Switching to EI

edelry.junior

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burr740 said:
Maintenance and biomass is also directly related to having "good co2" - because you create room and space and less competition. Im recently coming to understand just how important that is.

I just did Burr. I trimmed it back to what it used to be. Removed some stems as well. The Heteranthera Zoosterifolia is crazy fast, I love the fresh look, but I have the feeling it is way too fast.


Man, we gotta show Pikez (or is it Vin?) some respect, dude is spot on :)


I would have loved to have somebody ranting about algae, like Pikez did, back in the 2000s. Would have made all the difference.
 
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edelry.junior

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Tom Barr said:
K+, Ca, and MG can all be dosed daily if you wish......but doing so offers not advantage vs say dosing them once every 3 days, even weekly or longer in some cases. Mg and K+ are often added to older trace mixes, eg Tropica Master Grow.

Ca, with a GH of 10= water change. I doubt you need to add Ca at all, Mg maybe.........


Check you local water utility's report. They should have both Ca and Mg ranges.

Thanks for the explanation Tom. Silly as it may sound, I still think it is a privilege to be getting good advice directly from you. Thanks again :)


I checked my water report (and it is here on post #56). I went straight to Ca and Mg levels. Ca is 56-63mg/l throughout the year, and Mg is 9-10mg/l. Standard deviation is ±1mg/l on the water analysis.


My idea was not to dose Ca and Mg every day, but just to drop Seachem Equilibrium. now I know I will only add Mg and this should suffice.


With the whole adding K to the micros, I am not trying to be stubborn, I just want to get as close as possible with my DIY solution to the products I use. That is the one of the big reasons. I also like the ADA approach. I might drop adding K in the micros later.


I noticed tiny holes on several old leaves of some plants (Ammania Crassicaulis and Rotalas Green and Rotundifolia. Rotala Colorata is doing fine), and I’ve read that it might be related to my K levels. This is speculation. I know I should be dosing more than enough and this is probably not the cause, but it just pushed me to be sure of my solutions. In this case it gives me a peace of mind to know K is being dosed evenly through the week instead of a blast on day one. But I do have a lot to learn...


Also, I want to simplify the dosing process, dose 2 things only, macros and micros solutions on alternate days, instead of 5 products on different agendas (Equilibrium, Excel, Macros, Fe EDTA/DTPA, Fe Ascorbate/Citrate/Gluconate).


I guessed the best place to put Ca and Mg would be in the micros solution.

Tom Barr said:
In some set ups with low input and less light,few water changes, non CO2 etc........a standard GH booster might be a good thing.


But I doubt that's the case here.

Definitely not sir! :)

Tom Barr said:
If......the ppm's for dosing are daily, then yes, cut them in 1/2 or 1/3rd(better).


I dose about 30 ppm as NO3 a week, PO4, about 10ppm. But I do larger water changes and frequent ones on the high light tank, the low light tanks can handle far more neglect.


Both tanks get fed well also for livestock.

No, this is a misunderstanding. It is supposed to be 3x a week.


Nonetheless, I adjusted it to what you suggested (with the exception of K2SO4 usage).


Let me show this in a clear way:
Macros 3x a week - Mon, Wed, FriMicros 3x a week - Tue, Thu, SatTotal being added in a week
NO3 10 ppm


K 7.67 ppm


PO4 3.3 ppm
K 8 ppm


S 5.92 ppm


Mg 2 ppm


Fe 0.35 ppm


Mn 0.076 ppm


Zn 0.048 ppm


B 0.044 ppm


Cu 0.010 ppm


Mo 0.006 ppm


+0.46 dGH as a result of adding MgSO4
NO3 30 ppm


K 47 ppm


PO4 10 ppm


Fe 1 ppm


To support this I do 70% water changes weekly, and I am trying to push as much CO2 as I can. Must say that a 1.4 pH drop is possible, but not with livestock ;)


ighting, as far as I can tell, is as high as I can get without things going crazy. There is also a lot of circulation from the canister (7,5x tank size) and from another pump (surface skimmer).


However, I do have very little live stock, 5 fishes and 15 shrimps. Given the amount of plants, I almost never see the shrimps.

Tom Barr said:
Traces can be cut low without might issue with ADA AS or similar.


The garage tanks show that pretty well.


Speaking of which, I need to go work on those out there. :)
I use a regular clay substrate from Tetra with some bottom fert mix from Dennerle, around 2 years old. Will switch to ADA AS at some point, after I feel more confident of my abilities.


I am looking forward to seeing the results from your experimentation with traces in the garage tanks!
 
