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320l Discus tank, becoming planted !

plantbrain

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ceg4048 said:
[
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.

I'm going with James on this one :woot:

I think it does make some difference.
Try it like this, do one right after the lights go off.
Then try it say 1 hours after the lights go on

See what occurs that night before lights go off(there's a few hours difference due to the timing, but this cannot be helped). I think you'll note much better pearling and O2 levels=> better growth, if you do the large water change right after the lights come on, vs the night before(12-4 hours prior to the lights "on").

Try it and see.

Look, you cannot over do water changes on planted tanks, they can only help right?
Nothing to lose other than some water, cheap ferts, time etc, then you can clean and take care of other nagging chores for the tank/s.

So try it out. I do a 80% water change the day of an open house about 30-60 minute after lights come on, then the folks show up about 4 hours later, hang out, marvel are the mad pearling, I show an LDO O2 Hach meter, they all go "Ooooo, ahhhhh".

Plants take up lots of CO2 direct from the air, and the inter cellular air spaces, or aerenchyma, get filled up, and lots of O2 is also added, as well and a good cleaning of the surfaces and boundary layers, bacteria are all jacked full of O2, so they respire and give off CO2, CO2 system is also cleaned etc, filters, flow, etc better.

Quite a few things going on.

But purely observational test, try it 1 hour after, then try it 1 till the lights go off.
See what you think. You can also try this: crank the light doing what I do for that day, vs trying to do it if you do the WC at night.

Watch and observe close.

This is one reason I started doing larger water changes, they allowed me to grow the plants better than other folks.
I also believed the water quality was higher and better for fish when I did 50% or more weekly.

Try it and see.
Some tap is also loaded with CO2, some less so.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

ceg4048

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plantbrain said:
I'm going with James on this one :woot:

I think it does make some difference.
Try it like this, do one right after the lights go off.
Then try it say 1 hours after the lights go on
But enough of a difference to explain BBA all by itself Tom? That's what I'm having difficulty with.... :crazy:

I'd forgotten about the trapped air spaces though. Good point!

Cheers,
 

JamesM

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plantbrain said:
I'm going with James on this one :woot:
Its not that shocking is it? :lol:

You say to change water 1 hour after lights on, but this would upset co2 balance even more wouldn't it? o_O You've been running co2 for several hours before lights on, slowly building up co2 levels in the tank, lights come on, then 1 hour later you change the water which is going to remove this partial build up before it reaches its peak, meaning the tank will be running with less than optimal co2 levels for however many hours it takes to build back up... :crazy:

The chart Keymaker posted suggests co2 is at its peak after 7 hours, so wouldn't it be better doing the water change before co2 on? You'd then have a good 7 hours for the co2 levels to sort themselves out before bringing on the sun..
 

plantbrain

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ceg4048 said:
plantbrain said:
I'm going with James on this one :woot:

I think it does make some difference.
Try it like this, do one right after the lights go off.
Then try it say 1 hours after the lights go on
But enough of a difference to explain BBA all by itself Tom? That's what I'm having difficulty with.... :crazy:

I'd forgotten about the trapped air spaces though. Good point!

Cheers,

No, I'm focused solely on good plant growth/health, nothing more.
BBA and all algae are secondary to that.

But if you have good plant growth, then algae is a non issue.

Thing is, folks have so so growth, think that is good plant growth, then wonder why they still have algae.
It's not a 100% on/off type of thing, few things are in the world. It's somewhat a continuous gradation.

A graph of this:
http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/images/e ... y_time.gif

But the Y axis would be increasing is "growth" and the X axis would be increasing in algae growth.

Something very close to this non linear relationship.

