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Trouble in Plantland

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Myka, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    I have some things going on here that I don't think are good...I'm hoping someone can help steer me in the right direction.

    The tank is a 20 gallon Atasuki trophy tank. I moved the contents of my 10 gallon (my first planted tank), which was established for a year into the Atasuki tank on July 1st. I used the old Flourite and added some Eco Complete to it. I'm using an Eheim 2026, so I think there is quite good flow in there, the plants wave around. I just use a floss media in it, no carbon. No CO2, but I'm starting up a few DIY bottles to change out one everyday so I get a nice even CO2 level. I just started this yesterday. I dose a little bit of KNO3 to keep nitrate around 5-8 ppm. 5mL Flourish Trace 2x weekly, 2 mL Flourish Iron right after water changes. 50% biweekly water changes using 100% RODI water supplemented with Kent RO Right and pH Stable.

    So anyway, I received a few orders of fish and plants in the last month, and have been given "bonus" fish in the orders. So now I think my tank is overstocked, but I'm coming from the reef world, so I think all freshwater tanks are overstocked. LOL So currently in the tank are:

    16 Cardinal Tetras (I meant to only have 10, these 6 extras arrived yesterday)
    4 Galaxy Rasbora (I didn't mean to stock these at all they arrived a few months ago)
    2 Dwarf Chain Loaches (I wanted 3, but haven't found stock yet)
    1 true SAE (I didn't mean to stock this at all, it arrived yesterday)
    1 Bushynose Pleco
    3 Crystal Red shrimp
    3 Assassin snails

    Now, I'm scratching my head a bit, since I feel like I should have half these fish, but I'm all confused with freshwater stocking. What is appropriate for this tank? Should I find new homes for any of these?

    So those are my fish issues...

    Now, my plants. I have three types of swords (tenellus, crispus, and 'Ozelot'), and they are look crappy. They have all been in the tank about one month. The leaves get thin, and slowly waste away. What is causing this?

    Algae...oi!! I have just a little of several algae. Chadophora is the worst with several little bushes in the tank, mostly on the glass, but some on the Anubias. A teeny bit of BGA in the high flow areas, and a little bit of BBA on the Anubias only. What is causing these algae? How do I get rid of them?

    Sorry for the giant book...I figure the more info the better! Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Overstocked??

    Even by my standards (or lack thereof), you are overstocked. :eek:

    Sixteen Cardinal Tetras, Paracheirodon axelrodi, you might just get away with in your tank on their own with really good water conditions. The cardinal Tetras really prefer higher temperatures, low GH, low pH water, you can acclimatize them to higher pH over time but it leaves them with little in the way of reserves.

    Your Bushy-nosed pleco, assuming, Ancistrus temminckii will stay under five inches (12 centameters), with good overlap with Cardinal Tetras water conditions.

    The Crystal Red shrimp, Caridina cantonensis sp. "Red,” tend to prefer cooler, by tropical standards, water. I am aware people keep them in warm water; my experience is they thrive in cooler water.

    Assuming you have a “true” SAE, Crossocheilus Siamensis, you have “jumper,” a true little acrobat, a very good choice for algae control, but also known for floor patrol. Make sure you are intentionally feeding this little critter and not depending solely on algae in the tank. The issue that I am unsure of is the compatibility of the SAE with your Bushy-nose, many of “algae-eater” class are highly territorial and with larger pleco’s anyway quite vicious with competitors.

    The dwarfs Galaxy Rasbora, Microrasbora sp. “Galaxy,” are a cooler water fish, beautiful, fascinating, lively critters.

    Therefore, my critter recommendations for what they are worth;:eek: while 16 Cardinal Tetras are pushing it and a larger tank would be nice, I think you can get away with keeping the Cardinal Tetras and the Bushy-nose pleco in the twenty gallon tank, by the way, a really nice looking tank.

    You have lots of water movement and filtration, keep it clean, not so clean that you harm the bacteria.

    The Galaxy Rasbora, Crystal shrimp and the SAE to another tank. If the ten gallon tank is still available that would make a nice, at least interim home.

    My inclination would be to move the Assassin snails as well, bio-load issue principally. Remember to feed these critters, maybe grow some snails for them.

