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Urgent: CO2 to non CO2

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by jonny_ftm, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    My 12gal tank in signature, DSM started with earthworm castings for 4 months and now in water since 10 months:

    - Low light at 0.9 wpg (11W PCL)
    - CO2 misted at 48 bpm
    - TPN 3x 2ml /week, DTPA 3x 0.1ppm /week
    - NO3 8ppm twice/week, PO4 3x 1ppm /week and K 3x 5ppm/week
    - 60% WC /week with RO + CaCl2 + MgSO4 (GH 4 and KH < 0.5). Tank parameters are GH 4 and KH 2

    It looks +/- like this now

    [​IMG]

    It is a complete success, no algae, never cleaned a glass...

    The problem is that my CRS are having a very hard time to establish. Many losses after WC each time. I can try increasing KH to make less PH fluctuations and so that the water changed and the tank parameters are more similar, but I doubt it will help with CRS (they need stable conditions)

    I decided to try a "stable" setup, that is less fluctuations and interventions:

    - maximum of 10% WC /week
    - CO2 stop it or target a lower bpm to add some stability compared to non CO2
    - keep low light at 0.9 wpg
    - less dosing

    I hesitate to move completely to non CO2, no WC.
    A new stock of high grade CRS are coming next week :confused:, no way to delay it (great deal on price/quality)...

    I have to strave the tank abruptly from every thing: CO2 and ferts. Hopefully, growth will be slower and no algae blooms

    I need some advice on how I did step down yesterday:

    - CO2 turned down from 48 bpm to 20 bpm
    - I will start a 10% WC /week, starting next week after I add the CRS
    - ferts: once a week, 1/4 of the weekly dose I'm adding now

    If things go fine, maybe no CO2, no WC and ferts / 10-15d

    Do you think I'm doing it all wrong? Tom suggested once in another post that my setup is doing so fine with so low light because of the CO2. If I stop CO2, he suggested I could need higher light. Just unsure about it. I'd be sad to see the tank invaded with algae and kill my shrimps with my interventions

    Also, the Anubia never showed a black/green spot. Do you think that moving that way will lead to unavoidable anubia classic infestation?

    Any expierienced help will be welcome

    Thank you again for reading this long one
     
    #1 jonny_ftm, Aug 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2010
  2. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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    The only thing I would advise is increasing your KH to 4 and don't change anything else.
    CRS aren't that fragile. I do one and sometimes two 50 % water changes a week and dose N at 10 ppm, P at 3 ppm and K at 10 ppm. I don't specifically feed the CRS or do anything specifically for there benefit except, putting a sponge over the filter input. My tap water is usually at a KH of 5 and total hardness at about 130 ppm. The CRS live with about 22 Cardinals and 10 Hengels Rasboras and out produce their ability to eat them. Even with the sponge on the filter intake I still will find at least 6 CRS living in my Rena XP2 filter, nice red and fat.

    Increasing the KH should keep the PH more stable, all though, I'm not so sure that is entirely important. I definitely can't find anything else in your routine that would be a problem.
     
  3. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Maybe too simple, but why not keep using CO2 and no WC's or just 10%? The only thing you have to keep in check are your nutrient levels.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  4. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    This would be my vote. Just keep an eye on your levels and if they get too high, lower your dosing a bit to keep things in check. I've done full blown EI dosing on the high side and not doing the water changes before on some tanks for as long as a month but I don't recommend going quite that long.

    Also, since you're dealing with a relatively small volume of water, you could use a 5 gallon bucket or similar for water changes. Fill the bucket and try to match the replacement water parameters in the bucket to the tank first so as to minimize the fluctuations. You could also try mixing the water from the tank and the bucket to further reduce any changes. Something like filling the bucket halfway and then finish filling with tank water and then mix it up a bit and then refill the tank.

    -
    S

     
  5. ibanezfrelon

    ibanezfrelon Guru Class Expert

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    Wow , that's a beautiful tank!
    I'm a little confuzed with this ;
    ..wouldn't a non co2 tank require even lower light?
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    No, in this case you would need more light without CO2. Because of the CO2 addition and the uptake is easier for plants, they can "focus" more to the uptake of light. Without CO2 you could very well not get any growth at all in this case. So it seems like the LCP of plants is lower with CO2 than without.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  7. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Thank you all for the input,

    Well, going same CO2 levels, no WC or 10% WC is a no go on the long run. Plants growth won't change and could go the nutrients limitation way easier. Also, keeping same plants growth with lesser WC could give too catabolic products accumulating in the tank. I'm sure that this will give algae, already tried it on other tanks. No WC is better with no CO2 as I understand it because of the slower growth and plants metabolism

    Stopping CO2 with same extreme low light is what Tom warned me. He suggested increasing light in that case. Sadely, I never discussed it more and now he's on holidays. But, as Dutchy said, it seems due to the plants being able to focus on producing enzymes/pigments to gather all the low light. If CO2 is no longer non limiting, they'll have to spend too much energy producing enzymes to gather light + CO2 ---> no growth. I don't want to increase light in my case

    That's why I thought at this hybrid method: lower stable CO2, less nutrients dosing, less WC volume

    Today, at 16bpm CO2, plants were pearling heavily, so it looks fine. I'll keep an eye to adjust dosing. But any other suggestions are welcome. Really I hope the anubia don't get the usual spots in few weeks...

