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Switching to EI

Discussion in 'Journals' started by edelry.junior, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    [​IMG]


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    6_zpsaimgr0wi.jpg


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  2. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Calculations & KH/pH tables always fall short because they can only take narrow idealized circumstances into account. Estimative once again puts the 'E' in 'EI'! Interesting way of taking a real CO2 baseline.


    I get a first-hand look at the bacterial/animal contribution to CO2 every week as I do my water change. I keep my CO2 probe in the sump intake area next to the sock, which by then is full of beneficial bacteria and typically 20 or so cherry shrimp. Once I turn the return pump off & stop circulating water through the sump, the pH gradually falls by 0.1 to 0.15 from where it was at the start. It changes again once the filter restarts.
     
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  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You can also do that with larger % water changes Christophe. Say 80-90%. Then compare. Or save the old water and use a small diffuser disc and add the same flow dose rate of gas to equal water and take the readings from there.


    Yet ANOTHER method is to make up some RO/DI water an add say 1 dKH at 17.86 ppm of alkalinity.


    Do a couple of 90% water changes back to back. 1% of original tap/tank water and the system is 99%+ reference bicarbonate based alkalinity.


    Also, you should make sure the temp is the same for the chart, as warmer water holds less CO2 and cooler water holds more. True for all dissolved gases.


    This has less impact for us however since we add CO2 during the day, but the night time when we do not..............then it plays a role.


    Offsetting the Temp however is increased metabolism by livestock, plants and bacteria which adds more CO2.


    Films on the surfaces and surface boundary thickness and coefficients(type of barrier, some are easier for gases to cross than others) seem to be the main cause for CO2 to not drop at night IME. Less due to internal CO2 production.


    Still, folks using pure RO often assume that the tank's CO2, internal tannin and acid production has NO EFFECT on their CO2 readings. Often it does........but if they do 50% 2x a week, not near as much, or 90% 2x a week. That's a lot of labor to keep tabs on CO2. Still, you can do it to set the dosing rate of CO2, say 100 mls of CO2 gas every 5 minutes. Then it does not matter what the pH and other dependent factors are..............your rate and amount of gas will remain constant as long as the rates of degassing are also the same(which they are not for many tanks).


    Not so simple as many assume.
     
  4. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    You guys discuss in a whole another level. I read Tom's and Christophe comments several times just to get my head around it. Slowly I got it.


    For the moment, considering I just want to measure the CO2 baseline in my tank, I could do what Tom suggested and do several water changes with RO water (raised to 1dKH) to have something like 99% RO water.


    This would allow me to use the pH/KH table with less deviations for some hours, correct?
     
    #124 edelry.junior, Feb 24, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2017
  5. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Unrelated, but I wanted to share anyways.


    I started keeping some plants that I removed from my tank in IKEA vases, specially the ones I had problems with. I was defeated by some of them (Craussicaulis and Praetermissa) and wanted to revisit the challenge at some point.


    Then I started to add a bit of the trimmings to make it nice, etc, one thing led to the other, and I now have some vases, covered with plastic, growing emerse plants.


    Adaption is really fast, a week or two. I will see if at some point I can completely remove the plastic cover.


    [​IMG]


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    #125 edelry.junior, Feb 25, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2017
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  6. Julia Adkins

    Julia Adkins aquariumfertilizer.com
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    You have learned a most important lesson about living things and not trying to make them be something but to allow them to reach their best potential by assisting them by giving them what they need to do what they do best: grow green and shine.
     
  7. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Interesting stuff Edelry, what substrate do you use in those bowls? Plants look great!
     
  8. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    3 layers. Bottom is made of rocks or foam, this serves as a place to collect water, with some net/screen to separate from the next layer, which is a bonsai soil mix I had laying around. Common aquarium substrate from Fluval or Akadama topping everything. So far no mold.
     
  9. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Oh well, nutrient substrate though. Great idea about using rocks or foam to keep water at the bottom with the screen separating the top layer, I have a container built like that for vegetables. It actually works great. I'll try to use it with aquatic plants!
     
  10. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Small update guys. Im overdue for the trimming, I know, I know.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]​​​​​​​
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Tank is looking much better now. I'd put the two Alternatheras together. Maybe get rid of the Erio in the front. You might add Hygro Compact(say where the stargrass is now). Maybe some Hygro pinn.


    I'd pick at least one species and make a row. You can still keep the bowl general shape. A lot of "weeds" in here. Cut cut cut cut.


    Think about slower growing easier replacements that you can sell better than these species.
     
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  12. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Tom. Much appreciated.

    • I have been thinking about putting the AR together. There is a variegated in the back that is not even showing. Maybe place it on the crypt place?


