

It is not surprise to me that reducing NPK helped as well, I also have reduced it of about 1/3 in the past month (micros included) and look at my AR now:

ba4cf097be0f214d94f4c0c1d038902e.jpg
Thanks Fab, I appreciate the kind words.

Funny thing is I have never had much success with AR Mini. Might have to give it a try again sometime.

And while my dosing is lower, remember that is lower than what was a pretty rich number. So not lean by any means.
 
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fablau

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Thanks Fab, I appreciate the kind words.

Funny thing is I have never had much success with AR Mini. Might have to give it a try again sometime.

And while my dosing is lower, remember that is lower than what was a pretty rich number. So not lean by any means.

I mean it Greg!

Yes, try again with AR. I see better results with it even in my 20gl in the garage. I am also trying with AR variegated and Macrandra variegated, I will keep you posted with that,

And yes, well aware what we dose is not lean at all! Just a little less than we used to dose before, but always rich in my opinion.
 
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msb

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Hey Greggz, Beautiful tank and thanks for posting a video. The biggest bow = all my fishes. The plant selection(contrasts) I think is great. Is that Red Cabomba or Furcata the second from back right side ?
 
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Greggz

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Hey Greggz, Beautiful tank and thanks for posting a video. The biggest bow = all my fishes. The plant selection(contrasts) I think is great. Is that Red Cabomba or Furcata the second from back right side ?
Thanks for the kind words and yes this is a fish tank first.

That's Cabomba Furcata I got from Burr.

And I have been enjoying following your journal. Great looking tank and very well documented.
 

Bence

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For instance, Nickel is just 44 mg in the solution. That’s .044 Grams. So a half pound of Nickel Sulfate is 226,796 mg. So that bag is enough to make 5 thousand containers of the dosing solution. So it’s like enough for several lifetimes of keeping a planted tank.

Hi,
I can only get my hands on NiSO4 7H2O instead of 6H2O. Do you think it will do?
thx
Bence