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cloudiness with all in one solution

a1Matt

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I get no cloudiness in the bottle that holds the allinone solution, but as soon as it goes into my tank it is very cloudy indeed.
I understand the cloudiness is iron\phosphate precipitation and that lowering PH in the solution by adding Vit C will help prevent it precipitating in the bottle.
So I am going to increase the amount of ascorbic acid that I have in the mix and see if that helps stop it precipitating in the tank (starting by adding 1 more gram, effectively doubling it) .
Just thought I would check on here for any other feedback first.


Full details in case it helps....

The mix is as follows (measured to nearest .1g).
1litre deionised water
1.1g E300 (vit C, about a year old, but kept in dark cupboard entire time)
0.5g E202 (Ascorbic acid, also a year old and kept in dark)
10g AE trace.
34g NO3
12.6g K2PO4
11.5g Epsom salts

I added E300 and E202 at double James site suggests (as it is 1000ml not 500ml)
The fert levels are simply 20 days worth (50ml into 1L) of what I would normally add when dosing dry powders

It goes into the tank like this
I am drip feeding 50ml into my tank over a 2 minute period via a peristaltic pump.
The tubing is placed above the water level and drips into the tank directly in front of the spraybar outlet.
As the solution hits the water - the upper half of the water column instantly becomes cloudy, also with lots of white flecks. I also immediately see a film on the water surface.

Tank stats
160L.
0.8wpg T5.
inert gravel substrate
No Co2, minimal water changes
 

a1Matt

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I left it as it was for the first 2 days just to see if it would go away of its own accord... no chance. Still left with cloudiness and the film. The cloudiness does not get progressively wore, but the film does.

Skimming newspaper over the top of the tank is a good temp fix, but that destroys one the big positives of auto dosing allinone which is to save time!

The bigger issue is not getting the full benefit of all the iron and\or phosphate reaching my plants.
 

JamesC

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If the solution in the bottle is remaining clear then everything there sounds as though it is working as it should. Adding more ascorbic to the solution won't affect what happens in the tank. 1g of ascorbic and 0.5g pot sorbate are good amounts to use in 1 litre.

I can see straight away why you are having problems an the main reason is not having CO2, but there are other reasons as well.

You have hard water and therefore highish pH. By not adding CO2 you aren't lowering pH to stable levels for chelator. This causes chelator to break down once in the tank and react with PO4.
Ascorbic acid does two things. It lowers the solution pH and also reduces the iron (III) chelate to iron (II) chelate. It's this iron (II) that is released from the chelator that rapidly reacts with mainly the PO4 in your tank to form the insoluble iron (III) phosphate.
If you are running a non-CO2 tank why are you adding so much in the way of ferts? You are adding 6.5ppm NO3 and 2.8ppm PO4 daily which equates to 46ppm NO3 and 20ppm PO4 weekly. You only need a fraction of this on a non-CO2 tank and especially if you are doing minimal water changes. Your PO4 levels no doubt are extremely high which is why you are having such clouding issues.
10g of trace is also quite an amount to use. I use 5g of trace in 1 litre and dose 40ml of that to a 200 litre tank.

In conclusion I'd say that perhaps this dosing method isn't in it's current form isn't really suitable for a non-CO2 tank. It may work if you reduce the dosing levels considerably.

As a side note I tried using different trace mixes and have run into problems. So far the only one that seems to work really well is the trace mix that Aqua Essentials sell.

James
 

a1Matt

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That makes good sense, thank you so much for a detailed reply.

It has triggered a couple more questions, I hope you do not mind bearing with me while I get my head fully around it all...

I appreciate I may be on a hiding to nothing, but I will lower the levels of my ferts and try from there. It can't hurt to try!
I figured an easy approach to this would be to simply add more water to the allinone solution I have already made -
does diluting it by x4 sound like a good starting point? I guess it would be best to wait a few days for existing fert levels in the tank to drop first.

Also, I have been musing with the idea of changing my substrate to ADA aquasoil and using RO water in my tank (rather than gravel and tap water). Could that potentially solve the problem of PH levels being too high for the chelator to remain stable? If so is there a max PH\PH range I should be shooting for?

My reason for going RO would be to lower KH to make it more suitable for keeping delicate shrimp. I am just at the musing stage for now, so have not got specific KH levels in mind, or what I would reconstiture the RO with, how the PH would change over time with no regular changes etc. I would do a lot more research before diving in. I just want to gather an understanding at this stage.
 

JamesC

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Ideal pH of tank is around the 6.0 to 6.5 mark. EDTA and DTPA chealtors don't do too well in hard water and greater than pH7. I've never really spent much time with non-CO2 systems but when I did I never bothered with any macro dosing and just used to add traces with possibly a bit of potassium. You could try dosing the DIY TPN+ solution that I did and dose at recommended Tropica levels. This could be done by adjusting the amounts to suit your pump dosing.

You may still have a slight clouding issue though, but with a much reduced PO4 level things won't be anywhere near as bad. Often people with hard water find that the have to use iron HEEDTA chelators, but I've tried these with an all in one solution and it didn't work. So if you do still have clouding issues then using RO could be an option. Seems like a lot of extra work though.

James
 

a1Matt

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I'll make up a fert mix as per your DIY TPN+ (version 3) recipe and start dosing it at Tropica levels from Monday.

Going the RO route seems like a lot of work to me as well, if I went that route it would be for the shrimps sake, with the added benefit of it assisting the chelators along the way.

Thanks again for your help and support, it is invaluable.

I'll post back here as and when I have any feedback on how things are looking, hopefully to say all is going well and give details for the benefit of everyone on the forum (as opposed to hassling you further!) :)
 

a1Matt

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Thought I would post an update for this thread.

James earlier posts brought home to me how much I was overdosing my tank (considering I am not doing water changes, if I was going EI it would be OK).

So contrary to my last post I did not make up any more solution but simply stopped dosing trace, nitrates and phosphates entirely. I did add a one off dose of 1teaspoon of calcium and 1 teaspoon of magnesium and the plants look better for that.

3 weeks or so later.....

Yesterday I noticed some green spot algae on a couple of the oldest crypt leaves. None on the glass. I read this as a sign to start dosing again. (my logic being, gsa can be caused by low Co2 and\or low phosphates. My Co2 has been low but stable for months, so it should be lowered phosphate levels that has induced it. I will use this as a proxy and assume trace and nitrates are at the same lowered levels as phosphates)

So I now see that weekly dosing will be more than adequate for the slow growth rates of my tank and therefore do not see a need for daily autodosing of an allinone solution. Was fun to play about with though and should I go high tech again I will use autodosing from day one.
 

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