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edelry.junior

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Jason


With all this testing back and forth, I found a couple things about the Rotala Butterfly nutrient calculator. The specs of the Aqua Rebell stuff do not match. For instance, on Rotala's calculator there is no mention of Ammonium in the Micro solutions (basic and special both have it). It is not written on the bottle, but you can get all the details in Flowgrow.de, but it is in german :/


Wenn du Hilfe brauchst, bitte gerade sagen!


Very minor stuff, I do realize that...


That calculator is great! I wish I knew about it before I built one :(
 
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fablau

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edelry.junior said:
Jason
With all this testing back and forth, I found a couple things about the Rotala Butterfly nutrient calculator. The specs of the Aqua Rebell stuff do not match. For instance, on Rotala's calculator there is no mention of Ammonium in the Micro solutions (basic and special both have it). It is not written on the bottle, but you can get all the details in Flowgrow.de, but it is in german :/


Wenn du Hilfe brauchst, bitte gerade sagen!


Very minor stuff, I do realize that...


That calculator is great! I wish I knew about it before I built one :(

Thanks for the heads up Ederly, I will review wha the Flowgrow website states and correct the calculator accordingly.
 
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Pikez

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edelry.junior said:
Thanks for the reminder on the reasons for the stunting. Currently I only have it on the Ammania Crassicaulis. I might have to remove it because it is getting so big...


I do have a log. I have been keeping a daily log since november. But it has never changed. It has always been like I described in post #43. Nothing has changed on the ferts, except I stopped dosing excel daily. I had no visible algae so I decided to stop it. Maybe this played a minor role.

If your fert routine has not changed and your are maintaining the filter well, then it narrows down the possible reasons for trouble.


You can get very digital about CO2. Bigger reactors. More reactors. Greater pH drop. More, more, more. I've tried it. I've done that. Engineering-minded CO2 hyper-management is not a bad thing.


But you cannot outrun an overstock, excess biomass tank with too many stems with technology, CO2, and ferts.


At some point, you have to reduce number of stems.


You have to reduce the size of the remaining stems. Remove, reduce, space out. This may be the most premature (yet important) advice I can give you.


If you noticed, I have not responded to your posts on your zealous micro-management of nutrients. You'll figure it out very soon. I have no doubt. Once you figure out lights (easy), then you focus on nutrients (less easy, but not that hard), then you focus on CO2 (can be very difficult) and only after that do most people realize that you have to focus on biomass.
 

Pikez

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edelry.junior said:
I just did Burr. I trimmed it back to what it used to be. Removed some stems as well. The Heteranthera Zoosterifolia is crazy fast, I love the fresh look, but I have the feeling it is way too fast.


Man, we gotta show Pikez (or is it Vin?) some respect, dude is spot on :)


I would have loved to have somebody ranting about algae, like Pikez did, back in the 2000s. Would have made all the difference.

Heh-heh. Thanks, but people like Tom/Karen Randall said all this years ago. But the advice was premature. Seemed irrelevant and lacking in specifics. Good advice at the wrong time might as well be bad advice. I just wanted someone to hold my hand and say 'Take the blue pill and your algae will disappear.' If you sensed frustration in my rant, it was because each time I quit the hobby due to algae problems, I stayed away for 5 or 6 years. That's a lot of lost time - hence the frustration. But the draw was strong enough to draw me back eventually.
 

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Thanks Edelry :) seems Fab is already on it.


As it stats on the website rotalabutterfly it is an on going project and will always be ongoing as new ferts are added and then the feedback comes back from the users.


Fab and myself have never used 99% of the premixed ferts so we rely on the users to feed that back.


It's greatly appreciated.


Thank you
 
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edelry.junior

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Pikez said:
Heh-heh. Thanks, but people like Tom/Karen Randall said all this years ago. But the advice was premature. Seemed irrelevant and lacking in specifics. Good advice at the wrong time might as well be bad advice. I just wanted someone to hold my hand and say 'Take the blue pill and your algae will disappear.' If you sensed frustration in my rant, it was because each time I quit the hobby due to algae problems, I stayed away for 5 or 6 years. That's a lot of lost time - hence the frustration. But the draw was strong enough to draw me back eventually.

No frustration man, it was very interesting and straight to the point. I am glad you did it.
 

edelry.junior

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Jason said:
Thanks Edelry :) seems Fab is already on it.

As it stats on the website rotalabutterfly it is an on going project and will always be ongoing as new ferts are added and then the feedback comes back from the users.


Fab and myself have never used 99% of the premixed ferts so we rely on the users to feed that back.


It's greatly appreciated.


Thank you

Thanks a lot for making it available to us :)
 
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edelry.junior

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Pikez said:
If you noticed, I have not responded to your posts on your zealous micro-management of nutrients. You'll figure it out very soon. I have no doubt. Once you figure out lights (easy), then you focus on nutrients (less easy, but not that hard), then you focus on CO2 (can be very difficult) and only after that do most people realize that you have to focus on biomass.

