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Test Kit Spoiled Plants Stunt

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Steven, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    I just got my tank water tested at medical university laboratory and the result is :

    • Turbidity 6.57NTU
    • pH 6.5
    • TDS 223
    • Organic Substances 17.8
    • P-Alkalinity 0.0
    • M-Alkalinity 61
    • Carbonate 0.0
    • Bicarbonate 61
    • Total Hardness 108
    • Calcium 28.8
    • Magnesium 8.7
    • Chloride 78.1
    • Chlorine Residue 0
    • Iron 0.5
    • Silicate 0
    • Manganese 0.0
    • Nitrite 0.04
    • Nitrate 5.0
    • Sulfate 50.3

    Unfortunately, the analysis not including PO4 and K, so I still don't know the actual result in my tank. Please note that the Chloride is 78.1, is it too much? What is the safe level here? I know that Seachem Flourish contains 1.15% of Chloride but I think the reading is high enough. Will high Chloride stunt and/or toxic to plants?

    To make the story short, it took me almost half year to realize that my Sera NO3 Test Kit was very very inaccurate, usually I dose the whole week and at the end of week I tested the NO3, PO4 and Fe residue and adjusted the dosage next week. Sera NO3 Test Kit gave me the reading of around 30-40ppm and the result from the lab is only 5ppm. Before I have my water tested, I dose KNO3 as much as 20ppm of that whole week and the residue was 5ppm but before the last week I used to dose from 5ppm to the most was 10ppm because every end of week the reading was very high 30-50ppm. This is my very big mistakes and costly experience to learn.

    Frankly speaking, I'm adjusting the KNO3 dosage almost every week from my last first day setup until the past 2 weeks and that's why my plants is stunt now, apparently I gave them very low nitrate.

    Hemianthus micranthemoides
    [​IMG]

    Left : Rotala sp. Green. Right : Hemianthus micranthemoides
    [​IMG]

    What deficiencies do you see from my plants? Do the plants will still be able to recover from a long stunted growth? Right now, I'm dosing 30ppm KNO3. I also noted from the result above that the Manganese is 0ppm but the Fe is 0.5ppm, what should I do? Adding too much micro nutrient will bring the Fe too high to compensate for the other low % of micro such as Manganese. I used to dose Seachem Flourish as micro 5ml 3 times a week (80x30x40cm tank) and the result above showed that I might have micro deficiencies too but from yesterday I replaced the Flourish with CSM+B Plantex 0.39gr every dose, knowing that it contains much more % of micros but less components compared to Flourish. What should I do to the micro def here?

    Once again Mr. Tom was right about the lack of NO3 in my tank was the culprit BGA occurred. Please steer me back to the right track, Tom :). Thank you very much.
     
    #1 Steven, Nov 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2010
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd not worry about too much of the Traces..........
    Often times...if you suddenly switch from being NO3 limited or PO4 limited......to say CO2 limited, you see stunting.

    EI type dosing shows that you have been neglectful with CO2/light, but many like to blame the nutrients for everything, even though they are non limiting and we can clearly show they do not harm over a very high range.
    You do not even need test etc, and stat's, you can simply look and tell the results.

    sideview1.jpg

    Even if I do not know the CO2, I can easily know the light and the nutrients as well as the results.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    What Water Was Tested?

    Hi Steven,

    I am not Tom Barr so the reply is for general information. :)

    Is this your well water, the water you purchase for your aquarium?

    Turbidity of 6.67 NTU (nephelolometric turbidity units) is very high. High enough that over the long term your aquatic critters start exhibiting chronic health problems.

    Turbidity that high may also be affecting the amount and quality of light getting to your plants.

    Organic matter is high, can definitely cause problems.

    The thing about the iron is you do not know its form, likely it is of no effect on the plants. The best recommendation is ignore that iron in your dosing decisions.

    Chloride is beneficial to plants and critters, chloride is controversial here though.

    If you wish I can expand on this. :)

    Biollante
     
    #3 Biollante, Nov 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2010
  4. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    Tom, how do I neglect the CO2/light here? I have increased my CO2, reducing the light adding the flow etc. Thank you.
     
  5. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    From my tank and at the end of the week before I conduct a usual 70-80% of water change.

    First, where is it comes from? How can I lower it? Thank you.

    But what is it exactly? Please Bio, I would like to know. What possibly problems might I face?

    Sorry but I seem don't understand :confused:. I know CSM+B contains Fe DPTA but I don't know about Seachem Flourish. I also used to dose Seachem Iron which I know is Ferrous Gluconate and I have low kH (1-2dkH) tank water and I think that Fe Gluconate or DPTA are enough as the chelator for me instead that I need DPTA which is better for high kH tank.

