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Variable plant growth experience

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by Ian H, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Overall I feel that my plant growing skills are improving. I've not bought any new plants for nearly 3 months now. In the main the plants are growing vigorously without any noticeable algae, apart from a little persistant brush type. The Mexican oak leaf is always going 'bananas' although sometimes an odd leaf will melt.

    However, some plants are not showing the growth that I would expect. In particular the bacopa which is stunted with small leaves and very slow growth. The carpet plants are not doing much but I think that this is down to the substrate rather than nutrient deficiancy.

    I am not using the EI method as I've an aversion to changing more than 25% of the water at any one time. I am dosing KNO3, K2SO4,Epsom salts and traces on a regular basis but not as heavily as EI due to my smaller water changes.

    Any ideas guys?

    Ian
     
  2. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Check the CO2 and here...sounds like something isn't right.

    Why are you scare of doing more than 25% of wc? I have been doing 70-80% weekly water change with EI dosing and critters are doing well with no issues at all. Consider doing 50% weekly water change and dosing more frequently base off the amount of light over the tank. That eliminates the nutrients part from the issue. CO2 is the biggest thing and will nail most people at some point of the time.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
     
  3. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Thanks Peter, I think my CO2 is fine at 33ppm (Kh7,Ph6.8) measured mid lighting period of 12 hours duration.

    The water changes don't scare me, and I don't doubt the theory and practice behind it but I have a nasty tendancy to do things my own way. Plus I bucket the darn stuff, not got around to getting the Python thingy yet.

    Ian
     
  4. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Ian, you could set up a bucket brigade with your neighbors on water change
    day :D Carpet plants like the light, is this the tank that has the new lighting? How much light is that per gallon?

    Cheers,

    Bill
     
  5. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Yes it's with the new PC's at 4.5 watts per US gallon. Should be enough. :)

    BTW phosphates are at 1.5ppm, nitrates at 20ppm the only thing I think could be lean is calcium, my Gh is 8 but as I'm in a soft water area most of that will be added magnesium I think.

    Ian
     
  6. Wö£fëñxXx

    Wö£fëñxXx Prolific Poster

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Maybe I missed it, but what size tank?
    Bump the C02 up more, bump P04 up another .5 or so, add more trace..
    That's alot of light, the above will be needed. Plants will love you, algae will hate you :D
     
  7. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    I think you call my tank a 20 long over the pond,30"Lx18"Hx12"W. I've now raised the CO2 slightly at your suggestion, although I feel that 30ppm should be OK. I will try to increase the traces but I'm reluctant to go too far as I have shrimp and I don't want the copper levels to raise too much. For the PO4 I'll feed the fish a bit more. Thanks for your suggestions.

    Ian
     
  8. fosteder

    fosteder Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    A 20 long is 29 x 12 x 12 .....it is actually only 18 gal.

    Your volume is around 28 gallons, so I suppose it is called a 30.
     
  9. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Yes you are right...................I've never really calculated it correctly before. Allowing for the substrate and tank top airspace I have about 23 US gallons of water in the tank.

    Just to add to the confusion, as I was looking at a google conversion chart I noticed that US teaspoons are bigger than UK teasoons. :confused:

    Ian
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    As you get more and more light what happens?
    More uptake(up to a saturation point).

    Keeping a relatively good balance and stable ppm ranges becomes increasingly difficult as you add more light.

    This is why a non CO2 tank can get only fish waste using low light to add all the plant's needs essentially.

    I'll say this 10000 times before I die, more light is not better.

    You can do 25% water changes or two 25% a week or whatever you chose.
    You will also have less control and need to rely more on test kits or have a good eye at knowing what deficencies/overdosings are occuring by plant health.

    That's your choice. If thinjgs get away from you, do the 50-60%. Then go back to 25%.

    If you wish to run the tank at optimal levels(not always a goal), the larger water changes will help. 2-3x a week will really amp a tank up for algae removal or whipping it into shape for a contest.

    Some folks, most, would rather balance the water changes, piece of mind, ease of the routine(able to do it each Sunday etc) with less error.

    I suggest weekly 50% because it's fairly easy to have results no matter what the issue and avoids testing, something that not anyone I've met yet got into this hobby to do.

    Also, with tap like that, the 2x a week 25% would be perfect with a good fish load.

    Shrimp and traces: how's 10ml to a 10 gal tank sound? That's 4x the needs of a 6 w/gal tank full of fast growing stem plants(5 mls 3x a week in a 80 liter tank)

    So the shrimp will be quite fine, there's not much copper in there:)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Thanks Tom, I'm well aware of the fast changes related to high light CO2 setups. I've been caught out a couple of times, luckily each time I do learn a little. Major changes are afoot and my existing tank (29 US gals) will become a Walstad style cherry shrimp breader. The new one will be at least 4 times the size, which should give me more scope, and no doubt further challenges.

    I'm just wondering if I've got my trace mix strong enough. Currently I use a UK trace mix similar to CSM+B but slightly weaker on the Fe side. I have made a mix of 2tsp to 250ml and dose 1xtsp(5ml) every other day. Is my base mix OK or do I need to increase it or the dosage. Bare in mind I normally do 25% water change per week.

    As to the water changes I am thinking of getting a small pump to mechanise the process somewhat. I did consider the Python system but with a pump I can preheat and dose from a container.

    Ian
     
  12. ervis

    ervis Junior Poster

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience


    Giggle. He said "shrimp breader". Ya'll gunna fry up some o'them buba shrimp?

    giggle'
    steve
     
  13. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    OK breeder is correct. Took me a while to understand your point there Steve..............It's been a hard day. :)

    Hmmmph! No one picks on Tom for his spellers. :D

    Ian
     
  14. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    :) ian h, it is a good idea to have a container for your water changes. i have a 28 gal plastic container that i fill,heat and areate then pump into my tanks. i also have stationary siphons on all my tanks, this makes water changing a pleasant chore. at least a 50% water change is a must, plants like it and so do the livestock. you would not like swimming around in your own waist! :) regards,cornhusker
     
  15. chubasco

    chubasco Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Cornhusker, I don't think Ian has a choice of whose waist he swims in :D
    Hopefully the malaprop checker will be up in a week or so...all in good fun,
    Stuart :D

    Bill
     
  16. Ian H

    Ian H Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    I have no choice but to swim in my own waist, water waste is another matter though. :)

    I am working on an automatic tank refresher, it's becoming more important if I get the 350 litre jobby I'm after. Even a 20% water change on that is quite a few gallons ( especially US ones ) :)

    Sorry but I don't believe that 50% water changes are a must at all.

    Ian
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Variable plant growth experience

    Yea, they do, garrulous Trolls tossing cans of spam at my head.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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