Back from the brink...

Polly

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This year I had to replace my tank after the Juwel Rio125 sprang a small leak, The replacement is a Juwel Primo 110 LED.

Knowing the plants had taken a knock waiting for the new tank to arrive, I decided to take photos of its progression. The Rio had been growing nicely so it was upsetting to see many of the plants looking worse for wear by the time the new tank came.

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this was the tank before the leak, needing some attention, but plants growing nicely

The tank was set up with cat litter as I really hated the way the black sand got caught in whatever glass cleaner I tried to use. Not a problem with the cat litter despite it being much lighter.

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After about a weeks growth in the new set up

I was unsure about the lighting, as one LED Novolux white didn’t seem very much and the stated 819 lumens seemed a little low, but decided to wait and see how things developed.

Once set up, I carried on fertilising as before, with Neutro CO2 and TPN+ All in one solution as per James’ Planted Tank.

Plants were

Cryptocoryne amicorum, C. bullosa, C undulatus ‘Kesselman’
Echinodorus reni
Echinodorus Martii
Hygrophila corymbosa
Hygrophila polysperma
Limnophila sessilis
Salvinia auriculata
Vesicularia dubyana

The photos detail the growth that resulted and I found myself pretty pleased with how the LED light was working out.

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Polly

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Once the tank had grown in, the plan was to gradually reduce liquid carbon dosing and go Low Tech. I’d read on UKAPS forums of some doubt whether Liquid Carbon makes a difference to plant growth and I wanted to be sure before ordering any more Liquid Carbon and possibly wasting my money.

About mid June 2018, with a tank full of well-grown plants, I started reducing the Liquid Carbon dose from 2ml daily (the dose on the bottle) and by early August was no longer dosing LC. All other parameters remained the same – Lighting, Fertilising, Substrate, water changes, feeding. Although the temperature did get a little high here, and I switched off the tank heater/stat until the temperatures returned to normal.

By mid September, it was clear the plants weren’t doing well, some were melting, holes in leaves, leaves falling off, leaves disintegrating, but I kept with the regime since it can take time to adjust. The only plants thriving were Salvinia auriculata. By December, I was buying new plants (Heternanthera zosterifolia,Vallis as I was no longer dosing LC, and a purchase of Microb-Lift Fe as the plants were all looking really pale), instead of harvesting plants as I did back in June. Despite dosing Fe and MGSO4(for the holes in the leaves) the new plants were dying off too and algae was starting to grow better than the plants – even the moss was looking sad.

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Polly

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By New Year, it was obvious that in my tank at least, Liquid Carbon had been making a massive difference. So.. I started looking into which one to buy as my bottle was almost empty and I wanted to do this properly again. No point in starting to dose, then finding that the new stuff is vastly different and hasn’t been factored in.

I went to my ‘local’ MA and found some Vallisneria nana which was about all they had that was suitable so bought that, the original Vallis having disappeared without trace.

Since Vallis has always melted in my tropical tanks, despite thriving in the Fancy Golfish tank which had coarse sand, a teaspoon of coral gravel was added to the filter sponge, not enough to show any change to pH/kH/GH. LC dosing began at half the stated dose, in the hope that it wouldn’t melt the Vallis too quickly. Two days later, I spied some Limnophila aromatica which wasn’t doing brilliantly, having not been fed over Christmas, but got it for peanuts. I also bought a bottle of Microbe-Lift Bio CO2 (humic and fulvic acids) my thinking being that this is what naturally occurs in freshwater rivers in Rio Parana/Rio Paraguay where most of my fish originate.

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White tops to the Limnophila aromatica, caused by no feeding at the shop over Christmas, never mind, it's already showing signs of adapting. All the white parts died and were cut off.

08-01-2019 Dosing began with the Microbe-Lift Bio CO2 daily in addition to the old LC at half dose, and I continued with my original Ferts and water changes.

I’m also adding half a teaspoon of Mag Sulphate a month as all the plants looked anaemic and our water report is devoid of Magnesium.
 
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Polly

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3-2-2019 Things are growing nicely already and new growth is present on the Limnophila aromatica

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The Vallis hasn’t melted at all despite the LC and Bio CO2 ! In fact it’s looking good and putting out new runners as well as growing thicker. So it looks like a teaspoon of Coral Gravel (Calcium Carbonate) is just what it needed. After 3 weeks the L. aromatica has shed all the damaged and anaemic stems/leaves and has lots of healthy new growth, but still looks sparse. The Limnophila sessilis is growing again and has been cut back and replanted. The Echinodorus martii has reappeared and is growing leaves, as is Echinodorus reni - I thought they were dead! The moss is starting to put out green shoots again, but it may have to be replaced, cutting it right back hasn’t helped get rid of the brown dead looking stuff. I have about 25ml of LC left and after that, will just be using the Bio CO2. It will be interesting to see if things continue going well, or there’s another dieback.

20190303_111716-2656x1494.jpg
3-3-2019 growing in nicely and the L. aromatica is showing slow but healthy growth, the Vallis is sending out new plants as well as getting longer and thicker.

Plants today -

Cryptocoryne amicorum, C. bullosa, C undulatus ‘Kesselman’
Echinodorus reni
Echinodorus Martii
Hygrophila polysperma
Limnophila aromatica
Limnophila sessilis
Salvinia auriculata
Vallisneria
Vesicularia dubyana

Conclusions

In my tank, without injected CO2, LC was making a massive difference. Definitely not a waste of money IMHO

Vallis seems to need added Calcium carbonate, at least in my tank. Without it, it melts rapidly, with calcium carbonate it’s thriving.
 
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alto

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Well done :)

Glutaraldehyde is well documented (various scientific journals etc) to breakdown in water releasing CO2 in the reaction (I posted links in another thread) so I’m not sure where the notion that it does not contribute to CO2 in the water column originates ...

