320l Discus tank, becoming planted !

JamesM

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Tonser said:
SteveUK said:
I think Tony's using RO/tap mixed if memory serves?

Yep RO / HMA mix on both tanks. The water changes arent the problem either - the discus tank automatically disposes and replaces 50L (approx 18%) of the water every day, whilst the optiwhite automatically changes approx 15% of the water everyday.
I cant automate the filter cleaning :lol:

Tony
By doing this though, you are upsetting the balance of co2, so you should make sure no light is getting to the tank and the w/c is done a good three or 4 hours before lights on.
 

Tony Swinney

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I was thinking that James. The water drops out a midnight on each tank though, and takes about 2 hours to refill. The CO2 is always on, so its back to lime green well before the lights come on at 10am.

I've spent this weekend and last, doing major clean outs of both tanks, as they'd got pretty bad when I was a way for January. I trimmed out all the plants with BBA on and removed any gravels with it on too. The redmoor in the optiwhite is covered in the stuff, so I'm gong to do a blackout on the starting tomorrow to kill it all off, then start the new regime of filter and tank cleanliness and see how it goes.

Tony
 

Garuf

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If you've got bba in the optiwhite then personally I'd use excel and dose it on the bba and nuke the stuff.
It sounds like James has hit the nail on the head with the WC though! Do you have solenoids you could possibly use to see if that helps?
 

Tony Swinney

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Yep I did just that today Garuf - Excel'd the BBA on the redmoor., but theres so much of it, and the tanks a full of cherry shrimp I have to be careful with the Excel, hence the blackout plan.

I've got solenoids on the CO2's, but I've been running them 24/7 lately on a lower flow, as I find it keeps the DC colour more consistent. Whilst the water change introduces an amount of "non CO2'd" water, it happens several hours before lights come on at 10, infact the DC's are back to lime green by 7am.

Tony
 

JamesM

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Tonser said:
I was thinking that James. The water drops out a midnight on each tank though, and takes about 2 hours to refill. The CO2 is always on, so its back to lime green well before the lights come on at 10am.

I've spent this weekend and last, doing major clean outs of both tanks, as they'd got pretty bad when I was a way for January. I trimmed out all the plants with BBA on and removed any gravels with it on too. The redmoor in the optiwhite is covered in the stuff, so I'm gong to do a blackout on the starting tomorrow to kill it all off, then start the new regime of filter and tank cleanliness and see how it goes.

Tony
You want to try to do any water changes before lights on, not after lights off :thumbup: I got in to that mess when designing with an American client who kept me up all night working. I found it much easier to do w/c after lights off at around 1 or 2am, but it just went from bad to worse. Going back to 10am w/c's really helped.

I personally think it will be hard to shift with a black out as its such a robust algae. If its just in one or two places spot dosing Excel is great, but otherwise you want to overdose the entire water column with Excel (watch the fish of course) just before a water change. Leave for a while then do the w/c and add a normal dose of Excel as per after water change instructions.
 

Garuf

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Yeah, I found black outs didn't really work, excel and elbow grease got rid of it ultimately. That and upping PO4 dosing. BBA is such a hardy algae, alongside rihzo it's the hardest to kill outright.
 

JamesM

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Think of co2 like a drug. After a full day wasted in the clouds on far out hippy stuff, plants will have one hell of a shock if you take away their super duper dope man. You need to ween the plants off the co2 slowly, then hit them with it again the next day.
 

Tony Swinney

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JamesM said:
You want to try to do any water changes before lights on, not after lights off :thumbup: I got in to that mess when designing with an American client who kept me up all night working. I found it much easier to do w/c after lights off at around 1 or 2am, but it just went from bad to worse. Going back to 10am w/c's really helped.

Hey James. Thats interesting - any idea why it worked better at 10am (assuming automated systems) ? I would have thought that putting the fresh water in and giving it enough time to become CO2 rich before lights on would be more important ?

Thanks for the BBA thoughts, I'm just concerned about overdoing the Excel with the cherry shrimp in there.

