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Switching to EI

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

  1. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Hello guys, it's been a while since I posted, but now I am definitely in need of your help.

    For the last months I have been experimenting with lots of different plants and dosing routines, trying to prepare myself for the next scape. Aquarium looks like a mess, but it is fulfilling its purpose as I am getting to learn stuff. This tank has 150l.

    Now I am having issues with some plants which always grew great, manly Ludwigia Rubin and Lud. Glandulosa.This issue comes and goes, but lately it became the worse. The tips of leaves look darker (photo 1), but they are actually becoming translucent (photo 2). Under normal light it looks really bad (photo 3). Overall growth is stunted. Same thing can be seen on Ludwigia Rubin (photos 4 and 5).
    When I uproot and replant the Rubin always complains. The glandulosa has been not touched for weeks now

    pixlr_20180217115718874.jpg

    A photo of the whole tank. Really messy, I know.
    20180128_193623.jpg


    Currently CO2 is through the roof, above 1 point drop, but less than 1.3. Last week I killed the last 2 otos, too much co2 :/

    Dosing on macros is rich: 3x a week 10ppm NO3, 10ppm K, 3.5ppm PO4. Couple weeks ago I was dosing 8 K, 6 NO3 and 4.5 PO4, 3x per week. I was dosing it like that for more than a month (reason behind is a different topic).

    Micros are decent too: daily 0.2ppm Fe DTPA with EDTA-free traces, 0.0655 ppm of Mn, Zn 0.045, Mo 0.0026, Cu 0.0025, B 0.023. I switched couple weeks ago from an EDTA/DTPA/HEDTA mix. I guess that is similar to what @burr740 and @fablau use.

    Trace values are based on what I found on TNC trace, just a bit higher because I thought it would be better to up the dose since there is no chelate anymore.

    Water changes happen weekly, roughly 60-80%, from tap (10ppm NO3, 60ppm Ca, 9ppm Mg, 4ppm K, 60ppm SO4, 32ppm Na, dGH 11, dKH 7). I do use Seachem Prime. I used to add K2SO4, CaCl2 and MgSO4 just to be safe, but from now on I will use a bit of Mg(NO3)2.6H2O in my macro mix and only add a bit of K2SO4 after the water change.

    When I switched from the EDTA mix (3x 0.25ppm Fe per week), I thought the plants would need a while to adapt. Maybe this plays a role? It's been a while though. Even weirder is the fact that now that I dose DTPA everyday, some other plants display signs of Fe deficiency... go figure.

    Normal doses of Glutaraldehyd 2% are provided as well.

    Substrate is an aqua soil from JBL (german manufacturer), it is supposed to have high CEC, but it is not as nutrient-rich as ADA. There are some vulcanic rocks underneath it, just to help with the soil angle, but no real hardscape.

    Today I will also start dosing Fe Gluconate daily, at 0.2ppm, which I did in the past months.

    Feedback is really appreciated :)
     
    #141 edelry.junior, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
  2. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Where's the Mn?
     
  3. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Hi Burr, my bad, forgot to mention.
    0.0655 ppm of Mn, from MnSO4.H2O

    I try to keep it at a third from the Fe dose.


    And this is what I mean with signs if Iron deficiency:
    20180217_193329.jpg
     
  4. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    .2 ppm of DTPA Fe every day is a lot. There should be no deficiency at that level, which means something is preventing certain plants from getting it

    The first thing I would do is a big water change then cut P down to 1.5 or so. P can screw up Fe and a couple other micros - under certain circumstances. Doesnt happen for everyone but it does for me.

    Just a month ago I tried going up to 2.5 3x, which immediately wrecked some wallichii and pantanals in 2 different tanks. Ive seen this before going back to the csmb days. For whatever reason I need to keep P around standard EI.

    Nothing else really jumps out as far as ferts go, micros look about right, although .2 every day might be a little much in the long run
     
    a1matt likes this.
  5. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Ok, thanks Burr.

    Yesterday I already prepared a micro trace with 0.14 dtpa, which I will dose 3x a week, and I will go back to dosing 0.2 Fe gluconate everyday. Will see what happens.

    I will also tweek my Macro mix and lower the PO4 to 1.5ppm. That will be interesting, considering I've never dosed less than 3ppm in the last 3 years. But I am interested in trying that out.
     
    #145 edelry.junior, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  6. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    I also dose relatively high P. It seems every time I drop it down, plants rebel. But for Burr, the opposite, tank rebels when he raises it.

    I will be very interested to see how this goes for you.
     
  7. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Hey @burr740

    One thing has been bugging me about the micro mix: as far as I know, Fe absorption is dependant on Mn. Since Fe-DTPA has a much more stable/stronger bond than the MnSO4.H2O, this might play a role.

    I know that Seachem uses the same salts/acids we do (e.g. ZnSO4, H3BO3, etc) but they rely on Ferrous Gluconate, meaning no chelate whatsoever.

    I keep wondering if my Fe is still there, but somehow Mn is missing. Thats another difference for me, I never used MnSO4 before, only MnEDTA.
     
    #147 edelry.junior, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  8. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Thats a good observation and question. Im not sure either. I used to add MnSO4 to cmb + dtpa just to keep a decent ratio. According to most crop studies a 2:1 Fe:Mn ratio is best. Csmb has about 3.5:1. I dont think its all that critical as long as they dont get too far apart.

    Seachem uses only moderate amount of Mn in their Trace mix, like 12:1 Fe:Mn by following the directions for both Comp and Trace. I would assume because Fe gluconate doesnt stick around long, which would close the ratio gap if Mn lasts longer.

