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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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    As usual, fascinating update Vin.

    Still trying to wrap my head around what is going on in there.

    Maybe I missed it, but what is the lighting like in this tank (PAR, duration)??

    And have you ever tested the water column? I would be curious to see what those levels are.
     
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  2. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
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    That slime algae had been my issue with osmocote too.
    I do want to understand why you think it’s because the osmocote balls got exposed?
    From what I understand, soil will bind as much as it can in its limited CEC zones, everything else in presence of water will leach out. Unless osmocote is releasing very little, which is getting consumed just as fast so not much is leached in water.
     
  3. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    This is the only explanation I have. Over-the-top, unlimited, grossly overfed water column does not produce giant foliage. Whereas a few Osmocote balls and clay soil by the roots seem too.
     
  4. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Lighting is two 48" Finnex something or other. About 100 PAR on the substrate if there are no plants. Now, the substrate is dark, dark, dark from all the overgrowth.

    No, I have not tested the water column. There is definitely some O+ leaching. How much? I don't know.

    I did a 90% water change today though...the first in I have no idea how long. Did not bother to clean glass, trim, or clean filter. NO time. There is also no fish in there. Hasn't had fish in there since summer, 6 months ago.

    I take back all the nasty things I said about Osmocote in the past. Mea culpa. (Of course, this tank has a LOT more than just O+, but it's what's primarily making the plants look like 1970s East German gymnasts).
     
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  5. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    I don't mind that algae. Most algae eating fish and shrimp feast on it. If I had 20 Amano shrimp in that tank, it would be squeaky clean. But I have no shrimp. So I manually scoop it up and put it in the next tank with all the herbivorous cichlids. They inhale it.

    If that is the worst thing Osmocote does, I am cool with it.

    In all the tanks I've kept over the last, oh, damn...I'm old. I've never seen this algae stick around after the first couple of months' instability. I used to freak out about it. I don't anymore. I recently converted a 180 that I had cichlids in, to a plant tank with just BDBS (thanks to @burr740, I am a convert). It has a bunch of types of algae. They will all go away. It's the normal course of events.

    However, in Oscmocote tank, this algae has hung around. It is the ONLY tank where it's hung around after the first couple of months. So, I'm making a very strong connection between this algae and Osmocote.

    Remember, I put the O+ at the bottom and added 2 inches of Fluval Stratum and a ton of other crap. So some of the O+ nutrients gets CEC'd onto the soil. And, yes, some of it will get leached out. Since I dose NO MACROS into the water column at all, whatever leaches into the water column presumably gets consumed. BUT!! The water lettuce I used as a leaching indicator went from having 2" diameter leaves to having dime-sized leaves to looking really sad and pathetic. So there is not a LOT of leaching. Just some. I'll happily take it.

    Now, I know there will come a time with the Fluval and the O+ gets depleted. I don't know when that will be. Another year? It'll be ugly when it does. There will be decreased growth. More algae. Some annoyance. I will have to tear down the tank and toss everything.

    I'll start over in a heartbeat. Except I'd cap the O+ and clay with BDBS next time.
     
  6. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    @Pikez root fed ammannia species seems to be the ticket except for the golden variety in my tank.
    Senegalensis is a constant producer of many stems of which I've had to start tossing to the trash to avoid over-growth.

    I use Miracle-Gro general purpose that also has similar pellets to O+.
    The tighter BDBS cap is a better choice by far, I'll never use other.

    I've never added a clay to the base though it's on my list of things to try.
    Where I camp with the horses has an extreme amount of clay based soil.
    Been meaning to bring some soil home from there and give it a try. :)

    Been changing little water on my end too.
    I should really do more but I also dose EI with extra.
    Not happy with a depleted water column on my end, but TDS is always dropping so I dose quite freely.

    How is the ludwigia peruensis that I sent doing these days ???
    Was that a green example in another post? It grows perfectly fine when green too!
     
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  7. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Your glandulosa/peruensis is doing fine. It's a plant I struggled with 20 years ago. But I can't kill it now...it does not like low macros or weird changes. It responds to stress by shedding lower leaves. When grown under heavy shade, it gets similar looking to polycarpa, which your guys in GWAPA have plenty of.

    Clay...avoid if you can. I made the mistake of adding a few pounds of red Mexican pottery clay that I bought from Amazon.com. It was fine as long as I did not uproot anything. But I made the mistake of planting some Lagenandra toxicaria in the Osmocote + clay tank. The damn plants got too big and I had to yank them. Out came lots of Fluval stratum clay beads, a giant pinkish brown cloud of Mexican pottery clay, and countless balls of O+. Oh well. I did two back to back 90% water changes. Things seem to have settled down a bit.

    But as far as Ammannia and Rotala, this Osmocote + tons of other nutrition junk in the substrate has been a phenomenal success. I throw away massive quantities of both Ammannia and Rotala. No stunting.

    This is by far the easiest way to grow these plants.

    If you go back and read the 50+ pages of this journal, you should come away with the same conclusion. Lots of nutrients in the substrate with nothing in the water column is the easiest method.

    The most difficult method? High KH water + inert substrate + EI.

    Most other methods fall somewhere inbetween in difficulty.
     
    #1067 Pikez, Jan 15, 2019 at 2:39 PM
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019 at 7:07 PM
  8. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Polycarpa is a stunning red plant in enough light. Rose/pink top half but the bottom half is still green.
     
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  9. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Vin question for you.

    If you were setting up a dutch type tank today (or any high tech planted), say something similar to the mix in Burr's tank, would you go with this method??
     
  10. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    I think the other stuff in the sub is having more of an effect than you think, or than the O+ actually is. Ive started out a few tanks with gobs of O+, not quite as much as here but still a lot. And its never allowed me to skimp on the water column. Nor has it ever saved a plant that was struggling without it. Definitely not any stem varieties. Lagenandras and sword plants are the only ones Ive ever seen it make a noticeable difference with. Also never seen a correlation with bga.

    I also suspect O+ doesnt last very long submerged in our aquariums, month or two at best. Might last a little longer in fine sand than say course gravel that gets more water exchange.

    So I think a big part of what you're seeing is from the dirt etc, rather than the O+

    Obviously a lot of speculation here though
     
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  11. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Funny Joe that was going to be my next question. Would any of this carry over to inert substrates?

    My gut says no. I just know I have messed around with root tabs a few times, and personally never saw any difference in my BDBS tank.

    But regardless, I do love this experiment. Not sure what it means, but sure is interesting.
     
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