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Greggz 120G Planted Rainbow Tank

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

  1. aquanewb

    aquanewb New Member

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    Great journal @Greggz ! You have enticed me to start mixing my own micros :D.
     
    #161 aquanewb, Apr 27, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
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  2. AgMa

    AgMa Junior Poster

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    Wow, nice journal. I've already read it 3 times!
    I'm trying to improve my lighting but i can only fit 44cm (18inch) bulbs like juwel's dimensions. I really want to try this ATI purple plus, but it's not available in this dimension.
    I found the juwel blue T5 which fit my canopy, do you think it is the same? Check the spectrum:
    ATI purple plus:
    [​IMG]

    Juwel blue:
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately the color is different. What do you think?
     
  3. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Now that is very difficult to say. If you are mixing colors of bulbs, the best you can do is try it.

    But my guess is it is should be good with the right pairings.

    And you inspired me, will update the journal which I haven't done lately.
     
    AgMa likes this.
  4. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    This post comes with a warning. Proceed only if you enjoy what it is probably mostly useful drivel and stream of thought. And this is what happens when it’s a rainy day here in Michigan and your wife is out of town…………………………….

    So updating a few things here, mostly for my own benefit, as I like to look back sometimes when trying to figure things out. Right now the tank is as good or better than it’s ever been, so I like to document as much as I can.

    Have made a few dosing changes. Both P & N are up slightly. Now I know these seem like very high levels, but no question they seem to bring out the best in my tank. Here is the latest on everything, with a few new fields thrown into the spreadsheet.

    [​IMG]


    Now get ready, because this is where pure speculation and nerdiness enter the thread.

    So you may seen this chart that Burr has posted. It shows how the different elements react with each other. In my tank, K is always high, as I use K2CO3 to raise the KH of my RO water. Add in K from KNO3 and KH2PO4, and my K dosing is over 50ppm.
    [​IMG]

    So if this chart is correct, more K would mean less N & P available, which may explain why I have to dose more of each to compensate?? Who knows…..maybe…..I have just been trying to better understand why my tank likes what it likes, and this might be a piece of the puzzle.

    Same may go for some micros. I have increased B from .032, then to .04, now to .045. Things a little bit better with each change. The chart would indicate less availability of B based on high K, so more may be compensating. Again, who really knows?? But interesting possibility. Also changed Mn from 2:1 to 4:1, and Zn is down slightly.

    And this doesn’t even consider another chart, which shows element availability based on pH. Can make your head swim for sure!
    [​IMG]

    I’ve always been in the camp that what works in one tank may not in another. That’s why I don’t necessarily recommend my levels to anybody else. Depending on so many variables, each tank may have different optimal levels. And if these charts have any validity, it might help explain why.

    In other news, have also made a few other changes. Number one is upping my filter cleaning. I was cleaning one of three filters every two weeks. So six weeks between cleaning. For the past 6 weeks or so I have been cleaning one every week, so each one at least once every three weeks. Interesting thing is the filter pads are not really that dirty, but when I dump out the canister, there is a good deal of debris that comes out. Basically organics sitting in the bottom of the filter for weeks.

    Honestly, that alone probably has made more difference than any of the other monkeying around I am constantly doing. Goes back to the same theme…………maintenance, maintenance, maintenance and uber clean conditions are your best friend. No question in my mind about that.

    I also removed the UV sterilizer. Unplugged it a month ago during a water change and forgot to plug it back in. Based on how tank is doing, removed it this week. Also removed Purigen once again. Yeah, I know I am nuts going back and forth with this stuff. But my theory is that reducing organics with more frequent filter cleanings probably reduces the need. Also turned off my overnight bubbler. No particular reason, just wanted to see if there is really any difference.

    So at one time I was using the everything but the kitchen sink approach, now back down to minimal basics. As always, subject to change, but going to leave it this way for at least a month or two.

    And as usual, big Saturday trim. Here’s the before and after. The new Red Mermaid weed is just to the left of the Pogo K. in the back. Made a pretty good size open spot and put it right under the Geisemann’s in the rear, which is the highest PAR in the tank.

    Here is at about 10:00AM.

    [​IMG]

    And here is after about 2 hours of trimming and water change.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. AgMa

    AgMa Junior Poster

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    Hey, what means "from remineral"?
    Is the leftover from RO?
     
