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Water Parameters and plant adjustments

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by samh, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    Hey guys,

    I just re-vamped my tank by adding some new soil (Up-aqua soil). before my kh was 4.5dkh after i added the soil it got down to just below 2dkh which was expected. I've since bumped it back up to 6dkh.

    Just noticed the plants have stopped pearling and some plants showing smaller crowns. Is this the plants just getting used to the new conditions or me not re-adjusting the co2 levels properly? Some plants have kinda stopped new growth.

    Is there a buffer period plants undergo when presented with a sudden change in conditions? Particularly hardness based?

    I notice that my plants were growing nicer with my previous conditions at dkh4 and gh4 to now at kh6 and gh5 it's still early as it was onlt changed 5 days ago, just want to check before i wreck something.

    Sam
     
  2. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    You should do a water change or series of water changes to get rid of whatever you added to increase the KH. Then let the KH fall wherever it may. As long as it is 1 or so, you should be OK.
     
  3. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    I was just trying to raise it to keep the ph around 6 if possible. So as long as kh is above 1 it's ok? I might just add my normal amount of kh raising stuff that i normally put in and see how that goes.
     
  4. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    I have soft water ( < 2 dKH and dGH ) and I don't add anything to increase the KH. I do add either GH Booster or Equilibrium to increase my GH.

    As long as you have a little KH you are OK.
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I agree with LeftC as long as there is some level of KH you should be fine.

    Stunted tips are generally a sign of poor CO2.
     
  6. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah I was thinking that because the kh changed I just haven't altered the co2 correctly in accordance. I'll get it all going at once soon. Although co2 is the hardest factor to get right still. Trying to get the levels right is hard because in the morning the co2 demand from the plants isn't as great as towards the end of the day. But if I increase it to much in the morning the fish get stressed
     
  7. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Are you using a pH controller, samh?
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    getting the right level in the morning can be achieved with a timer starting 1,2, or even 3 hours before the lights. I have recently changed mine to 3 hours since I didn't feel the levels were adequate at startup. You should see a gradual rise of CO2 levels over the course of the day with a good bubble count. I've found that I cannot increase bubble rate because I reach the upper limits for my fish too soon, but if start it sooner I hit the right area and my supply meets demand throughout the day without stressing fish.

    This variation occurs in natural systems as well.
     
  9. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    @ left c, yeah i am mate, i have it set so that it turns off when the fish start to gasp and thats set during the middle of the day when the co2 demand should be highest...?

    i should try going off a bubble rate and slow it down so that the co2 is on all day... The timer is set 2 hrs before and normally reaches it's end in an hour it's hooked up to a controller.

    Sam
     
  10. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    Ok i went back through my system, have raised the lights somewhat, approx half a foot, to which the light is approx 28" above the substrate. I'm trying to improve co2 always.

    I've now got the co2 reactor and mist on 2 hrs before lights on, when i wake up i turn the reactor off and the co2 from the mist keeps the ph at a constant level, if it gets to high the ph controller will click the solenoid off, it does this maybe once, twice max.

    Trying to get a higher co2 ppm, where to next?

    I have light surface rippling, though it doesn't happen over the whole surface, should it?

    Also i was wondering if the tank is 28" high and 24" wide (48" x 28" x 24") 500L / 130g, will the height affect o2 saturation in regards to surface area and volume?Which could be causing the fish to gasp earlier than they should?

    These are all i can think of so far, please feel free to advise me of anything else that may need improving.

    The unshaded higher stems of ammania gracilis will have twisted new leaves, lower ones don't. Limnophila aromatica still has melting lower half of leaves completely though top half looks perfect...
    Nesaea pedicellata is the only other plant to show similar growth to ammania gracilis, but not nearly as bad, only 25% of those stems show the deficiency.

    ???
    Sam
     
    #10 samh, Jul 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2011
  11. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    I have considered the surface area to volume issue with O2 before. I am assuming it would effect gas exchange. Gasping tends to be caused by CO2 however. CO2 competes with O2 for binding with hemoglobin. High concentrations of CO2 inhibit binding of Oxygen (this is over simplified but the general idea). My tank is a tall tank with a lower surface area to volume ratio. I run an airstone at night to oxegenate the water. I have read it also helps with removing wastes through improving bacterias metabolism (increased O2). CO2 is tough to get right and takes some practice. Make small adjustments. If you insist on the pH controller I would use it more as a safety net for the pH at which fish begin to show stress. A steady decline of Co2 is okay over the course of the day. I generally shoot for a 1 degree drop with my CO2, say from 7.5 to 6.5. No pH controller needed.

    Twisted new leaves are probably a deficiency. I have been having the same problem with my hygrophila corymbosa and believe in my case it is a calcium deficiency since it did not ocurr prior to using RO water. What is your GH? If it is low you may be low on Ca or Mg. You can add a GH booster to remedy this, if it is the case.

    I think a slight surface ripple is fine, you do not want too much or you will degass CO2.

    I may be wrong as I'm not the expert many here are, but I believe lower leaf shedding on stems is a lack of light in the lower sections of the tank. I have found height to be more of a problem with lighting than CO2 and O2.

    Do you have some way to check your CO2 readings? a drop checker? not the most accurate tool, but with standard kH readings it can give you something to compare your pH readings to. Maybe give you a better picture of what is going on with the CO2.
     
  12. samh

    samh Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah i've increased the light surface rippling to the whole top of tank, which meant i was able to drop the increase the co2 and drop the ph on the controller maybe .1 degree.

    I also run it so the mist is constantly running in the tank which seems to be improving the plants.

    I tested gh which was 5, although i don't completely trust it, so i dose 1 tablespoon of equilibrium at water changes to i definitely have some calcium and magnesium in their to avoid deficiencies, how high can GH go?

    I just test co2 with the ph controller - drop checkers were always yellow 0.5 degrees before the fish start to gasp. I had stopped co2 when they were green and plants melted in a couple weeks ;)

    Plants seem healthy atm though. touch wood
     
  13. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    You can increase the surface rippling and crank up the CO[SUB]2[/SUB] a bit too. This will give you more O[SUB]2[/SUB] and CO[SUB]2[/SUB] in the water. O[SUB]2[/SUB] and CO[SUB]2[/SUB] can both be dissolved in water separately and independently of each other. Water can be 100% saturated with both gases, but you surely wouldn't want to have your aquarium 100% saturated with CO[SUB]2[/SUB].

    You are saying that you are running your CO[SUB]2[/SUB] 24/7? You don't need it at night. Increasing the surface movement and/or adding an air diffuser to run at night plus increasing the CO[SUB]2[/SUB] level should work better. Your fish will have more O[SUB]2[/SUB] and your plants will also have more CO[SUB]2[/SUB] plus you won't be running your CO[SUB]2[/SUB] when it isn't needed. I have my CO[SUB]2[/SUB] come on 3 hours before the lights turn on and it cuts off 2 hours before the lights turn off. Your mileage may very though.

    Some people have very little surface movement with pressurized CO[SUB]2[/SUB]. This leads to both a low CO[SUB]2[/SUB] level as well as a low O[SUB]2[/SUB] level. You can't crank up the CO[SUB]2[/SUB] because the fish are not getting very much O[SUB]2[/SUB] anyway. It's a dilemma doing it this way. Why not crank up both the surface movement and add more CO[SUB]2[/SUB]? Be sure to tune it. You may find that with the increased surface movement, you may be able to have a lime green color 4dKH drop checker and happy fish too.
     
  14. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    I did the same thing a few days ago and by 6am when the lights come on the CO2 levels are almost perfect. Btw, the CO2 goes off 2 hrs before the lights go off.
     
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