Tony
 

JamesM

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Tonser said:
JamesM said:
You want to try to do any water changes before lights on, not after lights off :thumbup: I got in to that mess when designing with an American client who kept me up all night working. I found it much easier to do w/c after lights off at around 1 or 2am, but it just went from bad to worse. Going back to 10am w/c's really helped.

Hey James. Thats interesting - any idea why it worked better at 10am (assuming automated systems) ? I would have thought that putting the fresh water in and giving it enough time to become CO2 rich before lights on would be more important ?

Thanks for the BBA thoughts, I'm just concerned about overdoing the Excel with the cherry shrimp in there.

Tony
Read the above post bud :thumbup:
 

Tony Swinney

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Haha, we got a bit out of sync up there !

I'm still not sure I follow it though :oops: :? Once the lights are off (4pm) the plants arent using CO2 anyway, so I change 15% of the water between midnight and 2am, then the CO2 keeps pumping in until lights on at 10am when the plants start using it again. I dont get why doing the water change just before lights on in the morning should be better, but would like to understand it :D

[EDIT] or are you referring to using the solenoid, thus switching off the CO2 around lights off (4pm) so theres a gradual decrease through the night, along with a water change, then switching it back on a couple of hours before lights on to get it back up to level for the new day ?
Tony
 

keymaker

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JamesM said:
Think of co2 like a drug. After a full day wasted in the clouds on far out hippy stuff, plants will have one hell of a shock if you take away their super duper dope man. You need to ween the plants off the co2 slowly, then hit them with it again the next day.
This is something I would also be interested to know more about. :idea:

If we take Tom Barr's measurement with the CO2 levels dropping hard right after the solenoid off / lights off moment then one would argue that doing water changes short after the photoperiod would not do any harm, as after the quick drop of CO2 levels water changes will not affect the environment - as far as carbon is concerned.

Looking at this you can see that CO2 level is practically at zero only 1 hour after turning the injection off.

CO224.jpg

(this is Tom Barr's image)

Obviously if there is some light getting to the tank and the CO2 is on 24 hours/day than you have a different situation.
 

JamesM

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I had it explained to me perfectly once, but can't find the message! Grrr... how the comparison works with 24/7 co2 and ro water with slow fill etc. vs timed co2 and tap water I'm not sure. But plants will continue to use co2 for a period after the lights go out, then they eventually start putting out co2. Change the water before they've finished their fix and plants wont respond well. Unhealthy plants is an open invitation for any algae.

Clive is your man for this one bud as he solved all my problems with BBA within a few days. The 'Brickscape' was covered in the stuff for a while there :lol:

Keymaker, I could very well be totally wrong bud, but this was how it was explained to me and it did solve my problem almost immediately. I'd love to know the exact causes for BBA too, as its been a right thorn in my side. I'll get the damn stuff in my low tech no water change tank after simply topping the water up. I've even left water stand for 24 hours with the same result :crazy:
 

plantbrain

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Add more CO2 slowly and consistently, provide good current to prevent gassing fish, use less light to provide max wiggle room with the lower/upper bounds. Buy really good equipment and dual stage regs, good valves etc.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

ceg4048

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Like Tom says, injection rate/flow will be the key. No surprises there. It just doesn't sound reasonable that a one or twice a week water change can induce the staghorn/BBA. I also can't imagine that it matters what time of day you do the change. If tank water is being replaced every day with low CO2 content water, then injection rate adjustment will also resolve this I think. The instability would have to be a long term daily occurrence to cause these issues. Plants in a basically good CO2 environment can deal with some short term irregularities like water changes, no doubt about that. This implies that your CO2/flow is fundamentally sub-par to begin with. This is true even for the 24/7 junkies.