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  6. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    I have a seven stage RO system, and the last stage is a reminerization filter that basically adds back a little hardness.

    Pure RO water actually has no taste and some people don't like it. That last stage adding some minerals actually makes it taste more like bottled water.

    So those numbers are basically what I am starting with right out of the RO unit, and then I add more to bring up GH/KH.

    Hope that makes sense.
     
  7. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Very soon I will send you a shipping address for the free lease program!
    Where are my Emeralds??? Close ups please!
     
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  8. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Here you go the Emerald Rainbow (Glossolepis wanamensis).

    These little guys are interesting. Every time I look at them closely I see new colors. Green, blue, orange, yellow, gold....all depends on the light and shimmer. Pretty neat.

    Will only get better with age. Less than 2" right now.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Phishless, burr740 and LRJ like this.
  9. AgMa

    AgMa Junior Poster

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    Ah ok.
    You can use the water produced directly after the membrane, if you don't want to reduce the lifetime of your mineral filter or if you want it to be as clean as it can.
     
  10. jbvamos

    jbvamos New Member

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    Was this when your bag of KNO3 was mislableled?
     
  11. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    No but that was a good story.

    This was a period of time where I just kept upping PO4 to test the upper limits. At the peak I was dosing about 20ppm per week.

    Even then, most all plants seemed very happy. Then at some point the accumulated amount just kept rising, and definitely saw stunting.

    Now could have the stunting been something else entirely?? Yes for sure. Three water changes back to back to back can cure a lot of different ills.

    As of now I am still dosing a heck of a lot of P (10 ppm weekly).

    And I am thinking of lowering KH and hence K dosing based on our discussion in my other journal. Just need to map out a strategy to do it slowly over time. Only PITA is that pH will keep changing, making it some work to target pH drop with my controller. I'll just need to keep a very close eye on it.
     
  12. jbvamos

    jbvamos New Member

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    Could probably use a ph/kh/co2 chart to figure it all out, or better yet, a co2 calculator. Just don’t change your co2 flow. You know your co2 ppm, just lower your high setting on controller when you drop your kh to keep your ppm the same.
     
    #172 jbvamos, Jul 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
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  13. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Well it's not quite that simple, at least for me. First of all I keep my CO2 flow higher than needed to drop quickly to my desired pH. Then with the controller it bounces around that peak all day long. So I am saying my primary measurement is not the flow rate, but rather the pH drop.

    Second is I have found at different KH levels it takes more/less CO2 to reach a target. That is my flow rate was much higher when KH was higher, and is lower now that KH is lower. At least that is what I have seen in my tank.

    And I am trying to reach a pretty specific drop. In my experience, with fast growing flowery stems, I can see a difference between a 1.2 and 1.35 drop. It's subtle, but it's there. So for me, when I adjust KH, I just need to really stay focused on my degassed pH and KH so that I keep my pH drop consistent.

    I know that may sound a bit crazy but it is a big piece of the pie for me.
     
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  14. jbvamos

    jbvamos New Member

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    a
    I disagree, It could be pretty simple. Tell me what your high point on the controller is set at and your current Kh and I will explain better what I mean. When a person is using a controller, the co2 flow rate is always higher then what is needed. Flow rate is adjusted to how often you want the controller cycling or how fast you want to reach your desired PH drop. The faster the drop, the more the controller will cycle the solenoid.

    Your not changing your Kh that much. worse case scenario is your controller will cycle more often and you will have to slightly lower your flow.

    .15 ph drop at those levels equates to a large difference in co2ppm. Your situation should be simple, you have a controller, and you reconstitute ro water so you can set kh exactly. The calculator could make this very simple and get you very close.

    So I was just looking at your spreadsheet. Your degassed ph is 7.15, you have a 1.35 max ph drop with co2 running which means your controller high set point is 5.9 and stops the flow at 5.8. Your Kh is 2.5. This equates to 118.9 ppm co2. So if you want to lower kh by say .25, new high setting on controller would be 5.85 or 5.86. Then if your unhappy with how often the controller is cycling, adjust your flow. I don't think you will have to. You just need to make sure all your numbers are correct BEFORE you start making adjustments. I’m not sure these numbers are correct, just giving an example how it can be done with a calculator. Tbh, with your numbers I don’t see how you could have phish in the tank
     
    #174 jbvamos, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  15. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    @jbvamos your thoughts are correct, and are the calculations I will be working on.

