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Rotala Kill Tank

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Pikez, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. snarkingturtle

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    I think that when they detoxify water it's by absorbing the contaminate into their tissues which would be good for the environment but could well be bad for the plant.
     
  2. LRJ

    LRJ Subscriber

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    So the hypothesis is that 'toxified' aquasoil leaches stuff that Lythraceae are sensitive to. Tough to come up with a good control that would allow this to be tested. It would be nice to have two tanks, one with contaminated aquasoil and one with aquasoil identical in every regard except that it is not contaminated. However, I imagine these hypothetical batches of experimental and control soil would be almost impossible to produce though with any degree of accuracy or control.

    However, a less ideal experiment might be constructed using the aquasoil that Pikez has in the Dutch which is hypothesized to be toxified. If Pikez ends up getting those 10 gallon tanks and he ends up ditching the aquasoil in the Dutch, maybe he could use some of that Dutch aquasoil to lay down a substrate of soil that's hypothesized to be toxified in one 10 gallon. In this 10 gallon grow plants in cups of inert substrate. In another 10 gallon, the control, lay down an inert substrate and grow the plants in cups of inert substrate. Hold all other factors as constant as possible across the two tanks. Any observed differences between the two tanks could then be attributed to the effect of the toxified aquasoil on the water column. Maybe?
     
  3. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Yes, it could certainly be something other than sodium. That 'villain-du-jour' comment about sodium was somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

    Too little nutrients and too little CO2 also causes stunting in these plants. Need to keep that in mind too. But for me, those two causes are easier to fix. I'm interested in the other causes of stunting.

    I've had Amano shrimp in the tank for 2 years. Haven't added any since I first tossed them in there. I think there may be a couple still left. Saw one the other day. So if it is copper, the level isn't high enough to kill them.
     
  4. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Good thought.

    But if I suspect the Aquasoil is shot, I'd rather just toss it or keep it to grow emersed plants in the backyard. I have a strong feeling that old Aquasoil is great for that. I probably won't pursue studying the 'toxic soil' angle because it doesn't get me closer to answer the primary question of this thread. We already know high CEC substrates suck up stuff, both good and bad. Isolating the offending factor is going to be damn near impossible.

    From an experiment design pov, aquasoil is a nightmare because it adds so many variables and confounders. That's why anything I do in the Dutch tank is less reliable as evidence than results produced in the Kill Tanks.
     
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  5. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Devil's advocate: Where's the toxic crap leeching out of Tom's old AS? Maybe his two big water changes per week keeps it in check?

    Im more inclined to think high cec subs are pulling bad stuff in, rather than releasing it. Of course this doesnt explain the negative reactions in Pikez' tank.
     
  6. LRJ

    LRJ Subscriber

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    This assumes that Tom's substrate was exposed to the offending substance to start with, which may not be the case. Or maybe it was exposed to the offending substance, but there are other mitigating factors. Either way, it could be leaching but not be causing a problem in his setup. But also, Tom lards it on, and I believe the hypothesis put forth is that there's a state of equilibrium involving the soil and the water column, so that whether the substrate is leaching or pulling depends in part on the remaining capacity of the substrate and existing concentrations in the water column. When Pikez uses lightly reconstituted RO in an attempt to avoid the offending substance, the purity of the RO causes substrate leaching to restore the soil-water equilibrium. Older substrate and purer water lead to higher odds of leaching. Maybe I butchered that, but that's my sense of the hypothesis.
     
  7. Jason King

    Jason King barrreport.com
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    I also wonder what version of ADA AS Tom is using? If that makes any difference I don't know.

    Ver1, 2, New etc?
     
  8. deepgreen

    deepgreen Member

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    I have also second thoughts about this. I am wondering what is required to lead to such an accumulation of an unknown toxic factor, let’s say factor A.

    According to the hypothesis, A accumulated slowly in the AS over about a period of two years. Under EI conditions, A would compete for active ion exchange position at the AS with other ions that occur in much higher quantity. This would require that AS has a much higher affinity to A than to any other ions. Also given the high affinity or probably any affinity, the equilibrium concentration of factor A in the water column could not go above the native concentration in the introduced water unless AS is degrading and then releasing previously accumulated factor A. This would still require a high affinity of AS to factor A. I hope this makes sense.

    Now, is this a likely scenario or not? Could there still be something else involved, e.g. earlier degradation of AS under Pikez condition that leads to the release of something else some plants respond sensitive to. Degradation may then vary between tanks, explaining why it occurs in some tanks but not in others.

