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Rotala Tank help!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by cousinkenni, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Hi Tom,

    I have had a rotala tank set up for several years now and although they grow (once in a while) they often stunt. I have posted several times on this topic (mainly on other forums) and have never gotten the problem straightened out. I was hoping to start a thread to go step by step with you to figure this problem out.

    10 gal
    1- 36watt AH supply DIY light 10,000K bulb currently
    fluval 104 canister filter
    Pressurized CO2 w/ glass diffuser in filter outflow
    Glass on top of the aquarium (to keep SAE from jumping out)
    Flourite gravel


    Fauna:

    1 clown pleco
    2 ottos
    2 black neons
    1 SAE
    lots of neocaridina denticulata sinensis


    Flora:

    Hemianthus callitrichoides
    Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
    Anubias nana petite
    Narrow leaf Java fern
    Rotala rotundifolia 'Green'
    Rotala macrandra 'Narrow leaf'
    Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan'
    Rotala pusilla
    Rotala sp. 'Colorata'
    Rotala sp. 'Mini'
    Rotala sp. 'Vietnam'
    Rotala sp. 'Goias'
    Rotala sp. 'Ceylon'

    I have tried your method before but it still didn't help the stunting problem. I am willing to try it again, this time diligently.

    Currently the sp. green and the vietnam are stunted with mostly everthing else growing descently. The 'colorata' isn't so colorful though......it has turned mostly green and the pusilla likes to stunt once in a while. Also I have never been able to get the narrow leaf Java fern to grow, and the nana petit grows stupid slow and always has a dark green algae on the leaves. Also I have never been able to grow Lilaeopsis in this tank either.

    Tonight I will go home and test my tap water for GH, KH and Ca. I will test my tank for pH and post all the results tomorrow.

    If you decide to help me (I really hope you do) please tell me how often/what to dose in ppm as opposed to fractions of teaspoons.

    For fertilizers I have:

    KNO3
    KH2PO4
    CSM+B plus Iron
    Seachem equilibrium
    Flourish
    Flourish Iron
    Flourish Trace
    Flourish N
    Flourish K
    Flourish excel
    epsom salt
    CaCl2
    CaCO3
    CaSO4
    Acid buffer
    Alkaline buffer

    I am willing to buy others if needed

    I can also get a RO/DI water (at 18 MΩ) if needed




    Thank you very much for your time,

    Ken Takeuchi
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Dose more CO2.
    I have an issue with CO2, and small tank vary the water level and that changes a lot in the tank(due to evaporation etc).

    I cannot give anyone good advice other than what I know works well if the CO2 is in good shape.

    That is why folks fail with EI etc, it's not the ferts, that rule it out, it's the CO2 etc.
    I can tell you what to add etc, but if the CO2 is bad, you will be no further along.

    KNO3 10 ppm 3x a week
    KH2PO4 1 ppm 3x a week
    Seachem equilibrium 1/4 teaspoon after water change
    Flourish 4 mls 3x a week
    Baking soda to 2 KH.

    That's it along with a 60-70% weekly water change.

    From there, you might consider ADA AS.
    The rest is just CO2...........consistency etc........

    I've grown all of those plants, they can be funny about CO2, make sure that's in good shape, obsess about CO2.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Hi Tom,

    Thank you very much for the quick response.

    Here are the stats on the tank/water.

    Tank:

    pH w/ CO2 = 6.2-6.4
    pH after aeration 7.0-7.4

    KH = 6 drops of Hagen test = 60ppm = 3.4 dKH?
    GH = 7 drops = 140ppm
    Ca = 4 drops in 10mL = 40ppm
    Mg = 10.9ppm (calculated from GH and Ca)


    Current Tap H2O:

    KH = 4 drops = 40ppm = 2.2dKH?
    GH = 6 drops = 120 ppm
    Ca = 3 drops = 30ppm
    Mg = 9.75 ppm (calculated form GH and Ca)

    The discrepency between the current tap water and the tank water is probably due to the change of well water. The tap water used to be what the tank water is currently. I haven't done a water change in a few weeks and the earthquake here probably caused a change in what well they are sucking water from right now.

    Any way I thought it was CO2 also so I really jacked it up. The pH up untill two weeks ago was most likely below 6.0 (It is just that the Hagen test kit I use only goes down to 6.0) (it was bright yellow!). My girlfriend made me lower it to about 2 bps because the Pleco was acting weird (real lethargic and not being able to stick to the glass) and the plants were still stunting. If you like, I can raise it back up. With the stats that I have provided, what should I aim for in terms of pH? is too much CO2 ever a problem? Do I still want to add equilibrium every week? Lastly, do I want to add an extra 2KH or just bring my KH up to that level (I already exceed 2 KH).

    Once again, thank you for the help.

    Ken T.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Stop messing with the KH.

    Add CO2 slowly and make sure you have decent water surface movement, that is more likely why the fish resp[onded when you added more.

