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Toads Tank Thread

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by toads74, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Very nice! I see you got a remarkable improvement. You are in the right path!
     
  2. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Time for a few questions/observations, but first a few pics:


    rYByA6B.jpg


    DwyihCv.jpg


    4MjtpuJ.jpg


    dJOFxGk.jpg


    ASTIQrc.jpg
     
  3. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Before i dive in, i had an issue about two weeks ago in the shrimp tank (pic in one of the early posts in this thread). Things turned pale, stopped growing, some gda appeared, some shrimp disappeared... The tank is low tech, low light, no co2, and been stable for a year or so. It all of a sudden started to crash. Trying to learn what i can and not make too many assumptions i was stumped for a few days, since nothing in my routine changed. Then i had to prime the canister for this co2 tank after a big water change and it dawned on me what happened when i saw the airline for the sponge filter pinched by the canister. I guess a snug lid and little o2 can cause issues. Easy fix. :eek: Cleared up in a week.


    So on to this tank. Things are still looking pretty good. I'm getting good growth mostly. BBA is coming back, mostly on the pump and heater. Doing a light vacuuming of the surface every week, while trying (and failing) not to pull out the HC and hairgrass yet again. I'm going to do another canister cleaning to see if i have a bunch of gunk built up in there causing some of the bba. I threw in a little sprig of cabomba that wasn't doing well in the other tank, and it is starting to grow nicely now. The little bits of AR mini are looking much better as well (time to trim the bad leaves). Overall i'm happy with how things are going.


    Now for the sake of learning... ;)


    The baby tears (3rd pic, on the left) seems stunted. I've grown it in a different tank with massive weed-ism. Was pulling out softball size chunks on a weekly basis. That was with a lot of nutrients (fish load + ferts), and higher par. Up to febuary or so in this tank it required weekly trimming to keep the size reasonable. Do you think this could be from competition of something, or from the relatively low fert levels i'm using now?


    My "challenge plant", the rotala macrandra (last pic, center) is looking dreadful. It seems to be in decline. The new growth tips have stalled and doesn't seem to be growing beyond the first 1 or 2 nodes before the previous ones shrivel up. A month or two ago i wouldn't have wanted to disrupt the rest of the tank for this one, but my confidence is growing that i can bring the tank back if things go a little haywire. I'm not sure what i should be looking at for this one, other than maybe the light being a little low for it. Would ~40 par be enough? IIRC i had it growing under 2x 23w cfl, maybe 8" or so above the surface, but i could be wrong about that. Any thoughts? Could it be that i still have a co2 issue considering the baby tears also? Or perhaps something changed in the last couple weeks that is causing the relative decline?
     
    #43 toads74, May 21, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2017
  4. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Definitively the situation looked better in the earlier post, something went downhill... Could you please remind us about your current dosing regime? I don't think low light is cause of those issues, I think either some ferts became limiting or Co2 has changed for some reason.
     
  5. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    No problem. Last time I measured ph drop was 1.1, will test it again - been quite a while. No macros or micros, fish food only. Water change is 2 - 3 times a week, as far as I can without the angels freaking out (dorsal out of the water). Light vacuum of the surface once a week.


    100% ro plus NaCl water softener


    gh 6 - CaSO4, MgSO4, K2SO4. 8:4:1 by volume


    kh 2 - NaCO3


    Temp 76.7


    Ehiem 2215 packed with bio media


    I should have the ph results tomorrow. I have another tank set up and has been cycling for about 2 months, so I have a home ready for these fish to move to when the inkling arises. I'm still wondering if some of my issue is bioload. Added a pic showing the surface movement. PhUaJKt.jpg
     
    #45 toads74, May 22, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2017
  6. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Ph drop is 1.2. 7.2 - 6.0. I'm seeing some of the algae I had back in post #13. I probably got overzealous on the feeding again. I'll clean things up later on today, and do a couple wc back to back over the next few days.
     
  7. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Algae is on the retreat once again. I'm sure it was operator induced. Maybe someday I'll learn not to overfeed.....and be consistent about it. :eek: I did make a change that should help, by re-homing the previous residents (except the otos). Half the 1/2 gallon of ceramic media went with them, hopefully that doesn't cause too much of a disturbance while the tank readjusts. For now I'm leaving the routine the same. Time to source some nano fish and neos.... :)
     
  8. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Good job man! Will be nice to see some pictures as soon as you can get some.
     
  9. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Alright, update time! And I will say thanks again to you fablau and others who contribute on the forums here. I'm learning a ton from everyone. I'm kinda figuring out that (no surprise to me) I'm not a very observant guy, and this is very much an obvservation oriented hobby. :rolleyes:


    So on that theme, I removed the biggest temptation (over feeding the angelfish and friends) a couple weeks ago, gave it a little time, then added 5 espi rasboras. So now them and 6 otocinclus, and a few rams horn snails are the only inhabitants. I'm being much more conscious of how much I'm feeding, especially since I grind up the flakes, and seeing a big improvement so far. I have a notion to add maybe 20 or so more espi's to get a nice display. The schooling behavior is awesome and they tolerated the switch to co2 without slowing down at all. :D


    Still no no joy on the rotala mac, but will give it some time.


