Pests or lacking in dosing schedule

kitty

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Jan 18, 2007
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Hi Vaughn H

Thanks for your reply

The water I have put in my drop checker is 4dKH water bought form aqua essentials. The drop checker type is a fishvet C02 indicator with the PH regent bottle which came with it (believe is bromothymol blue, it is a pink regent which turns blue when added to water). I have added 4 drops of this regent to make sure the colour is strong and easy to read. Is it possible this is the wrong regent then?

Regards
 

VaughnH

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You can verify that the pH reagent is bromothymol blue by mixing a bit of your 4 dKH water with a few drops of the reagent, then adding a tiny drop of white vinegar to it. It should go to yellow. Or, stick a piece of air tubing in it and blow your breath into it for a few minutes. It should go greenish blue. The bromothymol blue reagents I have seen are kind of a dirty greenish blue and opaque.
 

kitty

Junior Poster
Jan 18, 2007
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Hi VaughnH

Thanks for your help

I have contacted Richard from aqua essentials and it appears the regent I am using is not Bromothymol blue, so I will see if I can purchase a low range Hagen PH test kit tomorrow.

For now is it worth disregarding the PH 7 results I am getting as I was under the impression that the reason the drop checkers were effective was due to the fact test kits usually showed a lower PH (due to water softening for other reasons, soil etc) in relation to what CO2 was actually in the water, rather then what would appear in my case to be a higher one (though I am unable to turn the CO2 up higher for my fishes sake, and I am trying to create some stability for my plants.)

Have I got completely the wrong end of the stick here?

Thanks for your patience.

Regards.
 

VaughnH

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I can only relate my experience. When I was trying to find the right amount of CO2 to inject, and was watching the fish to be sure I didn't go too high, I stopped at an amount that, once I got the drop checker, I finally found was much below 30 ppm. And, when I increased it to 30 ppm the fish were all fine. I just found it very hard to interpret whether or not the fish were stressed by the CO2. Others may be able to do this easily, but I couldn't. But, when I aaccidentally ran the amount up above 40 ppm, judging by the color of the drop checker, I lost some fish. It happened quickly so I didn't see how the fish behaved just before I went too high. Now I just leave my CO2 bubble rate alone, just watching how the bubbles appear in my Barr internal venturi reactor to see if anything looks different. Occasionally I look at the drop checker, but not often.

I am now getting ready to switch to a Rena Filstar XP3 filter and an external reactor for the CO2, so I will soon be dependent on the drop checker again. I plan to post my reactor assembly pictures when I finally get all of the parts collected and build it.
 

aquabillpers

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Jan 24, 2005
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Hi,

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.

At the start of this interesting thread you said that all of your plants were doing fine except the hygros. Several solutions have been proposed, including getting the CO2 right, or being sure that the CO2 level testing is accurate.

The discussion has become very technical. Some prefer to build their computers and get more enjoyment out of that than of using them. Others like to work on old cars more than they do driving them. And some perhaps get more pleasure out of the technical aspects of this hobby than of creating and enjoying aquatic environments. All of these are fun and pleasurable in themselves.

Sometimes people run into problems and invest in expensive light-filter-CO2 systems and employ complex dosing protocols to solve them. That is fine too, unless all the hobbyist wants to do is to have a healthy planted aquarium.

In this case everthing is fine except the hygros. Perhaps investing more in filters, light, and CO2 injectors will solve that problem. An alternative approach would be to give up on the hygros and find another plant that would fill that niche and learn how to grow it.

Both approaches work.

Good luck.

Bill
 

jeff5614

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Aug 11, 2006
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Vaughn, I'm looking forward to the reactor pics. What's prompted the change from an internal to an external reactor?
 

VaughnH

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jeff5614;17003 said:
Vaughn, I'm looking forward to the reactor pics. What's prompted the change from an internal to an external reactor?
I have become very busy, and I expect to be that busy for almost another 2 years, so my plan to do weekly filter maintenance on my H.O.T. filter isn't working well, nor is my plan to do weekly maintenance on the Barr internal venturi reactor. And, I want to, for once, try a filter that is for sure adequate for the tank size I have. So, I decided to use an oversize Filstar filter with an external reactor. It will have the bubble counter built in, to avoid another possible leak site. All of this to change my maintenance schedule to monthly, and give me different toys to play with.
 

jeff5614

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Aug 11, 2006
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I hear you on having new toys to play with. I switched from an ADA pollen glass to a DIY external reactor in February and I'm glad I did. There's one less piece of equipment in the tank and one less thing to clean.