    You can always add more CO2, but the O2 and build up of CO2 can cuase issues for fish.

    So some surface movement will help.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Hi Tom,

    The tank has good surface movement but I fear that it will not help due to the fact there is glass on top of the tank (it is not open to the air). The glass is there to stop the SAE from jumping out. Should I remove the glass? If so, I will just remove the SAE from this particular tank.

    I have never actually added anything (buffers) to alter my KH in the past. I only asked because you mentioned to add it. Either way I will not add anything to the tank for KH. Do you still want me to add equilibrium every week (as per your advice in post #2)?

    Also Should I add flourish iron in conjunction with regular flourish, and if so how much?


    Thank you for your help thus far,

    Ken Takeuchi
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't think you have to be concerned about a build-up of CO2 and reduction of the amount of O2 above the tank because of the glass top. If there are any small openings the air inside should approximate the atmosphere pretty constantly. Convection alone will move the air in and out of the enclosed area. (My opinion, of course.)
     
  7. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Ok, I started Tom's routine religously this past Wed. (10/18/06) so thus far the sp. 'Green' seems to have started growing again, but the 'Vietnam' is still stunted. The 'colorata' has picked up some color in the lower leaves but the apical leaves are still a pale green. I see new shoots on the 'Mini' and some new shoots on the 'Goias'.

    I raised the CO2 level up to 3 BPS, but the pleco started acting wierd so Last night I removed the glass that was on top of the aquarium, took out the SAE and raised the AH supply light about 1.5" above the aquarium. I will check on the status of the pleco tonight and also check the pH of the water now that the glass is off the aquarium.

    After checking the pH, I plan to do a large water change. Most of the time when I have seen stunting in the past it was in the few days following the water change. Hopefully this time all the plants that are growing well will keep growing.

    Ken T.
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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  9. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Funny you bring that up. I was at our local fish club show (honolulu aquarium society) t5his past weekend and read some rather old articles in Amano's Aqua Journal. I think it was number thirty something (an old vectrapoint publication in english). The publication date on it was 1997 or somthing like that.

    In this article they talked about the design of the ADA CO2 checker and about CO2 in general. Believe it or not, even back then Amano was talking about how 30ppm of CO2 was the "goal" that we should aim for.

    I am seriously thinking about getting one, but am waiting for a few people to get together to put in a large bulk order for ADA products (shipping to Hawaii is killer otherwise). I know other companies make them but they are eye sores. So in the mean time (no offense to you) I will have to get by with daily pH testing.

    Ken Takeuchi
     
  10. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Oops, Just read your CO2 thread..........that is actually a nice drop checker! Too bad it is in Hong Kong and I refuse to ebay stuff from over seas no matter who the dealer. :(

    As for a new question:

    For the ADA drop checker.........do you need to adjust KH of the ddH2O to 4.0 for that one also or does the ADA supplied reagent already come prepared (in which case I would just add the reagent to deionized/distilled water)?


    Thanks for any info you may have,

    Ken T.
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The ADA reagent is just indicator solution, like you use in a titration test kit for pH. ADA apparently expects you to use the tank water to fill the ball, and just use it to measure the pH of the tank. That isn't a good idea.

    I'm not sure why you don't want to buy from Hong Kong, but I got good fast delivery when I ordered mine, and it seems to look almost exactly like the ADA one, but much cheaper. The guy selling them now has two other shapes for sale on ebay, one seems to be a crude version of the ADA shape, and the other a nice looking one, but with less air-water interface with the tank water, which may make it very slow to react to changes in the CO2 ppm.
     
  12. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Last night I checked the pH and KH of the tank again. The top glass has been removed and the CO2 increased. The pleco has been doing fine these last few days so I assume the O2 content is OK.

    Here are the stats as of last night/this morning:

    KH 5-6 drops of Hagen test reagent (starts turning at about 5 but doesn't reach full yellow till 6 drops. I can't explain this because I did close to an 80% water change and my tap water only has a KH of 4 drops????????)

    pH of tanks water after aeration : around 7.2-7.4 (the water is blue)
    pH of tank water in the morning : about 6.8 (no CO2 at night)
    pH or tank water at 6:00pm : 6.0 or less (with CO2 on)(drops turn immediately yellow as soon as they hit the water)

    Is my CO2 OK now or should I still be increasing it?

    I did some trimming last night after all the water testing cuz some of the plants are going crazy ('Ceylon' and 'Colorata'). Sp. 'Green' seems to be growing well now also so I replanted the growing crowns and removed all the stunted lower portions. 'Vietnam' still not growing well.



    Thanks,

    Ken T.
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    So a trim, good mainteance and a bit more CO2 seemed to help?
    Just keep after it, it'll right itself in time if you keep fiddling with it and adding it slowly.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    So here is an update on what happened to the tank last week following the water change.

