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Having some problems still.

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Peyton, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    I've had two high light co2 injected tanks running for well over a year now and I'm still having problems apparently. Seems I'm still getting signs of a deficiency from somewhere. It's been showing up in ludwigia glandulosa forever but a few recent additions (ammannia gracilis and Pogostemon stellatus 'Broad Leaf') are showing signs also.

    Tank stats are as follows

    1st is a heavily planted 40gal with 110w cf (8000k bulbs replaced 4/08 ) and 36w t-5 (6700k 8 month old bulbs)
    Co2 @ 30ppm as per drop checker using 4dh water. Diffused through a powerhead with the outflow going backwards through a gravel vac.
    dosing is now 1/4 tsp kno3, 1/8 tsp kh2po4, and 1/8 tsp k2so4 sun/tue/thur. 1/8 tsp csm+b mon/wed/fri. I was dosing as per the 20-40gal EI schedule but upped it to the 40-60gal. 50% water change weekly. Water is med hard and has a standing ph of 7.6

    2nd is a heavily planted 29gal w/110 CF (8000k bulbs replaced 4/08 )
    everything else the same as 40 except co2 diffused through a glass diffuser with the outflow under a powerhead. Kno3 dose is now 1/4 (was dosing 1/8 tsp).

    I was thinking maybe the problem is in my lighting/co2 schedule. Co2 comes on at 11am and shuts off at 8pm. Lights come on at 12pm and off at 10pm. I adjusted co2 to come on at 10pm today thinking maybe the levels aren't high enough when the lights come on. I've also recently adjusted the lights to come on at 2pm.

    Maybe something is bottoming out before I reset with the water change? I noticed the other day when I did a water change that a somewhat healthy stem of l. glandulosa was curled bad within an hour of the water change. I thought maybe CO2 bottomed out so I'm no longer doing changes during the lighting period.

    I posted about having problems with L. glandulosa back when I was running DIY co2 and thought once I went pressurized my problems would be over :( .

    Here are a few pics of the plants.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I'm just at a loss here. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    1. Reduce your lighting. It is way more than needed esp for small tanks like this. 1-2 wpg is plenty IMO.

    2. Increase your dosing of ferts and c02. The high light is driving HIGH DEMAND for nutes, and your dosing is insufficient. Increase ferts by 50% to start.

    3. Ensure you have good current/flow in the tank. Every plant/leaf should move a bit. Look for dead areas.

    4. Trim the plants. More bio-mass = more need for nutes and c02. Heavy growth also impedes flow.......

    5. have patience. Try the above for 2-3 weeks and let us know.

    Even if you lower the light increase your ferts. You will not poison the tank in any way..........

    Just keep doing your weekly 50-60% WC to reset....

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    I tried less lighting in the 40g tank. I just had the 110w cf. I couldn't get a decent lawn of glosso at that light level. It just wanted to grow upwards. What if I decrease the lighting period to 8hrs instead?

    Also I thought the EI dosing schedule was made for high light/ heavily planted tanks?

    The spots where those plants are is directly in the flow of either the co2 reactor or the filter output. I tried to mist co2 directly on l. glandulosa and it still done nothing to help.
     
  4. rich815

    rich815 Guru Class Expert

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    I'd agree with GerryD and also add that I'd leave your CO2 on until 1/2 hour, to maybe 1 hour tops, prior to the lights going off. I see the most intense pearling on my plants the last couple of hours of my 8 hour lighting period and I think you may be turning the CO2 off too early. I also turn my CO2 on 2 hours before the lights to help ensure a rich CO2-drenched water when the lights come on. Before doing that I barely saw any pearling happening until almost 4 hours into the light period.
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Decreasing the duration will help a little, but not as much as either raising the fixture (if possible) or lessening the light.

    Even at 110 cf that is a good amount of light.

    IMO, you have been underdosing for your tank's needs esp with the high light you have been giving it.

    'heavily planted' tanks as you say will require more ferts. Have you increased your dosing to support the growth rates and increased mass?

    I bet not. Most folks don't.

    The plants themselves are telling you this by their appearance and growth rates...

    P. stellata broadleaf is a big plant and requires more 'food' than a small anubias. Plus, they can grow quickly and use up nutes just as quick.

    I just trimmed my stellata as it grew almost 30" tall and was almost as thick as two #2 pencils...

    So the choice of plants is also an issue and enters into the equation.

    EI can be used and adjusted as necessary. It works well in high tech and low tech tanks. Read the articles on low light/non c02 tanks.

    I am also not sure about diffusing c02 via a reverse flow through a UG filter. Can you please expand on that?

    Most folks (including me) do not have any real clue as to their real c02 content, as per Tom's latest research.....despite our reliance on drop checkers. These take time to respond and are still a crude measurement....

    Just because you are pressurized c02, doesn't mean that it is diffusing properly or in sufficient amounts for your tank's needs.

