Curled and blackened leaves

JoshP12

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Thank you Josh. Let me read those posts tonight. I was thinking of getting the following starter kit in terms of EI: https://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/fertilisers/dry-chemicals/starter-kits/ei-starter-kit.html
I watched a George Farmer review of the product and it seems to be recommended by a few other aquascapers.

That one looks good!

I couldn't find out what chelate is used - but this blurb:

Can I dose Macro & Micro mixes on the same day?
No, the Iron (Fe) in the Chelated Trace and the Phosphate in Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4) have a tendency to react with each other, especially at higher pH rendering them un available to the plants as it forms Iron Phosphate.

Suggests that it is EDTA/DTPA and my guess is EDTA. Here is the chelate chart of relative concentration at pH.
1598979450479.png


But again, there is a thought that you can just dose more EDTA or whatever (as long as your pH isn't extremely extremely high), instead of picking a "more suitable" chelate - and others say that should pick the "most suitable" chelate. I don't have enough experience with both approaches to comment. Just note that if you have excess EDTA and the pH increases the chelate will break off and then will bond with something (likely phosphates) as a result, reducing your overall phosphate (if that was what it bonded to) availability- so you would need to adapt your dosing regime to suit it. But these are details.

Just get that one and let's see how it goes.


Josh
 

kschyff

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Ok. I have some good news: I was able to find the EI ingredients locally, which is a lot better. I have actually been able to find the Plantex CSM + B Trace mix (100g) and then the other two items from different suppliers. Give me some time to get hold of these then we take things from there.
 

JoshP12

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Ok. I have some good news: I was able to find the EI ingredients locally, which is a lot better. I have actually been able to find the Plantex CSM + B Trace mix (100g) and then the other two items from different suppliers. Give me some time to get hold of these then we take things from there.

Practice honing CO2 and watching fish response in the mean time. When you get the new filter, the CO2 will need to re-dialed in anyways - so for now, we can play!

Josh
 

kschyff

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I received what I think is my CSM Trace mix. For some reason the individual I bought it from shipped it without any labels on it so I have included a picture just to check if this looks similar to what you have used given that my seller says its Plantex. I have attached a picture here. If it is, how do I mix it up? Thank you Josh.
 

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hypnogogia

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I wonder if the seller is filling up freezer bags from a bigger bag and selling them? It looks similar to my TNC trace elements, but no way of really knowing what the composition is...
 

kschyff

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I think you're right as I see many online retailers sell this in 400g or 500g packs. It looks the same so I will test it on a smaller tank I have. In the meantime I thought that I would move my plants around and removed a crypt from the high tech tank and its shows very clear signs that I have a magnesium deficiency. Very dark veins and very light fleshy parts. I must be honest I think this is possibly also part of my problem. As instructed by Josh I am trying to find the best time to switch on the CO2 before the lights go on, but have to buy another smart plug. The manual timer plugs is not working out for me. I will find some Epsom salts when the other ingredients arrive and then mix it all up and test.
 

JoshP12

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I received what I think is my CSM Trace mix. For some reason the individual I bought it from shipped it without any labels on it so I have included a picture just to check if this looks similar to what you have used given that my seller says its Plantex. I have attached a picture here. If it is, how do I mix it up? Thank you Josh.

I think @hypnogogia is right. It is probably the right stuff (though we can’t be sure) and just smaller packages from a big bag. We have a UKAPS calculator that I plan to try out and use once it is under way. Currently I use < Rotala Butterfly > though.

Just plug in your tank size.
Then choose DIY.
Then find Plantex CSM + B.
Then solution.
Then 1000 mL (for 1 litre, or however much you are making).
Then 50 mL dose size (you can use any number really - as long as solubility is ok ... I like 50).
Then EI.
Then calculate!
Then go and measure out the goods.
Get your pot ready:
--> Add 1000 mL of DISTILLED WATER (this is key otherwise you may have issues with iron bonding to other stuff). Add a few drops of distilled vinegar (to drop the pH so it stays in its chelated form).
Get the mad scientist goggles ... joking.
Then pop in the Plantex, stir it in make sure it all dissolves (a little heat helps -- hence the pot).

Store the solution in a opaque, food safe container. It MUST not be clear - must be opaque so as not to let light through -- light breaks the chelate. Some even store it in the fridge to prevent moulding etc.

Alternatively: at lights on get a little cup and throw in the measured dose from the calculator. Add some tank water, swish it around with your finger and drop it in the tank. Some people also just drop the dry goods in ... I have never done that however - I just like it to be mixed.

Why lights on? It is likely that your pH is low (due to CO2 injection) so you will have a higher chance that none of the chelate will break BEFORE the iron is made plant available. Depending on your pH, it may even be irrelevant and you can just do in AM. But try it and keep us in the loop.

Josh!
 

kschyff

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Ok. Thank you Josh. I never even bothered to ask, but what is CSM+B? Does this contain magnesium as I think this may be part of my problem?
 

