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Rotala Kill Tank

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

  1. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Joe that is what I was referring to. Rotala’s with extreme color don’t come that easily. It’s still a balancing act, but of a different kind.

    Now this is an interesting thought. Goes to the theory of keeping things stable and no sudden movements. I have no scientific reason to believe this, but it seems plants get used to what you are providing and adapt.

    This might explain how plants can react differently depending on where they are sourced. For instance, I received some Lobelia Cardinalis small form from Maryland Guppy. Our tanks are quite different in our approach. In his tank the L. Cardinal gets HUGE. I think he sent me four giant plants.

    Within a week every single leave had come off. Almost like going from emersed. Three of them melted completely and vanished. One root seemed to have some life in it, so I just left a nub sitting there. Well it took a while, but now that plant is a healthy as can be, and normal (for me) size.

    On the flip side, I sent him some Pantanal, and in 24 hours it melted into nothing. Just vanished in the wind.

    Now when I get plants from you Joe, in general there is almost no transition, it’s usually like they don’t skip a beat. And our parameters are very similar.

    So I think there is something to the sticking your toe in the cold water analogy. Once you get in it feels completely different a few minutes later. And more than likely we would see different results if we adjusted dosing VERY slowly.…..and had the patience to let things evolve. Might be worth messing around with.

    Interesting. I’ll get a picture of mine for you. Some pink on the tops, but not heavy. My N is at least as high as yours. Might be a good one to focus on with gradual drop in N to see what happens.

    And one last thought. My first post on this site was about how to approach dosing in a heavily stocked tank.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/first-time-poster-seeking-a-little-advice.13633/

    Vin basically told me to try just dosing K and forget N & P. I immediately did and let's just say that didn’t work out too well. Now was it because I went straight from full EI to nothing? Well in retrospect, very well could be. Could also be I had no idea of what I was doing (not that I really do now!) and had not optimized other parts of the planted tank equation. But even today, every time I try lowering macros, many plants seem to rebel. But maybe it would be different if phased in very slowly?

    Anyway, sorry to ramble, but these tanks you and Vin are experimenting with bring up lots of food for thought, and may point to some new paths. I'm all for change. Look at larding on custom micros and front end loading macros. Who would have thunk it?
     
    #1041 Greggz, Oct 26, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  2. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Not much different than me lowering KH over many months.
    Nothing takes a shock.
     
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  3. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    The thing that most people don't realize about Dennis' tank is how deep and rich his substrate is. It has a couple of inches of backyard soil under a couple of inches of fresh Aquasoil. AND he adds individual balls of O+ under a lot of plants. It is as much work as you might imagine. Each one of his Trithuria is pulled up and a ball of O+ is manually wrapped with roots and shoved back into the substrate with tweezers. Not many people are willing to commit to that level of care.

    The typical take away is that he does 1 or 2 ppm nitrate per day. That's be a mistake.

    If Dennis dosed that much nitrate daily with an inert substrate (or even depleted Aquasoil like in my big tank), he'd have a disaster.

    We all see the end result when he posts a pretty picture. But we don't want to think about the hours of work he puts into maintenance, cleaning, trimming, and rolling O+ into roots.

    It's a crap load of work. It doesn't hurt that Singapore tap water is heavenly.
     
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  4. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Good point Vin and I think it's true of many other tanks I admire. I've said the same thing about Burr, and you too (well the Dutch, maybe not the kill tank!).

    I am sure many think it's luck. It's not. It's working harder at it and paying closer attention to the details. No shortcuts that I have found.
     
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  5. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Just a note about a couple of plants that are not in the Kill Tank. It's pertinent to this discussion.

    I mentioned that Ludwigia do not do well in low-nitrate dosing in the big tank. True for glandulosa and Pantanal. But not true for L. polycarpa and L. 'OJ' simpsonii Orange. Both of these plants grow well and perfectly vertical in my big tank with low N. It's work to keep the polycarpa small. I constantly uproot it and cut it in half. This is the MOST trim-resistant Ludwigia I have ever kept. You can cut and slice it like you're making vegetable soup. Not even hint of complaint. (Read below for a different situation)

    I've kept Ammannia pedicellata Gold for probably half dozen years and then on and off before that. Annoying, pain in the a** plant. Gorgeous when happy. But stunts in high tech tanks. Does well in low-tech tanks.

    But in all those year, I never had it melt. Lots of stunting on and off. But no melting...UNTIL...I took its nitrate away. First its leaf size got smaller and smaller. Then finally, poof - melt. That took a few weeks, not overnight.

    There's a lot of inter-family nutrient preference variation in Lythraceae (Ammannia and Rotala).

