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Stretch 72 Peninsula Tank, v2.0

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Christophe, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Thanks all!

    I've gone through & uploaded all my pics to an album here, fixed all the photo links. I can't imagine how much work that would be for somebody with a lot more historical images stuck out on photobucket!
     
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  2. Dale Hazey

    Dale Hazey Junior Poster

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    Your tank looks amazing Christophe. Love the hardscape and the slopes, the opening in the middle, the plants look amazing. Very nice journal.

    Dale.
     
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  3. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Christophe - my sodium level is near 80 ppm. Chloride is a little higher. The plants that I'm able to grow, do so despite this relatively high level. The plants that I'm unable to consistently grow (Lythraceae and a couple of others) did not improve when i switched to 100% reconstituted RO water.

    The old Barr Report piece on sodium suggest plants are able to tolerate higher levels then 80 ppm. May be not all species, but most.

    Ultimately, i am glad your plants are doing better, but could it be because going to mostly RO has eliminated some other variable?
     
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  4. geektom

    geektom Junior Poster

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    Thanks to you, I checked my city's sodium level: 43 ppm


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Good to hear, even if it makes things more confusing. So I've had a clear reversal of what appeared as a K deficiency by going from 50/50 DI/Tap to 93% DI, and remineralizing to about the same GH/KH I had at 50/50.

    Things that changed:
    Sodium, from 17.8 to 2.6ppm
    Chloride from 20 to 7ppm
    GH from 5.3 dH to 5.0 dH
    KH from 2.6 dH to 2.5 dH
    Same ratio of Ca to Mg, 3:1

    Same macro dosing per week, but distributed slightly differently -- 70% of macros are included in the Saturday water change, and I do two little 15% boosters on Tuesday & Thursday.
    Total per week
    NO3 15 ppm
    PO4 2.0 ppm
    K 18 ppm.

    A year or two ago, I had run K up to 30ppm per week without seeing a change. That was back while I was still using 100% tap. That was also while I was still dosing micros with a shovel.

    Dosing of micros has been pretty consistent per week across the last several months as well:
    Fe 230 ppb
    Mn 110 ppb
    B 15 ppb
    Zn 13 ppb
    Cu 3 ppb
    Mo 1.7 ppb

    Sulfate? Roughly the same before & after, 60-70ppm once all the hardness ingredients are added.
    Silicate? 28ppm to 2.1ppm. Impact? I doubt it.
    Aluminum? from 50 ppb to 4 ppb. Nah.
    All the other water constituents in my tap were below test sensitivity.

    CO2? Same system, same pH drop, more or less the same plant density. Don't think so.

    It would be nice to narrow down what's behind the improvement.
     
  6. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    93% - every time I read that, my brain pauses for a few seconds from the randomness of the number. And then I move on. ;-)

    It looks like you are doing a lot of things right. I know many who have had dramatic improvements in growth or far less issues after going with full or mostly RO. Besides the satisfaction gained from nailing down the exact root cause, there is no reason to delve deeper. Count your blessings.

    If you recall from a couple of years ago, Solcielo had what appeared to be K deficiency in his Hygro pinnatifida - pinholes. He gradually increased K to nosebleed levels and did not see any improvements in the symptom. That was the genesis of the whole trace tox debate. Induced K deficiency appears fairly common. Yes, sodium could cause it and is a likely culprit in your case. I suspect other elements do too.

    In your case, it looks like 50% RO did not get rid of the offending element, but 93% did...my brain is pausing again. And I've moved on.
     
  7. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    I just sorta set a target of sodium < 3 ppm. That's where it happens in a way that is also fairly easy to accurately measure, at 93%. Unless maybe there's a numerological thing going on with 9's and 3's that has magical plant-growing properties. Yeah, that's the ticket!
     
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  8. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Time for an update...

