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Greggz 120G Planted Rainbow Tank

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Greggz, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    I've been cutting it down pretty much every week. Not giving it a chance to go too crazy.

    So far seems to be working.

    And I do agree, the Seneye seems to be a high quality product. Readings were right in line with other meters I have used.

    And I do like the addition of the PUR. I know it does other things, but I don't know if I will ever use them. By the way, picked mine up for about 90 on the auction site. Couldn't resist at that price.
     
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  2. Immortal

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    Yes, I do need to spend more time over here - maybe I will finally learn something ;)
    Still working on typing up the lease agreement. Lot of technical terms to deal with - still waiting on legals input...

    Over 70... I was hoping to keep mine just under 100 but until I get the GSA under control I think I will stay in the low 80's.
     
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  3. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Hi @Greggz thank you for the update. I find your observations interesting. I typed a response earlier today in Tapatalk, but the app decided to crash on me removing most of the reply. I will try to reproduce what I've written. May sound forced.

    There should be more happening here that what meets the eye. Dosing 16mg/L every week with a 50% water change, and a plant uptake of 3mg/L will give you 25.96mg/L at wk 9 and 25.99mg/L at wk 13. So in other words the plants have pretty much the same phosphate concentration week over week. It only follows that there needs to be an additional reason why symptoms are showing only now.

    I had similar dosing to yours regarding PO4 and noticed some plants are a little redder. However, I somehow also managed to grow GSA as well... even with 21mg/L dosed

    Do you know the source of that chart ? It is interesting but raises more questions. The image itself says little, how was "plant availability" established ? I also find it weird it says N and P. pH will influence different ions containing N and P in different ways. Effect of low pH on NH3 vs NO3 for example. For what it is worth, the operating pH for one of my aquariums is 5.4 and don't notice PO4 deficiency.



    I think the 3x/week or more dosing was thought of to maintain some aprox. of consistency. At least that was one argument I read from Tom. However looking at the plots of theoretical values, if plants uptake is a lot lower than dosing you are right, you go from high to low after water change. It makes sense that the plants would do better if the conc. remains relatively stable, as they do not always need to adjust selective uptake channels, enzymes etc.

    I tried it once but did not notice a great improvement in growth when looking at the big picture. However just after the waterchange there was a growth spurt ( clean water, high nutrients... :) ). I still use this dosing when going on business trips. The thing is, when dosing like this and plant uptake is high, you end up with the opposite problem, going from low to high after water change.

    I see the best dosing with something like you suggested, dose more right with the water change and then drip a little throughout the week.

    Tank looks great as always. Watch out for that Myrio, it has been known to bust through aquariums, doors and even houses with its rate of growth:D
     
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  4. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Thanks for your thoughts. And yes I get the math, and maybe something else IS happening here. Heck, could be something I never ever thought of for all I know.

    But here are my thoughts. I take a PO4 reading every week right after a water change (80 gallons). For about 5 weeks prior I noticed it steadily rising. Was my well stocked tank producing more P? Was I feeding a bit more?? I don't know how or why, but it was definitely rising.

    Right when I noticed the sudden stunting, I performed three water changes and lowered dosing. Everything perked right back up.

    Now could it be something completely different? Yes. I have also been dosing higher micros 7 days a week since the end of Nov., so that is a possibility as well (or any number of other things). But given the rising P I was tracking, it just seemed the likely culprit.


    I got that one from Burr, but if you do a quick search, there are bunches of them showing the same thing. Seems like the general numbers are widely recognized. And as usual, it was just one of many thoughts.


    Keep in mind my tank produces N from the large fish load. I'm thinking if I front end load, I will actually be pretty stable throughout the week. N from fish and usage at similar rates?? But like you say, I doubt it's any dramatic difference. I have been dosing once right after a water change, and then again the next day for quite a long time. So kind of jump starting the water column after a change.

    And thanks for the kind words on the tank. It's always a work in progress, and I still consider myself a beginner, learning something new all the time.

    And you are like the fourth person to warn me about the Myrio.......so I will keep the scissors sharp!!
     
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  5. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Would be interesting to see the conc. of PO4 you get just from feeding the fish. I remember doing the math and you can add about 3mg/L PO4 equivalents if you are feeding for breeding. However, I also remember the limnology class where the cycle of P in lakes required something like 15cm anoxic mulm zone to become available for plants again. Granted that is actual vegetation and fish poop not what leaches off the food pellets given to fish.

    Keep forgetting that, as my aquariums will quickly run into N deficiency without extra dosing. Hard to really say anything about the path of N in our aquariums without using some radioactive isotopes :cool: This are is still a little confusing for me I must confess. For example Barr and others use large filters, oxygenation seek to promote bacteria growth for their high stocking levels. Then again at UKAPS and some other voices will say planted tanks don't need filters with biomedia in them as plants grow great with NH3. And that is true, having great biomedia while adding NH3 (or urea) kind of defeats the purpose. From the other end biomedia will not only change NH3 to NO3 but will also help in breaking down larger organic molecules, I presume. See what I mean? You can go in circles all Monday morning with just rationalizations.