    CO2, good idea, would start now (or in the morning).:D

    More on plants if you are interested.

    Biollante
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,
    Cladophora is typically due to a combination of poor CO2 and insufficient nutrient levels. BGA is typically due to low nitrates and BGA is poor or unstable CO2.

    Flourish alone will not address the nutrient issue as it's a trace mix only. You'll need to add NPK. The CO2 issue is obvious and it sounds like you'll fix this, although you may want to consider supplementing Excel along with your DIY CO2.

    Instead of biweekly water changes you may have better success with shorter intervals such as weekly changes.

    There is also no need to use RO unless there is a known toxicity issue with your tap water. I'd also eliminate the pH buffer as well since this is unnecessary. This makes life less complicated. :cool:

    Cheers,
     
  4. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Thank you both for all your information!! Much appreciated.

    Biollante, I figured I was overstocked, but by my standards the tank would be nearly bare of fish. LOL I don't want to set up another tank, so I will just sell the fish locally. It won't be difficult as none of these are easy to obtain here, or can be obtained for steep prices. You didn't mention anything about the Dwarf Chain Loaches...these are my favourite fish in the tank. I will take your advice on the fish, but I think I will modify it a bit. The Bushynose has not proven to be a very good algae eater, and because of his size he has contributed to the bioload substantially I would think. So maybe I will keep the SAE (and hope he doesn't jump), and rehome the Bushynose. I would like to keep the shrimp, as I have found them to be great algae eaters. They have been in my tank for almost a year, so I think they are ok. Something must be eating their eggs though since I never see babies. The Assassins have turned out to be good algae eaters too. My understanding is that they don't need snails to eat to be healthy...? I do like to have them since they keep the tank snail free...maybe I will rehome two of them. I will probably rehome a few of the Cardinals as well. I will report back. :)

    I do intentionally feed the bottom dwellers with some Hikari Algae Wafers. Most days this is the only way I feed the fish as the swimmers all know how to get to it anyway. I have to kind of toss the wafers in the plants so the Cardinals can't get at it so much. Maybe I should throw small chunks of cucumber or lettuce in there?

    I haven't cleaned the Eheim yet since it was installed July 1st. I plan to clean it this weekend, but I will leave one of 4 filter media layers in there for bacteria transfer. Maybe I should wait a week to clean it though since there are so many new fish in there right now that the biofilter will be challenged already.

    Biollante, the parameters in the tank (last week) are:

    Temp 78-80
    pH over 7.6 (my kit won't read higher, not sure why it's so high, considering peat in filter)
    KH 4 dKH
    GH ~200 ppm using digital TDS meter
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 5 ppm
    Phosphate a little over 1 ppm
    Calcium roughly 20 ppm (difficult to get an accurate reading with my kit...could be off by 5 ppm either direction)
    59 watts of spiral compact flourescent lighting, using lamp shade style reflectors, with bulbs 45 degrees to water surface.



    ceg4048, that was my understanding of the cladophora and BGA too, although I have never noticed BGA go away when I raise nitrate. I started dosing the KNO3 when I tested nitrate and it was nearly undetectable. That was a month ago, and I have not seen any improvement in the plants or the algae since starting to dose nitrate. Phosphate seems to keep itself just over 1 ppm without dosing, so I don't think I want more than that? I do have the dry ferts for NPK, but I am told not to use them since I don't have CO2 on the tank.

    I dont' use Flourish Trace as a nutrient, I use it because I use RODI water. I can't dose Excel because of several plants in the tank that will not tolerate it. I saved a chunk of Pelia that I'm growing emersed to try to get it back...it's struggling, but it's coming back. I almost killed my Dwarf Sag too, lost most of it. I have Downoi as well which I believe is sensitive to Excel.

    I am having trouble with my DIY CO2...ever since moving 1500 kms east to a new province, I can't seem to get good bubbles from the DIY mix. The mix I use worked ASTOUNDINGLY well when I lived in BC. I used tap water for it. I can't even get one single bubble from using tap water here, and I can barely get the mix going for 6 hours before it peters out on RODI water. I will go buy some new yeast, maybe that is the trouble. I'm considering buying a pressurized system, but I have a 90 gallon reef that is needing some upgrades right now too, so money is tight.