    I also agree with rich815 on the c02. I turn mine on 90 minutes prior to lights on and turn c02 off only 30-60 minutes prior to lights off.

    Remember that it takes time for c02 levels to rise. If the c02 is at a good level when lights come on, the growth period is now longer and the plant is not limited.

    You can also try dosing daily for the next 2-3 weeks and see if that helps as well.

    What type of filtration and flow rates do you have?
    Good luck.

    P.S. If you have been having problems for a year, it won't kill you to try our suggestions for 2-3 weeks, will it?
     
  6. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    What I did to diffuse the co2 was to take a gravel vac, attach the outflow end to the output of a powerhead. Then take the gravel vacs' intake (the large plastic tube) straight up so that the co2 gets caught at the top and then dissolves. One of the reasons I was turning off the co2 early was because even several hours after it shuts off the co2 is still dissolving in the tube. Also when I notice it takes about an hour for the drop checker to turn green after the co2 kicks on. However when I get home (about 5am) the drop checkers are still green.

    You can see the system in this pic some. the powerhead is on the right and the gravel vac tube is on the far left behind the plants.

    [​IMG]

    Most of the other plants are doing fine and a lot of them start pearling about 3-4 hrs after the lights come on.

    To diffuse co2 in my 29g I just placed a glass diffusor under the intake of a powerhead.

    for filtration I use a hot magnum on the 40g and a penguin 170 on the 29g.

    When you say try to dose daily do you mean both macro and micros in the same day?

    So I should increase the doses by 50% also? Man thats kinda scary. That would make my phosphate 5.55ppm per dose x 3 times a week :eek: .

    I will try it though.
     
  7. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    Do not dose phosphates and micros as the iron will bind and fall to the bottom. Dose the two 4-5hrs apart or more. Also don’t go too overboard with dosing, if you are uncomfortable with 50% try one step up and see how it goes. You are more likely to see less desirable growth and more algae with under dosing than you will with increased dosing. I am running in to the same problems you are and have so far increased my dosing routine and the plants seem to be responding fairly well. I went from the 40-60EI as i have a 60gal tank to the 60-80 recommended. Also like stated above try it for a few weeks and see how it goes, if its already been a year it cant hurt.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Trim the plants so the gloss is not shaded.
    Also, consider simply bubbling the CO2 into the intake of the powerhead and directing it to blast around the tank minus the gravel vac tube.

    Find a smaller less obtrusive powerhead.
    This will improve current and also distribute the CO2 better.

    Trim the gloss every so often also, it will grow very fast and pile on top of itself.
    Mow like you might a lawn, it will look ratty for 2-3 weeks. Then will start to bounce back. Or yank it up and replant and start the cycle over again.

    Gloss will reach for the light if you do a blackout or are shaded by other plants(they can tell if it's a piece of wood vs another plant actually blocking their light). So prune the other plants down/keep them there, let the gloss grow in well, then it should be fine.

    I've grown low tight Gloss at 1.5 W/gal on regular FL's in 18" tall tanks, and seen nice dense rugs at 1.5 w/gal of T5's.

    It's more a low light plant. Adding more light just increases the rate of growth.
    So then it really becomes weedy and grows too fast for many folks.

    Do not be reluctant to prune.
    This hobby is about pruning in a large way.

    Newer folks will be scared to prune and it takes some time to learn how to prune each species well.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hey Peyton,

    Could you please share your fears on this point?

    Your fear on this point is shared by many and we would like to set the record straight here if we can.

    1. I doubt your test is as accurate as you think it is.

    Have you read the articles section yet or the threads on EI?

    Tom has papers on all of the main nutrients including one for P. They are great articles and lots of info. I recommend reading them. They alone are worth the membership fees :)

    The fertilizer threads are here:

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/3205-fertilizer-routines-one.html

    As stated, just try a smaller increase, whatever you are comfortable with...

    I think you will find that you are in no danger of hurting anything dosing 2-6 times what you do now.

    This is one of the main reasons for the big WC, so as to avoid detrimental accumulation of nutrients.
     
  10. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    I've read a ton of articles here. A lot of what I do know I can credit to this site. I've been lurking around here for a few years :D . I think I have half the website saved on my computer for quick reference :) .

    I'm not using any test kits except every once in a while a nitrate test just to see where it's at. I got the P=5.55ppm per dose using chuck gadds calculator.

    That pic is a few weeks old. The powerhead is a little more hidden now. I moved the Rotala colorata to the far right corner to cover it better.

    I mist in the 29g but to tell the truth I don't like the look of all the bubbles in the water. I would like to avoid that method in the 40g if possible.

    I have been thinking of getting a couple of new powerheads. I was going to set them on timers to come on after lights out to help o2 levels.

    I do my best to prune. I try to keep them low except for the background plants and plants in the corners. I'm still learning though.

    I guess my only fear is the high N levels. I keep shrimp in these tanks so I don't want to over do it.

    Tom you mention growing glosso in 1.5wpg. Did you also inject co2 with this setup? I have a 20g with 2wpg that I would love to have a nice foreground in. I use excel in it along with ei.

