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tank yme

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by yme, May 21, 2006.

  1. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    hi tom,

    the BGA has not returned sofar, so I decided to open a new topic. I want to discuss my setup, show you some deficiencies and things that are going right.

    so here is my setup again:

    Tank: 100x40x40
    Pomp: eheim professional 2224 (containing just white foam)
    CO2: pressurized, I use the mist method
    Substrate: amtra plant depot (2 years old)
    Light: 1x Philips 840: 13.00-23.00
    1x Philips 830: 13.00-23.00
    1x Philips 830: 18.30-22.15
    1x Philips 840: 19.00-22.00
    1x Philips 830: 19.15-22.00
    liquid fertilzer: 8 ml flourish per day, 12 ml flourish iron per day
    pH: 6.35
    KH: 3
    GH: 5.5
    Ca: ~20 mg/l (+10 mg/l after waterchange by CaCl2)
    Mg: ~ 3-5 mg/l (+2.5 mg/l after waterchange by MgSO4.7H2O)
    PO4: 0.6 mg/l is added daily (+1 mg/l after waterchange)
    K: ~20 mg/l
    NO3: 4 mg/l is added daily (+10 mg/l after waterchange)
    Conductivity: 600-700 µS
    Water change: 80 litres per week, 50 litres of RO water and 30 litres of tap water (pH 8, KH 5, GH 8, 660 µS, NO3 10, PO4 0)

    So I add a lot of seachem products and I hope more than enough PO4/NO3. However, I measured that my PO4 was 0.25 on one day this week. Two days before it was around mg/l. so I encountered a short time of a PO4 deficiency.

    [​IMG]

    my tank

    [​IMG]

    the stems of some of my didiplis diandra turned black and died. It resembles symptoms that I have seen when I was low on PO4.

    [​IMG]

    the pros. looks good but some stems have now again red tops.

    [​IMG]

    the old tissue of the tonina melts. this is also the case for some new growth. the rate is about 3 stems that melt per week. I haven't got a picture of it, I threw them away before I took a picture...

    [​IMG]

    some of the new growth looks good. especially the longer stems. something to do with light intensity?

    [​IMG]

    the wallichii still looks ratty. no newgroth is observed at this moment.


    Taken together, some of the plants are doing really well, some of them not. Do you have any suggestion about how to improve my setup?

    greets,

    yme
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: tank yme

    I've seen each of these issues with the plant species you mention.
    In general, it looks like a lower CO2 issue.

    Too much liquid ferts.
    Maybe 1/2 that amount every other day.
    Add 2x the Mg.

    Trim the Tonia before they develop the melt and cut them off at the melt spots, the lower portion can be floated or replanted and will form new shoots with good dosing and CO2.

    Looks like poor dosing/CO2 and perhaps too much shading. This one likes light a lot.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Martin

    Martin Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    12 ml of iron seem like alot.... quite alot actually...
    That's more than I dose per week... is that a really really really weak solution?
     
  4. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    hi tom,

    I thought that the high dose of flourish (iron) would only hurt my wallet.... but I will dose less.

    Since I lowered my KH to 3 I think it save to try to lower the pH to, let´s say, 6.25?

    The tonina gets now ten hours light from 2 30 watt TL and 1 11 watt PL. for three hours the other 3 TLs are switched on as well.

    @symbiot:
    no, it is reallt a lot of iron!

    greets,

    yme
     
  5. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    hi tom,

    Maybe it is too quickly, but I wanted you to know how it is going.

    first of all a question about the Mg dosing: if I add 5 mg/l after a waterchange I will end up at a Mg level of 10 mg/l. correct?

    The change in setup has been the lowering of pH by 0.1 point to 6.25. and 4x less flourish and flourish excel: 4 ml every other day of flourish and 6 ml every other day of flourish iron.