    I try to do weekly 50% water changes, but it's summer time!!! Plus the reef tank needs water changes too, so usually just one tank gets a water change per weekend.

    I use RODI water because I started off with tap water when I moved here, and my plants really struggled...I lost most of them slowly in the first month. I started slowly changing them over to 50/50 tap and RODI and they perked up quite nicely, but I found it difficult to keep parameters stable using 50/50, so I just switched to 100% RODI, and the parameters are real steady now. Since I use RODI water I thought that the pH Stable was neccessary? I know the Kent bottles say that both RO Right and pH Stable should be used together on RO water. You use RO Right for GH and pH Stable for KH. pH Stable is just an alkalinity buffer, if I mix up a bucket of RODI water and don't put pH Stable in it the KH will be 1 dKH and pH will be less than 6 off the chart. I use like 1/4 of the reccommended dose of pH Stable, but still it raises my alkalinity significantly, and it seems to dramatically hit the pH. I will try dosing even less to see if I can get the pH to drop. I am currently only dosing 1/8 tsp in 2 gallons of RODI water.

    I could also try switching back to tap water, but I am scared since I have invested quite a bit of money into plants and fish at this point. I will test the tap water's full parameters with my kits this weekend and I will report backl. :)

    Thanks again!!! :)
     
  5. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No Slight Intended

    Biollante

    Sorry I did not mean to slight your Dwarf Chain Loaches, Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki,:eek: no doubt my lack of experience with them. From what I have read, the Dwarf Chain Loach should work and play well with the Cardinal Tetras. However, each source I have looked at recommends at least five in a group. Again, I think this really strains the limits of a 20-gallon tank. They also have, at least a reputation as snail killers.

    I am not a fan of Hikari Algae Wafers; I think there much better brands around. Yes, veggies are good as is Nori, the seaweed for sushi.

    A TDS meter can’t as far as I know cannot give you a direct reading of GH. A TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter reads, well, total dissolved solids. ;)

    I think dosing dry fertilizers are a good idea, make sure you are including trace above reconstituting the RO/DI water.

    Use whatever mix works for your aquarium for the diy CO2. When you mix the water for your tank, mix a couple of extra liters.

    If the stuff in the tap is killing the yeast, I think you have a problem with tap water and I don’t say that very often.:eek:

    Biollante
     
  6. EllenOC

    EllenOC Junior Poster

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    If you are thinking of keeping the SAE, you should know that they also grow big. IMO too big for a 20-gallon. And mine grew fast, from only an inch or so at purchase to 4 inches within months. At which time I didn't wait for them to get to 6 inches but trotted them off to the LFS.
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Dirty filters are a known cause of BGA. The trapped dirt decays resulting in ammonia which can trigger the BGA. Therefore a dirty filter is inefficient thereby doing the very same thing that you expressed fear about cleaning it.

    As Biollante mentioned, GH is a direct measurement of the concentration of Calcium and Magnesium in the water - which is only partially related to TDS. TDS is a direct measurement of the electrical conductivity of the water caused by ALL things dissolved in it (including other liquids by the way). Therefore, there is no direct correlation between your TDS reading and the GH of the water. GH can only be measured by a competent GH test kit, and even then it does not distinguish between the relative levels of Ca and Mg.

    Yeah, this is a minefield and as I mentioned to someone else on another thread, your reliance on using test kit readings to determine your dosing level is one of the direct causes of your algal blooms. As discussed BGA can be caused by dirty filter so that needs to be fixed in order to eliminate it as a possible cause. The other prevalent cause of BGA as stated is poor NO3 levels. One would think that with your stocking levels low nitrate should not be a problem, so in a way this points to the dirty filter. You also measured NO3 and got a low number. Hobby grade test kits are, in general, untrustworthy so I absolutely don't trust your NO3 reading even though it points to low NO3. Isn't that convoluted? This is the nature of test kits - they make you run around in pointless circles. If you added NO3 and didn't see any improvement, does this mean that NO3 is ineffective? Absolutely not, especially if you were using a NO3 test kit to determine the dosing levels. It can easily be that you simply didn't add enough NO3, were paranoid about the levels, used unreliable NO3 test kit readings and as a result, have absolutely no idea what the actual NO3 levels are.

