Question for Tom

AlgaeMaster

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Sep 30, 2006
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In my 75 gal tank, my moneywort is growing smaller leaves that are cupped downwards, Red temple plant with twisted deformed leaves, Microsword, Java moss and java fern that are just barely growing....Cabomba that grows tall and leggy, dwarf sag is growing good....Oh I also have staghorn algae and sometimes a spot or 2 of BGA....

Heres my tank setup...75 gal, Pressurized Co2, Schultz Aquatic soil substrate and 4x65 Coralife lighting. I dose according to the EI method....My water is very soft..Ph 6.0-6.4, I add baking soda and epsom salts to raise the KH/GH and I use Kent Liquid Calcium(although Im still not sure how much to dose??). What do you think I am doing wrong?
 

Tom Barr

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Well, CO2, CO2 and cO2.

Smaller leaves: low CO2
Cupping: CO2
Java fern not doing well: CO2
Twisted new growth in red plant: CO2

You have 4 indicators all pouinting to the same thing.
Note: the indicators are all different in each species............there is no one deficiency fits all symptom.

Folks reference agriculture examples and think that one species will apply for all species of aquatic plants. Seldom is this the case.

That's an assumption, and a poor one, but without anything else to go on, folks will try to use such assumptions. But it hardly implies they are right/correct about it.......


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

AlgaeMaster

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Sep 30, 2006
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Thanks Tom, I was scratching my head trying to figure out the deficiency, I will bump up the co2 ...
 

VaughnH

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If you use a drop checker you will know for sure if your CO2 is too low. It is cheap and effective, so why not use one?
 

kaaikop

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May 9, 2005
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I just started using one of those drop checkers... (made mine out of plastic caps and stuff found in the house). Took me awhile to understand how it can work so well,
but now it's up & running, and it's right where I want it be, plus it's really really great to know "at a glance" how CO2 is doing in your tank >without testing all the time<
As Vaughn says, its cheap and very quick, and it works perfectly!
 

Tom Barr

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Well, it's an old idea that's been reapplied and addresses issues folks have had for sometime.

It's cheap and more effective than most methods.
Still, I like my pH meter membrane KH reference solution, it's very accurate(more than eyeballs trying to discern color) and measures in almost real time.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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Tom Barr;15282 said:
Well, it's an old idea that's been reapplied and addresses issues folks have had for sometime.

It's cheap and more effective than most methods.
Still, I like my pH meter membrane KH reference solution, it's very accurate(more than eyeballs trying to discern color) and measures in almost real time.

Regards,
Tom Barr
But, we still don't have a source for a membrane "condom" for our pH meters. If we had that the pH meter/membrane/KH reference would be far better than the drop checker. At best, because of color uncertainty, the drop checker tells you you have about 20 - 40 ppm of CO2. Knowing the pH to within .1 would be much better.
 

Tom Barr

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Knowing the pH to within 0.01 or 0.001 is even better:)
Then you are talking some decent measurement.

I have not followed up with American marine/Pinpoint, nor Milwaukee.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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The method has always been there for many years, just no one thought to put two and two together.

Of course if you get anal about CO2 and nag and nag about it, suddenly things take on new and more relevant meaning......

Folks can whine about my passion towards CO2/nutrients/algae/calibrating test kits etc, say I'm wordy, post too much etc but there is no denying that such tenacious drive leads to the betterment of the hobby and the knowledge.

Attacking such ideas and seeing if we can or cannot confirm and verify rather than blind acceptance seems like a much better approach as all the past models have been very poor at explaining a great many things.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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I like the drop checker now that I know the correct way to use it. I made my ref.solution using baking soda and distilled water testing with a API KH test kit. However , I will continue to test my KH/PH with the test kit to ensure that all is well. Do the PH/KH/GH test kits from API need to be calibrated ? I keep Pinpoint PH monitors on both my tanks 24/7 and recalibrate them monthly. I gased my fish once thats all it took for me to realize just how important the CO2 levels are.
 

AlgaeMaster

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Sep 30, 2006
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Tom, I tried increasing my co2 only to have my fish gasping at the surface the next morning. Should I run a powerhead at night?(I don't have a solenoid)
Here is what I have been dosing- 1 tsp Kno3 3x a week, 1/2 a tsp Po4 3x a week,
1/4 tsp K2so4 3x a week, and 1/2 tsp Csm+b 3 x a week. My drop checker stays a light green while the light is on and turns yellow when the light goes off. My Plants are still growing, but some still have twisted and curled leaves. My microsword and java moss barely grows. What are your suggestions?
 

Tom Barr

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Does not work well.

I use a special Dissolved O2 meter membrane and similar set up using KH ref solution in place of the KCL eletrolyte for the pH meter.
I also use a different probe tip.

Several companies could make a screw on cap for their pH probes and do the same thing, I contacted both Milwaukee and American Marine, but they never got back to me about it. So it's DIY for now

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

AlgaeMaster

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Sep 30, 2006
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AlgaeMaster;15515 said:
Tom, I tried increasing my co2 only to have my fish gasping at the surface the next morning. Should I run a powerhead at night?(I don't have a solenoid)
Here is what I have been dosing- 1 tsp Kno3 3x a week, 1/2 a tsp Po4 3x a week,
1/4 tsp K2so4 3x a week, and 1/2 tsp Csm+b 3 x a week. My drop checker stays a light green while the light is on and turns yellow when the light goes off. My Plants are still growing, but some still have twisted and curled leaves. My microsword and java moss barely grows. What are your suggestions?

Tom? What do you think?
 

Tom Barr

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You should turn the CO2 off at night and increase the surface movement 24/7.

Then you will not have gasping fish at pre dawn......

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

AlgaeMaster

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Sep 30, 2006
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Tom Barr;15526 said:
You should turn the CO2 off at night and increase the surface movement 24/7.

Then you will not have gasping fish at pre dawn......

Regards,
Tom Barr

Thats the problem, I work from 5:30pm to 3:30am. I can't turn off the co2 at night.
I guess running a powerhead on a timer is my only option...