    I see the following things: I now have again little singl stranded fuzz algae growing on the front glass that were absent before the change. I see a different melting of the tonina: instead of a complete leave that is turning brown I see now patches along the nerves that turn transparant. the pictures aren´t great but since the symptoms are that specific (in my opinion), you can surely tell what is the cause. (I guess you will say it is CO2..) because I lowered my KH on your advice and I measured the degassed tank water again. It has now been 12 hours after taking the sample and the pH is 6.9. I think I will have to wait for 12 more hours because previously (when my KH was 4) I measured a pH of 7.6 (by heart). I cannot imagine that lowering of KH by 1 degree will have that much impact on the degassed pH level. If the pH will stay at 6.9 I think you will indeed tell me that my CO2 is low.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    greets,

    yme

    ps: I will keep you updated!
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: tank yme

    You should trim the Tonia also.
    I wait till the upper parts grow in very nice, then trim and keep them well pruned and you do not see these issues.

    I consistently see excellent growth and health at high NO3/CO2/Traces/low KH.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    the weekend update and again questions:

    In general, I see that my tank has “yellowed”. (especially the easy plant hygrophila difformis, nymphaea gandulifera and elatine tiandra). It is not as green as before lowering the dose of the micro´s. I think they may need more micro´s than I dose now. Can I increase my dosage of micro´s a bit tom? Now I dose 4 ml flourish and 6 ml flourish iron every other day on your advice.

    I am able to never get a lower level than 1 mg/l PO4. In general it is 2 mg/l with a dose of 0.6 mg/l per day. Maybe I need to increase the dose a bit, but I don´t have to go above 1 mg/l/day. This indicates that I am save with my NO3 level, since I dose 4 mg/l/day. However, I do have some BSA still growing on the glass. New ones as well. So would perhaps you suggest that my target PO4 level should be 2.5 mg/l?
    Together, I don´t really think that I have big NO3/PO4 issues.

    CO2…. My just calibrated pH electrode gives a pH of 6.25 in the tank. After 12 hours degassing the pH was 6.9. After 24 hours the pH was 7.3 and after 48 hours the pH was 7.86
    So can I state that I have enough CO2?

    So what is wrong?
    The tonina/tonia still melts as I have previously posted. I replanted the stems and it does look a bit better, but still 4 growing tops were melted this week. However, in general the plant does look healthier although a bit yellow. Maybe I have to wait a bit more for the recovery. As you know, I placed an extra PL above the tonina. This resulted now in a more brownish colour of the blyxa japonica. (I now have a green and a brown patch J ) So I think that the amount of light that is received by the tonina as enough. I think as well that lowering the KH to 3 has a good effect on the health of the non-melted growing tips.

    [​IMG]

    The didiplis diandra looks crap (crappy picture as well). It really does. All the new leaves are cupped, small yellow/white and somewhat older leaves have brown spots and the stem itself turns still black and dies. Remarkably, a let some stems float in a bucket of tap water this week. The new growth of those stems is really beautiful! Large leaves, straight and green. My tapwater has the following parameters: pH 8, KH 5, GH 8, 660 µS, NO3 10, PO4 0, Ca 47. My question is way I get nice growth in the bucket, but not in the tank? (I know the metabolism rate is of course much lower). Could Ca levels play a role? I add 19 mg/l Ca back after a waterchange by tap water and CaCl2. theoretically I should end up with 38 mg/l Ca if nothing is used. I would say my dosing level of Ca is quite oke, but could it be that I am low in Ca? so yes, should I increase my dosage or doesn´t the tonina like higher Ca levels? Now, I use CaCl2 as Ca source. Should I switch to CaSO4.1/2H2O due to the Cl in CaCl2?

    [​IMG]

    My proserpinaca palustris has still cupped new leaves. Ca level problem?

    [​IMG]

    I have some brown holes the older leaves of my elatine tiandra. Could that be a micro nutrient deficiency?

    [​IMG]

    The rotala wallichi shows still little new growth. But I see some new side shoots. * crossing fingers *

    [​IMG]

    Apart from a bit more yellow colour in the nymphaea glandulifera I see the nerves really good. Is this normal?

    [​IMG]

    Together I this that lowering of the KH may help the tonina and the walichii. But I am not sure whether I have enough micro´s. Can you tell me what to do to now????

    greets,

    yme
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: tank yme

    None of these symptoms are Ca, or micro related.