    Zn is the one nutrient they really jack up (almost twice as high as Mn!) which leads me to believe MnSO4 probably sticks around fairly well under a wide range of parameters. Zn on the other hand probably doesnt, which is why they include so much.

    DTPA undoubedly sticks around longer than unchelated Mn. How much longer, enough to require overcompensation for the ratio, I really have no idea. Something to think about though.

    However the problem you could run into by say just increasing Mn, is that it competes with certain other micros besides Fe for absorption by plants. So you cant just get crazy with it, regardless of where Fe is at

    Might be a good experiment to try a 1.5:1 Fe:Mn ratio and see what happens, possibly go from there
     
  9. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    I will keep that in mind for the future, especially for MnSO4, thanks.
     
  10. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Hello everyone :)

    So, things have not improved much. At least there are no signs of it getting worse. I did a big reduction on the biomass and CO2 went through the roof, 1.4+ pH drop, came home to half-dead otos.

    Routine is basically the same
    • Macro Mix - 3x per week
      • PO4 content has been reduced to 1.5, and I did several water changes to be sure that it is and stays low. No problems with GDA/GSA yet, @Greggz :).
        6 ppm considering accumulation and zero uptake, 3 considering accumulation and 0.3 daily uptake.
        I think this 1-2ppm range is actually pretty reasonable. Not worrying much about phosphates interactions...
      • Started using Urea (0.45ppm of N, dosed 3x week), because I need alternatives to KNO3, and want to avoid adding more Ca++ or Mg++.
        I still use a bit of Magnesium Nitrate, but just 0.4ppm of Mg per dose.
        My water is already too hard (dGH 10, dKH 7), but mostly from Calcium.
      • Total nitrogen content is a bit lower (2.26 to 1.86ppm of N, the equivalent of going from 10 to 8.23ppm of NO3).
      • K still at 8ppm
    • Micro Mix - 3x per week
      • Fe is still at 0.2ppm, exclusively from DTPA
      • Mn content has been increased to 0.1, to check the if the Fe pseudo-deficiency is actually related to Mn. Fe:Mn ratio now is 2:1.
      • Zn, Mo, Cu and B have been changed to the levels I used in the past, which are not very different:
        • Zn 0.0326ppm
        • Mo 0.0040ppm
        • Cu 0.0051ppm
        • B 0.0250ppm
      • No Fe Gluconate for the next days, at least I see some results. Fe Gluconate has always been there as source of Iron in the past, especially in emergencies. When things go ok, I can skip it.

    Overall, I cannot see the issue I am having as something connected to the traces, with the exception of Mn. I never had similar issues in the past. At this point I believe it is related to Fe/Mn.
    I never used pure DTPA, so I am still considering going back to my Fe EDTA/DTPA/HEDTA mix, but I am still trying the DTPA a bit longer. We'll see.
     
    #150 edelry.junior, Feb 28, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  11. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    In the mean time, while I wait for results in my tank, I was compiling some info about some media compositions used for plan cultivation.
    After all the discussions with @burr740 , I got curious. It is far from over, since I want to add a couple more.

    My idea was to check the different ratios (macros and micros separately) and see what are the similarities.I tried to dilute every media to a point where I would achieve around 19-20ppm of K, and then check where all the rest is at. I think it is interesting as an exercise.

    In the small chance this is interesting to you, here is a screenshot (PDF also) from the sheets I am working with. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

    2018 Nutrient-Calculation - Common Formulations.jpg
     

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    #151 edelry.junior, Mar 2, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  12. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Small update.

    Things have been moving slowly but apparently it is for the best, The Ludwigias are slowly recovering their normal appearance. Overall no increase ion GDA/GSA, just some spots here and there.
    Only plant I noticed with a bad reaction was the Pog. Erectus, which 5 stems stunted, our of 8. But this plant is not an issue, and it will probably bounce back later. Maybe this was related to the Urea?
    Unfortunately I have to start with alternatives to KNO3, I will end up in a bad spot :/

    The nutrient solution comparison is also done from my side, I have checked a lot of them, even more than what I've added to the document, but the results are similar. Check for yourself if you want.

    Comparison-Formulations.jpg
     

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  13. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Interesting chart, thanks for sharing.

    Why do you have to find an alternative to KNO3?
     
  14. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Because I live in Germany, and I cannot buy it :)
    I found a mix of KNO3 and KH2PO4, which help, but the ratios are all wrong.
    I fix it with Magnesium Nitrate and Urea.
     
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  15. Jason King

    Jason King barrreport.com
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    I never relised Germany never sold it Jr :/ that includes Amazon and aquasabi/aqua rebell? Not ideal but that includes premixed?
     
  16. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    Hi Jason :)
    The only thing I can do is buy KNO3 already premixed with other salts, to a certain amount that the KNO3 portion cannot be easily separated from it. So that is what I do, I buy it mixed with KH2PO4.
    That is why I wanted to use Urea, instead of adding even more Mg/Ca ions to my water.

    I used Aqua Rebell, and that is great, but ends up as paying for water.
     
    #156 edelry.junior, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  17. Jason King

    Jason King barrreport.com
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    Hey Jr :)

    I know a few UK stores ship ferts to the eu as for German customs I'm not sure?
     
  18. edelry.junior

    edelry.junior Plant Enthusiast
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    I know that TNC does that. You see, KNO3 is not so strongly regulated, the only prohibition is that it cannot be sold to the public (duh!). Meaning it needs to be used for professional reasons.
    From the same perspective, you should not import it, unless you are legally allowed to do so. I know a bunch of people that do that, but being an expat, I do try to abide by the german rules.
    I try and remain on the side of the law ;)
    Plus I get to use a bit of Magnesium Nitrate and Urea, which fine.

    Thanks for the tip, Jason!
     
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