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Help with Rhizoclonium

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by shrimppaste, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. shrimppaste

    shrimppaste Junior Poster

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    HI Everyone and Tom especially,

    I just started a 5 feet X 2 feet X 2 feet tank recently. And these are the parameters I have.

    Fertilisation EI method Using 1 teaspoon of KNO3 every 1, 3 and 5th day, and 1/4 teaspoon of K2SO4 evry 2, 4, and 6th day. I do 50% water change on the 7th day.

    Lighting is about 3.2 Watts per gallon. ( 6 X 80 watt)

    Temperature at 25 degree celcius

    Recently I sarted seeing a lot of Rhizoclonium. I read that this is due to insufficient CO2.

    So my question is, is my lighting too high? I am thinking of using 3.2 W/G as the tank is 2 feet high and I want to make sure the fissidens at the bottom would get the light. I am only using one CO2 at one corner of the tank. Should I add one more CO2 tank to increase and make sure my drop checker is always yellow?

    So in summary, should I
    1. Increase the CO2 and keep the light as it is as I need to get light to the bottom of the tank.
    2. Decrease the light and keep CO2 as it is?

    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I am not Tom of course but here are my thoughts anyway...

    Lighting.

    What type of fixture/bulbs? T5, MH. CF?

    Wpg is a meaningless measurement regardless of lighting type. Even a 24" deep tank will get more light than you think.

    What are your goals? Do you want a lot of fast growth and require a lot of trimming? Or a slower growing tank?

    Please note that it is light that drives plant growth and subsequent c02 and nutrient demand...the higher the light the higher the demand esp for c02 and that is not always easy to meet. Macro and micro ferts are relatively easy to provide an abundance..c02 not so much...

    IMO, you should borrow or get a PAR meter and adjust your lights that way.. However, since they are expensive and not readily available, I would suggest you go with 2-4 bulbs at first and see how the growth is with those levels. You can always increase light. Try using the bulbs that give the most spread within your fixture....not sure of it's bulb configuration...

    You may find it easier to meet the lower demand at first.....

    C02:

    1. How are you diffusing the c02 into the tank? Please provide details.

    Please be aware that a drop checker is not always reliable. It should be moved around the tank to check various places as well. Just because it is yellow does still not mean that the plants have enough available to them..

    You need to watch the plants and fish to help guage c02:

    You may have too much if:

    1. Fish are at surface gulping or just congregating and that is not normal for them.
    2. Fish are panting or breathing more rapidly.
    3. Fish are discolored or listless.
    4. Fish are hiding and not as active

    You may have enough if:

    1. Plants pearl within 30 minutes of lights on.
    2. Leaves are well formed, abundant, no algae.
    3. No new algae is forming.
    4. Existing algae decreases.

    Many folks turn the c02 on about 30 minutes before lights on to help provide better c02 levels when the lights come on. c02 should be OFF when lights are off.

    How much/type filtration/flow do you have?
    Are you not dosing any micro nutrients?

    What kind of plants do you have? substrate?

    The more details you provide the better help Tom can provide....
     
    #2 Gerryd, Jul 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2010
  3. csmith

    csmith Guest

    Temporary Thread Theft

    Number 1 on the "may not have enough" list is a recurring theme, but pearling isn't necessary correct? I've got my filter output pointed at such an angle as to provide a significant ripple on the surface, yet still have no pearling. Should there be pearling when there is a surface ripple?

    Is there a way to determine too much CO2 without fish? I can't really keep fish at the moment (that on-going saga), but when I get the chance I'd rather not gas them off the bat if at all possible.

    You can have your thread back now. :D
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    c,

    Yes, pearling is not automatic...however, if providing that much light, even if underdosing EI a bit, and providing 'adequate' c02, that should trigger a bubble or two.

    Just something to look for is all.

    Another way is to compare what you have to right after a large WC.. if the WC provides pearling or more/better, than maybe something is off c02 wise,,

    AFAIK plants cannot overdose on c02, so if no inverts or fish, not sure how to tell w/o a c02 meter
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Do you mean to add another c02 tank?

    Please note that there are many methods to diffuse c02 into water. some are more effective than others.

    You may find with a 150 gal like yours that you may need a combination of methods, or perhaps two of the SAME methods, to supply enough c02.

    For instance, you may use two c02 reactors, one on each side of the tank. Or maybe two discs, one on each side, etc. Or a disc and a needle wheel methods.

    You can do this with ONE TANK and regulator assembly, you just may need a manifold to properly allocate the amount of c02 to each 'side'.

    Does any of this help or make sense?
     
  6. csmith

    csmith Guest

    Definately substantial pearling after WC. It'd seem there's more CO2 tweaking in my future. Thanks!
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    C,

    Don't forget that 02 also is added at the time of water change...

    I have found that if I allow my wier levels to fall where a lot of 02 bubbles are generated, that my pearling intensifies dramatically if I leave it that way for even an hour or so...

    When I keep them level, the pearling is good, but not as intense as when the extra 02 is added...

    So, pearling is not 'just' c02....
     