    They look very much like CO2/NO3.
    Might be Mg. Try adding a bit of that, MgSO4 at 2x a week 1/4 teaspoon or so. The veining in the lily and some of the stunting seems to be related there. You also are losing tissue in certain parts of older leaves(Ca will not do this and yuou have a lot of Ca anyway). I think Flouish is fine, but TMG is better but that's not an issue for any of these plants.

    Elatine especially is a a good plant as well as D. dinadra to tell what is wrong.
    ET grows very fast and well when you provide stable conditions.

    Blyxa looks about right.

    So you seem pretty close, I'd add a tad more CO2.
    Add some MgSO4.

    CaSO4 if you want to, I don't think you need much myself.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    Yme wrote "..CO2…. My just calibrated pH electrode gives a pH of 6.25 in the tank. After 12 hours degassing the pH was 6.9. After 24 hours the pH was 7.3 and after 48 hours the pH was 7.86
    So can I state that I have enough CO2?.."

    One problem with this type of testing is that it depends on the KH remaining constant, and on having a shallow container for the sample so it will reach an equillibrium with the atmospheric CO2 in a reasonable time. But, evaporation will be going on while waiting for the equillibrium to be reached, and that raises the KH, thus raising the pH. So, I suspect that the 48 hour sample result is affected by the KH raising. I even suspect that any time longer than 12 hours or so affects the KH. Obviously this is testable by just measuring KH along with pH.

    My testing suggests that you don't have enough CO2. I found that, starting from something in the neighborhood of 20-30 ppm of CO2, the sample of tank water will drop to around 3-4 ppm in 12 hours. If that is correct, you have about 15-20 ppm in your tank. And, the 24 hour result, from my testing, which indicates the CO2 will drop to around 1 ppm in that time, also indicates that you have only around 15 ppm CO2 in the tank.

    You could try increasing the CO2 until the fish look distressed, but watch them carefully, then drop back a bit until they stop looking that way. To me, distressed means they stay near the top of the water and gulp air a lot.

    Measuring CO2 in water appears to be equal parts witchcraft and science.
     
  10. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    hi tom,

    all together it is not that bad. but of course it must be better! I already add on your advice 5 mg/l Mg every week after a waterchange. (I am short in time, I will calculate another time what 1/4 teaspoon is in mg/l).

    I indeed have also problems with older leaves. especially with the elatine tiandra has some nice necrosis in older leaves. But the growth rate is fast. so no complains there! :)

    I will up my NO3 to 5 mg/l/day.

    about tmg, I don´t know a dealer in the netherlands. So thats a major reason for using flourish. do you perhaps know a dealer?

    So even the yellow new leaves of the hygrophila difformis are not due to micro´s... hmmm.... in the past I could get new green leaves by increasing the micro´s. well, I assume that you are right :)

    @vaughnH:
    I see! I read your post, very interesting, especially now it is linked to me! I will lower my pH even more in little steps. (wow, in holland this is really go to boldly go where no man has gone before). Since I have shrimps, I will watch them.

    thanks you guys!

    yme
     
  11. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    hi tom,
    2x 1/4 teaspoon is around the 2 mg/l Mg. I already add 5 mg/l after a waterchange. should I add the extra 2 mg/l?

    I *think* that I can already a difference in colour of the proserpinaca palustris cuba. It is less red again at the tips. So I guess that more NO3 was a good idea :) .

    I am currently also measuring the pH increase after taking a sample from the tank. It is now 12 hours later.. The line is not really asymptotic and the KH is slightly rising (from 2.5 to 3). I will post it tomorrow in the right topic.

    and because I forgot to give a complete view of the tank

    [​IMG]

    greets,

    yme
     
  12. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    well, some time has past and I still have the same problems. (see pictures on page 1: ratty rotala, melting tonina)

    I tried several things but nothing worked:

    lowered pH to 6.1, now back at 6.4, couldn´t see a difference.

    less fertilizer as tom suggested. But then the new growth of tonina turned yellow/ pale within a couple of days. So I went back to the high dosing regime.

    more and less magnesium/calcium. I couldn´t see a difference.