    Again, Cladophora, doesn't lie, even if your test kit lies like a dog, so there is at least an implication that NO3 is low.

    Same story goes here. FYI PO4 test kits are among the most notorious liars, second only to Pinocchio. It's entirely possible that you do in fact have 1.0 ppm of PO4 as the fish food typically contains some level of PO4, but you can bet the farm that the PO4 test kit is not giving you an accurate number. The Cladophora is telling you otherwise.

    If you were using Tap water I could be convinced that 1.0ppm was actually available since this is standard practice for municipal water boards to add PO4 - but you are using RO, which has zero PO4 and zero NO3 by default so it's highly unlikely that PO4 will just spontaneously appear out of nowhere.

    Well, I mean, Flourish Trace doesn't care why you use it. It's a trace element mix and if you add it to your water you are adding trace elements to your water. Of course, it's so dilute that it could easily be that whatever amount you are adding is insufficient, further exacerbating the Clado.

    Fair enough. If Excel is not an option then you'll have to be aware that your margin of error for DIY CO2 is slim so one has to pay strict attention to keeping the proper mixtures and so forth.

    Here is Downoi (Pogostemon helferi) when fed copious quantities of NO3, PO4, CO2 and Excel:
    [​IMG]

    Yes, I totally understand. It's simply that you have to understand the implications of poor water change schedules as it relates to algae. The purpose of water changes is to remove organic waste. A high organic waste content is bad for plants and encourages algal blooms. Water changes also removes algal spores, which definitely turn into algal blooms so you are not doing your tank any favors by skipping water changes. As long as you understand that there will be one less mystery involved in your problem solving.

    Well, it'd be difficult for anyone to troubleshoot your tap water from afar, but normally, tap water is better for most plants that RODI could ever dream of being. I mean, RODI certainly wasn't good enough to keep your algae at bay. Clado is a signal that the water is rubbish and the plants are starving. I've used tap water for 20 years and have never had a problem due to tap water, so there's nothing intrinsically great about RODI. The minute that you start to add CO2, the pH will become unstable. Unstable pH in this context is completely meaningless. I've never had a problem due to unstable pH. I have had tremendous difficulties with unstable CO2 however. One needs to pay attention to CO2 and forget pH. Bizarre, but true. :eek:

    OK, here is another point of view: Could it be that the statement is there on the Kent bottles in order to increase revenue for Kent? Lets think about it for a second; Alkalinity is associated with the water's content of CO3 and HCO3. You can accomplish this with baking soda, which is tons cheaper. Depending on your tap water alkalinity you can just add a bit of tap water.

    A huge problem in this hobby is that there are so many factors affect success and it's not easy control the variables well enough to correlate cause and effect. It's easy to say "I did this and such and such happened" when in fact the two were completely unrelated. It's also easy to focus on the wrong thing at the expense of other, more important things. Such is the case with the pH obsession. The pH in your tank never really needs to be stable unless you are breeding fish or if there is a specific goal in mind. None of these goals would ever be consistent with plant growth performance, because plants don't care about pH or pH stability. Neither do the fish quite frankly. So many people expend energy on inconsequential parameters that they miss the boat. This often results in frustration. There could have been plenty of reasons why the plants "appeared" to respond better to RODI water than to tap. Now, I'm not saying that there isn't something wrong with your tap - there could be high levels of herbicide or some toxin that is below the threshold for human safety but still affects the plants. I don't know that. What I am saying is that RODI is not a prerequisite for healthy plant growth. There are only a handful of plants that would do better in RODI water, but the vast majority could care less about RODI.

    It may be necessary to rethink the strategy a bit. Think about a better, more consistent dosing scheme using dry ferts (especially if you will inject CO2). At least contemplate a better maintenance schedule involving water changes, filter cleaning and so forth. Consider spending less attention on pH. Consider trying a 10% tap water addition during the water change and slowly increase the percentage over the next few months to demonstrate some evidence of a correlation between poor growth and tap water.