    I think it would be very useful to figure out whether AS can lead to such conditions over two years or not given how many people use AS in their tanks.
     
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  9. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Pikez' situation aside, what gives me pause about the whole aquasoil thing, is most of the people you see having success with high levels of micros are also using aquasoil, or another high CEC substrate. Not many plain gravel or sand folks getting away with it.

    At least that seems to be the trend Ive noticed. Which is why Ive always felt like high cec subs somehow act as a buffer against toxicity. Or maybe those tanks just need more because a large portion is being drawn out of the water column.

    But after LRJ explained it above, I do see how switching to RO after months of tap water and high level ferts could cause a release.

    idk, just thinking out loud really. :)
     
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  10. deepgreen

    deepgreen Member

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    When you add RO water, the maximum the AS could release is to the same level as it was in the original tab water introduced. Given that this was not an issue at the beginning, I am wondering whether it could be an issue later after RO water use. This is all assuming the AS is not degrading and thus releasing more.

    If the toxic factor is really in Pikez water, the stunting plants should not grow in the same water in another tank. If they grow, it is either conditional (depending on other factors specific to Pikez tank) or it is something different.

    In regards to AS versus inert substances, there are additional differences besides the CEC properties and I am wondering whether the problems observed are associated with this, but I am not sure whether I am stating the trivial. Assuming that root fert absorption is more important than leaf absorption with some exceptions, the differences in AS and the often used sand or fine grain material might make a difference. AS has a large pellet-like structure while sand is very fine grained. In AS water and thus ferts can more easily penetrate into the soil compared to sand especially if the sand layer is thicker. Thus, fert delivery to roots in sand soils may not be as good as in old AS (obviously disregarding the fertilization properties of fresh AS). The uptake by roots could thus not be compensated due to low soil circulation (in sandy soils). In old AS, soil circulation may get worse due to accumulation of debris and old roots and thus root fertilization may decrease as well. Only in very well cleaned AS, this property of AS might be maintained. Based on this hypothesis, we may have a large difference in plant fertilization when comparing sand-like inert soils, old not very well-cleaned AS, and old well-cleaned AS leading to potential issues in plant growth. I do not know how well it is established how important leaf versus root fertilization is in most aquatic plants. I am not debating that leaf fertilization is not important. It may just be possible that root fertilization is more important even under EI conditions and if this is correct, fert circulation in the soil and factors that hinder it should be considered as a player.

    I am wondering whether people using more large grained, pellet-like inert soils do better with EI fertilization than those who use sand.
     
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  11. LRJ

    LRJ Subscriber

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    Except fresh aquasoil binds the nuisance substance(s). So initially, the aquasoil removes the substance(s) from the water column such that the water column levels of the substance(s) are lower than the tap. That's why, under this hypothesis, there would be no issues at the beginning.
     
  12. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Great question!

    There are two possible answers:
    1. There is no toxic crap in Tom's water to leach out because it is so soft and deficient in other secondary minerals like sodium etc. His Aquasoil probably has absorbed nothing other than essential nutrients that are acceptable to plants when leached back out.
    2. If there is toxic crap absorbed into Tom's substrate it is not bothering the plants for the same reasons why extra high traces don't bother his plants - this is the conditional tolerance I have been yammering about.
    The goal now (for me) is to find out what these triggering agents or conditions are.

    I don't need to be convinced that R. wallichii can handle high traces under some conditions. They can and do. I've seen in plenty of times and is the key reason why I dismiss 'micro-tox'

    We also know that for many, many people, wallichii and AR Min stunt and twist less if you reduce nutrients from the water and increase nutrients in the substrate. We've witnessed this over and over. Yet, for others, reducing nutrients in the water column appears unnecessary. Why is that? Is it because of the super clean, soft water? If you simply reduce nutrients in the water column and don't increase it in the substrate, plants stunt less but look undernourished and pathetic. We've seen this in the Kill Tanks before.

    Back to soft, clean water...

    Is this why the collective wisdom says 'Low KH is better for Rotala'? May be these plants don't care about high KH as much as the baggage that comes along with high KH. Is that because KH is a proxy for all the other detrimental secondary ions? High KH = high crap?

    So, if you use KH as a proxy for all the detrimental conditional crap (whatever they are), then it makes sense that you can dose 2X or 5X EI in full RO or snowmelt water that's been properly reconstituted.

