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Pests or lacking in dosing schedule

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by kitty, May 22, 2007.

  1. kitty

    kitty Junior Poster

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    Hi all

    I have had my planted EI dosed tank set up for around a month now and all my plants seem to be doing pretty well, except for my Hygro cormbosa angustifolia and Hygro polsperma.

    My cormbosa seems to be the worse off of the two with semi transparent leaves where the veins can clearly be seen and pinholes in the leaves which develop into larger holes with the surrounding leaf dieing back too. My polsperma has similar problems however it seems to be affected to a lesser extent. I am unsure whether the problem could be due to pests, something I am lacking in my dosing schedule, or another factor.

    My CO2 is around 25-30ppm which I am still tweaking, the light is on for 10h a day, I dose 1.5ppm KH2PO4 and 7.5ppm KNO3 every other day, Epsom salts 1/3 teaspoon 1 week, trace TMG 5ml every other day for my 120l, 3.5w tank. Tap water and latest test results of tank water below. I am currently still changing the water a couple of times a week and have activated carbon in the filter, however the water I put back into the tank is quite cold and I wondered if this could possibly have something to do with it.

    I have also have noticed I have a few snails in the tank, which I am removing as I find and what appears to be a little brown mite of some kind on the damaged leaves. I have also recently added some Malaysian trumpet snails to the tank however I encountered theses problems before I put them in the tank.

    Any suggestions welcomed
    Regards.

    Tank water today, light on 6h,
    Dosed KH2P04, KNO3, Last water change sun.
    PH- 7.0
    NO2- 0.1
    NO3- 5
    NH3- 0
    GH- 14
    KH- 8
    P04- 1.0
    CA- 100ppm
    FE- 0


    Tap water
    PH- 7.5
    NO3- 5
    PO4- 0
    KH- 12
    GH- 20
     
  2. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you are supplying 10 hours a day of light that is enough; if you are supplying 6 hours worth a day that might not be enough for a light lover like hygro "angustifolia". H. polysperma also seems to prefer a lot of light, although it will live with a lot less than you are providing.

    You might consider increasing the nitrate dosing. An average level of 5 ppm isn't very much for a tank with 3.5 watts per gallon. Some people suggest 10 to 20 PPM, or more.

    Good luck!

    Bill
     
  3. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi kitty,

    Firstly, how are you measuring CO2 and what lighting do you have?
    Secondly, if your tests are correct (any many test kits aren't that good) you are showing Fe=0.
    What you have sounds a little like a K or FE shortage. However, with what you're dosing it doesn't appear to be, so I would say CO2. You could also do with more KNO3.
    Are you sure of your CO2? Do you have a drop checker to measure it or are you relying on pH/CO2/KH tables?
    Try increasing it slowly over the next few days, watch the fish in case they start heading for the surface gasping.

    Also, your tap water going in is quite hard, you're dosing Epsom salts yet you have tank reading a third less?

    The little brown dots on the leaves may well be snail eggs or a few diatoms.
     
  4. kitty

    kitty Junior Poster

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    Hi aquabillpers and Bhornsey

    I am supplying 10h of light a day; 6h was just how long the light had been on when I carried out the tests on the water. My KN03 dosing is 7.5ppm every other day, would you suggest increasing this as my tank is quite heavily planted.

    I am measuring my CO2 through the use of a drop checker, I recently tried turning up my CO2 however I managed to turn it up too high and lost some of my fish while I was at work, so I am slowly turning it up at the moment until I find the middle ground (however I experienced the problems with my Hygros before this.) I have the CO2 coming on a couple of hours before the light, however I find my plants don’t really start pealing until the end of the day, and my ricca appears not to pearl at all.

    I believe the lower GH in my tank water may be due to the fact I am only dosing Epsom salts 1 week and doing water changes 2 a week, would you suggest dosing more often? Also I have ADA aqua soil in my tank and bogwood which I heard can lower the GH.

    My lighting is 2x 36w Interpet daylight plus and 2x 24w Interpet triplus in an over tank light, giving me a total of 3.5w. I have retaken my FE test a few time and always seem to get the same result 0, so I am unsure of these results are accurate or not.


    Thanks for your time:)
    Regards.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You need to be careful and slowly add more CO2, do so only when you are around and can observe.

    Make sure you have good surface movement also.
    The plants have no light or nutrient issues, they have access to the water and the sediments.

    So all that is left for these two weeds is CO2.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Not to be disputatious, but I have a huge growth of H. polysperma in a 2 WPG tank (prox) with a soil substrate. There is no carbon augmentation. There is some nitrate dosing. The plant needs substantial trimming every 2 weeks.

    Excepting this tank, I have never been able to get that plant to grow as well as well as it seems to grow for others.

