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Some help from the wise

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by Dutch, May 1, 2011.

  1. Dutch

    Dutch Prolific Poster

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    Sorry, double posted, first one is in the wrong forum... ;)

    I need a little help in trying to determine what I need to adjust to get my tank running like it should. Everything seems to be growing fine except the foreground plants.

    Specs:

    155 bow front
    Temp: 76, cable heat
    Lights: 2 aquamedic sunbeams 80watt T5HO, 320 watts total. 10hrs/day. 35 inches from substrate.
    EI dosing:
    2 tsp KNO3 M,W,F
    1/2 tsp KH2PO4 T,T,S
    2 tsp G4 Boost SU with 50-60% water change
    1/2 tsp CSM-B M,W,F
    Filters - Fx5 with inline CO2 reactor, Mag 350 with Ehiem surface skimmer on a split input line.
    4 koralia #1 (4x400g/hr) (circulation seems fine everywhere)
    Drop checkers running yellow to yellow green
    Water is ro/di & tap 75/25

    I bought a quantum sensor and did some par readings:
    [​IMG]

    Drop checkers are running yellow 2 hours into light cycle. CO2 comes on 2 hrs b4 lights, off 30 min b4 lights out.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lights are spaced 6 inches apart for good spread:
    [​IMG]

    The problem is the foreground plants are not growing well, I had an issue with diatoms a few weeks ago but they seems to be clearing up, new growth on the plants, but still some browning on the outside edges:
    [​IMG]

    The Glossostigma is growing straight up like it is reaching for light

    [​IMG]

    Could this be some deficiency of some sort? Not enough light? More CO2?

    Thanks in advance,

    ~Dutch
     
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

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    Hi,

    I deleted the duplicate thread.

    Give it a little bit more time for the diatoms to clear up. Although PAR levels are basically ok, I'd increase a little bit to keep the Glosso low, and use something like 70 - 75. That should do it.
    CO2.....hard to say something about that. Drop checkers are very crude indicators and a difference of let's say 10 ppm won't hardly show up on your drop checker. Most of the time CO2 is lower than what the drop checker indicate. You can find the right setting by watching fish and plants.
    Keep in mind that more light means more CO2 demand. If you don't compensate, you will get BBA etc.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I think your main issue may be c02....at times a single reactor may not provide enough c02 even if adequate flow is provided...I have grown stauro @ 50 par so it can be done. You may want to try the following:

    1). Increase your EI dosage by 50%.
    2). Perform one addtional 50% water change weekly.
    3). Increase the substrate PAR to 60 and above. Remember this will also increase the light in th upper regions.
    4). Turn your c02 rate up a tad. Just a small increase. STICK around for the day and keep an eye on the fish.

    If they seem sluggish, or very dark/stress colors, rapid breathing, surface activity, etc decrease the c02 and generate some surface agitation.

    5). Point one of the koralias at the surface to generate some extra 02 when increasing c02 and will provide a safety factor for the fish.

    Try this for 2-3 weeks and see. Only increase c02 every 2-3 days always watching the critters.

    6). keep an eye on all NEW growth. If still not good increase c02 a bit and repeat the cycle. C02 is very dangerous and can easily build up and gas your fish. I and many others have done so to our sorrow...Many things affect c02/02 in the tank so is not good to increase c02 and go away for the day or the weekend...

    Give each change 4-5 days of observation as plants do take some time to adapt..the extra water changes will trigger some growth as well...

    What type of substrate are you using? Please provide more details on your c02 and filtration setup? What is meant by a split intake?
     
    #3 Gerryd, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011
  4. Dutch

    Dutch Prolific Poster

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    The top 2 inches of substrate is black diamond from aquariumplants.com, basically a mineralized clay product, the bottom 3 inches is a mix of the black stuff, laterite, and peagravel.

    CO2 is supplied using Carbon dosers (only 1 hooked up
    atm) they max out at 4 bubble/sec. Currently set to around 3 bubbles/sec:

    [​IMG]

    The reactor is hooked up to the outlet of the Fx5 and is from aquariumplants.com as well EXT5000:

    [​IMG]

    CO2 from the reactor goes into the left side and middle of the tank near the bottom outlets.

    The "Split intake" is used so that the surface skimmer does not get overwhelmed, It's rated capacity is lower than what the 350 pulls, so you have to split the line and put another inlet on so you do not suck air into your canister.

    [​IMG]

    I've lowered the lights a little, getting around 65 - 75 around the bottom now, I'll start dosing 50% more on EI and do a water change on Wednesday and Sunday. and I'll bump up the CO2 a little at a time and watch the fish and plant growth. Adjust every 3 days or so until it gets better.

    If the reactor does not keep up do you have any suggestions for a second CO2 device? The 350 is temporary and will be replaced by an Ehiem 2217 in a couple of weeks.
     
    #4 Dutch, May 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2011
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Looks like CO2 is most of the issue there.
    I know the look of such tanks.

    Gloss grows very low with good CO2, like many plants, they will run to the surface if the CO2 is low, they have little choice but to stretch.
    They sense they have little CO2 and the main by product of photosynthesis: O2..........this and submersion causes them to stretch upwards, all wetland plants, Rice, Rumex, many all do this.......when submersed.

    A fairly good research article by Jackson has a nice model about this.

    Once adapted and once the CO2 is adjusted right, the plants grow very low even at 20-30 micromols.
     
  6. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    What kind of substrate is that in your tank?
     
  7. Dutch

    Dutch Prolific Poster

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    A quick update and my thanks to the helpful hints. Tank is now 3 months along and everything is starting to fill in nicely. I ended up building a CO2 reactor that is big enough to handle the load, bumped up the CO2 to where it should be, lowered the lights a bit to get ~70 at the substrate, and continue to dose at 50% more than I originally started with:

    [​IMG]

    Starougyne is really starting to fill in now:

    [​IMG]

    Again, thanks for the help!

    ~Dutch
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I had many troubles with that reactor and "carbon doser". It was tough to keep it stable and seemed to do well at times and others needed adjusting. I was not a fan to say the least.
     

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