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Share your long-term experiences with Seiryu stone?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Planterson, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

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    I'm planning on a re-scape in my 32g using these. I'm using ADA Aquasoil in the display, it's fully cycled - as I said this is a re-scape for an existing tank. Currently the PH in that tank sits around 6.7, KH stays low around 2, GH is buffered to about 6. I'd like to keep HC, some Rotalas, Enchinodurus Tenellus, Stauro. I've looked around and surprisingly the information has been quite vague (don't use it, oh don't worry it's fine, I think I heard etc etc), so I'm looking for some more experienced opinions from people who have actually USED the stone for a while.


    I have about ~20lbs of the stuff, I'm not sure if it's 100% genuine, but it looks like it. It's been scrubbed and given a vinegar soak for a couple of hours. The stuff looks great, the price was decent. Would love to use it.


    I know that it will raise KH and GH, thereby raising PH. In a test bucket, quite considerably - a rate of about .5 - 1KH and about ~1GH per day, this is in a 20g reservoir. This seems massive to me, only been observing it for a few days though, experienced a rise from 1KH (my tap is VERY soft) to about 4KH in 4 days.


    My question is basically for people who have used this stone over time. Have you noticed a "set point" where this leeching levels out at all, or is it a steady rise? I've heard some anecdotal stories that eventually it "slime coats" and stops leeching. Clearly, water changes will be my life for a while, and I'm ok with that to an extent, but I do travel for work. If I'm going from 3KH on water change day to over 10 with an 8.0PH by the end of the week, that could be problem if I'm not there.


    Is this stone worth all the trouble it's shaping up to be? Or once I get it running will it be easier to manage than I'm thinking?


    What are your long-term experiences with this stone?
     
    #1 Planterson, Feb 10, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2016
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  2. IUnknown

    IUnknown Lifetime Members

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    It was too much trouble for me so I swapped it out. Give it a try and see how yo like it. I might try it again down the road.
     
  3. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

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    So far the rise is a steady amount somewhere between .5 and 1 dKH per day in a 1:1 volume of water (lbs of Seiryu : Gallons of water). It's not showing much sign of slowing down or reaching a point of saturation. Similar result for GH.


    I'd make the assumption that this might be slightly less in a 32g tank. ADA AS may also offset this rise a bit. If it fell closer to the .5 end, I'd consider that very doable with the EI methodology of weekly water changes @ 50%, placing my total KH gain at around 3.5 - 4 per week. Obviously the only way to know for sure is to try it in a tank with normal conditions.


    Trouble is, over time, this may build up. If you started at 1 dKH, were at say 5 dKH by weeks end, and performed a 50% change with 1 dKH water, you'd drop to around 3. Obviously, the following week you'd rise up to around 7-8. This would ultimately require larger volume water changes or a 2x per week schedule. If I find a set-point where it stops leeching that makes life a bit easier I suppose, even if I wind up with harder water.


    So, new questions (I'm close to putting it in):


    - Assuming 2x water changes a week, do the rules of EI change? Or would I simply change water mid-week and resume as normal?


    - Would such a fluctuation in KH have an adverse effect on plants? I do have my eye on some that prefer soft water (I was looking at them due to my "normal" water parameters).


    If no one has any first-hand knowledge or experiences they'd like to chime in with, I'll gladly log my experience with the stone for those on the fence in the future. This is the kind of information I was looking for when I first purchased the stone, but was unable to find - the stone wasn't too expensive so I felt it was worth it for the knowledge.


    Sorry if these are basic questions/concerns, although I've had "planted" tanks for a bit of time now, I've just recently started getting serious.
     
  4. Harry Muscle

    Harry Muscle Junior Poster

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    I'm planning on using these in my upcoming tank but just like you I haven't been able to find the info you're looking for. Definitely interested in reading your experience with them if you decide to go for it (my tank won't be ready for some time still).


    Thanks,


    Harry
     
  5. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

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    Cool, I'll be putting them in tomorrow. I think I can handle it with proper husbandry. Results in the 20g holding container (1lb per gallon):


    ~20lbs of Seiryu, soaked for approx. 2 hours in white vinegar, and scrubbed with a brush under hot water. Fully rinsed. I would NOT recommend skipping this part. The rocks look amazing afterwards and it really gets a ton of the surface level deposits off. I've heard of people using muriatic acid, but that was a bit too dramatic for me. You could leave them longer, but the acid DOES eat the rock away slowly, so the longer you go, the smaller the rocks get.