    The thing is, when you change dosing to change KH, I wouldn't rely on the calculator. I much prefer actual readings, so it's just a little extra effort to make sure it's correct.

    And I don't put much faith in the CO2/pH/KH charts. I know plenty of others who inject at similar numbers to mine and have no problems with fish. I also have high surface agitation at all times, so high oxygen as well. Now I am close to upper limit where fish would start showing signs of stress. For me it's at about 1.45 pH drop. Happens quickly.

    So whenever I change KH, I am walking a fairly fine line, and like to make sure I am around to observe things more than usual (not out of town like I am now). Fine tuning your CO2, even with a controller, takes a little time and patience. And using calculations is a good starting point, but rarely works out perfectly in the real world.
     
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  16. jbvamos

    jbvamos New Member

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    I agree with pretty much everything you said. My point is you know your co2 ppm is 118.9. Your tank likes and thrives at 118.9ppm. co2/ph/kh chart is irrelevant on what it means, we are just using the number in the calculations to keep that 118.9ppm co2. This number could be 30ppm or 500pm doesn't matter, we are just recreating that ph/kh relationship to keep the 118.9ppm co2. Now if what you are saying is you can't accurately achieve a desired Kh in your R.O water, then that's a whole different ball game.

    I do agree that no one should ever make co2 adjustments without being around to do an immediate water change.

    But I also think this route will get you extremely close to where you need to be since you know your exact numbers. This is just how I would go about doing this and I'm in no way implying that you should. It just seems like you think it's more complicated than it needs to be and I am offering a way to make it a little smoother. Good luck!
     
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  17. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    LOL you don't know me that well..................I like to make everything more complicated than it needs to be, it's in my nature. So you are right about that.;)

    And yes, I agree we should focus more on relative values than absolute values. Given our measurement techniques in a planted tank, IMO that really is all we can rely on.

    And my KH values are rock solid, given a regular stable dosing. It's when you start altering that it demands more of your attention.

    So I am plotting a course now. What I am really interested in is seeing if reducing K & KH via lower K2CO3 dosing leads to less need for other ferts. And maybe I could try some of those very soft species again. Plan is to lower K & KH first, wait a bit, then start lowering others in relative fashion.

    And you know the wild card in all of this is that I keep a pretty heft fish load, which is not too common in planted tanks. So there is always that to consider as well. Might be having effects I haven't even considered.

    PS. Looking forward to seeing pics of that Discus tank when you find them!!:D
     
  18. jbvamos

    jbvamos New Member

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    sounds like a good plan. What it seems like to me in my tanks both past and present is to compensate for a high level of something I need to keep raising other levels till everything is at nose bleed levels. This works, but you end up walking a fine line between balance and imbalance. I add more co2, I need more N then I need more P then I need more K then I need more traces then I need More co2 then I need more N..............On and on till the tank is at 120ppm co2 and 50ppm NO3. I'm going down the road of less is better and more stable and it all starts with CO2 because I like my lighting level where it is at. Less CO2 equals less ferts. I'm shooting for 50ppm CO2 and balance everything off of that.

    I think this situation is good. Your getting a great source of N. I would just balance the tank to the N level your fish produce, because we all know you love your bows and won't be getting rid of any. I'm not so sure your high level of K is a reason you need to add more NO3 on top of your heavy fish load, but thats the current theory and one more thing to eliminate after your experiment. I love things like this, it's great real world knowledge for everyone to learn from. Not some interaction chart from terrestrial plants, knowledge that applies to our tanks.

    There's no one more than me that would love to locate my old pictures. I tell you what i'm not doing though is going through boxes up in an attic in late july in new jersey and not even being certain they are even there. I work in an unconditioned enviorment and the last thing I'm doing when getting home is going into a hotter one. Any information you would like about the tank, I will gladly share, but like I always say, without verification it didn't happen! The images are burned into my memory though, unfortunately I can't share them.
     
    #178 jbvamos, Jul 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
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  19. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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  20. gsjmia

    gsjmia Lifetime Members
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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
     
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