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Red Plants are Green, Curling Leavs, Stunned Grow

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Krzysztof Saja, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Krzysztof Saja

    Krzysztof Saja Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    After struggling with my Aquarium for about 6 months, now it is time to ask for help here.
    Here are my aquarium:

    Aquarium: 30L (35x35x35 cm)
    Light: Light Solar Duo Boy 13W (temporarily reduced to 26W)
    Filter: Tetra Tec EX 400 + water butt below the surface
    C02: presurized CO2 (DIY termoreactor or glass diffuser)
    Soil: Aquatic Nature Pro Soil
    Fertilization: full EI salts with a much higher phosphorus

    Flora:
    Riccia
    Alternanthera reineckii
    Eleocharis parvula
    Hemianthus callitrichoides Cuba
    Hygrophila Difformis
    Ludwiga Repens
    Hemianthus Micranthemoidies
    Hydrocotyle Tripartita
    Hygrophila Polysperma
    Hydrocotyle
    Rotala Indica

    Fauna:
    Shrimp pearls - about 30sz
    Boraras brigittae
    Snails
    Standard fertilization daily:
    Macro:
    3.2 ppm NO3 and now I changed to substitution Rabel Super N
    2.4 ppm PO4 (4x more than the standard EI)
    3.0 ppm K (part of KNO3 and some of K2SO4)
    Micro: like CSM + B (Fe, Mn, Zn, Mo, Cu, B) 0.1 ppm Fe

    Water changes:
    50%-80% once a week, tap water:
    GH - 12
    KH - 7
    Total iron 0.01 - 0.20 mg / l
    Chloride 50 - 58 mg / l
    Ammonium ion, 0.01 - 0.25 mg / l
    Nitrite 0.003 mg / l
    Nitrate 1.50 - 2.50 mg / l
    total alkalinity 2.0 - 2.5 mg / l
    Sulfate 90 - 98 mg / l
    Phosphorus 0.01 - 0.09 mg / l
    Calcium 71 - 75 mg / l
    Sodium 25 - 28 mg / l
    Potassium 6 - 8 mg / l
    Magnesium 15 - 17 mg / l
    Manganese 0.01 - 0.05 mg / l
    Copper 0.001 - 0.010 mg / l
    Zinc 0.001 - 0.009 mg / l

    Here are some photos:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/krzysztofsaja/sets/72157633011818252/

    Main Problems:
    1. Always when I buy red plants, after week they turn green or new leaves are green (Althernanthera, Ludwiga repens, Rotala Indica)
    2. Leaves are curling (Althernanthera, Hemianthus mic.)
    3. After 2 weeks leaves seem to be unhealfy.
    4. Tips of some plants seems to be yellowish.
    5. Grow in some steams are stunned.

    Minor Problems:
    5. GDA - last month I did "don't touch it” method and it worked for one month. After month without GDA, it starts to appear :(
    6. BBA is still on some rocks where I wasn't able to treat it with Easy Carbo
    What I did to try to solve these problems:
    1. Read a lot here and on UKAPS. Theoretically I know a lot.
    2. Start my diary on Polish forum where most people advise me to quit EI and start to find some excesses of K, P, N, etc: http://www.holenderskie.pl/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32719
    (on that forum I am conceived as one of the last defender of EI philosophy :) , but now I am starting to loose my faith :(
    3. I’ve increased CO2, flow, water agitation, Micro, Macro, lower light (from 26w to 13w), changed NO3 to ARSN formula, use carbon, but I do not see much difference.
    a) CO2 is very height. It start even like 4-6 hours before light (even before 13w). I get 9 small baubles / s (or 3 big baubles /s ) with spraybar near the water surface. Ph drops from 7.3 to 6.4 – 6.5. Drop checker is almost yellow, fish seems tired. I am increasing and tweaking CO2 like for 5 months now. I KNOW that it is no CO2 issue! I see it from fish, drop checker and PH drops.
    b) because earlier I have got also GSA even when I dose 3ppm PO4/weak, I realized that my Pro Soil take PO4. I test it with Sera PO4 test and PO4 level seems always too low. I dose now 4xEI standard for PO4 (like 2ppm/day). Then I test PO4, I can see like 1-2ppm after a weak.
    c) I doubled for one week K, Micro, Fe, etc. Nothing changed.
    d) tree days ago I mistakenly hugely overdose Fe from Easy Life Ferro. Water was cloudy for 1 hour…
    e) I put carbon in filter. It is there for 4 months already.

