sediment load

robin adair

Junior Poster
May 18, 2005
22
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1
Melbourne, Australia
I run a 520 L tank following the non-CO2 method and apply EI procedures described in this forum. The method has been built up applying each of the components gradually and in the last month or so the full system is in operation plus the addition of extra MgSO4 and chelated iron. Full parameters are as follows:
2.5 watt/gal
pH=7.0
gH=3
kH=1-2
temp=23(c). I keep A. madagascariensis (doing well)
1/8 teaspoon (per 20 gal) KNO3 every 2 weeks
1/16 KH2PO4 (per 20 gal) every 2 weeks
1/4 teaspoon MgSO4 (per 20 gal) every 2 weeks
1/8 Teaspoon Equilibrium (per 20 gal) every 2 weeks
Excel at recommended rates
Trace (Flourish) - 2 ml/20 gal weekly
Chelated iron (Yates Chelated Iron, 1 teaspoon per 250ml water) at 2ml/50 gal x2 weekly (Ambulia were showing signs of paling at shoot tips)
80% water change every 2 weeks
Filtration 1000L/hr

The problem relates to the build-up of particulate matter between the 2 weekly water changes. Each fortnight, an 80% water change is undertaken and the sand (coarse quartz) is siphoned to freshen it up. The tank is crispy clear for the next 3-4 days, but then gradually deteriorates with build up of fine particulate matter. This makes the water slightly cloudy, which is very distracting as we all aim to have crystal clear water in show tanks.
The filtration system in an Eheim external canister filled with small scoria pieces and topped with filter wool. This has worked well for years, but with the introduction of the water column fertilisation method, water cloudiness has become a bit of an issue. It seems to have coincided with the introduction of extra iron as chelated iron (Yates) made for terrestrial plants. But I'm loath to suggest there is a causative effect here and heed the Barrian words "correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation" :gw .
But I am wondering if it possible for some of the non-CO2 chemical additions to react adversely in some situations and cause a precipiatate in the water column?
The tank has been running for 3 years now and was initially set-up with a soil substrate, which is still present (but probably adding nothing to the system now). The plants look the best they have ever been, I just need to find a way of keeping that water column cleaner for longer after a water change.
Fish (very low load) are fed a minimum and its not over -feeding. Sand appears clean and filter is pumping well. Eheims never die.
Any suggestions, before I opt for the hard-work option and strip down the whole tank and set it up again? :confused:
Thanks
Robin
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: sediment load

Try backing off the Fe and switching to a more appropreiate trace like TMG.
You might try dosing once a week rather than every 2 weeks and wait.

I tend never to do water changes on a non CO2 tank.
Rather, add better finer filtration, perhaps run a diatom once a week instead of a large water change.

The Excel really makes this a Carbon enriched tank.
Add the traces 2-3 days prior to the water change if you want to keep that routine, then add the PO4 a few days later, say 1-2 days after the water change.




Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Bill

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: sediment load

This is a little off the subject but would you suggest not to do any water changes on a small pond?

Bill
 

robin adair

Junior Poster
May 18, 2005
22
0
1
Melbourne, Australia
Re: sediment load

Thanks for the help here, I'll keep you posted on developments with these suggestions. I'm relieved that the chemical combination and sequence could be the cause and not something else harder to fix.
The concept of finer filtration is appealing and I'll check this out.

In relation to water changes on non-co2 tank, if using EI procedures, doesn't this rely on resetting after a period? Its the recommendation published in Looking for feed back on "Introduction to non-co2 excel tanks" by Greg Watson, which is based on Tom's guidelines.
Myabe, just perhaps, a bit of fine tuning may be involved, but this might be a once off case and most folks are having no probs with the technique.

Robin
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: sediment load

Bill said:
This is a little off the subject but would you suggest not to do any water changes on a small pond?

Bill

With good plant biomass, it's not needed and is a waste of water at that scale.

Example: 40-50% coverage with water lettuce, or hyacinth, some submersed plants as well etc, no need for any algae control.

As plants grow over, 1-2 weeks you remove the excess weeds, this is the export.

If you let things go, then you will have issues....

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: sediment load

robin adair said:
In relation to water changes on non-co2 tank, if using EI procedures, doesn't this rely on resetting after a period? Its the recommendation published in Looking for feed back on "Introduction to non-co2 excel tanks" by Greg Watson, which is based on Tom's guidelines.
Myabe, just perhaps, a bit of fine tuning may be involved, but this might be a once off case and most folks are having no probs with the technique.

Robin

Well, with Excel, you can treat things like EI and do the water changes, main thing is to do about 1/2 EI, maybe even a tad less, then make sure you keep up with the Excel dosing good.

I think some separation between the PO4 and Fe dosing will help.
This is not written in stone, you can vary things to get a better mix/result.
A little playing around with the routine often allows the user to tqweak, most of the advice I give is fairly general, some user "tweakage" is assumed.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

robin adair

Junior Poster
May 18, 2005
22
0
1
Melbourne, Australia
Re: sediment load

Absolutely. And this is what makes the hobby and this methodology so much fun. It also improves our understanding on what makes these systems work.
I really enjoy this and thanks for the encouragement :p .

Robin
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: sediment load

Keep trying and tweaking slightly, good plant biomass to start off with is awlays a good idea when judging any change. Some folks have stumps and expect the changes to beat the algae.

I often suggest using cheapy plants till the other plants grow back well, more plants = less algae and better tank health.

Regards,
Tom Barr