    At what level it is considered dangerous?

    Please, I would love to.

    Thank you.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Once corrected, you should wait a bit, it takes time for the plants to respond.
    It's not an immediate response, the old growth is toast typically...........
    So new growth becomes progressively nicer over time.

    Since you are doing a different trace mix........now it'll take longer time for any improvements, 2-3 weeks is the min time frame.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr


    Most are weeds, they do not revive the old twisted leaves.
    No sense in it.
     
  7. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Just Covering The Possibilities...

    Hi Steven,

    What is the source of your tank water?

    Do things seem to corrode quickly in your tank?

    Do get scale formation?

    Assuming your source water is fit for human consumption please carefully taste and tell me if you can detect any salty or brackish taste, whatever. (Compared to distilled water.)

    Take another taste and tell me if you taste any bitterness.

    Tell me about the sample you sent.

    How was the sample taken?

    How was the sample preserved?

    The problem with TDS is that it does not tell the nature of the minerals, that the chloride is elevated provides a clue.

    About Chloride, I aim for a minimum of 40-ppm I have run chloride up to over a 1000-ppm without significant problems with Copepod and Rotifer populations or much affect on shrimp. The effects I noted could as easily be attributed to sudden change. Tom Barr has stated no problems in water over 2400-ppm Chloride. Some web sources indicate Chloride levels should be kept under 140-ppm. Any way we look at this Chloride does not appear to be a problem and as I say gives us a hint as to the TDS and perhaps the turbidity.

    The M-Alkalinity is a statement of total alkalinity relates to about 3.3dKH, just fine.

    Total hardness relates to about 6dGH, which is good.

    Nitrite at 0.04-ppm is of possible concern as it likely relates to the organic substances... We will deal with that later...

    My post #6 from your thread: Water Analysis, http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7784-Water-Analysis?p=56461#post56461 if followed should have turned this information up.

    For now I would start using activated charcoal or Chemi Pure or Purigen. :)

    If you have it, using a diatomacious earth filter or sub 2 micron filter, the smaller the better, try running as fine a filter ahead of it as you can. :)

    Please remind me of what you have in your tank, substrate, rock, wood whatever.

    Though there is general disdain for me by those who know all, see all, just trust me the questions I ask and the suggestions I make are not only for my amusement, we can actually figure out what is happening. :)

    Biollante
     
  8. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    Ok, Thanks Tom. I will try to report back once I see an improvement.
     
  9. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    I buy drinking water for my tank.

    I have no idea as I have no any metal things in my tank, all are plastic and glass.

    Is it the same with lime deposit/water mark that strain at the upper part of the tank? If yes then I have this but not too bad.

    It is not salty but I don't know what the brackish taste like :). It is still tasted different from my RO drinking water but I can't describe it how different, my RO drinking water tastes much lighter if I try to drink it.

    No, if there is I can't taste it.

    I filled my tank water in 1.5L drinking bottle and close tight and brought it to medical university laboratory to be tested, is it important to known :confused:.

    Right at my WC schedule day, I siphoned out my tank's water at the bucket.

    I have no idea once I brought it to the lab, I had my result after 4 days.

    It is a relief to know that my Chloride level is only 78.1ppm.

    But when I measured it using Sera kH Test, it showed 2dkH. Maybe it spoiled too :).

    This one is accurate.

    Ok but I think it was due to the melting plants...

    Sorry pal but I'm way too lazy to test it that way :). It's not mean that I don't trust you.

    Ok, thanks. If I use activated carbon, won't my fertz will be absorbed too? I think I will use Purigen...

    I will try it later.

    Driftwood but I don't know of what kind of it, Some rocks as the seller was claim the name is Serpentinite stone and ADA AS I capped with ADA AS II, Bacter 100, surface skimmer, small powerhead, thermometer, DC, plants, RCS, Ottos and 20 cardinals. Oh, I have ADA Bio Rio in my filter...

    Thank you very much Bio.
     
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Real Life Intervenes...

    Hi Steven,

    I think I know what is going on... :confused:

    The Purigen will only get rid of the organic nitrates, organic stuff in general... the “salts” wwill not be removed. ;)

    The water taste thing helps define the alkalinity... It is good...

    The principle answer to the immediate problem will be the diatamacous earth or micron filter, the source may be the real problem... :gw

    Yes how water samples are collected, in what, any preservation steps so on, and how long to testing can make a significant difference. I doubt any significant problems in your case unless, well unless...