    Things are overall looking pretty good. I'm two months into remineralizing almost straight DI water. I did this thinking maybe there was a problem with too much sodium and/or chloride. While there were some definite improvements that seem to be sticking with me, There are still a few things not looking their best. Plus, iit seems @Pikez has way more of both Na and Cl in his water, and seems largely untroubled by it. So I'm not sure why things improved -- I am remineralizing back up to what I was doing before, just minus the sodium & most of the chloride.

    The things giving me trouble are concentrated on one end of the tank. Coincidence? This end gets first shot at the CO2 and flow pattern, nothing is too crowded, no shading problems between species, etc.


    The good news here is that L. glandulosa is largely holding onto its improvements. The random gross stunting seems a thing of the past, all the plants are uniformly doing the same thing now. Still, leaves are a little wavy.


    Acmella is still kinda challenged. Leaf shape is better than it was, but there's still distortion, and some deterioration of older leaves.


    AR is growing well, but leaves remain wavy at best, with a couple of plants showing worse distortion.


    HC has never really taken off in this system. Growth has been unimpressive, and there's BBA in there. It has spread a bit and shown some signs of promise, but remains slow. Something is ... off.


    Then there's the good side. Everything seems to be better here despite the lower-flow. Things remain good though I let this side fill in pretty well.


    So, why? This tank gets straight up water column dosing, rich macros, and seemingly moderate micros, similar to Burr's mix, but probably a bit richer -- iron at about 240ppb per week, Mn at 110ppb per week, etc. Concurrent with the switch to almost full DI water, I've backed off some on my water change volume -- still weekly, but 33% rather than the 55% I had been doing regularly. This might be leading to increased concentrations of nutrients building up. Other than the few species bugging me that pretty much always have been bugging me, everything remains good.

    I had thought about working some Osmocote plus into the sand when I set this up, but opted not to, just to try fully inert substrate for a while. Am I missing something? @Pikez 's results in his Kill Tank thread have me thinking about backing off the water column and using some of that Osmocote...
     
    #48 Christophe, Aug 6, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
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  9. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Micros are richer than mine indeed, 3-5x richer. Just got done with 3 weeks at 75 ppb Fe 3x, which proved to be still too much, although nothing too bad. Now into the first week at 50 ppb

    Id say micros are the likely suspect for the AR, at least mine wouldnt be flat at your levels.
     
  10. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Ah Oops! That's the per week dosage, 4 doses per week at 60ppb. So, closer.

    Edited and fixed in the post above.
     
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  11. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    Any SO4 in the system? Thats not something you want to bottom out on.
     
  12. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    60-ish ppm. I try to keep it from getting totally out of hand, but not much chance of bottoming out in taking hardness back up to GH 5.
     
  13. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Great update.

    Your 3 trouble makers, AR, glandulosa, and Acmella are all doing OK. But not great. I see issues with all three. But they're growing and doing OK.

    Still, there is some nagging issue.

    See if lowering and chilling everything down helps. You're playing Big Boy Chemistry now, so I'm going throw some new concepts and challenges at you. Here are my suggestions:
    1. Lower everything except N. I like N at EI or half-EI levels. I cant imagine your tank needs more than 100 ppb iron per week. It's very lightly planted. My iron dosing is around 33 ppb every other day.
    2. Lower GH and KH. Significantly. See if lowering sulfate helps. 60-ish ppm is WAY more than you need. You need Sulfur in far smaller quantities than even Ca and Mg. Don't even start to think about worrying about may be someday running out of sulfur. Tissue concentration for Ca:Mg:S:Cl look like this 50:20:10:1. That's sulfur, not sulfate. If you use standard CaSO4 + MgSO4 + K2SO4, you end up with Ca:S ratio of about 1:2 when it should ideally be 5:1 - per text books. Not my opinion. Text books. Books of text for Big Boys. May be nothing. May be not. That flipped ratio may not be inconsequential. Consider Calcium nitrate and Mag nitrate for Ca and Mg instead.
    3. Consider using more ammonia-N and less nitrate-N. Aim for an even mix, but this might mean daily dosing of Urea or Ammonium nitrate.
    4. Consider swapping the Bacopa and Acmella - see if the other side of the tank helps the Acmella. This should rule out if there is better CO2 availability on the other side. Since your tank is not crowded, there shouldn't be an issue.
    5. My Kill Tank is a highly manipulated experimental tank. I feel I may have done a disservice to many of you by disclosing preliminary results from the root tabs experiments. That experiment could still go sideways. I am not comfortable suggesting that everyone go out and try root tabs.
    6. However, if you decide to try root tabs, back off on water column.
     