    Day 1, the reservoir was at 1dKH and a GH of 3. PH @7.2. Temp stayed at 75 in the room, but never measured the water. This is from my tap, it's very soft; TDS is ~30.


    Day 7, the reservoir was at 5dKH and a GH of 6. PH @7.6. Forgot to measure TDS, I'll do that once it's in the tank.


    So I arrived at a roughly .5dKH rise per day, slightly less on GH, give or take, up to 1. There were some days where I would check and it would be up a whole point. Some where it wasn't quite there. PH reading done with a calibrated Milwaukee probe.


    From my observations here, it seems very manageable - although this doesn't seem like "raising hardness and Ph slightly" as the rocks are listed... Over time this could be quite an increase. If you absolutely rely on a PH controller for Co2... you'd definitely want to stop using that and dial in or it could be a big mess. And water changes will be paramount (not a problem on EI).


    I'm going to go with it in the display tank, and I'll report back after some time. I'm interested to see how much effect the increased water volume and AS has on the buffering, and how much water changing actually keeps the parameters in balance.


    If anyone can help out with the questions on 2x changes and KH impacts on softwater plants, that would be helpful - but I can get that information in a separate thread if needed.
     
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  6. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

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    Taken the plunge. Rock is in, post water-change. The Ph reading won't be accurate since the water isn't degassed, so I'll post hardness throughout the week and we'll go from there. I had to tear the tank apart pretty good here... but since it's a fresh re-plant I think things will recover. It's essentially a brand new setup at this point, but the soil is cycled and so is the filter media.


    [​IMG]


    After the change, adding a tsp of GH Booster (Equillibrium):


    KH: 3


    GH: 5


    Let's see how this goes!


    Tank Specs:


    32g ADA 60P


    Radion XR15FW (peaks at 50%, 6 hour photoperiod for now)


    Swagelok 2-Stage Regulator, 20lb Co2, Atomic Inline Diffuser ~4bps


    Fluval 306, lily pipes


    ~27 Liter ADA Amazonia


    ~20lbs Seiryu


    Milwaukee PH Probe and controller (I don't use the control functionality anymore)


    S. Repens


    HC


    E. Tenellus


    Pogostemon Erectus


    Rotala Rotundifolia


    H. Zosterifolia


    Ammania Gracilus (rescue plant)
     
    #6 Planterson, Feb 14, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2016
  7. jbs47

    jbs47 Lifetime Members
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    Thanks for your efforts...always liked the look of these stones but was concerned about adding to hardness of water that I am trying to reduce in hardness. I always figured that Amano is able to pull it off with AS soil and CO2 reducing those parameters. Will be interested in how this works out for you. Thanks again, Brock.
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I currently have a 90 cm tank with loads of seiryu. I've used it in the past without any issues. I have measured the KH rise over the course of 10 days between water changes to get an idea of the range of change in KH I would see between water changes as a way to set (at the time) my pH controller for CO2. It went from 7 dKH to 14. No problems with fish or plants. I've grown all kinds of stuff with seiryu. This parctiular scape had E. tennellus, S. repens, B. japonica, E. belem, and a bunch of mosses.


    Check out my flickr album for scapes with Seiryu. Generally as long as you are doing the regular maintenance stuff like weekly water changes it shouldn't be a big issue. I'm not sure I would use it in a tank I didn't plan to do water changes in...although the water may reach a saturation point if no water changes.


    https://www.flickr.com/gp/shawn_mcbride_36/BG6753
     
  9. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

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    Great input. Going from 7 to 14 dKH over 10 days seems to keep in line with the testing I've done so far. After testing this morning, there was no rise at all in dKH, I haven't looked at GH yet. Of course, that's only about 12 hours since the rock went in. There are roughly 3 9 Liter bags of AS in the tank, could be offsetting the rise.


    Interestingly enough, this morning before Co2, the PH was 6.9, which is higher than it's ever been. Generally before Co2 it's been between 6.2 and 6.4... This wasn't reflected in the hardness, though.
     
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  10. PhilipS

    PhilipS Lifetime Members
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    Thanks all for the experiments.


    I knew these rocks affected hardness.


    A good science project for for any middle schooler. Mine wanted to do lunchbox cheese mold. Eww; she said.


    For What its worth, a pH controller will help stabilize the pH using CO2.


    Saved me from accidental gass-outs.
     
  11. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

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    FWIW, I wouldn't recommend using a Ph controller with these stones. The KH fluctuation will inevitably make your resting Ph rise, and if you use a Ph controller as your set point you will end up with unbalanced doses and potentially gas out your fish. The are good in some circumstances but I'd hesitate to use one on a tank that didn't have rock solid hardness and stable Ph.