    Here is a tank that hasn't seen RO in a decade. Strictly tap water and most recently London tap (which has a horrible reputation). It is kept scrupulously clean. It never misses a water change. Plants are routinely fluffed, preened and trimmed. High flow rates and strict attention to distribution patterns are maintained. CO2 is kept as high and as stable as possible. the tank was dosed with a minimum of 60ppm per week NO3 and 10ppm per week PO4, plus whatever was already in the tap. The GH was typically 15-18 deg (262-315 ppm) and the TDS often exceeded 700 microsiemens as a result of the huge nutrient additions. So this demonstrates that there is nothing inherently wrong with tap and that we perhaps should at least look for other possible causes when faced with poor performance.
    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well Said!

    Well said!;)

    Nice tank!:)

    Biollante
     
  9. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Update: I rehomed 4 Cardinals today, and have 2 of the Assassins and the Bristlenose pending new homes, waiting for the arrival of the new owners. :)

    Biollante: Here I thought Hikari was good? I know in the reef world we have little respect for it though. I do have various marine targeted foods like New Life Spectrum that I could use for the freshwater fish instead. I also have Nori for my reef fish, so I can put that in my planted tank too. I was just worried about Nori adding salt to the tank? The Dwarf Chain Loaches are reeeeeeeally cool! They came as a bonus fish when I ordered Pygmy Cories (they didn't acclimate well and died within a week). The loaches were cool, so I figured I would stock them instead of the Pygmy Cories. They are very active.

    Ellen: Oh no!!! The SAEs grow to 6 inches??? Egads! Hmm...well I guess I will need to find a new home for him too, and will reorder the Amano shrimp. I know my water isn't technically desirable for shrimp, but they seem to do well, so I dunno?

    Wow, thank you for all your advice ceg4048!! Your tank is absolutely gorgeous!

    What do you mean you fluff the plants? I have never done that or heard of it, I didn't know that should be done. I will start. Also, you mention excessive organic breakdown is not good...well I have a TON of dead plant leaves all over the place which is one of the reasons for getting the loaches and shrimp is to eat and stir it all up. My plants seem to shed a lot of leaves when they are first introduced. This is where I thought the phosphate was coming from.

    I suppose I should probably try to invest in a pressurized CO2 system fairly soon here. It really seems like this would fix a lot of the issues. Darn tank always wants money from me! Haha!

    I will clean the filter, I will also start a slow change over back to tap water. Also, I am using a TDS meter to read GH because that's what the Kent bottle says to do. I guess they just mean to use it to when mixing up the RO water. I do have a GH test kit, but I haven't used it much. I also agree that hobbyist grade test kits are notorious liars, and people seem to put too much emphasis on their readings. However, I come from the reef world where our tanks are tested and dosed for many parameters and kits are relied upon heavily. pH is something I have never bothered to test...well not in the last decade anyway.

    I will add more KNO3 and KH2PO4. I will try 1/8 tsp twice a week of each one and watch for results. I was under the impression from reading the EI pages that I should not add fertilizers at all since I don't have pressurized CO2 though?? What concentrations of Flourish Trace should I be using? I'm adding double what the bottle tells me to per week. How do I know if I am using too much or too little? I will change to a better trace mix when this bottle is done, but until then I may as well use it.

    Again, thanks very much ceg4048 for your very detailed response. :)
     
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Didn't I Mention...

    Glad to hear your rearranging your livestock, oh yeah, didn’t I mention the SAE growing to six-inch part? They do grow quite quickly and unlike the mislabeled SAE’s they actually shoal, they do fuss and fight, but as far as I can tell, none seems to suffer permanent injury. They are a lot of fun. Folks not familiar with their sleeping habits often assume they are dead or dying.:rolleyes:

    I used to like Hikari as well; a while back, I was introduced to this bunch Aquatic Eco-Systems: Aquarium Supplies - Food Sticks, hadn’t given it much thought till I saw Tom Barr’s comments on the Hikari versus good stuff. http://www.barrreport.com/general-plant-topics/6080-what-kind-nutrient-shortage-2.html?highlight=spirulina

    I have never measured for, or until now, worried about the salt content of Nori. Thanks, one more thing to worry about! :eek: All kidding aside my fish love Nori, big treat.

    I am going to acquire a group of those Dwarf Chain Loaches, they really do seem special.