    but then I went to a zebrafish meeting in madison for 6 days...
    on the day I left there was a power failure. unfortunately, the eheim pump and the automatic NO3/PO4/flourish/flourish iron doser didn+t work after the power failure. So the plants got almost no fertilizers for 1 week. When I came home I saw immediately that there was something going on. no tonina melted, the rotala looked a slightly healthier. the lily an the other hand had some vey tiny new leaves and the elatine tiandra didn´t look very happy (old parts were brown). of course, my PO4 and NO3 were now at 0 mg/l.
    So, I did a large waterchange, added 2 mg/l PO4, 20 mg/l NO3, 7 ml flourish and 7 ml flourish iron. then every day the normal regime: 0.6 mg/l Po4, 4 mg/l NO3, 7 ml flourish, 7 ml flourish iron. three days later the tonina started to melt again!! :mad:

    Therefore: Is there a correlation???? I am almost out of options in the things that I can change or improve....

    greets,

    yme
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: tank yme

    Given what happened, that sounds about right.

    How many times do you think I've left for a week or so and come back to my tanks over the last 15 years?

    It's the same old thing.

    Sounds like the CO2 is all that's left if the EI dosing is an issue for you.
    The ADA AS will help and make the dosing routine easier.

    That and good (more ) CO2 is about all you can do at this point, the lighting should be okay. If you thjink you cannotm add more CO2, try increasing the surface moevement and current in the tank, then add more CO2.

    I just tossed out 30-40 stems of Tonia. :rolleyes:
    Damn weed.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    thanks for your reply!

    AS.... I know, it makes things easier...
    I spoke a while ago (at the a annual meeting of our dutch forum) with someone from aquadistri. He told me told me that he didn´t know any ADA dealer in the netherlands. Although, he was planning to make a similar, but cheaper, product. Maybe an option, but not for me at this moment.

    Together, I think I must buy AS at aqua essentials, as you suggested. The major thing is only that I am planning to move. So this tank will be broken down anyway. (and I wil buy a biger one). So I wonder whether it is worth all the fuzz. I guess that changing the gravel has a rather big inpact on the tank and bacteria. But I have no idea how big. For instance, can I just continue with my normal dosing regime? (or should I cut it back due to the nutrients in AS or due to the instability of the system) When will everything be back to normal? Can I re-use the AS for the new tank? (after a year or so, or will the AS loose it´s "plant growth promoting" fuction by that time)

    So, I am not really anxious to change my substrate. besides, you state often enough that these plants can grow in plain sand or whatever substrate. Therefore, it should be possible. I am sure it can be done!

    For the surface movement, I already installed a powerhead a while ago for more movement. Together with my eheim professional I think it should be enough.
    Currently, I am not at the lowest pH I can go. I low lower the pH again and see where I will get this time.

    greets,

    yme
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: tank yme

    Well, if the NPK, Ca/Mg, trace metals etc are all taken care of, there's only light and CO2 left really........

    I'd just wait till you move to do the new substrate.
    Buy it that week prior to the move and save it for when you move the tank that day. Adding some of the dirty flith from the old sand substrate into the new bottom layer of AS, say the bottom 1 cm will take care of the bacteria.

    Just vacuum the sand well and save the dirt, pour of the clear water and keep the rich dierty water, that's the "mulm".

    That's what missing from a new substrate, so we add that, organic dirt, bacteria and all ....to the new substrate and to the filter.

    Add lots of plants, ferts and you should hit the ground running and have an easy start up.

    ADA Europe should have several vendors around.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    hi tom, I think that everything is more or less fine, although there are some things that could be improved. for instance the CO2 mist. the pump gets the tiny bubbles only halfway the tank (the left side). the right side isn´t reached by the bubbles. I think because of that, the right side of the glass is covered with fuzz algae after a week, while the left side isn´t. I think it is a good idea to split the CO2-line in two, having two air stones as outlet in the tank. I tried this using a T-piece, but it was very hard to get the desired CO2 bubble rate on both air stones. When I squeezed one line a bit, I could adjust the flow nicely, but half an hour later one air stone was massively bubbling CO2, while the other didn´t bubble at all. Do you have a suggestion to improve my design?

    Further I noticed again quite some BGA on the top of some plants. likely due to the lack of nutrients during the trip to the states. The tank is not too badly infected so I pulled the infected stems out of the tank and stored them for three days in the dark. I did a large water change and added KNO3 and PO4 back. I hope that it will take care of it. (just for the record, you don´t have to react on the fact that I have BGA for the third time this year….)