    Don't worry too much about the test kit, we will see... Did you calibrate?

    More later, real life is getting in the way... :( I hate when that happens... :p

    Biollante
     
  11. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    Yes, I still remembered when I calibrated the NO3 and PO4 solution but the last time when I calibrated, the KNO3 and KH2PO4 salts were bought by me locally and I have no clue if their ratio is the same with what is used by Left C and the result was turn out to be quite accurate, that's why I was so confident about my NO3 test result until I have my water to be tested at lab and compared to mine, I just know my test kit has spoiled somehow. I think that the KNO3 that is used by Left C is the same with what is sold by www.aquariumfertilizer.com ? which is 13.5-0-46.2 ?

    The NPK's salts I'm using now was bought from www.aquariumfertilizer.com along with CSM+B and Ferrous Gluconate, I also noted that the KNO3 and K2SO4 salts I bought from www.aquariumfertilizer.com were quite different both in color and particle size/form but the KH2PO4 was quite similar and I think I'm the only one that use CSM+B and Fe Gluco in my country :). Much of my fellows aquarists are still don't know what the EI is, and most of them are dosing with brand fertilizers. I think that I will never test again (couldn't trust those test kits around anymore), I will just dose and right now I dose :

    • KNO3 about 30ppm each week
    • KH2PO4 about 2.5ppm each week
    • K2SO4 about 30ppm each week
    • CSM+B about 0.84ppm each week
    • Seachem Flourish about 0.21ppm each week
    • Seachem Iron about 0.33ppm each week
    • CaSO4 about 17.52ppm at WC only
    • MgSO4 about 2.51ppm at WC only
    • Seachem Excel is dosed at Mon-Wed-Fri as much 3ml and Sun WC as much 10ml.

    Once my Seachem Iron is run out I will replace it with Ferrous Gluconate. How about it. Thank you very much Bio.
     
    #11 Steven, Nov 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2010
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Bye-Bye Serpentine Rock

    Hi Steven,

    I do not know which polymorph of the serpentine group, a picture or description will narrow it down. Most likely either antigorite, usually dark green or yellowish, quite soft or lizardite, scaly, fine grained, translucent, white, light green or yellow. :)

    Remove the serpentine rock immediately, not only is the most likely suspect for the turbidity that is a serious issue :eek: , it is often directly hazardous to plants. :eek: It may well be the direct reason for the plants melting (dying?). Along with causing the turbidity problems that deprive your plants of light. As well as a serous health hazard to your critters. :eek:

    A little research to see if the rock could be responsible for you bogus test results...

    I am quite sure what you are doing and following Tom Barr's recommendations you will do fine.

    More later if you are interested... :gw

    In the US it is Thanksgiving Day, so happy Thanksgiving all.:cool::):cool:

    Biollante
     
    #12 Biollante, Nov 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2010
  13. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hello...

    Hi Steven,

    Any update? :confused:

    Biollante
     
  14. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Bio,

    I have just punned all of my Rotala green to 1cm above the substrate, re-planting new batch of HC and trying again "my bad experience Ludwigia arcuata" from emersed growth and reducing the light to 2x21watt T5NO.

    It has been exactly 1 week, the good news are :
    • I can notice the Rotala green sprouting new shoot at day 4 quicker than it used to.
    • Ludwigia arcuata has less casualties adapting from emersed to submerged growth but still, some were melted away.
    • Tonina fluviatilis getting bigger leaf growth.

    Now, the bad news :
    • No new growth from Hemianthus micranthemoides or maybe I should replace the whole plants that has been stunted earlier due to nitrate def? Will they recover?
    • I lost some pogostemon helferi and I think that it was the light I reduced, I use 3X21watt before and they were fine. Yesterday I back on 3x21watt. Tank size is 80x30x40cm.

    The neutral news :) :
    • The new batch of HC is probably still adapting, no new growth no melting but noticing some of them leaning their stem on substrate horizontally.

    Those are the only updates I can tell right now. Oh yes, I'm fighting BGA with erythromycin and so far have been on day 6 and almost clear it up. My RCS die gradually each day but the cardinals and otos seem normal, I think the CO2 is too high? My DC turn from dark blue to yellow 4-5 hours after the CO2 is on. I was trying to calculate the CO2 level in my tank by taking a glass of water from my tank and let it sat for 2 days, measured the pH went from 5.9-7.5, my kH is 1-2. Adding nitrate up to 34ppm, phosphate 2.75ppm and K 35ppm, Fe to 1.38ppm.
     
  15. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Steven,

    Did you remove the Serpentine rock? :confused:

    Did the turbidity remain?