    @hbosman : I think you're confusing RCS and CRS, aren't you? CRS does very fine in near 0 KH, like most fish and invertebrae..., but that's not the subject of this topic
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Should Work

    Hi Jonny,

    I think hbosman was making a point regarding pH stability by raising the alkalinity to 4dKH. :gw

    The issue here is not whether the CRS or any other creature can survive at 0dKH, but how to keep the water changes from killing them. I know that pH is taboo here so I will stay away.

    Shoggoth43 and hbosman offer two methods of keeping the system “as is” with CO2.

    I also realize the subject of alkalinity (or lack thereof) is a passionate one for you. :)

    Be well my friend, you will do well whatever you choose. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  9. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Biollante,

    You mean I should stay in a non limiting CO2 injection while only reducing WC and dosing? That way, I could move to a nutrients limiting situation if I'm not too prudent...

    Also, that way, as you point it, I could be obliged to increase KH. As you well noted (you remmber the long passionate debate on KH/PH I see :D ), I don't believe in PH swings affecting living stocks, but in certain proportions, not extremes. In my case, I could be on the extremes however. Overall, I'm not too much tempted to modify my water parameters...

    Finally, I think my living stock is suffering from high CO2, maybe PH swings and volume of water changes especially for the CRS.

    A lower constant CO2 injection would be possible in your opinion? It will "simulate a low tech but with constant CO2 permitting small waterchanegs... at least that's how I see it.

    Also, my biggest concern is the Anubia. It's the first time I never saw any spot on an Anubia. I remember Tom insisting on CO2 level for this. My CO2 injection was very high (misting at near 50bpm on such a small volume with tons of microbubbles everywhere and a high flow). With lower CO2, is it possible to keep Anubia as nice?

    Many thanks all of you
     
  10. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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    Yes I was confusing CRS and RCS, my bad. But the point I was indeed, trying to make was increasing KH to 4 would help stabilize things so you wouldn't have dramatic changes during water changes.
     
  11. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    That's what I thought. Believe me, CRS are really much sensitive than anything else I ever tried. I personally know a few people breeding them with great success: stability looks to be the key. No WC or very very low (about 10%), most people (asian breeders) have very low KH and GH but some get nice success at higher KH, PH and GH, low light (they increadibely fear direct light), few ferts, some have good success with stable low CO2 injection.

    So, globally, the common point most agree is: stable, the least changes in tank. KH, GH, PH, CO2 look to be less important

    Now, I'm just afraid of the no CO2 root because of Tom warning about my very low light. But never read anything about low CO2, less WC...
    Anyway, I'm trying it right now and will let you know how it goes
     
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    You Made An Impression... A Good One!

    Hi Jonny,

    My personal advice is do what you wish, I cannot help thinking what a beautiful tank you have, you are the one who really got me going on the dry start method. :)

    That KH/pH debate gave me a lot to think about and started me on quite a bit of experimenting. :D

    Yes I would stick with the pressurized CO2and stabilize things with at least 2dKH. I would back off, as you may know I am not a fan of “misting,” I think it is wasteful and potentially harmful. I would stick to an outside reactor and certainly back off to the 30-35ppm range. :)

    I am far more a fan of fully dissolved CO2 prior to introduction to the water column. The possible exception would be for tanks oriented around primitive plants such as Riccia.

    I think your Anubias should do all right, I keep them in jars and tubs and things without any CO2.