    What now?
    Today I've decided to dose only standard ½ EI. I do not have any more ideas then start to believe that there is some excess of Micro or Macro in my system. I know that EI philosophers do not believe in nutricien excess, but I do not know what to do next.
    I understand that “excess hypothesis” was falsified in many aquariums but maybe some wired combination of excesses and other parameters in water or sediment cause my problem (and others in Polish forums) that guys in UK or USA do not see. I know methodology of science, differences between correlation and causation, falsification, verification, etc. But all this knowledge about EI do not help me much. I’ve really believed that growing plants can be easy with EI. But it is not.
    Please help.
     
    #1 Krzysztof Saja, Apr 28, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    ok, what we have to look for is what is missing.

    From what I read it looks like you have Fe precipitation. Are you using an UV lamp? If so, turn it off. Change the CSM+B for a liquid traces product, like Easylife profito, or use both 50/50.

    Then see what happens.
     
    #2 dutchy, Apr 28, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2013
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Pictures of the aquarium?

    This will be very helpful.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I looked at the photo's, this small tank is an issue for the CO2 mostly.

    The size of the tank makes it very easy to do 2x a week water changes, 50%.

    The diffuser for the CO2 needs cleaned often, the water level also needs to be the same!!!
    If the water level drops, then you degas more CO2.

    Smaller aquariums are harder for this reason, small changes from evaporation cause more degassing.

    There's not much plant biomass in these tanks also, so 1/2 EI is plenty of nutrients.
    You are okay doing that.

    I do about 1/3rd EI on my hair grass iwagumi.

    Your light might be too high for this small tank also, that makes adding CO2 harder for many.
     
  5. Krzysztof Saja

    Krzysztof Saja Junior Poster

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    Hi Tom, thanks for support.
    I've already took that lesson about water evaporation and degassing CO2. Now I have plexi glas on top to avoid this. I've used a diffuser for one week last time, but I didn't see any changes. Now I use DIY reactor made from water filter. I know that advise about too much light. However, for 2 months I had only 13w per 25 l of water and I haven't seen any differences exept slower grow rate.
    I don't want to do 2x a week water change. It is not any fun. Once a week is enought.

    Yes, I am going to lower my Micro/Macro level. But I do not understand why. Have you changed your mind that there is not such thing like "too much" Macro/Micro?
     
  6. Krzysztof Saja

    Krzysztof Saja Junior Poster

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    Hi dutchy,

    Yes, I believe that I have got Fe precipitation. I am not using an VU lamp. I use some DIY CSM+B. I bought it here: http://www.akwanawozy.com.pl/towar/88/ei-mikro.html

    But you are right. I will try to use only ProFito and Ferro.

    To summ up,
    I will lower my dosage to 1/2 EI and change Micro to ProFito. Today I've done 80% water change. I will see the results after next week.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I suggested less, because it's rather obvious there is plenty for such a small amount of plant biomass.
    There is no reason to add more, doing so should not harm anything, but it will not help either.

    I would keep doing 80-% weekly water changes.
    I can do a 50% water change on a tank this size in under 2 minutes.

    That's not much work.

    Easy Carb or Excel will also likely help. I add enough daily to get 2-2.5 ppm of Glutaraldehyde(Excel= 1 ml per 5 gallons).
    So a 25 liter aquarium would need about 3 mls of Excel a day.

    Your CO2 is the issue. The pH should drol at least a full 1.0 point if you are trying to target 30 ppm.
    A good CO2 system will be able to drop the pH 1 full unit in under 1 hour.

    Also, I'm not sure how you are measuring pH either.
    A good pH meter is well worth the $.

