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Toads' Twenty - a.k.a. "What Should I Do with this thing"

Discussion in 'Journals' started by toads74, Aug 25, 2017.

?

Should I do a hardscape?

  1. No, focus on plants!

    8 vote(s)
    72.7%
  2. Rocks would be nice

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Wood needed!

    1 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. Rocks and wood needed!

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
  1. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Next big change was lighting. Went from three 13w cfl bulbs to three 23w cfl bulbs. This may be a bit too much but has had a positive impact. Two are 6500k and one on the right is 5000k. This will be interesting as I split up some species to be on both sides so I'll be able to compare them. Looks a little lopsided though color wise. :)

    Third change is I'm back to dosing, 1/2 EI daily, macros only, no micros, and 50% water changes twice a week. I like big water changes, but maybe smaller ones will help stabilize the parameters a little bit. I wanted to make sure the new plants that haven't rooted yet have access to nutrients till they are established.
     
  2. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Yay! Baby tears is growing again! AR regular is improving. Yes, I know... regular ar is smaller than my ar mini... go figure. :)

    Rotala indica (back along the glass) is looking much happier! It's pink and fluffy! Rotala macrandra (the scrawny stems in front of the indica) almost completely melted, obviously quite unhappy. But wait... three days after the changes, is that new growth there? And it's red?? :D

    Ludwigia narrow is looking awesome. Going to be really nice methinks.

    And finally.. the ar mini. Yes, it's bigger than the ar regular. :eek: New leaves are fairly flat. Myrio is looking better too. Rotala nanjanshen got scrawny fast. Not sure what it's going to do yet.

    So I think I'll keep things as they are for a bit and see what happens. I think the lighting may be pushing it a bit. Fingers crossed!
     
    #22 toads74, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
    snarkingturtle likes this.
  3. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Chemistry question...

    The gh booster formula is roughly 3:3:1 caso4, k2so4, Mgso4. I'm using 100% ro, with khco3 for kh, and the usual kh2po4, k2so4, and kno3 for macros. Is the k2so4 in the gh booster really necessary in this scenario? I've heard it's primarily for additional ions for livestock osmoregulation, but don't they get enough from all the other stuff thats added? As opposed to a non planted tank that only gets the gh booster?

    The amount I'm using of khco3 gives 20ppm k just by itself, pretty close to what is prescribed from k2so2 on the calculator. I doubt I would need much more potassium From a plant perspective, considering I'm getting another 10 or so ppm per week from macro dosing.
     
    #23 toads74, Oct 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  4. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    You probably don't need to add K2SO4 in this circumstance either as part of GH boosting, or with the other macros. As you've said, plenty of K already from the KHCO3 -- K is really the only reason to add K2SO4. The only other would be a bit of sulfur, but you've already got that from CaSO4 and MgSO4.
     
  5. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    That's what I was thinking. If the fish don't need it I'll stop using it. I'm trying to get a handle on what exactly is going into the tank, to better control things.

    I'm thinking of something along these lines for dosing. The gh/kh might be a bit low, just wanted to get a "lean" baseline for number crunching purposes.

    Weekly Totals (full ei / half ei)
    Dgh 3.25
    Dkh 1.47

    Ca - 15
    Mg - 5
    S - 18.6
    Hco3 - 32
    K - 37.57 / 28.785 (20 from remineralization)
    PO4 - 4.2 / 2.1
    No3 - 22.4 / 11.2
     
  6. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Update time!

    Made a few changes (what else is new hehehe). I changed my remineralization and dosing to that detailed in post #25, using the full EI numbers. I dropped the added k2so4 from both mixes. I’m not dosing micros yet. I’ve been using the same remineralized water without ferts in a 5.5g tank of white clouds with no ill effects.

    I was using 3 x 23w cfl bulbs to try to kickstart some rotalas I was loosing quickly. Unfortunately I couldn’t keep the algae away, which is what I expected. It was mostly thread and BBa, with some cyano on the substrate and fuzz on older leaves. Co2 was maxed out for the livestock, and didn’t want to go f(ph)ishless. Switched back to 3 x 13w 5000k bulbs. Algae is once again on the retreat. Tried some caridina shrimp, no joy... too much co2 for them I think. I’m really hoping I can cut back the co2 a bit in a few months and get some neos and additional nano fish. I do say I’m impressed with how well the espi and lampeyes tolerate the co2. Otos are the limiting factor for co2 atm, I may move them with the white clouds but I need to replace them with some algae grazers or I’ll be in trouble.

    The soil was heavily over fed for a long time, so that was replaced as well. This cut back the algae plague a lot, though it still lingers in spots. I’m sure some of the algae issue was aggravated by ammonia from the fresh soil and by the weakened plants.
     
    #26 toads74, Oct 25, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  7. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Fts...

    AR is doing much better.

    And so is AR mini. They are about the same size now, but the mini has better color. Crypt wendtii is still buried in BBa, and has been for many months. At least it isn’t getting any worse and looks healthy underneath. Good thing it likes low light with all that attached shade. There are a few scattered clumps of BBa wandering the substrate like tumbleweeds.

    HC is making a comeback on the rock. That’s all I got left. The rotala mac (little stems behind it) I’m not sure what it’s going to do. It’s growing but looking dreadful. I hope it recovers. Not sure what the issue is. Advise welcome! I’m not dosing any micros so may give that a try soon. Maybe 1/4 EI levels for a week or two to see if there’s any change.

    And the hospital section. That’s supposed to be nanjanshen... How do you make a small garden if you happen to be me? Start with a large one! :oops:
     
    #27 toads74, Oct 25, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
    Oursaunougat and Phishless like this.
  8. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    I thought nanjanshen was a problematic weed.
    What do you think is going on?
     