    #53 Pikez, Aug 7, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
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  14. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    I had been going with the GH 5, KH 2.5 mostly just to match what I had before when I was doing 50/50 DI/tap. I’ve never been concerned about sulfate — it just kinda tailgates in with Mg, K, and Ca, and there's always been plenty. I’d always seen sulfate written off as ‘mostly harmless’ around here, even in large quantities, but sometimes I wonder.

    One of the next changes I wanted to try was lowering GH to 4 or so and taking sulfate down some along with it. Remineralizing KH back up to 2.5 gives me a way of boosting K (potassium bicarbonate is my favorite new additive!) without adding sulfate or other stuff I already have plenty of. I'm already using Ca(NO3)2 for part of the calcium in water change. It's pretty much replacing any need for KNO3 dosing at all. Nitrate level has been consistently 20-30ppm.

    With my KH as it is, the tank degasses to pH of about 7.2 — If I could add it in tiny amounts every day, early in the photoperiod, I’d be more into it. The tank is only above 7.0 from probably 4AM until Noon, but not sure I wanna go there right now.

    Good idea swapping the plants around, hadn’t considered that.

    Just thinking out loud on the root tab idea — I do find your results compelling, even if it’s early. Also compelling are @deepgreen 's results — gotta get some more information there about light level and the whole routine!

    But actually, my first thought is that since going to the lower (33%) water change volume, I COULD be accumulating up to three times the weekly dose, so more than 700ppb Fe, 330ppb Mn. I hadn’t decreased the dose from when I was doing 50% changes. So my immediate plan is to take a week or two off from dosing any micros, and resume at say 80ppm per week Fe and see if that gets a reaction.

    If I were to go with root tabs, I'd try to keep it only to the substrate and only dose the water column if there was something fairly obvious lacking. The thing about the root tabs is it's hard to put that genie back in the bottle without a total rescape.
     
  15. Dale Hazey

    Dale Hazey Junior Poster

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    Did you take any full tank shots?
    It's against the rules to post an update and not include one of those...
     
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  16. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Yea did you not read the Forum Rules, clearly says:
    "All journal updates including pictures, Must include a Full Tank Shot."
    ;)
     
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  17. Dale Hazey

    Dale Hazey Junior Poster

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    Everyone's tanks here are amazing but I really like this one the most. The arch and the opening, slopes and the light hardscape, the position of the plants, light colored substrate
    idk just looks so good..
     
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  18. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    I think its the high quality of the image, and the amount of varying simple colors in this tank that makes us like it so much. And the simplistic approach to it.
     
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  19. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Geez, thanks guys! I keep thinking about cutting away part of the branches because it looks so... ...archy, sometimes! I didn't have the Big Boy camera handy at the moment, and the lights are starting to go down, so here's a phone pic...


    I wanted to do sort of a Nature style that still tips its hat to some of the Dutch principles, contrasting leaf shapes and colors. I'm really just still learning to grow stuff.
     
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  20. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Yes, I've also operated under the belief that sulfates are fine. And they certainly may be.

    I am at a point where I am questioning EVERYTHING. Everything is guilty until proven otherwise. Nothing is sacred. The freedom to color outside the lines with my experiments is nice.

    But it requires suspension of existing beliefs.
     
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