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Troubles with EI method

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by plantmaster, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    Hi all
    Ive been reading these forums for some time now trying to learn how to grow nicer plants without much luck.

    All my problems started when i started the EI method, before this i was using the complete flourish line (except exel) and dosing according to there guide, plants were growing nice and green and fast . After running out of flourish products i decided to change over to dry ferts and dose according to the ei method with bad results.

    The main problem im having is with new growth especialy on my hygrophila poly, the new leaves are growing completly yellow and it gets worst as it gets higher to the lights,to me it looks like an iron difficienty however im dosing loads of iron?

    My set up is a 4 foot tall tank 90 gallon with 4 t5 lights on for 12 hours. I am using high pressurise co2 diffused into dupla reactor , also using a drop checker with 4kh soulotion showing a yellow greenish coulor, filtration is done by a canister filter and i have added a power head to ensure good water movment.

    My dosing is as follows, 1 teaspoon of kno3 3 x week ,1/3 of a tespoon of kh2po4 3 x a week, and 25 mls of sechem flourish 3 times a week. At the end of the week i do a 70 percent water change and add 20 grams of seachem eguilibrium witch raises my gh to about 5 and add a bit of Seachem Alkaline buffer to raise my kh to about 5 .also dosing extra seachem iron 15 mls 3 times a week.

    What am i doing wrong? all i can think of is my tap water is somehow toxic?
     
  2. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    [​IMG]

    new growth from top is always yellow , new growth from bottom of plant is green
     
  3. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    What days are you dosing what? I'm not sure if it's an iron issue, but I've read that one of the reasons to dose your traces on off days is to make sure certain ferts don't interact in odd ways. If you're dosing all at once you might be locking up your nutrients in chemical reactions that turn them into something the plants can't really use. I'm sure someone else will chime in and correct my poor wording but hopefully the idea is right.

    -
    S
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Do not add the Seachem Alkaline buffer, use baking soda,. much cheaper.
    I do not manipulate my KH. I'd leave it be.

    A dupla reactor on a going to need about 300-400 gph flow through to do well in a 90 gal tank with 4 x 54 W T5's.

    Run the lights for 10 hours only.
    No need for more than this.

    Some plants, this one included, will change color as they grow faster and are no longer limited. CO2 issues are most common because the limitations are address for nutrients and if there's ample light, then all you are left with is CO2.

    Do not place too much trust in your drop checker.
    Watch the plants and the reaction and try very slow and progressively, add more CO2.

    Do not rush.
    Adjust then watch the tank for a bit to make sure fish and plant response is okay.

    Watch outflow and current in the tank and see if you can get better mixing.
    Try CO2 mist via a diffuser disc, add more flow through the reactor etc.

    If this plant still grows well, fast, but just has a color change, it might just be due to increased growth rate. If not, then look at the CO2.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Is this not a normal occurrence with many plants as they get closer to the light?

    AC
     
  6. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    Thanks for the replys I really need alot of help with this tank something is seriously wrong here, i get no pearling at all but my co2 seems fine i have 4 bbs and fish have slowed down abit i have tried to upper the co2 before and my fish start to stress ( hide in bushes and gills move faster)

    I dose my npk and traces on different days so i dnt belive there is any perciptation

    Tom im not sure if your thinking of another dupla reactor i have the dupla 400,
    the dupla seems to be getting good mix up of co2, when i up the flow rate into the dupla the bubbles get thrown out of the bottom

    before my ei dosing this palnt grew green even closer to the light it was green,
    another change i have seen is i get no algae at all

    something is wrong with my tank my plants are not happy

    I was thinking i might have high amounts of copper in my tap water but thats just a wild guess, i have herd high copper can cause fe and k lockup
     
  7. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    [​IMG]

    nice and green before ei

    [​IMG]

    1 week into ei and hygophila started to melt could of been my dosing as i was still using some left over flourish products, but can you see how the leaves are one tone and green ? and now there looking like veiny ,not smooth looking and not one tone of colour.
     
  8. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    also it dosent grow straight up like before, now it grows sideways
     
  9. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    I didn’t see this posted, what is your EI routine and what are you dosing? Also if you’re driving 200+ W of light you absolutely need to make sure your CO2 levels are perfect.... If not the tank is going to go down the drain... Besides EI change is there anything else you have done since you switched from the flourish line?

    One thing that comes to mind, are you using 100% RO or Tap or a mix? Also if you are using tap have you ever looked up your local water report? You may need to add booster.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The dupla 400 is for maybe 50 gallon tank or so, you need the S reactor, better yet, simply use the DIY dual venturi design here in the article section, cost about 10-15$ tops.

    This will improve things and allow a higher flow through rate for the reactor.
    These look nice etc, but in/out lets are tiny.

    So there's no way to get enough water through a small 400.
    The S cost a lot more, but if you can do some pretty basic gluing with PVC, you can make something better for 15-20X less.

    Regardless of what other changes you make(either way), this will help a lot.
    Plants will grow sideways more rather than shoot straight up as they get more nutrients and CO2.

    You do not add CO2 at night, correct?
    Don't.

    You should be able to add more CO2 without having the fish suffer at all.
    So do not add it at night, find some way to have more CO2 and flow through the reactor, consider a disc diffuser etc/DIY reactor, make sure there's some surface movement/current also, low O2 + high CO2 is bad, you want high CO2/high moderately high O2.

    So you lose a little bit of CO2 by having the surface movement, but it's easy to add more CO2 if you have a higher flow rate and a better reactor.

    The 400 is not suited for such a large tank with this much light.

    Not enough capacity to handle a large tank.
    Inlet/outlet hose sizing is too small also.

    Try the DIY version and run the extra powerhead through this at about 300-400 gph.