    People with smaller tanks tend to have issues with CO2 more than anyone else.
    I use to have 9 smaller nano sized tanks this size or a little smaller.

    The ferts will only solve MINOR issues, the CO2/light are the real issue.

    This is and always was a CO2 issue.

    Ferts are very easy to rule out.
    Light/ Well, you do not seem like you are going to change that either.
    Water changes and other things?

    Well, they will help some.

    Particularly if you do water changes 2-3x a week if you have some minor CO2 issues.
    Plants just do not look like that they are growing that well, but a couple of species are, this really screams CO2 if not high enough.
    HC looks bad, this also is a CO2 issue.

    BBA, I've always associated with poor CO2.

    In order to falsify the claims about excess ferts causing issues, all an aquarist has to do is provide as good example where there are not plant health issues(or algae for that matter) and the ferts are at higher ppms for prolonged time frames(years/decades) and havig even introduced GDA, BBA, Hair algae etc into these aquariums.....and they have not taken a hold.

    I have provided the evidence and the facts are there. How people wish to make their own conclusions and myths are entirely up to them.
    CO2 is overlooked way too much by hobbyist as some simple thing or that it is easy.
    Amano, myself, anyone I know that's done this long enough realizes this.
    It's the intermediate and new people that have the issues with learning how to use it or they think something else or old myths are true.

    I will not argue belief, you need to address that issue for yourself.
     
  8. Krzysztof Saja

    Krzysztof Saja Junior Poster

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    How you do that? I know that you mix your tap water (hot and cold) and directly to aquarium. But what about chlorine or chloramine?


    I started to dose 1ml of Easy Carbo per day.

    I don't buy it. My PH drops almost 1ph, my fish are gasping and looks bad. I cannot increase CO2 more. Today I increase CO2 to 6.2 PH and they are were near the surface looking terrible. I decrease PH to 6.3-6.4. I should be enough. Overwise this method is just unethical. It is not good for my fish.

    Yes, this is an issue. I don't know why but with my DIY reactor it takes like 3-4 hours to drop PH to appropriate level. But it's not a problem. I just start injecting CO2 early.
    I bought chinese electric PH meter for 10$ :) I know that I couldn't relay on it but it can measure dropping PH quite well. I used also ph tests.

    Tom, I know that this is your main thesis. All around. I've read it tons of time. For almost 6 months I was a believer. But I really start to loose my faith. For about 2 months I got small light (0.5w/l) and in my opinion highest possible amount of CO2 (I use my fish as indicator mostly). I dose too much Macro and Micro, because you always say that "there is not such think as too much". But why are you so sure about that? I know that you've run some experiments. But, hey, you are a Ph.D. guy (as I am). Why you didn't publish your controlled experiments in some academic journal IF they were really done with methodological precision. I am starting to doubt if your self confidence is justified enough. I believe that your main thesis can work in many circumstances, but you haven't done any experiments with Polish or German tap water, have you? You haven't controlled all important features of water, sediment or even bacteria.

    It is only "half truth". This way you can falsify the claim that some excess is sufficient condition for aquarium problems. However, you cannot falsify with this method that some parameter x with addition with some excess is a cause of aquarium problems. You would have to test that hypothesis with all various possible parameters x1...xn.
    I do not say that there is no aquarium where excesses are not problem. I (and many people) start to believe that there are aquariums that excesses yield to problems due to some factor x (which is not CO2).

    Moreover, I do not say about algae issue here, but pure plant grow.

    Have you? Once more, why haven't you publish it yet Tom?
     
  9. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Tom has a point, and most of the time he's right. CO2 is the most overlooked and easiest to make mistakes. A slight measuring mistake = 10 ppm less. Inconsistent CO2 levels can easily induce BBA, no matter of the total CO2 level present. You can have as much as 80 ppm, but if the level fluctuates, you can have BBA. But....I've also been able to get rid of BBA by reducing the flow through the tank drastically, from 8x turnover down to 3x turnover.

    I will always look for the missing element, as per Liebig's law. When plant growth is optimal, algae is not much of an issue. Sure, I get algae sometimes, but it happens after I make a mistake and a deficiency occurs because of that. I can tell you that excess nutrition is NOT a cause of algae. If that's so, my tank should always be filled with it. And it's not.