    This is why I like reading journals on this forum, raises more questions than answers... now I just need to create an Aquarium Research Center to answer all of them.
     
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  6. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Well therein lies a problem. Many can't be answered. Too many variables and not enough controls to account for the myriad of combinations out there in the real world. Figure it out for one tank........and the next one may have completely different results.

    Best you can do is test theories in your own tank to see what works best. If there were a secret recipe, then everyone could start up a tank and have instant success. From what I have seen, doesn't work that way. At least not for many.

    When I first started in this hobby, I read a journal where someone said it takes about a year to get a tank fully balanced. I laughed. I was naive.

    But on to my next thought. After doing 3 large changes in 5 days, then throwing in a bunch of ferts, the plants seem extremely happy. Makes me wonder if a nice large reset every once in awhile might be a good idea.
     
    #146 Greggz, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  7. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    I have asked about the PH and nutrient uptake relationship multiple times. I was told it doesn’t apply directly to aquatic plants. It’s specific to root uptake in terrestrial plants and soil PH.
     
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  8. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    You could very well be right. I honestly don't know myself.

    Just curious, who did you ask? And where? I would like to read up on it a bit.
     
  9. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    I have asked it on Facebook forums. I believe Tom and Dennis Wong had replied on those. Been trying to search for it but couldn’t else would post it up.

    One place I had asked was here too and you can read Toms reply on post #172
    https://barrreport.com/threads/120-gal-dutchy-freestyle-now-with-50-more-dutch.14072/page-9#post-139644
     
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  10. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Have been dosing Burr micros at .15 Fe daily for months now.

    Have also been slowing lowering my macro dosing. I mean very slowly. Beginning to think I made too many wild changes in the past.

    Have also been front loading all macros right after water change. So far, so good. Levels stay very steady all week, as tank is also generating them from the heavy fish load.

    Here are my current levels.
    [​IMG]

    And here is a video of the tank showing where it's at today.

     
  11. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    And here is post from the other site this weekend. Thought I would post it here as well.

    For me, Saturday is tank maintenance day. One thing about learning to grow plants is……..once they get going they really grow. This means lots of trimming/pruning on a regular basis. I mention every so often in this thread that I performed a massive trim, and removed a lot of mass. Going to try to illustrate what that means today.

    So here is the tank with one weeks growth. Only two bulbs on so color is a bit off. Make note of how tall many of the background plants are.

    [​IMG]

    And a couple more. Pay attention to the Ambulia in the back left corner. That’s the one I am going to tackle first.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So here is the Ambulia out of the tank. It’s a pretty good load of plant mass there. I’ll trim 5 pieces at one height, and then another 8 just a bit taller to create a bit of layering effect when replanted. The bottoms will get tossed, I have enough of it.


    [​IMG]

    While it’s out of the tank, I take the opportunity to deep clean the back corner. With a thick mass of plants lots of debris can get caught up back there.

    [​IMG]

    Next is the Myrio Red Stem. With this one I am going to leave the bottoms planted, as I want the group to get thicker. So I’ll cut them in place, then stick the tops back in amongst the bottoms.

    [​IMG]

    Next are L. Rubin and P. Kimberly. Both are pretty nice sized once you get them out of the tank.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then do the same for several others, and time to drain the tank. Water change for me is about 70 Gallons.

    [​IMG]

    So this is a bit of a cautionary tale. Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it. Once plants really get going, keep in mind that the time required to maintain the tank will go up as well. I started this morning at 9:30, and got done with everything put away about 11:45.

    And now here is the tank from just a minute ago, with the before/after effect. Hopefully it illustrates how much maintenance you expect to do if have a lot of fast growing stems like me. Fortunately, I enjoy the process and look forward to it. Cheap therapy.

    If you didn’t, you might think twice about going this route. If I just let it go, the tank would choke itself before too long.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And a few additional shots.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #151 Greggz, Apr 17, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  12. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    And one more.........................................

    As some of you may know, I have been dosing a custom blend of Micro’s for about 6 months now. When @burr740 started “rolling his own”, he asked if I wanted to try some. Of course, I was happy to. That led to dosing micros at .15 Fe daily. Probably the best thing I have done for my tank in some time.

    So why would you dose a custom mix? That discussion is far reaching and well covered in other threads here. But there are two basic reasons. The first is the use of DTPA vs. EDTA iron. The second is in regard to how uniform a dose of CSM+B is. CSM+B is typically used in large quantities for spraying crops. Loads of it are added to huge sprayers. What are the odds that the small amount you are dosing is the same from dose to dose? And then of course you can tweak your own mix to fit best with your individual tank needs.

    But back to the point of this post. Up until now, Burr has been kind enough to keep making his latest mix for me whenever I run out. I thought it was about time I bought everything and started mixing my own.

    So going to document making my first batch, and hopefully demystify the process a bit. Well, that’s the plan anyway.