    Northern California relies more heavily on snowmelt from the Sierras for tap water. It is amazingly good water. Southern California (where I am) has nasty water that's mostly a blend of ground water and Colorado river. I am lucky in that I get a little snowmelt blended in occasionally because my KH is between 4 and 5 nowadays, down from 8 a year ago. 100 miles east of me, the KH is still over 10 or 12. Anyway, another place with nice water like No California is Singapore. I travel to a lot of places with naturally soft water. When I moan and bitch about stunting Ammannia, they all look at me funny. They hesitate and tell me to add more light...because not offering a solution is rude.

    Here are a couple of pics from Roger Goh's plant store in Singapore. He has really nice water and uses EI with zero issues. All plant are in Aquasoil pots with EI and CO2 in the water. He does not have issues with ANY of the plants I struggle with. Showed me his 50 lb sack of ferts sitting on a pallet! He thinks my problem is light. He's not a noob! His tanks have been in the IAPLC Top 10 two years in a row and I saw his mind-boggling #4 ranked tank (but was told not to take pics as it was a week before the contest). Worth noting that he does two big water changes per week.

    IMG_6960.jpg

    IMG_6963.jpg

    This is not the first time I've seen people with very soft water having better fert tolerance with wallichii.

    Could it be that people with soft water are naturally better with CO2 and maintenance than us schmucks with hard water? :)
     
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  13. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    How are you able to explain something in two sentences that I need two pages for?

    But I think you are totally right about my ultra-light reconstitution in the Dutch tank driving equilibrium and subsequent crap-leaching back into the water. There is virtually nothing in the water, so crap from the substrate leaches out to find equilibrium.

    This also means that after a couple of months of equilibrating and removing plants by trimming, the offending substances will eventually decrease in concentration. But am I willing to wait thru a few months of stunting and melting? Probably not.
     
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  14. deepgreen

    deepgreen Member

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    Interesting. This would open up the possibility that with tab water only at the beginning, AS may bind these nuisance substance(s) until saturation. However, if EI fertilization begins immediately, it may block the uptake of the nuisance substance (s) through competition of the ferts with the nuisance substance for the active binding sites, and an accumulation of the nuisance substances may not happen. All assuming AS does not bind the nuisance factor selectively.
    Edit: Well, then there would be no benefit of the binding of nuisance factors by AS anyway. A moment of brain freeze. LOL
     
    #694 deepgreen, Sep 15, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  15. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Observing trends, is important. You've observed a trend that folks with inert substrate are unable to get away with very high micros.

    Likewise, another trend I am noticing is that super soft, clean water is more forgiving of very high micros.

    True or not, you see these observable trends an awful lot.

    I am not ready to put my weight behind either of these trends, but I see them over and over often enough to make me go hmmm.
     
  16. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Agree.

    I really should post this over at the Dutch thread, but it is relevant here too, so...

    But let's, for the sake of this argument, say that sodium is the lone offender behind all this mayhem and heartache. May or may not be, but let's assume.

    My tap has about 100 ppm Na and about 40 ppm Ca. That's a 2.5 to 1 ratio of these two minerals. Too much sodium can interfere with Ca uptake. Now that I have switched to all RO in the Dutch, and I am not inputting any Na, but the Aquasoil is continuing to leach Na (you point out that it cannot leach much more than 100 ppm - OK, but let's be conservative and go with 25 ppm Na), and I am only adding about 3 ppm Ca (that's actually what I was targeting), we now have a 8:1 ratio of Na to Ca even though I am not adding ANY sodium. So things got WORSE with using 100% RO with Aqusoil.

    See where I'm going with this?

    If it is in my water, my real experiments should be with inert substrates and RO water. And test variables should be sodium at varying levels, followed by chloride at varying levels etc.
     
  17. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Oh we're deep in the rabbit hole now! LOL! But I see your point.
     
  18. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Fwiw, my tap has

    Na - 1.79 ppm
    Cl - 9.14 ppm
    SO4 - 7.65 ppm

    Ca - 38.9 ppm
     
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  19. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    I remember vividly discussing and concluding exactly the opposite on these forums with Solcielo and other people. We all agreed that hard water should be more forgiving because can more easily "bind" and precipitate metals. Am I the only one recalling this? I am not saying that what Pikez wrote is wrong, I am just saying that the common belief used to be exactly the opposite... so... where is the truth?
     
  20. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    There we go! Nice tap you got man!! Good to know, I was just wondering the other day...
     
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