    If anything, you could have it act as a failsafe. I don't like using one in general though, my Co2 tends to be more stable without it.


    Also, I hope you don't think I'm a middle schooler :) As a near 40-year-old, perhaps I need to work on my writing skills! I'm simply doing these tests to provide information for those considering Seiryu stones. This is the type of information I wanted when I was looking to use them - I couldn't find it, so I decided to test myself and provide it for others.
     
    #11 Planterson, Feb 15, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2016
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  12. PhilipS

    PhilipS Lifetime Members
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    Haha, no, I believe Tom-a san has an age limit and a knowledge test to get on and stay on the forum. No more rolling the dice.


    Yes, a pH controller can be used as a failsafe.


    However, it has saved my $$s and allowed me to overcome the dreaded Boba (Fett) Beard Algae.
     
  13. UDGags

    UDGags Lifetime Charter Member
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    I stopped using them because of water quality issues and it was a pain to dial in CO2 since kH was always changing (using a controller). I was using them in a dutch style tank in 2013 with high light/high CO2 and the higher CO2 you have the more acidic the water is and the more they dissolve. You typically see them used in lower light/lower CO2 style ADA tanks. So now I have 100lbs sitting in boxes in my fish room waiting for a lower light tank that will do them justice.
     
  14. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

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    Great info guys! Just a bit of an update. Since the rock went in on Sunday, I'm up at a seemingly slower rate than before, but not by much... a solid .5 each day rather than the variable .5 to 1. Could be reduced to the water volume, or the buffering capacity of the ADA AS, I'd have to test that independently, but tbh I probably won't do that.


    Tuesday: KH 4 and GH 6. I'll post again at the end of the week before and after the water change.


    I think a week sample of this nature gives the idea I was looking for. At that point you could run some accumulation calculations based on the average rise and figure out the top-end saturation for your water change schedule and aquarium. You could theoretically create a water change schedule that would keep your number right in a range you deemed acceptable, even easier with auto-changers and the like.


    At this point, I'm considering the rock very doable, but only for someone believes in water changes. It's not for the "no water change" crowd :) Probably not for use with a Ph controlled Co2 system either.
     
  15. jbs47

    jbs47 Lifetime Members
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    Thanks UDGags...Using these stones in a lower tech system seems to make perfect sense...Good tip for the day.
     
  16. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

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    Welp, final summary is in.


    Last Sunday (2/14): KH 3, GH 5


    Today (2/21), before water-change: KH 5, GH 8


    Today, after water change: Back down to KH 3, GH 5.


    Change water (tap) has immeasurably low KH and a GH of around 1 (Little Rock, AR) and a TDS of ~30.


    So, a quick summary:


    1:1 lbs of rock to water, saw a steady rise of around 1 KH 1 GH (give or take) daily average. That's with no external buffers (AS, wood, etc).


    1:1.5 lbs of rock to water, saw a rise of 0.285 KH per day, and 0.42 GH. That is with whatever buffering provided by ADA AS.


    For PH, I didn't test degassed. I can say that originally, before the stone, my water before the Co2 came on was at ~6.5PH. After the end of the week, the morning pre-Co2 number was up to 6.9-7.0. I'd say easily a half point rise there.


    Assumptions:


    As far as I'm concerned, these are great numbers, and actually helpful to my soft water. It eliminated the need to buffer the water, as my tap is practically RO :) Regular EI weekly 50% changes, maybe the occasional 75% will keep the tank running within a couple degrees of hardness, and I'd still consider my water to be quite soft.


    I'd say in conclusion, that if you are considering these stones, go for it. Just keep the following in mind:

    • They are not "set and forget" stones. They will require a bit of monitoring at first and a regular water change schedule.
    • Don't use unless your Co2 is on a constant stream, I wouldn't recommend use with a PH controller due to the rising (daily) PH.
    • Low tech might be ideal since the low Ph that happens during the Co2 cycle won't take place, and therefore will not dissolve the rock as much. But you may want to be careful on a method like Walstad, since you will need to perform more water changes than recommended to keep your hardness in check.
    • Pay attention to the amount of stone to water. 1:1 ratio rose quite a bit higher than 1:1.5. AS or driftwood does seem to help.
    • Probably not great for some shrimp.


    There we have it. Hope this helps some people in the future. If you do any comprehensive tests of your own, feel free to add to the conversation.
     
    #16 Planterson, Feb 21, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2016
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