    I purchased everything from three sellers on the auction site. Total investment was $70.00.
    [​IMG]

    So next it’s figuring out how to make a dosing solution. Well it’s really much easier than you would think. You need to use a planted tank calculator, like Zorfox or RotalaButterfly. Then it’s just a matter of typing in your parameters and getting the gram weight of each ingredient that you need to dose.
    [​IMG]

    So for instance, above is the calculation for DTPA 11% iron in my solution. You can see I selected solution, then entered my water volume (105G), container size (1000ml), and the amount of each dose (20ml). Next I typed in my desired concentration (.15 Fe), and then calculated. So the result for my dosing solution is to add 27.10gm of DTPA so that my daily 20ml dose supplies .15 Fe.

    And since I use spread sheets to track about everything to do with my tank, I created a new one just for micros. Then I added each ingredient into the calculator, and calculated how much to add to make my first batch. It looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    Next it’s on to mixing up the first batch. First thing turn the scale on which calibrates it to zero.
    [​IMG]

    So I’ll start with Boric Acid. You see I’ll need 3.64 Grams.
    [​IMG]

    Close enough for me.
    [​IMG]

    Next up is Sodium Molybdate.
    [​IMG]

    Then MnSO4……
    [​IMG]

    And so on……until the first bag is ready……
    [​IMG]

    So some thoughts on the process. First, it’s really much easier than you would think, and well worth the effort. Now I'll be able to make a batch whenever I need it, and make any changes that I want to experiment with.

    Second is that you buy these ingredients in 1 lb or ½ lb packages. Now some of these weigh out to mg measurements. 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.

    In fact, with the exception of iron, which is the bulk of the mixture, I don’t think I would have to purchase any of the other items again. With some of these, we could easily share some of the ingredients between us.

    So anyway, I’m not sure if this post would entice someone to start blending their own micros…….or if maybe it could have exactly the opposite effect???? I will say this. I have been dosing a blend like this daily for months now, much more than I ever dosed before, and the tank is doing better than ever. I’m a believer!
     
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  13. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    @Greggz about time you returned to the "Dark Side" :D
     
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  14. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    It's a test.........listening for the crickets................:rolleyes:
     
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  15. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Less crickets if you are here more often! :rolleyes:
     
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  16. Chad

    Chad Member

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    Awesome tank greggz! Those rainbows are beautiful. I think I am going to try front loading my macros for a couple weeks.
     
  17. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Thanks Chad.

    I put together a spreadsheet to show how EI ferts accumulate. It's not an exact science, and you need to make some assumptions (plant uptake, N/P generated by fish load).

    My tank is heavily stocked, so it makes some N/P all week long. For me, fully front loading gives me the most stable numbers throughout the week. With regular EI dosing, I started with very low macros, and then it increased steadily and peaked at weeks end.

    With a lighter fish load, some might be better off with something like a double dose after water change, and then two smaller doses during the week.

    Is steady better? Too soon to tell for sure, but early indications are good.


    [​IMG]

    Here's a link to download the spreadsheet if you want to mess with it.

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

    If you decide to try the spreadsheet, here’s what you need to know.

    The first chart is for accumulation using EI dosing. Doesn’t really change after 5 weeks, so that’s as far as I went out.

    The second chart shows daily numbers based on actual dosing using the assumptions you provide (Est. NO3 from fish, Est. plant uptake). Phosphate charts work exactly the same way. If it’s not listed below, then it’s calculated from the other entries.

    Not perfect but good enough to get some idea of the effect of different dosing schedules. With my heavily stocked tank, front end loading seems best. For others, with less fish load, some modified program might be better.

    Nitrate Weekly EI Worksheet

    C4 – Weekly KNO3 dosing carries over to weeks 2,3,4,5
    C5 – Weekly NO3 Fish – estimated NO3 created by fish, carries over to weeks 2,3,4,5
    C7 – Weekly Plant Uptake – estimated plant uptake carries over to weeks 2,3,4,5
    C9 – Water Change – Carries over to weeks 2,3,4,5

    Daily Nitrate Work Sheet

    C14 – Carried over from K8 x water change %
    C15, E15, G15, I15, K15, M15, O15 enter actual NO3 dosing
     
  18. Chad

    Chad Member

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    Most of my tanks are fishless or have a very light fish load.

    Google sheets always gives me troubles. "Unable to convert document." Same issue with the micro thread.

    I recently started dosing macros after water changes thinking it would be less wasteful than dosing the day before.

    One of my tanks has a buffering substrate and I have been experimenting with urea dosing. I assume front loading urea is a bad idea?
     
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  19. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    I've never dosed urea. Basically my tank is generating the same thing daily. But my guess would be not a good idea to front end load.

    The spreadsheet is an excel document.
     
  20. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Fantastic tank Greg, I love it! So much color there!

    As for maintenance, you are not alone. When I work on my 75, once every 2 weeks, it takes me from 8 am to noon trimming plants, cleaning glass, filters and the rest of maintenance... But we all can see the results. :)

    For some reason I can just see the video posted above but none of the pics. I am using Tapatalk on an iPad... Am I the only one having this problem?

    Anyway... Plants look upset, and fish too! Keep it up dear friend!
     
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