My personal experience with Seachem Excel and Tropica Vallisneria spiralis ‘Tiger’ - Sera Floredepot and fine gravel substrate, Tropica fertilizer (their original brown liquid ;)) and daily/weekly Excel - never showed any signs of “melt”
I removed Vallisneria runners weekly and significant amounts every couple months ... removing at least half of the Vallisneria which was intent upon total tank domination :eek:

Note my tap water is very soft
 

Polly

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Hi alto,
I read on the Glute thread and a few others, that there seemed to be no evidence that Glute was doing anything, I also read your posts, but with so much dissention, I felt it worth documenting. I couldn't find any other scientific papers to read online, maybe my search terms were wrong, or maybe I lack persistence to get past Google's shopping results - even typing in (-shopping, -buying) etc doesn't get rid of the pages of shopping/buying results :( So.. i decided to test for myself whether Glute was making an appreciable difference. My results were clear - as documented. And pictures are worth a thousand words.

I haven't been able to grow Vallis of any species since getting rid of the Fancy goldfish and coarse sand of their tank - and yes! Tank domination is a good description of how it grew - the Goldies loved it, and it made a great place for breeding activities, surprising how many eggs survived and hatched, but that's another story ;). But after that, it melted no matter what substrate, including soil under sand. And regardless of Ferts and No Glute/Glute - Until now!

I think it's probably the Coral gravel making a difference, my water is very soft and the teaspoon of coral gravel won't have altered things by much, but seems to have made enough of a difference that the Vallisneria nana is happy :)

I'll keep taking photos as the change over happens, so others will know whether the Microbe-Lift Bio Carbon is likely to work. Again, trying to find any account of it's usage is difficult, when all that comes up is 'shopping/buying' results :banghead:
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
Vallis seems to need added Calcium carbonate, at least in my tank. Without it, it melts rapidly, with calcium, carbonate it’s thriving.
I think it's probably the Coral gravel making a difference, my water is very soft and the teaspoon of coral gravel won't have altered things by much, but seems to have made enough of a difference that the Vallisneria nana is happy
It does well low tech, low nutrient in our tap water (~17dGH/dKH and about 600 microS), but just melts away in rain-water (about 120 microS and less than 4 dGH/dKH).
White tops to the Limnophila aromatica, caused by no feeding at the shop over Christmas...All the white parts died and were cut off.
It is iron (Fe) deficiency, iron isn't mobile in the plant, but the deficiency may have occurred some time before the plant made it into your tank. The pale leaves can't recover, but the new growth that have grown in your tank is fine, so it isn't a lack of iron in your tank.

cheers Darrel
 

alto

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scientific papers to read
try Google Scholar - that should eliminate the sale hits

There are papers I’ve found/read awhile back - without much apparent effort - but then re-finding them is beyond my patience ...

There’s an amazing “liquid carbon” tank journal on ukaps somewhere - aquascape and plant growth are outstanding ... I’m still hopeful that I’ll find it again someday
 

Tim Harrison

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I think it's probably the Coral gravel making a difference, my water is very soft and the teaspoon of coral gravel won't have altered things by much, but seems to have made enough of a difference that the Vallisneria nana is happy :)
I think it probably did. I've grown all sorts of plants in peat capped with coral sand; vallis can synthesise carbon from bicarbonates so it could have made all the difference especially in soft water.

I think glute/LC definitely improves plant growth and health, it's just not as efficient or cost effective as fire extinguisher CO2 is all.
 

Polly

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Thanks alto, never thought of using Google Scholar, which is odd since i use it regularly for other things :banghead:

Thanks too for the heads up re the Liquid Carbon tank in Journals, I'm off to search for it :)

Tim, I'm happy to take the hit for Liquid Carbon, whether it's Microbe-Lift Bio Co2 or Neutro CO2 Liquid. Using the latter, over 2 years, it cost me a little less than £21 for my Rio125, and now the Primo 110 LED.

I can live without the high light/high maintenance etc of a CO2 injected tank, as long as the tank looks good and the plants and fish are happy, then I'm happy :)
 

AlanRR

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Hi all, It does well low tech, low nutrient in our tap water (~17dGH/dKH and about 600 microS), but just melts away in rain-water (about 120 microS and less than 4 dGH/dKH).
I am just about to order plants for my new aquarium and was considering some of these and also some shrimp. My water is very soft out of the tap (150 uS), do I need to add something to increase the hardness? If so, Would coral sand or shell grit be enough?

Thanks

Alan
 

dw1305

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alto

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alto

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The irony is that I had finally allowed an IOS upgrade (no one nags like Apple :meh:) after ukaps had done some upgrades which started the whole ‘not quite compatible’ issue ... now it seems a permanent state of affairs :rolleyes:
 

Tim Harrison

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:mad: that I can’t embed links anymore after stoopid IOS change :banghead:
Not sure if this is what you are referring to, since I'm a complete Luddite, I'm using mac OS Mojave 10.14.3.
To link I write the reply, highlight the text I want to change in to hypertext link, click the link button in the toolbar and paste the actual link address in the URL box and click insert. Job done...
To embed, say a YouTube video, I just paste the address straight in to the reply box, no other jiggery pokery needed.
 

alto

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Yes, that used to all work, now any attempt to highlight specific text falls on non-existent IOS ears
I’m lucky if I can manage to manoeuvre within the post box for more than some undetermined (set?) time or perhaps its number of characters ... even the cursor disappears to sometimes return or never return
:confused:
 

Tim Harrison

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Crikey, that's not good...I ditched my Windows computer because I was spending more time wrestling with it than actually using it. I thought Apple was the answer, your experience doesn't bode well :confused:
 
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