Regards,
Tom Barr


http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/images/e ... y_time.gif
 

plantbrain

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JamesM said:
plantbrain said:
I'm going with James on this one :woot:
Its not that shocking is it? :lol:

You say to change water 1 hour after lights on, but this would upset co2 balance even more wouldn't it? o_O You've been running co2 for several hours before lights on, slowly building up co2 levels in the tank, lights come on, then 1 hour later you change the water which is going to remove this partial build up before it reaches its peak, meaning the tank will be running with less than optimal co2 levels for however many hours it takes to build back up... :crazy:

The chart Keymaker posted suggests co2 is at its peak after 7 hours, so wouldn't it be better doing the water change before co2 on? You'd then have a good 7 hours for the co2 levels to sort themselves out before bringing on the sun..

I'm not so sure it's at the peak as far as plant demand goes.....perhaps concentration, but the effect on plant growth is what concerns us , not the actually residual ppm. This would be measured as O2 and there's some delay between growth and CO2 and O2 evolution. Build up of O2 also occurs throughout the day like the CO2.

However, O2 reflects growth, CO2 does not.

Once plants start up growth, it takes a little while for the light and reactions to get going fast.
Once this happens, then the draw of CO2 comes and starts to get stronger.

By removing the water and adding air/CO2, you really drive the rates up, and any small algae that might be attached, also falls off much easier.

You can measure the growth differences using a good O2 meter/test.

That's a better metric than trying to measure CO2, that's tough.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tony Swinney

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Thanks again for the replies and info guys - some really interesting thoughts coming out here :D

plantbrain said:
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.

I have solenoids on the COs bottle, I'd just turned them to permanently on about 3 months ago when it was suggested that the fluctuation in CO2 levels over a 24hr period when switching the gas could be causing the BBA. I've tried it on 24/7 and still have the BBA !

plantbrain said:
So try it out. I do a 80% water change the day of an open house about 30-60 minute after lights come on, then the folks show up about 4 hours later, hang out, marvel are the mad pearling, I show an LDO O2 Hach meter, they all go "Ooooo, ahhhhh".

Plants take up lots of CO2 direct from the air, and the inter cellular air spaces, or aerenchyma, get filled up, and lots of O2 is also added, as well and a good cleaning of the surfaces and boundary layers, bacteria are all jacked full of O2, so they respire and give off CO2, CO2 system is also cleaned etc, filters, flow, etc better.

I like the theory on this Tom, and it certainly makes sense to my rather simplistic mind :lol: I'll give it a go - a few logistics to work out, as presently I refill the tanks straight from the RO filter, so it takes a couple of hours if I do a 15% water change. The reason I'm doing 15% is that when that much water is out of the tank, the 2 lily pipes just break the surface a little, thus adding some O2 back in during the time it takes to refill. To do larger water changes faster i need to start storing the RO supply - perhaps this will help more than anything else ???

plantbrain said:
Once plants start up growth, it takes a little while for the light and reactions to get going fast.
Once this happens, then the draw of CO2 comes and starts to get stronger.

By removing the water and adding air/CO2, you really drive the rates up, and any small algae that might be attached, also falls off much easier.

This is really interesting Tom, as it goes against what I (and others) thought about having high CO2 content at lights on. Again it sounds logical to me :D

So I've switched the solenoids back onto coming on at 5am for lights on at 10am, and switching off at 3pm when the lights go off. I'll get some water storage sorted out, so I can try doing a larger water change in a quicker time - maybe 30%, and I'll try it at lights off and then a couple of days later an hour after lights on.

I will report back :D

In the mean time, just in case I'm missing something else really obvious, if you guys could run your eyes over these specs that would be great. I get BBA, and a little GSA, have slow plant growth (with the exception of Blyxa !) and never have any pearling !!!