    5kyUsSY.jpg


    6FF0f9d.jpg


    96yg2RF.jpg
     
  10. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    You are most than welcome, and I am glad to see the results of your learning! Your plants look very healthy and I can definitively see you are on the right track. ;)
     
  11. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Time for an update. I've changed the wc schedule to once per week, about 70% now, still no ferts. Feeding is minimal since there are 5 lambchops and 6 otos. Aside from trimming and a weekly vacuum, the tank has been on autopilot for about a month. More on that in a minute. The rasboras seem to love the tank despite the co2, so I think I may have a little wiggle room there if I need to increase it. I'm not really familiar with these rasboras, but it looks like one might be starting to carry eggs. Feeding them twice a day.

    As far as the plants go, I'm shocked the rotala mac is still hanging on. It is now a BBA magnet. The ar and ar mini leaves have both flattened out a fair bit and have required trimming. HC seems healthy mostly, but new growth seems to have stalled since going to 1x wc per week. MC is still lagging as well, have yet to trim it. Milfoil is a bit lackluster, think it is needing something as it drops its lower leaves. Everything else is growing good. Aside from the rotala mac, BBA has sequestered itself to the hardware for the most part and seems to be halted or declining elsewhere.

    So the decision to make is to let it ride for a while longer as is, or go Back to maybe 2x a week water changes?


    Daily feeding amount, cut into 2 feedings. Yes that's 1/4 tsp.
     
    #51 toads74, Jul 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
    Tim Harrison and Jason like this.
  12. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Question.... So I was thinking today... :eek: ... my tap water has a ton of co2 in it (yay Midwest limestone). I would think it would degas in the tank fairly quick, but there is little of that being done in my storage/mixing container. Some plants seem to have been doing better on the 3x a week routine.

    Do you think the tap co2 may be introducing a notable instability into the mix?

    I'm thinking I may try to up the co2 a little more but the current reactor can't handle it. The most I can get is a 1.2 ph drop, and that with a lot of burping.
     
  13. burr740

    burr740 ~~ Lover of Micros ~~
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    CO2 from tap should not be an issue if you have pressurized along with it, no matter how much is in the tap. That is assuming you have non-limiting co2 from the pressurized system, or what we commonly refer to as "good co2"

    Non limiting means there is enough co2 that the plants dont want/need any more. Just for an example lets say that is 40 ppm in your case, and it's coming from your pressurized system. As long as you stay above a non-limiting level, co2 can bounce around above that and it doesnt matter - because even at the lowest point the plants still plenty (the 40 ppm coming from the pressurized system).

    The problem comes if there's not enough co2 in the first place, and the levels fluctuate between limiting and non-limiting (having plenty and not enough). Continuing with the 40 ppm example, lets say you're only getting 25-30 from the pressurized system, but a few days a week it jumps to 40 ppm and above.

    Plants devote a lot of resources to gather and use co2 from other sources when there's not enough being added. One such adaption is the creation of rubisco, which is an expensive enzyme for the plants to make, and it takes a while to do it . All is fine if the levels are stable from one day to the next, even a limited level, because the plants can adjust to deal with it. But when the levels go up and down between limiting and non-limiting, the plants get "confused" as they attempt to adjust their inner workings to one environment and then another.

    That is why having stable co2 from one day to the next is just as important as how much.


    tl;dr - If you have good co2 already it doesnt matter what's in the tap. If you have poor co2 levels to begin with, then yeah it could be a problem.
     
  14. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Thank you for the explanation! That may be the key to moving forward. I now wonder if that may be why some of them seems to be stalling, the rotala mac which is just giving up on me, and most notably the baby tears, which hasn't been trimmed for months now. I easily grew handfuls of it each week in another tank a year or two ago, so it nags me these days thinking I must not have something right yet.

    To test the theory I'll bump the co2 up a little and see if that helps and keep the 1x week water changes for now. I'm going to have to do some work on the reactor though to get the levels up more.
     
  15. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    ..... and a bit of trimming, moving, replanting....

    IMG_1073.JPG

    .... holy root ball stauro....

    IMG_1071.JPG
     
    DutchMuch likes this.
  16. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Did some work on the co2 reactor. I added an Itsa reactor between the pump and the cerges, feeding co2 to the Itsa directly. Then the cerges gas line goes into the pump intake, which was redone to ensure that all the gas goes in, instead of sometimes being rejected by turbulence. The tank has much less micro-bubbles with this setup, which is good. I think it's much closer to 100% dissolved than before.

    Downside is that after half an hour at the same co2 rate the fish were having trouble, so i had to back off and start over adjusting the co2 rate. Unfortunately i lost an espi and an oto in the process. :( Due to a timer operator error, the co2 was on all night so i don't have a good reference for the degased ph.

    While the co2 was too high the hc and even the rotala mac started putting out o2 bubbles, so i'm hopeful that i'm on the right track here that it was some sort of co2 issue causing the poor growth.
     
  17. rajkm

    rajkm Lifetime Members
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    Look like you are on the right track.
    As you adjust CO2, also make sure you have good surface ripple for gas exchange and adjust CO2 slowly.
     
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