    What melts pedicellata Gold will not melt wild pedicelalta green.

    What melts Gold makes A. crassicaulis absolutely thrive. I have crassicaulis about ready to take over a quarter of a 180 gal tank while the Gold was pouting and melting.

    A. gracilis is in-between. It will grow really well in low-nitrate water, but if you trim it, it will not recover in low-N water. The stress of uprooting and topping requires extra N for recovery. It's nitrate reserves are low because I remove a lot of the lower leaves. So it is dependent on the water column for N. It simply can't handle cutting and trimming when N is so low.
     
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  6. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Yup. GDA is an EI thing. Don't have to like it...but when the correlation is this strong, you need to pay attention.

    You need an optimal or damn-near-optimal tank running 25-50 ppm nitrates to not have GDA. The slightest imbalance...and BAM. Overnight GDA. Sometimes within hours.

    That's not to say that low-N tanks are algae free. Heck no! I have more GSA now.[/USER]
     
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  7. acinonyx

    acinonyx Member

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    The interesting thing for me here is that Marian seems to get away with dosing that little in inert substrate tanks and it also does not look like his bioload is very high.
     
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  8. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    I actually always find GDA to be correlated to ammonia. My tanks little dust of GDA after filter cleaning. Clears up after 2 weeks. It could be Nitrates but I even have GDA in non dosed tanks running close to lean.

    As for dosing, I recent experience has been high light with EI dosing works. I dose 22.5ppm (7.5ppm per dose) but my tank is heavily planted and I am nearly bottomed out between dosing. Basically the high light and weedy plants is consuming Nitrates so fast that it induces a Nitrate limitation without actually starving the plants. My reds last couple of weeks faded when I tried upfront nitrate loading, but I know Burr and Vin are doing it, I need to see what’s happening there.
    I also find my plants are less redder when tank is overgrown, could mean CO2, or other nutrient competition. Once I trim my tank everything returns to normal.

    Currently all plants are doing well.

    Having said that my lowtech tank is what’s spinning my head and I am gonna try to recreate the same success again. Also wanna see how long it continues.
     
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  9. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    This is Aquasoil a few months old right? What are you dosing for micros, PO4 and K?
     
  10. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    It’s a year old.

    Current targets
    NO3 - 7.5 ppm per dose - 22.5 ppm weekly
    PO4 - 1.3 ppm per dose - 3.6 ppm weekly
    K - 5.27 per dose of macro - 18.81 ppm weekly (K2SO4 added to micro for 0.5ppm per dose daily)

    Micros dosed daily
    Fe - 0.185 ppm per dose (1.11 ppm weekly)
    Mg - 0.167 ppm per dose (1 ppm weekly, MgSO4 added for 0.1 ppm per dose)
    B - 0.17 ppm per dose (1ppm ppm weekly, Boric acid added for 0.15 ppm per dose)
    Mn- 0.0735 ppm per dose (0.44 ppm weekly, MnSO4 added for 0.045 ppm per dose)
    Mo - 0.0015364
    Zn - 0.0113642
    Cu - 0.0027682

    Tap water
    KH 1-2 dKH
    GH 1-2 dGH
    No GH booster added at WC
     
  11. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Wow, that's a lot of Boron! Do you know how much Boron you have in your tap? Also, do you use 100% tap or some RO?
     
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  12. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Is that B a typo??

    When I went to .09 dosed daily, I nearly killed my tank. B can be very toxic. Just curious, as that seems way, way too high.

    But if it is correct, it's very, very interesting.
     
  13. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    NW water is very soft so I have switched to just using tap. I haven’t tested boron in my wate.

    It’s actually been going well. B hurts Ca uptake so you need to have GH low which is what I am doing.

    This approach is different than normal but I am experimenting and trying to prove people wrong who think the amount of Boron we dose is toxic.

    I am sure if I increase my Ca the competition will hurt my plants but I started this routine because one of my other tanks I stopped using GH booster and plants seemed fine, which meant there was more than enough GH in my water (1-2 dGH) for the plants.

    Next came people talking of B toxicity in our tanks but on reading more I found B is quite essential for plant, so it was a simple test to start. First couple of weeks plants didn’t like it but Wallichii unstunted and so did Red Cross. So I have kept at it and Ammania has also unstunted.

    Now I also do 70-80% WC so I keep any build up to the minimum.

    Next step will be to avoid the B and see if things go bad or stay the same which I will start in couple of weeks.

    Note that I was told plant dry matter of Ca to B is 60:1. My goal is to supply 60ppm Ca to 1ppm B. My tap contains a bit over 30ppm and Aquasoil has Ca bound to it.
     