    Poor Pygmy Corys, I have noticed a failure to thrive with some of the Cory’s, I have put it down to over breeding, though most of mine I have bred here, I have been fortunate in trading for robust lines. One of the LFS’s I deal with has been having problems with and now limits the lines of Corys they handle. I am gearing up to breed a couple of lines, no Pygmy’s, but I worry I may simply run into, or add to the same problem.

    Yes, we plants love to be “fluffed and preened,” especially the aquatic varieties. You will, should you try find, that many terrestrial plants like to be “fluffed and preened.” I suspect (as in, can’t cite, don’t really know for sure) that in addition to keeping things clean and nice, improving circulation and light to deeper areas, that because aquatic plants have a Prandtl boundary, an area of undisturbed water around each leaf, the active movement may help move gases and nutrients through that ‘unstirred’ area. I think (can’t cite or recall off hand) the Prandtl boundary is the principal reason we jack the CO2 so high.

    Many plants while adjusting to their new homes, shed and/or “melt”; in particular plants grown “emerged,” that we “immerse,” which in fact I believe to be the majority.

    I use and have used Kent products and Flourish I have liked them, I think they are wonderful products for what they are (you gotta know a BUT is coming), but they and most products are a bad source of information, the TDS meter measuring GH is a great example.

    This is just me; I would likely doubly once again the Flourish trace you are using, especially if you are not using some kind of electrolyte booster or RO/DI water reconstituter (not sure there is such a word).

    Again, me, I would go with at a quarter teaspoon KNO3, me, in real life, would likely go a bit more than that

    As long as we are at it, I would mix in a half teaspoon of Epsom Salt, MgSO4, and if you have access to Fleet brand enemas, two or three milliliters for good measure.

    While you are out buying the Epsom Salt and Fleet Enemas (oh, the knowing looks you will get with that combination) buy yourself some sugar a two liter bottle of something you like and some yeast, the cheap stuff will do, until you get a proper system.

    Do the above three times a week dosing your increased level of trace, get CSM+B as soon as possible and you’ll be at a good starting point to begin crying and carrying on about all the trimming and primping and preening you have to you have to do.

    Change half the water at least once a week; we are talking only ten gallons.:eek:

    Being a reef person, I am assuming you mix, aerate, and generally beef-up your RO/DI mixture prior to adding the water to the tank. Right?:confused:

    Biollante
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Myka,

    'Fluffing' is simply gently running your fingers through the various plants. This helps untangle stems and rosettes, and removes any detritus on the leaves. Old leaves can also be removed in this way as they will break off with the contact..

    Just go easy and be gentle.........some leaves can be rubbed gently between the fingers to remove any algae so the leaf may be saved.....

    This can be done several times a week as needed and helps acclimate the fish to you being in the tank.......

    You have gotten excellent advice so far and if followed will help you and your tank in many ways.

    I note that you immediately went back to your test kits after Ceg's long response. Have these at least been calibrated against a KNOWN reference solution? If not, the accuracy of them is suspect at best.

    Basing decisions on faulty or incorrect data is an invitation to issues. I would toss the kits for now and concentrate on observing how the plants respond to your changes. If they have new algae free growth, good leaf and stem formation, etc than you are on the right track.

    Keep at it and be patient as well It may take 4-6 weeks for the tank to really start to get going based on how much the plants have to adapt and regenerate.

    I personally would keep all the cardinals together....16 in a 20 is not too many.

    I have temporarily kept >200 in a 45 gal quarantine tank for 6-8 weeks. However, I did a 10% daily water change and had good filtration and a mature tank. I would not do this long term :)

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    The Bristlenose got a new home today too. So now I'm down to 12 Cardinals, 4 Galaxies, 2 Dwarf Chain Loaches, 3 Assassin snails (rehoming 2), and the true SAE (looking to trade someone for Amanos), and my 3 Crystal Red shrimp.

    Biollante, yes the Dwarf Chain Loaches are really cool! Lots of character. The Galazy Rasboras are also way cooler than the Cardinals, but obviously not as attractive looking unfortunately.

    Thanks for the links regarding the Hikari, I will read them right after this reply. I will start feeding the NLS and nori instead.