(These specs are actually for my optiwhite tank, as it has the same setup as the discus tank, but is alot easier to work on so i'll be testing on that)

-200L
-26ºc
-Moderatley planted, and stocked (40 black neons, 12 ottos, 6 SAEs and about 70 cherry shrimp)
-10% w/c daily, presently done automatically through the night with RO water
-2 x 39w T5HO, 10am to 3pm
-CO2 has been 24/7, now 5am to 3pm. Drop checker is lime green throughout the photoperiod
-Eheim 2076 and Tetratec EX1200 filters. 2 x koralia 1’s have just been added too
-Filters are cleaned out every 4 - 6 weeks :oops:
-Substrate is ADA Malaya, and is nealy 1 year old
-Ferts are EI and premixed with RO water:
Sun, Tues, Thurs, macros dosed as follows
11g KNO3
1.5g KH2PO4
5g K2SO4
17g MgSO4

Mon, Wed, Fri, micros dosed as follows
1g Trace

I also add 10ml Easy Carbo or Excel daily, directly applied to the BBA :rolleyes:

Thanks again for any advice. The discus tank is being rescaped in April with the Manzanita I got off you Tom, so it would be great to get a grip of things before then.

Cheers

Tony
 

keymaker

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I can actually confirm what Tom has written - if only for one occurrence. Due to my daily routine I have always changed the water at night. This morning was different though and I went for the pre-lights-on change. Pearling tonight was visibly stronger then yesterday.

Tom, I have one question though. I know it might not be important or relevant, but I would still like to see how and why you got to this 1-hour-after-the-lights on conclusion. Why not change the water just before lights on or 2-3 hours later? Is this just a routine thing that fits your schedule? I speculate you have tried to do it earlier or later, but it did not matter, so you stayed with this?...

I will change the water regularly with the suggested schedule and will let you know... Thanks!!! :idea:
 

plantbrain

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keymaker said:
I can actually confirm what Tom has written - if only for one occurrence. Due to my daily routine I have always changed the water at night. This morning was different though and I went for the pre-lights-on change. Pearling tonight was visibly stronger then yesterday.

Tom, I have one question though. I know it might not be important or relevant, but I would still like to see how and why you got to this 1-hour-after-the-lights on conclusion. Why not change the water just before lights on or 2-3 hours later? Is this just a routine thing that fits your schedule? I speculate you have tried to do it earlier or later, but it did not matter, so you stayed with this?...

I will change the water regularly with the suggested schedule and will let you know... Thanks!!! :idea:

How? Trial and error. Just messed with it and have done plenty of water changes, big ones.
After observing it, then going back and trying a few other routines, I then went and measured O2 levels through the day cycles following water changes. I just settled on this. I do not think there's going to be much difference between say 1-2 hours either way, but if I can maximize that fresh new water and CO2 in the tap, the air, get some growth while the plants have light + air/CO2/O2 while the change is occurring, why not?

This goes back to the beginning of my rational for EI, I knew everything was the same, plenty of ferts since I add them right after the water change, regardless of the time. Light is still the same for all treatments/times. % water changed was the same.

Light/nutrients where identical as best as I could reason.
That leaves only CO2 left.........

Current, air exposure etc, boundary layers etc are all part of CO2.

So I adjusted my CO2 to match this same mad pearling mayhem.
It was 2-3x what PMDD suggested.
Fish where fine.

Still, the CO2 was not producing the same pearling often times and measuring with O2, suggested other things besides just adding more Gas CO2 might be playing a role. So current/air spaces, etc was proposed as potential reasons for differences.

Nutrients are extremely easy (as is light once have a meter) to rule out when you do frequent large water changes.
This leaves CO2 as the main factor. If you really want to drive growth really well, try every other day dose/water change. If you have a light fixture that you can go from say 1.5 W/gal of T5 lighting with 2 bulbs, to 3w/gal with 4 bulbs, try running the 4 bulbs only on the day of the water change. Then return back to low light for the rest of the week. I think most folks will see some differences. I also had high PO4 in my old tap water 15-20 years ago, so I dosed every time I added a water change. Just did not know it till later.

Mostly just watching and then doing that.
Photosynthesis starts up and gets going in 30-60 minutes and is running at full blast, then you hit the tank with a water change. I also leave the lights on during the water change, trim, prune etc during this time.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

plantbrain

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Tony, Blyxa is a frigging weed.
It's also a good indicator, it's growing well, so there's ample light and CO2........for this plant, but likely not enough for other plants. Sounds like your CO2 is roughly 80% there.