    If CO2 is always the problem....I'm not sure. I recently solved GDA and hair algae after switching from CSM+B to Profito. CO2? I slowly RAISED the level 0,3 pH over some weeks and is now a theoretical 45 ppm. That means that overdoing CO2 to dangerous levels is not needed (and also never the advice)
    I had GDA for years, more or less. Not anymore. And even better plant growth.

    That doesn't mean that CSM+B doesn't work, but that there is a missing element that is not in CSM+B or in my tap water, but what is present in profito.

    It always goes back to Liebig's law.
     
    #9 dutchy, Apr 30, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2013
  10. Krzysztof Saja

    Krzysztof Saja Junior Poster

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    Yes, I got it well. I understand that.

    Yes, I read about it. So I am not complaining on my BBA. Just pure plants look.
    Do you understand a reason for that?
    I know it by myself. I got like 2x EI, PO4 like 5xEI without algae problems. However, I am not talking about algae.
    This is good tip for me. I will try Profito for next month. I heard somewhere, that Profito has Nickel, and CSM not.

    My main complain is not about GDA or BBA, but about bad look of my plants, stunned growth, curling leaves (especially athernanthera), green red plants.

    10 days ago I started second tank with 20l of water. I put there a JBL Soil, aquarium is near the window (on the windowsill), no CO2, just EC, without any lamp, direct sunlight for 3 hours, without any Macro (Diana Westald method), and you know, my plants look much better and grow almost the same speed without all this affords and water changes..... Just a little GSA on glass. Not an issue. But with this high CO2 aquarium and EI I have got lots of problems.
     
    #10 Krzysztof Saja, Apr 30, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2013
  11. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    About the BBA / turnover rate....I'm not sure. I don't think it has to do with pure ppm's, because it will even grow on the CO2 outflow pipe. On wood, it will mostly grow on the point where the flow breaks off, like a sharp edge etc. Maybe the algae has evolved to "know" where nutrition will pass. But that's just a guess.

    I hope the change in traces works for you. Let me know, I'm curious.
     
  12. BellinghamFish

    BellinghamFish Prolific Poster

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    This is very interesting to me, as two weeks ago i switched from Aquavitro micros to csm+b and now i have green hair algae and brown hair algae.
     
  13. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I've been following this thread with interest, but not responding because I know little about CO2 and dosing issues. Now that you've set up a second "Walstad"-type tank, I can contribute some.

    First, forget all about CO2 and dosing. Don't allow yourself to be tempted. Instead, follow Ms. Walstad's guidelines. Just have a lot of fish and feed them well. I'm not sure that three hours of sunlight are enough, but it might be. If the plants aren't doing well, add more light.

    I don't know what "JBL soil" is. Does it give off a lot of nutrients? If so, that could be a problem - the Walstad method relies on cheap topsoil and the fish to feed the plants.

    Some new Walstad tanks develop BGA in the first few weeks. Just remove it. Some also become deficient on nitrates. It's OK to add that, but sparingly.

    Good luck!

    Bill
     
  14. Krzysztof Saja

    Krzysztof Saja Junior Poster

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    Thanks for that. I realized that I've made a huge mistake with my Walstad tank. I use JBL AquaBasis plus on the bottom, but it does not contain Macro!!! I thought that it is like cheap topsoil.... My leaves starting yellowing. Now I think that I will need to restart the aquarium.

    Do you suggest that there is no need in dosing even potassium or Easy Carbo? And that 3 hours of direct strong sunlight can be not enough?
     
  15. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    Except as noted, IMO/IME I see no need for dosing a NPT. My 29 gallon NPT has been set up for at least eight years, and the only additions in the last seven have been replacement fish. Even the plants have been completely self-sustaining. They do require a monthly trimming.

    That tank gets about 10 hours a day of 2 WPG T12 light. Sunlight is much stronger, but I don't know if the duration is long enough for the plants. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can offer an informed opinion.

    Good luck!

    Bill
     
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