One really cool thing about Toms chart is it tells solenoid users exactly when to turn the lights on. :clap:

What you might be able to do to get some idea this is to add Excel at water change time to compensate in part for the CO2 drop off.
I didn't have the energy to trawl though all 16 pages but lighting might be a factor here as well. I know at least a few of you guys to be sneaky Klingons. Are you using advanced thermonuclear gamma ray photon weapon technology above the tank (as some are wont to do)? :rolleyes:

Cheers,
 

Tony Swinney

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Morning all, and thanks for the replies guys.

ceg4048 said:
What you might be able to do to get some idea this is to add Excel at water change time to compensate in part for the CO2 drop off.
I didn't have the energy to trawl though all 16 pages but lighting might be a factor here as well. I know at least a few of you guys to be sneaky Klingons. Are you using advanced thermonuclear gamma ray photon weapon technology above the tank (as some are wont to do)?

Hi Clive, the lighting is 2 x 54w T5HO tubes from 10am to 4pm daily. I'm still wondering what is the best time to do the water change though ?

From the above posts, if I do it too soon after lights off, the plants wont like the sudden CO2 drop (its only a 15% wc), but if I do it too close to lights on, the CO2 level will be low when lights come on. This is why I have it at midnight as I thought it was a good balance between the 2.

Tony
 

mlgt

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Tonser said:
Hiya

Yep I dose daily, with an all in one fert. I doubled the original dosage to take into account the 50L (approx 18%) daily water change. Its a formula I am still tweaking, as I do get BBA forming on the older anubias leaves, and roots.

Tony

Interesting. doubling the dosage as well? Although I dont run co2 right now, but how does this affect the dosing cycle?

If there is no change, but you are dosing double I may try this and round it closer to maybe a 250l calculation and up my water changes to daily.

I know probably LondonDragon will frown at me, but wanted to give the fish better water quality as I have noticed their behaviour over the last 2 weeks since adding another filter and dosing the ferts.

Possibly could be that I am running another filter to mature quicker and now have around x 15 filtration for the tank?
 

ceg4048

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Tonser said:
Morning all, and thanks for the replies guys.

ceg4048 said:
What you might be able to do to get some idea this is to add Excel at water change time to compensate in part for the CO2 drop off.
I didn't have the energy to trawl though all 16 pages but lighting might be a factor here as well. I know at least a few of you guys to be sneaky Klingons. Are you using advanced thermonuclear gamma ray photon weapon technology above the tank (as some are wont to do)?

Hi Clive, the lighting is 2 x 54w T5HO tubes from 10am to 4pm daily. I'm still wondering what is the best time to do the water change though ?

From the above posts, if I do it too soon after lights off, the plants wont like the sudden CO2 drop (its only a 15% wc), but if I do it too close to lights on, the CO2 level will be low when lights come on. This is why I have it at midnight as I thought it was a good balance between the 2.

Tony
Hi Tony,
Well that lighting seems pretty reasonable to me mate. JamesM had mentioned to me that he saw an improvement in one or two of his tanks when he altered his water change schedule. This led him to the conclusion that the time of day was a contributing factor. The problem is that he had also made several other changes over the period of a few weeks along with an adjustment to the change schedule. So it's difficult to draw any conclusions about a particular variable when other variables are not held constant. Additionally, some responses to environmental changes are either not linear (i.e the change in output is not proportional to the change in input) or occur over time - for example you can do something today and not see the results that are directly related to what you did for a week or more.

So really, although I'm not doubting James' observations, I guess I'm not convinced that the time of day for WC should play a significant role.

Photosynthesis is divided into two major sub-systems called Photosystem I and Photosystem II.

Photosystem II occurs first and is light dependent. In this phase, light strikes the chlorophyll which starts a chain of events that splits water and liberates Oxygen (pearling lives here). The ionized Hydrogen is use to power a factory that produces a stored energy compound called ATP (Adinosine Triphosphate - PO4 haters please take note!).

Photosystem I is called the Calvin Cycle which requires a lot of energy. It uses the stored energy of the ATP to "fix carbon" from CO2 and to use the Carbon to build a phosphate sugar called 3GP.