I guess then I am in the right direction. Lots to learn, but I can identify many of the moving pieces, and start tweaking it.


I did a lot of thinking on CO2 side. That's why I wanted a strong pump, to create enough pressure in the two reactors, a Sera knock-off and a Rex Riggs.


Currently it is working well, and without a pH probe, gassing my fishes very easy (come on, just a bit more... ...dead)


But yeah, biomass management is definitely a focus.


That's why I was asking about stem size etc, I am slowly doing these changes. The whole judging of stem width/length, stem number over an area, space between stems and groups, access to light and flow, etc. This is all fairly new to me, but very exciting :)


Thanks for helping and staying around.
 

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edelry.junior said:
Jason
With all this testing back and forth, I found a couple things about the Rotala Butterfly nutrient calculator. The specs of the Aqua Rebell stuff do not match. For instance, on Rotala's calculator there is no mention of Ammonium in the Micro solutions (basic and special both have it). It is not written on the bottle, but you can get all the details in Flowgrow.de, but it is in german :/


Wenn du Hilfe brauchst, bitte gerade sagen!


Very minor stuff, I do realize that...


That calculator is great! I wish I knew about it before I built one :(

Edelry, I was trying to find your mentioned ammonium in the Mikro Basic and Spezial solutions, but I don't see it listed:


https://www.aquasabi.de/marke/aqua-rebell/aqua-rebell-mikro-basic-eisenvollduenger


Ideas? Am I looking in the wrong place?
 

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edelry.junior said:
[uSER][/uSER]
Aquasabi.de is their online shop. The online forum is http://www.flowgrow.de. I found this information there.


I hope this link works.

Ederly, that gives me a calculator result for 10ml of the Aqua Rebell Mikro Spezial in 100 liters (I guess).... and I get concentrations for NO3 (!!), Fe and Nh4 only... is that correct? I can't understand exactly how that calculator works, I don't see how that micro solution gives the concentration of NO3, ti shouldn't be included, right? Also the concentration of Fe doesn't correspond with the one we have on rotalabutterfly.com.
 

edelry.junior

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I know, weird.


I noticed the mismatch but haven't got time to ask the guys about that. Will do when possible.


Thanks for the update Fablau.
 

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Another way to look at "too many stems"= it just starts to really reduce the circulation too much to far too many regions in the tank, the leaf litter "rain" becomes larger and the drain on O2 gets too large. I have no issues hacking a tank to death these days, as my filtration and water changes can address any issue I might ever have.


This pretty much leaves CO2 as my only issue, and generally, I need to remember to check the gas tank pressure often.


I have been posing this question to different clubs around the world and USA when I speak, how many different methods can you come up with to measure CO2?


How many ways can you add CO2?


While one can get technical about each, some are very far from technical in reality.


I have the data to go back on and reflect, but I also have the experience to just look and know pretty fast what is wrong.


Ferts; your ferts are still a tad rich if..............you use ADA AS, you will not need that much to get the same yields I'd suspect.


You could cut those to say 1/2 and see.


You should see a little slower growth, but not that much.


When you switch to ADA AS, then you will see very strong growth, you will note a significant difference.


It gets a little messy over time, but it just gets takes getting use to. It is worth the hassle.
 

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Pikez said:
If you noticed, I have not responded to your posts on your zealous micro-management of nutrients. You'll figure it out very soon. I have no doubt. Once you figure out lights (easy), then you focus on nutrients (less easy, but not that hard), then you focus on CO2 (can be very difficult) and only after that do most people realize that you have to focus on biomass.

And this is why I help people who often, at the time, do not want my help.


Or hate me.


Each person sort of has to struggle through this path on their own.


Amano also knew a lot of this pathway in plant aquarist.


Once you focus on biomass, then you have little choice left except to aquascape.


He felt scaping was more important than the details of how to grow.


Which, if you recall what you wanted to do in the beginning........... was your/my/most folk's original goal(in most cases), aquascaping/gardening.
 

edelry.junior

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Tom Barr said:
Another way to look at "too many stems"= it just starts to really reduce the circulation too much to far too many regions in the tank, the leaf litter "rain" becomes larger and the drain on O2 gets too large. I have no issues hacking a tank to death these days, as my filtration and water changes can address any issue I might ever have.

I started reducing stems and trimming much more than I was previously. I am not doing everything at once to avoid losing a lot of biomass at once.


I will be removing more and more. I changed the backdrop to white (which I don't like) to make my life easier and better inspect the back/deep areas in the tank.


Before/After photos from my last trim:
XauhPzV.jpg



I already noticed hole on the leaves of plants in "less fortunate" and crowded places. Circulation plays a role but there were too many stems. This something I will be focusing on learning.