Fish turn dark when stressed.

Keep a careful eye on them.
Try needle wheel diffusers, or some other high flow direct CO2 enrichment method.
If it's under powered, it cannot do the job well, get good O2 for those fish(Critical issue and more so if you add CO2).

Blyxa will grow even nicer, do not assume you have perfect or good CO2, unless every species is growing nicely etc.
Balance that with watching the fish closely.

Sediment/dosing seems fine, once plants start growing again/well, new growth, some species take longer than others to respond to good CO2..then trim off the old BBA and start picking away at it, if the CO2/light is balanced right, there should not be any new BBA growth.

I've gone through this process maybe 101 times over 20 years, it's the same old thing everytime, all related to CO2, light drives that etc, so think about that and how to change things to make it easier for you. I've never had it be anything else with many different tanks, my own, other folk's I've helped etc. I'm not saying this is the only possible cause, but it's linked extremely well.

regards,
Tom Barr
 

keymaker

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Can we actually say, that after your "open house" (I just love the English language) morning water change the O2 level in the tank is higher than usual and we actually see the increased pearling due to O2 saturation issues - and it actually has nothing to do with "plant health"?

I know, I know, you would not see the pearling if photosynthesis would not have started, but what if it starts as usual, with the same force, it's just that we see it better...
 

JamesM

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Also, what time do you put co2 on Tom? 1 hour before or more? Tony is going from 24/7 to on 5 hours before lights, I've just gone from 3 hours before to a full 7 hours before lights on as a trial run, obviously this is overkill, but I do love a little overkill now and then... especially if it works.
 

Tony Swinney

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Hi guys and thanks again for your comments, and discussions.

In light of the discussions on here I did a different water change schedule...

5am CO2 on
10am lights on
11am dropped 12% / 25L of water out
Directly dosed excel onto the BBA on rocks and wood
11.15am Refilled 25L of RO/HMA blend water
Dosed ferts and excel to the water column
12 - 2pm the 2nd pair of 39w T5HO tubes are coming on for a burst

I also moved the CO2 diffuser to directly under one of the koralias, so the bubbles now go straight in to the Koralia chamber, get "chopped up" and spat out across the tank, way more efficiently than was happening :D

I know thats a few changes in one go, but I havent been too good at keeping a check on the various tweaks that I've done in the past so this is almost a fresh start, and i'm going to note any changes I make in this journal.

There was still no pearling to be seen today, though the dc did get to a more yellow colour, and the fish were fine. I suspect the 12% WC isnt enough in one go to make a huge difference in the way that Tom is talking about, but 25L is the biggest water container I have at the minute. If this process seems to be making a difference I've found an 85L container I can use, to prepare more RO water and thus do greater water changes.

I'll keep you posted :D

Tony
 

Tony Swinney

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I've been applying these changes to my other optiwhite tank, as that was having the same problems, but is alot easier to work on than this one. The results have been fantastic, and can be seem here:

http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=4402&start=220

Having seen the success of the new regime, I'm starting it on this discus tank too. I did the first 50% water change today, and syringed the BBA with Excel. I also trimmed all the BBA leaves out. I'll update with pics in a few days :)

Tony
 

mlgt

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You could have a splitter that allows the tube that normally runs into the 25l container, thus allowing you to have 50l.

I dont have an auto water change and normally just chuck in a water pump attached to a garden hose.

This allows me to do a water change in 10 mins. I normally do a 25% change every 2 days followed by a 80% water change on Sundays.
 

Tony Swinney

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Well, this tank has been stripped down now and the discus have gone to a new home :( / :D

This is the last shot of the tank:

MUS5231.jpg


and this is where the rest of the flaura and fauna are living until there new home is ready :

MUS5233.jpg



The new journal begins here:

http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=11596&start=0

Thanks to all for your comments and help on this one :)

Tony
 

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