    Along with a water change or two you should have seen almost immediate improvement.

    I suppose, depending on how long the rock was in the tank, it is possible the residue of the rock may be continuing to kill the shrimp and poison some of the plants. :(

    The CO2 appears high, 80 ppm or so, but unless the increase was sudden, I doubt that would account for the loss of your shrimp. Added the BGA, I just do not think that high CO2 is likely the problem.

    If you can in a small clean container rinsed with distilled water

    • take a sample of water 8-10 cm under the water.
    • measure and record the pH
    • pour off about 1/3 of the water
    • cover the container and shake vigorously for 2 minutes
    • measure and record the pH
    If you can do this for several locations.

    It is not uncommon for the values to vary, sometimes significantly throughout the aquarium.

    Biollante
     
  16. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    No, I didn't remove my Serpentinite rock for all of my friends here almost use that rocks too and have no problem in plant growth or critters health, Bio.

    No, my tank get clearer now, the turbidity or yellowish water was from ADA AS I that I'm using. For record, I can't see through the back of my tank during 1-2 weeks of initial setup day but it's getting clearer and clearer.

    I was just noticed this morning that my Rotala green's new leaf growth remain as small as before, what is wrong? Nitrate has been added to near 35ppm. Does the earlier stunted plant recover in slow way no matter if the condition has been fixed?

    Thank you.
     
  17. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Endless Impossibilities…

    Hi Steven,

    I guess I will have to yield to your superior knowledge and status as a Guru Class Expert on the rock thing… :confused:

    My experience is limited in dealing with nitrate deficiency (I earned the Nutrient Type moniker honestly).

    • Based on intentionally limiting nitrates to enhance “reds” I noticed that the lower (older) leaves exhibit signs of deficiency first, which makes sense since Nitrogen is a mobile nutrient. The cupped, twisted and stunted growth occurs later.
    • With Nitrates restored, recovery is quick within a week, three days or so for noticeable improvement.

    Honestly based on the pictures I would go with (as Tom Barr stated) CO2 deficiency or poisoning. :(

    Biollante
     
  18. Steven

    Steven Guru Class Expert

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    Titles means nothing to true experience and here I'm still nothing in planted tank as I'm unable to grow healthy plants such as Hemianthus micranthemoides that others claim it's indeed weeds :).

    About the rocks, I have tested it with HCL and no reaction so far and most of my friends use it with no notable side effect on plants growth but if the rocks that I'm using somehow and coincidentally contain something that poisoning my tank...well...I am the very unlucky aquarist then :).

    I wonder myself too why the Rotala green and HM now are still growing like something and/or nutrient limiting things. Could say that indeed I was limiting nitrogen to my plants since the 1st day of setup because of the Test Kit inaccurate reading as I explained before and maybe they begun to stunt from the 3rd week as ADA AS still providing much of the N initially and so on up until the last 3 weeks (more than 2 months) when I was realized N was limited all this time, so my plants actually have N limited and stunted more than 2 months. The question is will they still be able to recover in a long stunted growth?

    This time, I think I have tried my very best providing both CO2 and circulation to my tank, if it still not enough, I can't tried no other way anymore :(.
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've used real serpentine , rather pretty from Marin Co CA, we have a fair amount of this rock in CA.
    Virtually nowhere else in the USA except a small patch in New Jersy of all places.

    There's some nice outcrops on hilltops where it's weathered and lichen encrusted, so it looks really nice.
    A neighbor snitched some and put it in his garden, it was a piece I'd eyed a few times up on a certain hill, I know where he got it.
    It is rightfully mine:)
    I saw it first.

    CO2/good consistent nutrients= no issues with weeds after 3-4 weeks typically.
    If so..then you have a CO2 issue still.

    Nutrients are always very easy to rule out, others have the same rocks, and tap water.......so.....somewhat safe to rule that out.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Somewhere Over The Rainbow... That Leave CO2

    Hi Steven,

    Not trying to be difficult, all the Guru's say Serpentine rock is safe and good to use it is good to use. :)

    I have no direct experience with Serpentine rock, a geologist friend of mine and a little research is all I have to go on. :)

    Not being an expert at anything I simply strive to rule things in or out, a rock seemed an easy thing to rule out, particularly given the toxicity of some of the polymorphs.

    I had no concern with the alkalinity of the rock, the test to narrow the species of rock and if it was contributing to the turbidity, had you been interested are rather mundane.

    Given that it is not the rock or any other cause, as I said earlier I completely agree it must be CO2.

    Good luck my friend,
    Biollante
     
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