For a long time, it was believed that Photosystem I doesn't require light, so I think that might be why the idea that CO2 is used in the dark may have arisen (and in a way that's not far from the truth). The thing is that if there is no light then there is no ATP production from Photosystem II (which is light dependent) and so Calvin Cycle grinds to a halt.
The enzyme Rubisco lives here. Remember Jason Stratham as The Transporter? Well Rubisco is The Transporter of CO2. The amount of Rubisco is finely tuned to the amount of CO2 that the plant senses, but because Rubisco is a huge, complicated molecule, it takes days or even weeks to produce proper quantities. So if the plant senses, say, 30ppm CO2, it tries to produce enough Rubisco to Transport 30ppm of CO2 to the Calvin Cycle reaction chambers. If you then reduce the CO2 level to 20ppm then the plant has just wasted it's time and energy, now has to reduce the Rubisco levels, and the system starts to sputter. This is where BBA is triggered.

So if CO2 levels are stable, the Rubisco production/content is also stable (even if the CO2 level is low and stable - as long as the lighting is not too high).

When you do a water change on a CO2 injected tank, the transient CO2 level is so short lived that it does not trigger a response in the plant to revise the Rubisco production because on average, the sensed CO2 level is stable. The plant just carries on.

A continuously modulating CO2 level is a different story, so as Tom mentioned, the quality or performance of your equipment may be suspect. Imagine a needle valve or regulator that does not deliver a constant gas flow (or even an undetected modulating solenoid). A slow modulating gas delivery period could actually approximate the instability of a pH controller - remember those debates? Do you run your CO2 bottle down to empty? The cylinder valve's delivery may perform poorly at low content levels. That's why I prefer larger CO2 cylinders - more time at stable gas delivery performance before the CO2 content bottoms out.

These are just things to think about. I'm not saying these are certainties, just that we would be seeing a heck of a lot more BBA if it were dependent on what time of day we do a water change. You know me mate, I'm a lunatic and I've done water changes at all times of the day, 2 or 3 time a week even - and we're talking massive changes, you know the ones where the fish are on their sides flapping about? And I've not seen this phenomenon, so I reckon that if the water change timing is a factor, then it must be in combination with some other factor or factors.

Cheers,
 

plantbrain

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JamesM said:
So when is it preferable to do a water change, Tom? Before co2 on, or after co2 off? And what about running co2 24/7 like Tony does?

I do it about 1 hour after the lights come on, then the tank jams all day.
I add prime/dechlor/EI ferts, rich on Traces/PO4 etc, the tank is mad pearling at the end of the day.

The plants get going, then a massive water change, then plenty of ferts and CO2.......= good recipe for mad growth.

I never run CO2 24/7, I think this outright cruel.
Amano would tell you the same thing, "it's Taboo" in Japan to do so.

***Stressing the fish*** during the rest of the 14-16 hours of the day does no good for the fish and respiration.
Maybe you do not care much about it, maybe the O2/CO2 is okay during that time frame for the fish you have, and perhaps the light is low, so the CO2 demand is also low, less stress to fish as well.........still, I think given the species I keep, I am very unwilling to waste CO2 refills 3-4x as much, stress my fish any more than need be, simple solution to fix.

During the day cycle, the plants add plenty of O2 and the CO2 is removed by the plants so it does not build up, this allows you to add more during the time it's needed with less stress and risk. Chronic high CO2 is not really natural it varies daily in aquatic systems. Same for O2 at least where high plant biomass is found and there's always a bunch of fish in the plant beds.

For some of the debates I've had with some claiming how bad EI dosing is for fish, I find odd few bother with CO2 with the same fervor :rolleyes:

It might not matter in some cases, I agree with that, it might be simpler for some, but if you use a gas tank, buy a solenoid, the cost on CO2 refills should pay for itself a few times over, and allow more management wiggle room during the light cycle with less stress to all fish.

It's better on many fronts.
Not just because I or Amano say so, I do not think Oliver or Claus, Troels or Ole would disagree either.
Given a choice.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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