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  14. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Wow that IS a lot of B. I started seeing negative reactions after a couple weeks of daily .075. Didnt happen right away.

    I bet that aquasoil is pulling in a lot of it, dont think you could get away with using that much with inert sub. Just a hunch

    Also fwiw you can disregard dry matter ratios as far as what plants need in the water column. Too many factors involved that influence nutrient availability, competition between nutrients, different nutrients being stronger or weaker at different PH levels, etc. Also what plants were analyzed, soybeans or submerged pantanal? It's going to be different from one species to the next. The list of why that doesnt work is a long one...

    You should make a thread documenting all this, or at least post the results somewhere. Id be very interested to see what kind of results you get from different levels and Im sure a lot of others would be too
     
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  15. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    I will be documenting it in my journal I started. Have been meaning to post a update but hadn’t had a chance. Might do it tomorrow.
     
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  16. skija

    skija Lifetime Members
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    This is because you get better flow and co2 gets probably in all corners , also having less plants and same levels of co2 is good for plants , they can consume more co2
     
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  17. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Update on Osmocote Kill Tank.

    It is by far the most successful Kill Tank ever. And the least amount of work I've ever put into a high tech tank. Frankly, I don't even look at the tank. But when I do, it is so freaking overgrown that I quickly look away. Lazy. Needs a lot of trimming.

    Everything looks like it's on steroids. Big, giant, fat leaves. Everything in there is growing bigger and fatter than in any other tank, including EI tanks with 100 ppm nitrate and nosebleed CO2. There's sphaerocarpa in there somewhere that's about 5 or 6" in diameter. I am afraid to look.

    I don't dose anything. I haven't done a water change in weeks...month? I haven't cleaned the filter in many months. I changed the CO2 tank a month ago. CO2 is bubbled straight into a powerhead. No reactor or diffuser. powerhead crunches CO2 bubbles into teeny tiny bits.

    I have no idea what the pH drop is these days. Probably around 1.0 drop. I've put away my pH probes.

    Oh, stunting. I don't think there's much.

    Like I said, the least amount of work. Writing this update is more work than the tank maintenance itself.

    I had to pull out some plants - they got too big. This exposed a bunch of Osmocote balls and that caused some slime algae, the kind that comes off complete in your hand. I just feed it to my cichlids. A couple of minutes of work and the tank looks completely algae free.

    [​IMG]

    Juicy fat Ammannia.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Juicy wallichii types.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Found this Ludwigia glandulosa buried deep under a thick canopy of Crypts and Lagenandra. PAR down there must have been under 10. The plant is perfectly healthy, but note the fully green leaves. In my other tanks, this plant is wine red. It is typically considered a high light plant.
    [​IMG]

    Gratiola virginiana. There's AR Ocipus in there in the back that refuses to grow anywhere else. Here, it is somewhat overfed and grotesque looking. Not my favorite AR. Have Diodia virginiana and Persicaria virginiana too. Because, you know, it's for lovers.
    [​IMG]

    Proserpinaca palustris Maryland. This pic is a few weeks old. These got to be 4" across at the top. Monsters.
    [​IMG]

    One of the smaller Lugwigia sphaerocarpa.
    [​IMG]

    Fat Ammannia senegalensis
    [​IMG]

    Oh, here's an odd one: Ammannia latifolia. Won't grow submerged in any other tank this well. Slow and sad in other tanks.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Fantastic update Vin!

    I have never seen an Ammania that fat, "juicy" indeed. And I love your wallichii! Just perfect! It's amazing how well those plants grow with just O+

    About plants considered "high-light" plants growing well at low-light levels, I also can confirm that they grow perfectly well, just slower and green. I have a 20gl low-tech tank with around 10-20 PAR at the substrate and I can grow pretty much any plant just, slower and "greener."

    Thanks for updating this, very interesting!
     
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  19. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Thanks, Fab. Root feeding gives you a lot of flexibility with Lythraceae. Since a little of the O+ leaks into the water column, I don't feel the need to dose the water. If there was no O+ leakage, I'd probably dose a little into the water column.

    Like I showed a year or so (?) ago, root feeding is a viable solution for many of these picky plants. Roots seem more selective about nutrient uptake.

    I've not figured out why I cant grow plants with BIG leaves (I'm talking foliage size) with 2X EI in the water column while I can grow monster plants if I use ultra-rich substrate.

    Half hour of trimming yesterday. I still cant see the back wall.
     
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  20. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    I think that’s still related to the roots, capable of selecting and better handling of nutrients. That’d be my first logical explanation. Maybe roots are “self-balancing” in such a way to optimize growth, hence more overall healthy growth?
     
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