    The thing I have found with Anubia generally is once an alga gets going; it is almost like a compromised immune system. Anything I do with them I try to do very slowly, they resist change. I had some Nana which is a hardy plant growing and doing just fine in some ridiculously low light, so me being, well me, I move things around so they can get a little more light, maybe 35-40umol, it took months for them to adjust. I thought one was going to die on me! :eek:

    Be well my friend… :cool:

    Biollante
     
  13. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Biollante,

    Many many thanks for all your compliments :eek:
    I'm the first one surprised with the state of my tank following Tom advices on DSM and CO2, despite a tendency to lower dose my ferts (not for algae, but hating the idea that my fish swim in ferts, even if it "shouldn't" harm them and also to spare TPN/ferts)

    I see you also promote adding KH and staying with same CO2 levels. The problem is that I'm quiet sure that it is a no go without the weekly high WC volumes. On the long run, even plants should suffer as their "invisible diluted excretions" accumulate. Also, remember, my soil seems to be doing some buffering as end KH is around 2 despite the low KH of the water used for WC

    My conviction for CRS is to reduce WC volumes to 10% maximum. In the "no CO2 method", plants will run at 5 ppm CO2 ---> slow metabolism and no WC needed.
    Now, in my setup, Tom suggested that light was a major limiting factor. Growth is indeed, despite high CO2/ferts, very slow. Reducing CO2, in my logic, should give me the stable CO2 level we have in the no CO2 method (maybe higher, but stable) without the fear that WC will make CO2 levels fluctuate too much thus promoting algae. The 10% WC is to limit any potential accumulation on the long run ensuring a stable system after some weeks of 10% WC

    So to sum the alternatives:
    - Same CO2, increase KH and 10% weekly WC seems for me a no chance of success on the long run because of rather fast metabolism stimulated by CO2 levels
    - Same CO2, increase KH and keep 50-60% WC: I'm sure CRS won't be happy by these volumes
    - No CO2 method and no WC: very hesitant since Tom warning about my low light, and I don't plan increasing light
    - Same low light, low but constant CO2 misted + 10%WC --> my actual way. I'm sure Tom tried it with all his experimentations. Hopefully, when he's back, he can give his advice about the way I'm following
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I do 50% WC's with CRS high grades every 2-3 days.
    Never lost one.

    I think this can go either way.

    Non CO2 will work well for CRS's however.
    You can also do like my ADA 60p with emergent growth, mist the tops of the emergent plant leaves with a general plant fert.
    Do all the water changes etc you want.

    Non CO2 however is different with submersed species, these do best with no water changes.
    Adding some wood etc and tannins source is good for all shrimps.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. cannibal

    cannibal Prolific Poster

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    now i'm confused, sorry for asking, but my logic says to me, that more light without adding co2, gives more place for algae..i hope that you understand what's the point of my question..
    sorry for gramatics
    dario!
     
  16. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Many thanks Tom for the feedback
    They breed also?

    If yes, then maybe it was my CO2 too high with low KH and very important PH swings or even acidosis/carbonarcosis... I'm very consistant with all other parameters.

    Just another question Tom:

    What about my actual methodology: lower but consistant CO2 misted, 10% weekly WC, ferts 1x/week?
     
  17. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    Well, CO2 move to 12 bpm
    10% WC /week
    No more macro dosing
    TPN 1ml/week

    Riccia was completely rescaped under a net and showed the growth in photos after 2 weeks only. No algae ever came. Only some Anubia in the darkest parts melted. So, as Tom stated, some plants, with lower CO2 couldn't do it in such low light, but only the ones under that big moss in the middle (the black dark part you see in picture)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #17 jonny_ftm, Sep 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2010
  18. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Some news: Anubia is showing some black spots on its leaves, as I was fearing. Otherwise, all other plants are growing like before, just slower. No algae. No BBA also despite low CO2, low NO3 and low PO4 (NO3 and PO4 at 0 with test kits). Organic soil is helping here, except for mosses. They don't seem to care about NO3 and PO4. Maybe very low levels is enough for them.

    Rotala Wallichii is the only one that couldn't make it with low CO2 (I assume it is not an NO3 and PO4 issues at it has roots in the organic substrate)

    CRS did very bad sadly, they're slowly dieing despite my efforts. RCS on the other hand are ok. I decided to revert back to EI, high CO2 + 50-60% weekly WC. That way I can get back my Rotala W. and especially avoid the spots on Anubia

    I assume that in low CO2 setups, Anubia is hard to maintain perfect like I did for quiet one year.
     
  19. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi, just some feedback: Anubia responded really badly to my switch. Still trying to get it back like it was, no way. Trimming and keeping on WC+EI and good CO2 with mist.

    Could be caused by a treatment with flubendazol, I should never have done. All my snails died (+100), putting a high load of pollution in tank and causing a surface film to appear since 2 month now where I never had issues with it before.

    Except Anubia and some spots of BBA, no big issues, but just not the extreme perfection in plants health it was before.
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    People not using CO2 well in small nano tanks is the reason, not the pH or any of that baloney.
    Larger tanks are more stable in this regard and folks rarely keep fish in CRS's tanks, so they gas their shrimps basically instead of fish.

    Poor CO2 management.

    Kills many things, causes lots of algae......what else is new.
    I see no issues with your methods.
    But CO2 in a small tank can really build up.

    Just be careful.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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