  9. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    It started melting within a couple days of putting it in the tank. It was sold submersed without roots, I’m guessing that it was stressed when I got it and didn’t have much reserves left to deal with me. I strongly suspect that the water column was too thin on nutes. This is the first signs of growth since I got it about a month ago. So to try to rescue the two rotalas, more ferts, Lower gh and kh the last two weeks. I’m sure one of them is helping.
     
  10. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    I always sell everything off but 9 stems, thinking I am solving something.
    5 weeks later I have 50 or more stems to work with, go figure?
    Goes crazy for me in capped soil and SafeTSorb that was pre-charged.
     
  11. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Lol that’s quite a bit! At this stage I’m just out to get healthy algae free plants regardless of how fast they grow. :D
     
  12. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Trying to get rid of the last bits of algae, the o2 levels proved too much for the fish, at ph drop of 1.3. A week ago I backed down to 0.9 drop, and dosing 10ml Excel each day. All algae is in full retreat, including the persistent BBa. :). What little bit of healthy looking gsa isnt growing. BBa is a nice red with transparent tips. A few test shrimp are doing good, so added some pygmy cories and amano shrimp. Did lose the macrandra with the first excel dose, but no surprise there. Big improvement this week! :D
     
  13. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Reached a significant milestone. Never had AR get so big and still look so nice! Well nice for me anyways!

    Weaning off the excel, keeping an eye out for any algae comeback. Nanjanshen hasn’t done anything since starting the excel treatment. R. Indica and L.narrow have been hacked by more than 50% a few days ago. Handfulls. :D R.mac was the only excel casualty, no surprise there. Lost a few shrimp, not sure if that was from the heavy excel dosing or not. I suspect it was.

    Added some UG, which the cories have been digging up quite effectively. Most of it is floating, and I can’t keep it in the substrate. Like miniature SAE’s with hair grass....

     
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  14. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Getting some gsa on lower leaves, and the first string of thread algae. Back to using excel, up the co2 a smidge, and try again after it clears. Ph drop is currently 0.9, going to aim for 1.0.
     
  15. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Just a thought. The 1.0 pH drop being the gold standard is widely disseminated. However, if you read many of the journals of people who keep high tech tanks, you will see many (maybe most) times it is quite higher. I am currently dropping mine about 1.35, and I know of many who are around the 1.3 to 1.5 drop range. Every tank is different, but it might be worth it to experiment and see where it gets you.
     
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  16. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Thanks Greggs. I used to run it at 1.2, but didn’t get good growth, and higher would stress the fish. After making a bunch of changes and learning a few things along the way, I got the plants looking somewhat decent at that level, though with algae. I changed gears, using excel as a tool to clean up the algae, and now searching for the “optimum” minimum co2 for this particular tank. That’s why I’m alternating using the excel to clear up the algae, and incrementally bumping up co2. At some point when co2 reaches a good spot I’ll be able to stop the excel. The substrate is still maturing and probably have to repeat again periodically as the plants reach full biomass. I suspect that it will need to end up somewhere around 1.3 or probably a tad higher. I could go the other direction and go excess co2 then back off, but feel like for me right now this method is easily controlled and less risky.

    I’m just trying to minimize the overall co2 stress on the livestock and get a feel for what the co2 demands really are for this tank. I’m also considering o2 content and other issues as to why I couldn’t get past 1.2. Based on reports of others, I should be able to go higher than that and will be addressing that issue soon.
     
  17. Greggz

    Greggz Lifetime Members
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    Obvious question, but do you have good surface agitation? If not, it would create extra oxygen, your livestock will appreciate it, and you could go a bit higher on CO2. I also have a bubbler switch on right after the CO2 goes off, and runs all night until the next CO2 cycle. My Bows are pretty sensitive to oxygen content, so I even go a bit overboard with it.
     
  18. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    It’s not the greatest. Canister plus air stone. While there’s a fair bit of circulation there is not much surface ripple. Need something to fit the return so it can be pointed up more. I could go back to using the spraybar but it’s rather ugly imo... Eheim green... :eek:

    Here’s a short video.

    -video removed-
     
    #38 toads74, Nov 19, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  19. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    So I added back the spraybar, and added a second airstone. Much more surface movement now. The ph drop from co2 is now 1.1 and slowy increasing it to 1.2, which is about the max I could do before. Hopefully it will go better. I just don’t like relying on another device to keep the livestock alive. If the canister pump fails, it effectively shuts down the co2 as well, so no real worries. A failed air pump however will keep dumping co2 in, and result in much less o2... not a comfortable situation imo. I’m half tempted to do a bucket sump. I guess I’ll see how this goes first. Had a hard time keeping co2 stable with hob filters.

    Still dosing 5ml Excel daily, and seems to be working out. AR is back to wrinkles, otherwise ok. Limnophilia is more bushy but pale. I mixed up some CSM and dpta, 1/4tsp each in 500ml, and dosing that at 5ml per day. Il try that for a week and see if it makes a difference. I have done zero traces so far. Moved a sprig of nanjenshen to the center to see if the higher light there will help. Maybe it’s recovery is being limited by light?
     
  20. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Interesting. Increased co2 to a 1.3 ph drop about a week now. Not much effect other than being able to stop excel dosing so far. Seeing improvements from micro dosing, I upped the daily dosage to 15ml as of Saturday. Also had a whim to increase kh a bit, so doubled that since it was also water change day.

    Not sure if it’s the micros or the co2 or the absence of excel, or the kh/potassium increase, but r.nanjanshen is finally starting to do something. More growth on it in the last 3 days than the whole past month....



    I’m running out of khco3, but have a bunch of k2co3, hope the upcoming switch doesn’t disrupt things too much.
     
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