One example of stunting/holes in leaves:
Im8laou.jpg
 
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edelry.junior

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Tom Barr said:
This pretty much leaves CO2 as my only issue, and generally, I need to remember to check the gas tank pressure often.


I have been posing this question to different clubs around the world and USA when I speak, how many different methods can you come up with to measure CO2? How many ways can you add CO2?


While one can get technical about each, some are very far from technical in reality.


I have the data to go back on and reflect, but I also have the experience to just look and know pretty fast what is wrong.

Well, I do not have much experience. I learned a reasonable amount about wrong things, but I am still catching up on the right ones.


So, it feels very awkward to answer this question, because of my limited knowledge, but I will try and answer the best way I can.


When you say ADD CO2 two things come to mind, the CO2 source and the dissolution method. As sources I know of, there is pressurized, bio/fermented, some german people here use an "electronic" device (no experience with that, some sort of conversion from the carbonates), and although not CO2 (I'm cheating, I know) there is also glutaraldehyde, as an additional source of carbon/photosynthetic intermediates .


For the dissolution part, as far I understand, you would need to inject the CO2 gas and keep it contained while being dissolved. Important factors would be time to dissolve, agitation and pressure. The standard bubble flippers and ceramic plate diffusors do not work for me, maybe my tank is too smal, idk, but they are not an option, either too litle diffusion or too much waste. An atomizer followed by a reactor is much efficient IME. Currently I use 2 reactors.


But I found out that MEASURING is really hard. Drop checkers are unreliable, maybe only as a boolean indicator of CO2 presence, yes/no but not actual values. The pH/KH table is easily misunderstood, and people with some pH distortions think they have 50+ ppms of CO2 without injecting anything. The colorimetric direct CO2 tests have their issues with the color matching etc.


I have been doing some things, measure my degassed water and see the "offset" I have in the pH (my 4 days old degassed water should have atmospheric CO2 levels, around 3ppm), then I can compensate and use the pH/KH table. But in my understanding, this is exactly the same as aiming for a 1.2-1.4 pH drop.


The changes in biomass also throw the drop off. You need to constantly add more for the same drop.


I could also measure the volume is being added (e.g. bubbles inside an upside down cup). For now I checked the weight of my cylinders for a month average. I know how long my CO2 lasts. My old 500g lasted less than a month, almost 20 days. The 2kg cylinder lasts a bit more than 2 months. So roughly that is:

  • 750g in a month
  • 2,27g per hour
  • 37mg/l considering 100% dissolution, 25mg/l at 68%
I know dissolution rates/misting could throw all the calculations off. Yeah, CO2 is tricky.


I took a photo of or my current setup. It is very ugly, unglued/unfinished because I am still playing with its length. It has three parts:


An atomizer to get small CO2 right from the start, a small sera knock-off reactor, and a Riggs reactor (31cm long, maybe will get longer?, volume is currently 3,5l, almost a gallon). I get almost no mist from this setup.
jsMRsIS.jpg
 
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edelry.junior

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Tom Barr said:
Ferts; your ferts are still a tad rich if..............you use ADA AS, you will not need that much to get the same yields I'd suspect.


You could cut those to say 1/2 and see.

I got confused here: should I cut the ferts (both macro and micro) to half now, of after switching to ADA AS?

Tom Barr said:
And this is why I help people who often, at the time, do not want my help.


Or hate me.

Just to be clear: not the case here. I do have a lot of respect for the work you did.


And, in general, when discussing topics in this website, I leave my ego out of it.


I want to learn, and I no issue from starting on the very bottom.


One should be happy they can learn.


Each person sort of has to struggle through this path on their own.


Amano also knew a lot of this pathway in plant aquarist.

Tom Barr said:
Once you focus on biomass, then you have little choice left except to aquascape.


He felt scaping was more important than the details of how to grow.


Which, if you recall what you wanted to do in the beginning........... was your/my/most folk's original goal(in most cases), aquascaping/gardening.

You really read it, huh? Thanks for that, really, means a lot.


The whole gardening is a big thing for me. With my bonsai and the garden in general, I feel much more "free". I have no idea how many shohin I killed from playing too much with trimming, exposing roots, etc, but I also had good results, and that started teaching me the boundaries every species has, and the sort of stuff you can do with Juniperus but can't with Pines, how Bloodgood maples react to this or that.


With my aquarium I am always careful, I feel it is so fragile. So in that sense, it will take time to feel safe doing more agressive things, and also getting the gist of it. Frankly, before last november, I never counted stems. It had to look good. I am not going to count everything (duh!) but I do understand I need to visually adapt, and start checking for the other things. I really think I should read something on dutch aquariums. No plans on starting one, but I do enjoy their foundation/principles.


Thanks for your time Tom :)
 
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