Input required: my Flourite Black Sand Battlefield:

Gilles

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I redid my tank with Flourite Black Sand last week while my tank kept running, without rinsing it first... You get the idea if you ever used Flourite Black Sand before. The tomato soup went away after some huge water changes, and rinsing the sand on saturday.

Here is the sunday planted battlefield.

Lights: 4x54w
NO3: 20
PO4: 0.5
KH: 4
GH: 7
PH: 6.85
ORP: 330

Off course it needs to grow in...

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dutchy

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Hi Gilles,

Change 50% of water twice per week to get rid of the SiO3, this will prevent diatoms somewhat.

Your PO4 en CO2 are low and a cause to limitation.

What's the PAR on your tank?

regards,
dutchy
 

Gilles

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good point, didn't know that was related. What is best 50% WC / twice a week or anti-SiO3 filter media? I am guessing the first, will do a massive wc tomorrow evening, reduce PH and measure my PAR.
Shall i reduce my PH to 6.6 (with a KH of 3.5 this should read 30ppm) or do you advise to get a co2 'continue' test?
 

Tom Barr

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Excel or Easy carbo might help also, 2-3x a week water change till the tank grows in good.

Keep everything clean as you can.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

dutchy

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Gilles;56333 said:
Shall i reduce my PH to 6.6 (with a KH of 3.5 this should read 30ppm) or do you advise to get a co2 'continue' test?

That sounds better, but keep an eye on your rainbows, it seems like they are somewhat sensitive to high CO2 (no experience myself) and you don't want to lose those pretty fish. So stay around. A CO2 test is helpful, I use the Dennerle test that even has numbers, like 0-10-20-40-80, which correspond to a colour. Not super accurate of course, but I've seen big differences between calculated and actual CO2 levels, up to 25%.

Also I'd go for some more PO4. Your 0,5 is only enough for one day in my tank.

regards,
dutchy
 

wearsbunnyslippers

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hey gilles, your rainbows are awesome!

i hope you have better luck with this layout!!

how is you tank monitoring going?
 

Gilles

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Wel i think that a good redox value definitately helps in keeping your rainbows healthy. With my previous redox of around 100 (deoxidized water) i saw them gasping for air, now with a redox of 480 (just saw it) it is much better off course, much healthier water. The PH was 6.85 and is now reduced to 6.7 (which is kinda a minimum for me for now). I'll buy a co2 endurance test to see better coloration.
 

dutchy

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Yes, it's good to not rush things. With the test you could easily find out you don't have more than 20 ppm. Try to find an optimal value slowly, without gassing the fish. I'm using pH 6.6 with KH5, and I keep discusfish.

regards,
dutchy
 

Gilles

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Tomorrow my redox was 515, so it is getting better and better; PH 6.7 and fish are still very happy swimming about.
 

Gilles

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This is weird...

So my KH is 4, and i set my PH to 6.7 the day before yesterday. This should give a co2 level of around 25ppm (according to 'the tables').

Since Tom always tells us 'you have to little co2' i decided to go out and buy myself a co2 drop checker, just to be sure;

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I came home, installed the drop checker, put in the fluid but it stayed blue, meaning had to little co2.
So i upped my co2 from 6.7 to 6.5 and finally it turned green. According to the manual this means i now have 15-25ppm co2 in my water.

This makes me wonder; what to trust more; the co2 drop checker or my aquarium computer measuring my ph...
 
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dutchy

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So, I guess you learned something yesterday ;). Although the pH/KH table by itself is right, the problem is that the figures we provide as input for this table, are inaccurate. You can have nitric acids in the water that reduce pH. The pH sensor can't know the difference. The drop checker does, because the nitric acids can't influence it.

For example: The pH sensor reeds a pH of 6.2 in my tank. I have KH 5. You will find that this is off the scale on the pH/KH table. Yet my drop checker shows a nice lime green and my discusfish are very ok.

A lot of aquarists have this problem and they don't want to increase CO2, because the pH sensor says..... And then they ask themselves why they have algae and blame it on EI, or nutrients etc.

It's even better to watch your plants, watch how they grow. Not in length, but in width. If you reach unlimited CO2 levels the plant will show that by increasing its width. That's the best test there is.

regards,
dutchy
 

Gilles

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yeah.. although the drop checker is ugly on your glass, this is going to be a stayer. I am thinking of buying a new one, this one:

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I am for sure going to make my own 4dKH sollution, but i am unsure to use "zuiveringszout" or "baksoda"..
 

dutchy

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No, it just uses a pH indicator fluid. It has a corresponding KH scale which tells you how much CO2 you have. The advantage is the 0-10-20-40-80 CO2 ppm scale. That's helpful. Most dropcheckers just have blue/green/yellow.

regards,
dutchy
 

Gilles

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Oke, i scared myself yesterday.

I finally manged to get a glass 'soup' cup. I drilled a hole in it and mounted my Quantum Meter light sensor on it (using the 5mm hole i drilled) so the light sensor stays on the bottom of the tank and not goes upside down due to the thick cord attached to it.

Here is the scary part;
mid-day; i was reading 110mmol with 4x 54w tubes on.

Since the old tubes showed decreased light in the middle of the tubes, i guess that means they where inneficient and old. So i removed 1 tube yesterday evening, cleaned the others including reflectors and changed my lights a bit:

front: 1x Osram 840 (4000k)
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mid: 1x JBL Solar Ultra Natur
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back: 1x JBL Solar Ultra Tropic
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Why JBL? Because these where new tubes i had lying around.

So this afternoon i am planning to dim my lights, but can i do this in 1 go? For instance to 60mmol?