    I browsed the internet and found some posts from planta (on english sites known as PJAN) in which he mentioned that he could only grow tonina when the GH was around 3 and the KH was below three. I know that you don´t agree, you state it over and over again, but maybe it is just easier to grow them under these conditions. After all, you can grow species I can´t. So the plan is now to get softer water.

    I will increase the percentage of osmosis water: 60 litres osmosis water and 20 litres tap water. This gives an average KH of 2, GH of 2,1, Ca of 12 mg/l and Mg of 1.9 mg/l. A bit low on both Ca and Mg, so I decided that I add 4 mg/l Ca and 0.5 mg/l Mg after a water change to reach a stable level of 20 mg/l Ca and 3 mg/l Mg.

    I hope you agree…

    Greets,

    yme
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: tank yme

    The more you work on CO2, the better as a rule. It really does all start and end there.

    The Tonia will not care much about the parameters except for not being crowded, CO2 and the KH. 3-4 is somewhat close. Less is fine.
    GH? No, this does not matter as long as it's non limiting, so anything above 1 GH to 6 GH is fine. If you used softened water, few folks need to add more than 2-3 GH back anyway from softened water for the plants.
    Main thing is that the plants are not limited by Mg nor Ca.

    The range is wider than that person's suggestion, but overall, as long as the both parts of GH are fine, the Mg/Ca, then you are okay. Your amount targets are fine though. 20/3 is fine, you can go a tad higher on Mg if you want.

    For CO2, I use 2 needle vlaves on the regulator. This gives me independent control of two souerces of cO2, the valves run from about 12$ for clippard needle valves to 38$ for the Swagelok.

    I suggest getting several at a time and these can be added to a regulator using a brass Tee for as many as you want on a single regulator to run multiple tanks, CO2 diffusers etc.

    BGA, you know why and are doing the right thing. In mild cases, there's no need to to do the blackout. Just a good cleaning (gravel vacuuming, fluffing any off the plants, large water change etc), dosing, etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    hi tom,

    thanks for the answers!

    to avoid mixing up topics I will answer only in this topic.

    I am usually away for 1 day at a time. never more than two days in a row normally. of course, vacations and meetings are longer.

    I agree about the CO2. I'll try to go this weekend to the petshop for some stuff. Don't whether I am able to though...

    For looking at the plants: I am trying to! For instance, I noticed that the new leaves of the proserpinaca are still very dark red. So, likely a NO3 deficiency. despite the addition of 4 mg/l/day. So I think I have to higher the daily dose when the leaves are still red when things are back to normal. I'll keep an eye on it!

    Testing the water is something that has decreased over time. When you do 50% water changes each week and you know the parameters of the tap water, you know the Mg, KH, Ca etc. I am not able to test NO3 accurately with the photospectrometer, so why bother. The only thing is PO4, I measure that once a week: stable at 2 mg/l.

    So indeed, light and CO2 remains. I can play with the lights, but I agree that CO2 is more importent.

    I will keep this thread updated!

    yme
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: tank yme

    If the plant is still very red and there is plenty of NO3, often it's somethign else that is slowing it down.

    If the Tonia melts easily, this is a good sign you do not have enough CO2 also..............

    I've easily induced melting and many of the typical issues folks have, when I reduced the CO2.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: tank yme

    hi tom,

    the petshop was closed, but I managed to get another needle valve which can be connected to my set. With an additional magnetic valve I am able to have two seperate outlets. The needle valve was for free, now I need only a second hand magnetic valve. I think I can arrange it.

    For the moment, I can easily get the pH down to 6.0 without problems with the shrimps at all. Since this was the first time I used water with a KH of 2 at the weekly 50% waterchange (prevously 3), the KH should now be 2.5 (more or less). Does this together mean that I have to lower the pH even more? To go into the 5?

    owh, the tonina is still happily melting. But on the other hand, the temperature is now 30 C outside. In the tank it is now 24 C in the morning and 28 C in the evening. Can imagine that the plants don't like that either.

    greets,

    yme
     
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