    It could be a CO2 problem, but in my case I think it has to do with bad karma, which has been mitigated in the case of my latest tank.

    Bad karma and/or insufficient CO2 can explain a lot of complex plant problems. :)

    Bill
     
  7. kitty

    kitty Junior Poster

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    Hi Tom and Aquabillpers

    Thanks for your replies. The worst off of my Hygros seem to be those planted next to the intake valve of my filter, is it possible with them being at the furthest point from the outtake flow of my filter, that they are not getting the same supply of nutrients, could the intake valve be taking nutrients away form them before they get a chance to absorb them?

    I am running my CO2 into my external filter too, could this be affecting the growth rate if they are furthest away from the filter flow and CO2, or would the fact the CO2 is being absorbed in the filter make no difference to this?

    Would you suggest that I carry on with the water changes 2 a week with the dieing plant matter I am getting, can I risk starting to slacken off to 1 a week instead?

    Perhaps Aquabillpers I also share your problems of bad karma as I have always struggled to grow stem plants, or maybe you have passed your bad karma on to me, either way at least it takes off some of the blame on me! ;)
     
  8. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Passing on bad karma is a great way to make things better.

    A while back someone did that to Tom and since then he has had very little success in growing fresh water algae, no matter how hard he tries.

    Bill
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No reason why the non CO2 approach should have that expression, however, your plants and tank is adapted to low CO2, this tank is not..................

    That makes a huge difference in growth and expression.

    As well as advice given.
    I can grow most hygros very well in non CO2 systems, with or without sediment nutrients sources.

    But this is not a non CO2 system.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No, I can induce them when I see fit, and every so often when lazy, when I do not.
    But it's the same old routine to get rid of them.
    Over and over and over again.

    FYI, plants can and do adapt to low CO2. They have far more Rubisco ready to snatch the low CO2. So when you scale up and add more CO2, they do well and there is no algae issues. After sometime passes, say 1-2 weeks, they reduce the Rubisco, they do not need much when you have 10X the CO2, so they downregulate that.


    Now, reverse that senario. What happens when you go from a high CO2 situation, with a plant that have reduced the rubisco down a great deal, then reduce the CO2 supply suddenly?

    Algae, poor growth, severe CO2 limitation. After 1-2 weeks, the plant can adapt.

    But what happens if your CO2 gas injection ppm's are all over the place?
    Bobbing between high and low levels?

    The plants cannot adapt to both quickly, and they have lots of trouble, some grow okay and in spurts when there is enough cO2, but algae takes over fairly quick.

    CO2 levels can change in minutes to about 1 hour, Rubisco levels take much longer to adapt assuming they have enough other resources, about 1 week or more in some cases.

    When that occurs, the plant also reduces and downregulates NH4/PO4/NO3 uptake as well.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I said what I said about Tom's apparent problems in growing algae because time and time again, over the years, when people have related their successes at growing it by tinkering with such and such a variable ("I added phosphate to my tank and in three days I had thick green water and hairy stuff all over."), he would reply that when he tinkered with the same variable no algae developed ("I've done the same thing and never got any algae.")

    I just assumed that he couldn't grow it like other people can.

    Bill
     
  12. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Kitty.

    I've re-read your first post, it says you have a 120L 3.5w tank. Were you saying you have 3.5 wpg?

    If so, it's bit bright and you're dosing fairly lean on KNO3. You could probably double that. Assuming your tests are something like, you have little NO3 in the tap.

    My point re hardness was that you have KH 12 / GH 20 out of the tap, you add some epson salts which should raise it a touch more, then you measure the tank and the readings are down a third? I'm not greatly experienced yet but I haven't come across that phenomenon. My tank water stays fairly constant.
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've recently started saying that it is not a method's fault, it mine, yours, ours.

    After trying out many methods, and initially assuming that it was just a bad method, or I just cannot do it, or it's too hard to get the right balance etc, I went back and kept at it until I did get it.

    I knew others had done it, so I knew I could also.
    That is the rub and a very key point/observation.

    You assume they are not lying to you and it can be done.
    Tinkering etc, whatever it takes.

    But once you have an example that is successful, and you have added loads of PO4, you can rule that out as a possible cause.
    This approach can used for algae and for plants

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. kitty

    kitty Junior Poster

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    Hi all

    I feel like I have started a bit of a debate here!! :p

    I am still slowly increasing my CO2 levels (fish appear fine at the mo.) I found that the problem I am having with my hygros occurred almost immediately after I set up my tank (however they have become noticeably more damaged recently) so CO2 could be to blame. I also heard that Hygros tend to be grown emergent in nurseries, so they probably were used to more atmospheric CO2 before I got them. I will have to watch them over the next couple of weeks as I settle my CO2 down to see if I notice an improvement.