    Following the replanting of the sp. 'Green' it decided to stop growing. Most of the stems have stopped growing (only one is growing well) but only a few have them have "stunted". The 'Nanjenshan' completely stunted and just started growing again on Friday. Same story with the 'Goias' and pusilla although pusila is growing more than the 'Nanjenshan'. Some of the the macrandra 'Narrow leaf' tips stunted but came back with a vengence and is growing well right now. The 'Ceylon' was unaffected and is growing well. The 'Colorata' was slow to start but is already at the top of the tank. It needs to be trimmed and replanted but it deffinately is not very colorful right now it is more green that pink or red especially the growing tips. Lastly 'Vietnam' has started to grow but the growing crowns are bright green and the distance between nodes is very long (it looks "leggy").

    I am seeing new runners from the Lilaeopsis, but the narrow java fern is still not growing.

    I had been dosing Flourish Iron and Flourish trace with the regular flourish, but stopped after Wednesday (10/25/06). This week I am only going to dose Flourish.

    Following all the stunting wich was apparent by Wed/Thurs I increased the CO2 on Saturday (10/28/06). The pleco was floating upside down in the tank yesterday so I removed him along with all the other fish from the tank. The CO2 is up about 4 BPS ( it is really hard to count when it is coming out that fast) and the pH immediately turns to yellow (ph
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If the green is not growing, you have issues with NO3 or/and CO2.

    That is nothing but a weed.
    You might not think the NO3/CO2 are the issue/s etc, but they are.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Hi Tom,

    Thank you for responding again. I already raised the CO2 up so I want to see the effects this modification has in conjunction with a water change. I can raise NO3 up but want to do this methodically so I will do this next week after the waterchange if the raising of CO2 this week doesn't help.

    Thank you very much for your time and knowledge. I will keep everyone updated.

    Ken Takeuchi
     
  17. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Here is the update for the last week. Not much has grown except the ceylon and the colorata which is almost completely green. After cutting them back, they are at the top of the tank. I cut back all the stunted Nanjenshan and Pusilla and they have yet to grow back any shoots.

    The Sp. green has maybe 4 shoots growing. The Vietnam is growing but still very "leggy" I will have to trim it and replant the top soon. Two Macrandra narrow leaf shoots have reached the top and need to be replanted but the rest are still stunted and the crowns have now turned green.

    The increase in CO2 last week has killed off alot of shrimp and the ones that are alive act real funny by swimming all around the tank. Green algae has appeared on the glass and believe it or not it seems as though BBA is growing on the anubias petite and on the Lilaeopsis. Most will probably say it is a CO2 issue but there is no way that it is a lack CO2 issue at this point. I wish there was some way to prove that it is not a CO2 issue. Maybe I will have to get one of those ADA glass bulbs and fill it with ddH2O at KH4? I think the real reason for the BBA might be that it has always been there but the SAEs always kept it in check. Since the removal of the SAEs it can now grow. I'm not worried about the algae though, I just want these rotala to start growing well.

    Would a lack of O2 in the water column due to too much CO2/not enough water movement ever affect plant growth?

    For this up comming week, what should I do? I can increase Nitrates like you suggested last week if you think it will help.

    Thanks,

    Ken T.
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do not know how many times I said it was not a CO2 issue........
    Then it turned out it was.

    If you have all the NO3, K, PO4, traces, light, GH, there's nothing left..........
    You can claim the ratios or balances of these, but if they are within a relatively wide range, this will not matter.
    Location of the nutrients is also a non issue.

    R macrandra grows very well if it has decent CO2, poorly otherwise.
    The species of algae also suggest CO2.

    It's not just one thing that points to it, it's many things.
    Now simply adding more is not the only solution, waiting for the new plant growth or tossing out all the stunted plants, or adding some cheap plants till things get back are obvious issues.

    You need decent healthy plants, waiting for a bunch of 1/2 dead stunted plants to come back is not going to be the same as adding fresh plant material.

    It takes time for the plants bounce back and you need decent growth of something in the meantime.

    Adding so much CO2 you kill things is the solution to CO2 issues.

    Surface movement, clean tank/filter, well trimmed, pruned, good CO2 mixing in the water column, consistent dosing of both ferts and the CO2.

    Some folks add too much CO2, then later in the week, their bubble rate falls off, or varies in some way.

    Some are gun shy with CO2, after killing a fish etc, so they never add enough thereafter.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  19. cousinkenni

    cousinkenni Prolific Poster

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    Hi Tom,

    So I am a little copnfused from your last post.........what should I do? I haven't changed the CO2 from last week. I am not worried about killing fish, there are none in the tank......only feeder shrimp that I don't care about. Do you want me to add more CO2? because I can. Do you want me to remove all the Rotalas and put in easily grown plants?


    Ken T.

    I would love to talk to you about this in person if possible? Is there some way to actually contact you via phone? If you want I can PM you my phone number or vice versa?
     
  20. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can't have too much CO2 as far as the plants are concerned - at least not too much using the methods we use. So, with no fish, why not just double your bubble rate and see if it helps?
     
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