    I really appreciate the help and guidance!
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I would suggest using this 24/7. These will help distribute your c02 and other nutes better.

    I have had one or two Koralias come on when my c02 does, so as to get more of the c02 distributed. As long as you aren't gassing the fish, no need for supplemental 02.

    You would really have to overdose to have this be an issue, even for shrimps.

    I doubt this will be an issue.

    Just increase 10% at a time for a week and go from there.

    Remember that it will take time for the tank to recover.

    It is only now after 6-8 weeks AFTER a blackout and adjustment, etc that my plant growth is where I would like it.

    The hardest part sometime, at least for me, was wanting to tinker too quickly. You need time to assess the change and it's impact.
     
  12. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    I'll try my fert increases first to see if that helps. If not I'll try increasing water movement, etc. I'll give it time to react to the changes so I'll know without a doubt what it is.

    I'll keep this thread updated.

    Once again thanks to everyone for the input! Wish me luck.
     
  13. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    good luck and don’t worry there is light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. I increased my dosing to the next level from 40-60 to 60-80 and in just a matter of a few days the plants are already starting to look healthier. Also as far as flow matters im tempted to take a picture of two spots in my tank to show the difference no flow vs flow makes. I have 5 shoots of camboba on the left side of my tank and my spray bar was not drilled far enough back to reach them. So ever since i did a trim they have stayed about the same size. The ones i trimmed and replanted in the middle of my tank where the flow is strong have already been trimmed twice as they reached the top of the tank.
     
  14. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    I performed my weekly water change this morning several hours before the lights and co2 came on. I unhooked the gravel vac diffusor system in the 40g at that time. I was just going to mist with the powerhead, even though I don't like tons of bubbles in the water.

    About 4pm I came home and glanced into the tank only to see my drop checker dark blue... not good. Needless to say I hooked the gravel vac diffusor back up and within about 2 hours the DC was a yellowish green. I think I'm going to continue to use the diffusor. I was getting some good water movement with the powerhead disconected from the diffusor though.

    I'm already seeing a difference in the 29g. My R. rotundifolia is pearling like crazy. downoi is looking great too. The downside is bacopa colorata and H. polysperma sunset are looking less colorful and more green. Guess you can't have your cake and eat it too?

    I just hope that dip in co2 levels today don't stunt anything :( .
     
  15. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    Ok today I noticed the leaves on h. polysperma are now coming in a lot smaller and wilted looking. Why would this be happening?

    [​IMG]

    L. glandulosa is still driving me crazy. One day it looks good, the next it's wilted. Even in the same day it changes from looking good to wilted to looking halfway good again. Yesterday the stem on the right looked good (no wilting) and the one on the left was wilted. Today the opposite is true.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Peyton,

    IMO you are still underfertilizing. Remember that hygrophila species grow very quickly and will thus require and USE more nutrients than some others.

    Ludwigia sp is much the same.

    Some plants are better assimilators than others. I think this may be what you are experiencing. Different plants have various growth rates. If the rest of the plants are doing better, the nutrients are being utilized faster than before and in more quanities. So the increase helped but is still not optimal.

    Once ALL the nutrient levels are no longer limiting factors, I think you will see this issue resolve.

    What EI levels are you dosing now?

    Remember too, that as the plants grow, so does the demand for c02 and nutrients. You need to increase/decrease based also on plant mass.

    Hope this helps.
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Smaller new growth typically means lack of CO2.
    Again, nutrients are easy to rule out, the CO2 less so.
    Smaller growth, algae, plants not quite looking "full" thriving the way you might see them in a photo etc......

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    I dosed this week as per the 40-60gal schedule (in both the 40g and 29g) + a couple of times a did a small dose of macros several hours after the csm dose.

    sun,tue,thur 1/2tsp kno3, 1/8 tsp kh2po4, 1/8 tsp k2so4
    mon,wed,fri 1/8tsp csm+b

    I have started to notice good growth with some other plants in the 29g. My rotala rotundifolia hasn't looked this good in a long time plus it is pearling like crazy. HC is pearling good also.

    I have some L. glandulosa growing in my pond. I might take a few cuttings from it and try to start from scratch. These stems I have now have been stunted for so long maybe they will never bounce back.
     
  19. Peyton

    Peyton Junior Poster

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    Well it's been a few weeks since I upped the fert dosing and I've seen some results. L. cuba and some stems of A gracilis are doing better either because of the fert increase or because I moved the outflow of my filter so that it is aimed directly at the stems. I'm going to get some new powerheads soon to help aid in flow.
     
  20. Elkmor

    Elkmor Junior Poster

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    Peyton, I had the same problem in my past tank. EI, 3wpg, insane amounts of CO2, TMG, NPK, etc. Dimming light solves problem, but partially.

    I have 8L tank now, without filter, but r/o water, dosing garden ferts, ADA AS. No problems.
     
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