  8. csmith

    csmith Guest

    Understood. I'm moreso looking at adjusting the filter ouput to increase surface ripple/O2 addition, then going from there. It'd make me feel better about CO2 levels and O2 saturation. Something I've probably neglected the most in my troubles is O2 levels.
     
  9. csmith

    csmith Guest

  10. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Your description of 6 x 80 Watt's, it must be T5. I'm sure you are using too much light. I'm using half of what you have on my 180 Gallon which is 6" x 2" x 2" and also the Fissidens is doing very well, but I don't have Rhizoclonium ;)
    I measure light with a PAR meter and it's really surprising how intense T5's are. I still have 60 micromols at the substrate, which is still twice as much as plants minimally need.

    I think it's going to be VERY hard to meet CO2 demand with that much light. So I'd suggest you use 4 tubes and keep it at 320 Watts. If you are using good reflectors, then you can use just 3 tubes, because good reflectors increase the light by 30% to 50% (that's what my PAR meter says)

    This is based on the fact that you're not using grolux type tubes since they give just half the PAR value of a "normal" tube.

    Everything together it will save you a lot of pruning, algae and money ;)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
    #10 dutchy, Jul 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2010
  11. shrimppaste

    shrimppaste Junior Poster

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    WOW! Thanks so much for all the info. I am now so much clearer as to what I need to so. So I definitely will cut down to 4 lights for a total of 320W and yes they are all T5. I am currently using a reactor. I have been having very good results with this reactor in my 3 feet tank. So I just went and bought one more reactor and an eheim 1250 to run this new reactor that I will place in the centre of the tank.

    As for filtration, I am running 2 X eheim 2028. Which I think is sufficient.

    So this is what I'll do to combat this.

    1. Wash filter.
    2. Change 50% water
    3. Add Excel to maximum dosage
    4. Do 3 days black out, turn off CO2.
    5. Turn lights back on for 6 hours using 4 bulbs at 320
    6. Do water change again
    7. add one more CO2 reactor
    8. Increase lighting to 10 hours after about 2 weeks when I see more plant growth

    I am pretty sure this will solve the issue. This beginning process gives me the most headache but at the same time when we're able to solve it, it feels so so good.

    Thanks again for all the quick responses. you guys are really good and fast.

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  12. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Allthough it sounds good, I'm not sure if the two 2028's are sufficient if you're using the reactors inline. If you measure the REAL output of these filters at the return at tank level with the reactors installed, you could be very disappointed as I expect they are not doing more thana 100 gallon per hour each. Just take the amount of seconds to fill up a 1/4 of a gallon container and convert to gallons per hour. You should have something like 5 to 6 times the tank volume in pump capacity, what would mean two filters of 375 gallon per hour each. like the Eheim 2076. That way you have a better chance at meetiing CO2 demand with inline reactors

    Even then you would still be kind of low on overall flow, which should be like 10x turnover total as a starting point. Adding a powerhead can help here.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  13. shrimppaste

    shrimppaste Junior Poster

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    No actually I am running the reactors separately using a eheim professional pump.
     
  14. shrimppaste

    shrimppaste Junior Poster

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    And I also have a Koralia wavemaker K1 running in the tank. So with the teo eheim outlets, the koralia and the professional I have four water outlets in the tank.
     
  15. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Sounds good. Good luck and let us know what happens :)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  16. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    You may not need or want the blackout..If you lower the light levels and SLOWLY adjust your c02 so the plants have enougj w/o harming any critters, you will see the algae disappear and you can be pretty sure it is from your adjustments... A b/o simply knocks off a lot of existing algae, which will come back if root cause conditions are not fixed.

    Also, by doing #5 and 8 you may put yourself back in the same position of not enough c02....6 hours of 420 is still way too much..it is the intensity not the duration that is mostly the issue here..

    I don't see where plants need more than 8-9 hours daily to do well..

    Also a few extra water changes with some nice EI dosing right afterwards will also help a lot.

    I would add the extra reactor and see how that goes for 7-10 days. Toss in an extra water change or two and see if that takes care of it. Max 2-3 (I vote 2) bulbs for 7-8 hours max while you get things under control..

    The more things change the less grasp you may have on what 'fixed' the issue. May have been one or more things, but how would you know?

    Take your time. If things are going well the plants will respond and do well. algae will retreat as well.
     
  17. shrimppaste

    shrimppaste Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    But I have seen tanks where the plants gets leggy due to the photoperiod being too short even though the lighting is enough. And I read that plants would maximize the photosynthesis after 4 hours. So if we turn it off immediately won't it be too fast? IN my previous tank I was using EI very successfully at 11 hours a day.

    THanks.
     
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Are you sure the legginess was caused by a shorter photoperiod? Or was it c02 or some other cause?

    Tom mentioned the other day that the plants really are cranking the first 5-6 hours of light and SOME start to taper off. All dependant on plant species...

    You will see plants 'close' up (esp stems) when they have had 'enough' light...This does not take 10-11 hours as you can easily see.

    I thought that until you had things under control the less light would help...
     
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