    I will start fluffing and preening the plants too, and I will bump up the ferts and trace, but if I get green water you're in trouble!!! :p I will order some CSM+B. I already have epsom salt for the tank, but what are the Fleet enemas for?? Am I able to buy the ingredient some other way...? :eek:

    I do mix the RODI water before putting it in the tank. The Kent RO Right is a reconstituter (haha) and electolyte. I let it all mix up and heat up for an hour or two.


    Gerryd, thank you for joining the topic! :)

    The test kits haven't been calibrated to a known solution. I am quite aware that hobby grade kits aren't overly accurate at all. I do keep a log of parameter readings along with troubles or positive observations of the tank, and I find it useful mostly to compare the parameters' readings to eachother and results from these more than what the actual numbers are.

    I did rehome 4 of the Cardinals yesterday, so now I have 12. Remember I do have the 4 Galaxy Rasboras in there as well. I enjoy them, so I figured I could sub the 4 Galaxies for 4 Cardinals.

    Today is water change day, and I will use some tap water...start the conversion. In the meantime though...I still can't get any bubbles out of the darn CO2 mix. Weird that the tap water won't work isn't it? Grrr.

    Does anyone know why all sword plants in my tank seem to not be doing too well? The leaves get thin and ragged and eventually shed. These have all been in the tank for roughly 3 weeks. They are 'Ozelot', crispus, and tenellus.



    Thanks again everyone for all you help!! I will keep everyone posted as to my results and observations. :)
     
  13. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    I just added 5 mL Trace, 1/4 tsp KNO3, 1/4 tsp KH2PO4, and 1/2 tsp Epsom salt.
     
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Has The Tap Water Killed Anyone?

    The oddity of the whole things is that the higher level of fertilizers (around here “we” include CO2 as a Macro) actually tend to eliminate or mitigate algal blooms including green water.;)

    Seriously, for now forget the test kits; it is fine for working out how things work if you are that kind of masochist (like me:( ) it leads to no good, endless debates, wrong conclusions, drawn from irrefutable evidence. Thousands of dollars in test equipment, consultants bills, and in the end, you dose your plants based on what you see, smell, feel and for some, taste. And, 27 people tell you; “you are wrong, nuts, delusional or just flat lying.” While you stare in wonder at these absolutely gorgeous plant and critters you raised or propagated.:cool:

    This thing with the yeast apparently killed by the tap water seriously concerns me. No family member, animals or such-like have been killed by this stuff, right?

    We are dissolving in ¾ to a cup of sugar into say 1 ¼ to 1 1/2 quarts (or liters) of water, then making sure the temperature of the water is under 110 F (43 C) mixing in ¼ to a teaspoon of yeast, giving the whole thing a good shake then capping, right?

    Most of use KH2PO4 instead of Fleet Enemas, it is however a good quick source of PO4. The KH2PO4 is available from the same folks that will happily sell you the other dry fertz. I like Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - Home about 1/16 teaspoon, in place of the Fleet stuff. You are no fun.

    The plants are adapting, get the dosing schedules going, the CO2, they ought to take off. For CO2 if you have to, using tubing and an air stone (a straw can work) and blow into the tank, I know it is right up there with the Fleet Enemas; and let this one be our little secret! Actually, it is amazingly effective and I now have the instrumentation to demonstrate the efficacy.

    Most of all have fun!:D

    Biollante
     
  15. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Hahaha!! No, no one has died from the tap water! Is it normal for RO to be a poor water for CO2 mixes? Because I can't get much for bubbles there either.

    The mix I use is:

    1/4 cup Roger's white sugar
    1/4 tsp Bakipan Fast Rising Yeast (I tried two different bottles of it, both within expiry)
    1/4 tsp whey protein mix
    1/2 tsp cooking molasses
    1/4 tsp baking soda (I have tried the mix with and without this)
    500 mL water (I tried RODI and tap with no luck)

    Normally, when changing the mix I would save some of the live culture in the bottom of the container and mix it into the fresh mix, this would jump start the mix to produce bubbles as quickly as only 15 minutes. This mix produced MASSIVE amounts of CO2 when I used tap water from a city 1500 kms away.

    I like my test kits because it satisfies the scientist in me. :D The test kits I have are mostly for my reef anyway, but I just use them for my planted tank (yes they are ok for fw or sw use).