    So you had algae, prior with Seachem dosing, and now you do not dosing dry ferts?

    As wild as Dingo;)
    Ask the water company, they should be able to tell you.
    If you live in an older home, you might have copper plumbing.

    Copper does not block anything, it just outright kills plants at higher levels by destroying disulfide bridges in enzymes.

    From your descriptions and statements about no algae, color changes in leaves etc, I'm not clear on what the issue is. I see nothing odd etc with the pictures.

    I do know that with a tank this size and with the lights, it's likely the reactor you have is very under powdered, adding more flow will not solve that, so a different CO2 method is more likely a better solution. It should help you overall and allow you to add more with less stress to the fish.

    It might be something in the tap, but not likely.
    You can add Activated Carbon for a bit to check.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    Some good news i think

    Today i rush down to the my local pet shop and brought a over price seachem copper test kit, i quickly ripped open the box and test my tap water from my back yard and the result was 0.5 to 0.6 of copper , i tested the front yard tap water and got 0! i repeated the test sevral times and got the same results.

    Now my question, is 0.5 enough to hurt my plants?

    Tonight i will do a 70 percent water change with my front tap water .

    Also looking at that diy reactor , my dupla 400 will be sadly missed i have owned it for over 8 years

    http://www.sydneywater.com.au/Publications/Reports/TypicalWaterAnalysis.pdf#search=%22sydney%20water%20analysis%20calcium%20magnesium%20sodium%22
    heres a link to sydney water analyis, my tap water comes from the prospect plant and it looks good , going by this report my tap water has 11.8 to 17.1 of calcium and 4.6 to6.02 of magnesium does this mean i dnt need to add gh builder?
     
  12. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    Just 1 more question Tom, you mention that you dont alter or kh ?The kh from my tap water is around 1 to 2 , if i dont use a buffer my ph will go down to around 6, 6.2...wouldnt this ph be too low ? how would the plants react to this low ph?


    Tom you said that you see nothing odd in the picture but these 2 Pictures were taken 3 months ago. one was taken before EI dosing and the other taken 1 week into EI dosing , my plants today look like... well shit . the very first picture I posted was taken the same day. For some reason the plants look healther in the picture than what they really are.
     
  13. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    kh of 1 or 2 is too low. I belive the lowest you want that # is 4. The plants could care less about ph, they may even like the lower ph as it promote better nutrient uptake, the fish are going to be the ones that feel it. A low kh = low buffer ability = large ph swing = possible dead fish.

    Also the look of the plants cannot be related to the EI unless you have it all wrong. There are hundreds of people on this forum who use EI and have no problems. I do agree the plants look much different in the pictures but there must be some other reason.
     
  14. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    Im not blamming ei at all, my problems began when i started ei, im blamming high amounts of copper which is introduce with my large water change every week
     
  15. plantmaster

    plantmaster Lifetime Members
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    I Just would like to know if the high copper in my tap water can cause my hygrophila to look burnt and stunt my roatalla cause my amazone sword to to look stragly and melt my chain sword.
     
  16. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    this would be somethint tom or the like would need to answer, i would like to know the same as my water report says i have .51ppm out of the tap.
     
  17. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    This was widely believed up until a year or two ago. Then more and more people began to use low to near zero KH water and found no bad effects from it. In fact some plants do better with low KH. One mistake people make is believing that the pH will drop much too low, giving them a strongly acidic water, if they have near zero KH. That will not happen. Water will not dissolve enough CO2 at the temperatures we run our tanks at, to lower the pH below 4.5 even at 20C, with a 1dKH hardness. At the higher temperatures we use, water dissolves even less CO2, and the lowest pH we can get from that CO2 is even higher.

    pH changes due to CO2 addition don't harm fish. We test this every day when we turn on our CO2 when the lights come on. If we have a good CO2 system, the pH will quickly drop by 1.0, but the fish pay no attention to that. When we harm our fish with CO2 it is by suffocating them, not by hurting them with acid water.
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    GH seems fine, copper is not.
    If that test kit is correct, you likely have copper pipes in the back.
    Use a carbon or Fe pre filter, yes, this will remove Cu as well. 0.5ppm will kill plants. Generally, 0.4ppm will kill algae. 1.0 ppm or so will kill plants, as herbicides go.

    Less will not kill some plants, might kill some.
    Same for algae.

    The dupla reactor is pretty small. You can sell it BTW and get some $ back. Or save for another tank.

    The disc are easy to use and fun to watch also, same for the DIY but they tend to be larger and ugly. You need to run water through them also. I've tried many methods for CO2, mostly in effort to better understand CO2's role.

    All work and can work well.
    But it's easier to simply add more via disc vs a reactor that's small.
    You already have the energy via pressure in the tank to push the gas into a mist.

    It's also something in the tank that's nice and you can watch/keep an eye on.
    Same for reactors etc in some cases.

    But the main point is that you need a larger flow rate, larger reactor to run this large 90 Gal tank with 200+ watts of T5's.
    No matter what, this will help you more than any one thing.

    You can get by and do okay by running less light, say 108W for 5 hours, then the other 2 bulbs for 5 hours, you could limit PO4, which slow growth and thereby slows CO2 demand. But the problem is not excess PO4 etc, or too much light, it's poor CO2.


    Regards,
    Tom barr
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Copper tends to simply melt plant tissue, little stunting occurs.
    Crypts tend to be very tolerant of copper.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I think I figured as much, but it's hard to tell from the picture also.
    So I had to ask.

    See above for KH responses/answers.

    I have a KH of about 20ppm, so a hair higher than 1 degree.
    I've never had any issues.

    Fish, shrimp, plants etc.
    Sounds like good water, which is tough to find in Oz.

    Just use the no copper source there.
    Most likely from pipes.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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