    Hi BHornsey I do have 3.5wpg so I will try upping my KN03 to 10ppm as you suggest to see what effect that has on overall growth. I see what you are saying regarding my hardness readings, I believe that certain objects i.e. substrate and wood can leak into the water of new set ups creating a different water quality to that of the tap over time, I also tend not to do a water test (which are not all that accurate) of the tank water straight after a water change, giving the leaching more time to take effect I believe, may be wrong though, I’m not all that experienced either. ;)

    I understand what you are saying aquabillpers, some people do seem to have the Midas touch. I have always struggled to keep aquatic plants in the past (due to my complete ignorance and trying to combine techniques over the years.) To anyone just starting out it must sometime feel that people like Tom (who have years of experience) that something mystical is taking place. It is only as we learn through our mistakes that we realise perhaps there is a science to it after all, and a lot of hard work. If this were not true I imagine people would be queuing up to be in the presence of Tom so some of his Karma would rub off on them!! (Perhaps I am just being silly now though!) :D

    Thanks for your time Tom.
    Regards.
     
  15. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, Kitty,

    I don't see a debate here, and even if there was it would be a good thing, at this site. The debaters-for-the-sake-of-debating don't seem to come here. We seek understanding, often by asking questions and challenging opinions.

    Tom doesn't have the Midas touch, as far as I know, but he knows how to grow plants and how to explain why they grow or fail. Very few have that knowledge, I think.

    He used to be an anarchist, but I think he has become a Republican. I'm not sure , though.
     
  16. kitty

    kitty Junior Poster

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    Hi Aquabillpers

    I know this isn’t a debate (long day at work! :rolleyes: ), in fact I visit this website based on the quality and experience of its posters and the value I put on the advice I constantly learn from them. I have also found so far the E.I method of dosing (although I am still smoothing out initial set-up problems- reason for my original post) to have given me the best start off growth in my tank so far and so I am constantly looking for ways to improve my set-up to reach my goals of a decent looking planted tank (something which is made infinitely more achievable through the knowledge and help of Tom and his website.)

    I appreciate all your time and input
    Regards.
     
  17. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi kitty

    Thats what I thought. At 3½ wpg, thats a lot of light over a 120L.
    It's a bit of a favorite theme here, too much light. Whilst it can work, it pushes the tank and if there any shortages you get problems.
    All the processes in plants are driven by light, the more light, the more growth, the greater nutrient uptake, etc. Dosing 7ppm KNO3 is a bit lean.
    If you can, try throttling the lights back to about 2 wpg, with the full 3½ wpg for a short midday burst. If not, try raising the light up away from the surface or find a less powerful light.
     
  18. kitty

    kitty Junior Poster

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    Hi BHornsey

    My light is an over tank luminary so is not directly on the surface. Unfortunately it is not a great make, so I planed to try to replace it once I felt comfortable with the set up I have now, perhaps I can go for something with less wattage then, unless changing it would have an adverse reaction on the plants ability to adapt? I cannot however reduce the wattage at this time with the lighting I am using, only reduce the hours it is on for and perhaps grow more floating plants (have already increased KNO3 to 10ppm.)

    Regards.
     
  19. kitty

    kitty Junior Poster

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    Hi all

    I believe I have reached a level from which I can no longer increase my CO2 levels, this still appears to be at PH 7, (PH 6.5 & 6.0 leave my fish struggling even with good surface movement) my drop checker is green though, would this reading be considered acceptable? as I was under the impression that with drop checkers 6.5 indicated the ideal levels of C02.

    Is it possible since I am dissolving my CO2 through my external filter, some of which seems to build up in my filter after the C02 has been on a number of hours and bubble out, that I am not dissolving my C02 in an efficient way, which could be leading to large amounts of C02 in the water at once (and adversely effecting my fish and plants?)

    I have also still found that many of my plants seem to pearl very little until the evening, the ricca not at all. Am I expecting results too soon since the plants have not yet had time to adjust to my current CO2 levels, (could my method of C02 dispersal be related to this), or is pearling a direct reflection of C02 levels on a day-to-day basis.

    Would it also be worth increasing my dosage of TMG to increase my FE levels which always appear to be low or adding another more iron based fert. Would it also be worthwhile adding K, is there anything else I could be adding to my dosing schedule to help, if C02 is not a limiting factor, or is there something I am missing?

    Thanks for your time and interest, advice welcomed.
    Regards.
     
  20. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It doesn't seem like you are using your drop checker correctly. You need to load the drop checker with distilled or DI water known to have a KH of 4 dKH, with enough pH reagent added so the color is easy to see. That water in the drop checker will be green when the CO2 level in the tank is about 30 parts per million, which is a good level to keep in the tank. If you use any other water in the drop checker the color will just tell you the pH of that water, but not the amount of CO2 in the water.
     
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