    • I am waiting for the Erios finish seeding. I want to see the cycle for myself. They will be dead/removed afterwards. My idea is to create a small line/row with the Ludwigia Palustris, from the space between the Hemianthus Glomeratus and Rotala Colorata, until the Micranthemum Umbrosum.


    • Been thinking about replacing the Stargrass, we are talking about the Heteranthera Zoosterifolia right? I use the latin names because besides that I only know the german name. I was thinking about Cabomba Furcata/Piauhyensis or a Hygrofila variegated. Something with a very different leaf shape, bushy, but with a unique color. I had no idea I could place the Hygro Compact in the back, and it would grow that high. Is that possible?


    • Now that you mentioned Pinnatifida, it made me think. Does it get bushy in that small space? My heart raced a bit when you said it because it is one of the plants that always defeated me. I would definitely like the challenge :cool:


    • About making a row, do you mean one parallel, in the back? I could get rid of the Rotala Rotundfilofia on the right, between the Hippuridoides and the Ludwigia Repens. The pusg the hippuridoides a bit to the right, and let the Rotala Macrandra Red Narrow have a bigger space. But I am very disappointed with the Mac Narrow, not red at all. I have 50% of red T5, 48w in total, and even tried reducing the Nitrogen from 10ppm to 3ppm for two weeks and no change on the Mac Narrow, while the Ludwigia and Rotala Colorata almost became black, a very intense blood red.
      Maybe I should go with the regular Rotala Macrandra, and make a row with its bright red color.


    • Tom, being very honest here. I don't really know growth speed of the species that well. I choose the plants by leaf size, shape and color, and overall plant growth pattern. And I agree with you, the plants I have grow very fast. At least I get to exercise trimming.
      Could you please give some examples of the plants you had in mind? That would be very appreciated.


    Your comments are, as always, very welcome Tom.


    Thanks for your time.
     
    #132 edelry.junior, Mar 5, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2017
  13. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    It is awesome Edelry! Your plants are super-healthy and look super-clean of algae. Do you really have zero algae? It looks like that! Super :)
     
  14. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Thanks a lot Fablau :)


    I had a discussion the other day about this. No, it is not 100% free. If you spend some time looking you find some GSA dots here and there. But I dont even think about it. People approach me saying no tank is a 100% free of algae, which might or might not be true, but what I really see is people looking for excuses/justification for their tanks state, an out-of-balance algae paradise. One must have loads of patience. Except for these occasions, I really dont think on algae.


    I could easily lower the light intensity, get no GSA, but I am very happy about trimming it every other day, because I can play with it, see what works and doesn't. Hemianthus Glomeratus is super flexible in this sense. I am also in love with Ludwigia Palustris: small size, very red, "reasonably shapeable".


    Growth could be faster, but I am striving to use as few planted stems as possible, and then branch them as they grow. Definitely trying to avoid a mess in the bottom back.
     
    #134 edelry.junior, Mar 5, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2017
  15. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    GSA is the best algae you could get. If I had to chose one, GSA would be mine :) So, you are doing great!


    My goal will be always to have "maximum efficency", which means great plants, low maintenance... isn't that what we all are striving for?
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Some species work well for some locations, main thing is to try things that are robust, do not bolt for the surface, add cohesion to overall color and contrast of the entire tank.


    Some plants might be a lot of trouble not work out now. But, 2-4 years later, you might find your skills have improved or try a different method of trimming etc.


    Then that same species works well.


    Some species may not like being trimmed weekly, they may only look best when you have a larger or taller tank, so 60 cm-80cm. Other might need a different trim method, or not so crowded.


    Everyone's goal is different, but trying different things or ideas, there is a lot of overlap for many people on their goals there.


    I generally suggest some ideas the aquarist can ponder. Nothing is clear cut and the goal is open ended, moving, changing.


    I have a non CO2 shallow Buce tank I'm working on that's non CO2 and ultra low maintenance.
     
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  17. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    I was trying Not to leave a comment, but I couldn't resist, that last picture was beautiful


    Good job taking your time


    Nate
     
  18. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Thanks man!
     
  19. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Junior Poster

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    Any Update on this?
    I'm in need of more inspiration pics ;) and information!
     
  20. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Hi there:)

    This tank was disassembled. I am working on a bunch of experiment tanks, to find out if I want a big tank (300 litres or bigger) or smaller. I bought a cheap and used tank (140 litres) to try it out, and 3 smaller ones (30, 12 and 3 litres). The big one is high tech, the small ones are low tech.

    The last 5 months were very "instructive". Learned a lot with my mistakes. By the end of the year I should post something here, as a closing for my first year with EI.
     
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