    Haha! Well I do have the powdered KH2PO4, although I think I just added too much...? I put 1/4 tsp into my 20 gal tank. No enemas for me! :D I have all NPK in dry ferts, just missing the dry CSM+B. I bought it all hoping to fert my tank, and people all told me "no pressurized CO2, no ferts". So I thought I had wasted my money!
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Whew, No Fatalites

    Yes, Ro or DI water is poor for almost any use until we build them up. However, all the stuff you are putting in should qualify as building up the water. I am perplexed!:confused:

    Glad to hear there have been no fatalities, makes me think the tap water is not the problem. Are there any odd odors associated with the water? Are you using a water conditioner, something that removes or binds Chlorine and/or chloramines?

    Try ¾ cup of sugar, mixed into a quart of tap water heated to 150 F. After the sugar has gone into solution, pour mixture into your bioreactor (the two liter pop bottle, usually). Add a two pints of Tap temperature water, once the mixture is under 110 F, add ½ teaspoon of yeast, I am not familiar with your brand, cover the top and give it a good shake. Humor me.:eek: This should be going within an hour or two.

    For now let the kid in you that just wants a cool tank, plants that grow and fish you don’t kill, overrule the scientist in you. :) There is plenty of time for the other later.

    You do need to get CO2 in that tank and obviously pressurized CO2 is the most convenient, but it has its own problem as well. Ultimately, CO2 is CO2 and for us CO2 is effectively a macronutrient. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  17. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Hahaha!! Not only are you informative, you're quite entertaining! I have nearly spat milk on the computer screen a few times already now!

    Ok, well when I mix up RODI water for the yeast mix I am not adding any reconstituters to it. Just the mix with the 1/2 tsp baking soda. I will try using the reconstituted water. I will also try your idea there, now that would be a science experiment and would satisfy the scientist in me! ;)

    There are no softeners or anything added to the tap water that I am aware of. At least nothing we are adding to it. I can tell you it tastes like crap and smells a bit like a swamp with chlorine purfume. LOL

    I will look at buying a CO2 setup on my next paycheque, but I've really been wanting to focus on saving up for a winter vacation!! Eep! :)
     
  18. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    How Do You Know What ...?

    Swamp smell with chlorine (heavy smell?), tastes like crap, now we may be getting somewhere.:eek:

    Are you on a major water system? Which one?

    Think of yourself as a wine connoisseur of water and use your best descriptive words for what you taste and smell crap, is hard for me to analyze, so many kinds of crap, though you may be closer to the truth then you care to know.:eek:

    Are using a dechlorinator and if so which one?

    If you don't have any electrolytes to reconstitute the RO, go ahead and use about ½ teaspoon of molasses, cut back to a shy 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda and add ½ teaspoon of Epsom Salt to the 1 ½ quart of RO and shake, stir, mix vigorously to aerate. Then make the mixture for the yeast.

    See what happens.

    Biollante
     
  19. Myka

    Myka Prolific Poster

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    Hmm...I just ate dinner, so I think my taste buds would be messed up. I will try later. lol

    I'm not sure what water system we are on. I just moved to the area, so I really have no clue. I know it is city water. lol

    I was using SeaChem Prime as a dechlorinator. I do have electrolytes I could add - the Kent RO Right. I will get on testing that yeast mix, but please give me a couple days. I'm super busy right now, and tired as heck from working a lot of overtime. It might have to wait until the weekend.

    UPDATE: Well, hello algae!!! I got quite the bloom of brown film on the glass today (diatoms I think?), the Cladophora and BGA both continue to grow. Oh, and I notice my Cardinals have Ich. Grrr.

    As the algae gets worse, I am getting closer to buying a CO2 setup!! Eeek! I have a line with a vendor I often deal with, he has a 5 lb cylinder, JBJ regulator, solenoid, needle valve, check valve, and a cheapie ceramic "air stone style" diffuser for CAD$215. After hunting around a bit, this seems like a pretty good deal although I think I would want to replace the diffuser. I have asked for brand names on the check valve and needle valve...I will report back. :D
     
  20. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Definitely use the Kent RO Right. :)

    You must get CO2 into the tank, soonest.

    The pressurized system will make your life easier and the primary problem is CO2.:)

    Just wipe up the diatoms no big deal.;)

    Catch you later.:cool:

    Biollante
     
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