JoshP12

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Ok. Thank you Josh. I never even bothered to ask, but what is CSM+B? Does this contain magnesium

Chelated Secondary Micronutrients + Boron.

The name is slightly elusive. Generally speaking, it is easier to just say plants need nutrients and those nutrients are covered by a Micro fertilizer and a Macro fertilizer. The Micro is the one you have. The Macro contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium. But we don't "include" stuff like hydrogen - or Oxygen - in the discussion ... but we clearly need those. Also, sometimes people don't consider carbon as a nutrient ... but we need lots of it too.

There is some nice history here and I don't know it comprehensively enough. But if you look at < this thread > you can read up on some of it. Fertilizing is something else. Some companies mixed salts into distilled water and sold it at exorbitant prices (and they still do ... and people buy them). Once some scientists figured out what was in it, the hobby changed. @dw1305 < post here > is great. It is certainly an eye-opening read about the hobby as a whole. My favorite is the pump in a bucket ... and I'll add for $600.

< Thinking of the aquarium as a system > instead of a "cause and effect" relationship is important. I've linked a previous post of mine that covers everything I was about to re-write :p.
Does this contain magnesium

CSM+B should contain magnesium (although sometimes referred to as a secondary macronutrient - it is referred to as "micronutrient" as well).

I think this may be part of my problem?

The dosage of magnesium is so low that CSM+B won't make a difference. Is it possible that we have an issue with magnesium ... of course, but not because of CSM+B. Mg makes up General Hardness of the tank (which is complemented by Calcium) -- you are devoid of nutrients due to RO, so what you add to your water at "remineralization" is what you have. A few degrees of GH means you have much more magnesium than what CSM+B provides in a daily dose.

I think we need to accept that our aquariums have a wide range of "things going on (that may cause problems)" ALL at once.

So, if you have fantastic, equally distributed Flow, devoid of nutrients, then you have issues.
Or if you have Eutrophic conditions (high nutrient) but poor Flow throughout all of your tank, then you have issues.
Or if as the scape grew, Flow (nutrient delivery) was blocked, then that segment of the stem (which was engineered for its surrounding) needs to reconfigure ... goes through an unhealthy patch, then maybe gets to a more nutrient available area and looks healthy again <-- this scenario was ultimately a flow problem ... or was it that you didn't trim properly ... as you can see it becomes a complex system - And we try to play God.

Enough with the philosophy :p.

I think what we really need is a full set of photos of the tank now. We need Close ups of each plant, filtration set up, drop checker at lights on and at 2 hours in etc.

What to focus on now:
1) your filtration and the output --> This will influence your CO2 distribution as it dictates your flow. I have not used a 60P, but it is small. I have seen some tanks with HOB filters for flow but the direction is not so good - but it may be ok for the 60P ... you mentioned a canister - any updates on this? The output that comes with it is probably fine.
2) Make up your dosing solutions
3) Keep the tank clean
4) Play with your CO2: Drop that Bazooka as close as you can to the substrate and then see how turning it on earlier helps/doesn't. Watch the fish - do they become lethargic? Do they gasp? If they look fine, some views say, then we have more room for CO2 injection rate - others leave it and limit nutrients.

Hope that helps!

Josh
 
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kschyff

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Thank you Josh. I will get to point (2) when all the ingredients arrive. I can, however, supply the pictures for you. In the meantime I have been playing with the CO2 and my wife suggested I move it to the other side where the down flow from the HOB is more pronounced. Let's see how that goes.

Filtration:
The output of the Seachem Tidal 55 is 1000 litres per hour and it is hanging on the back of the tank as I can't mount the lights if the Tidal is on the side. I will wait for the end of the month before I get a canister filter. In all, I think the direction is not good in that the water flows from the back to the front, but not really along the length of the tank. There are photos attached of the filter and its position. Filtration media is Seachem Matrix with Seachem Purigen and filter floss.

Lights:
Two AquaEL Leddy Slim (10w and 660 lumen each). These are European made and I'm not sure if the sell them in Canada and the US. Pictures of the placement are attached.

Plants:
I have quite a few and some are "easy" others are "medium" as Tropica would classify them. Photos of each plant is attached. The list is as follows (spelling is probably not perfect):
1.) Rotala Rotundifolia
2.) Rotala Colorata
3.) Hydrocotyle Tripartita
4.) Echinodorus Ozelot Green and Red
5.) Java Moss
6.) Java Fern (Trident variety)
7.) Bolbitis Heudilotii
8.) There are some Marsilea Hirsuta, but they have been overgrown by the Tripartita.
9.) Cryptocoryne Willisii
10.) Hygrophila Polysperma (I cut them right down but they keep growing back)
11.) Lagenandra Meeboldi

Temp:
Between 23 and 24 degrees celcius

Drop Checker Details:
I have ordered another Smart plug and will be able to give these pictures then as I can reliably get the CO2 to go 1 or 2 hours before the lights. The picture shows it 5 hours in already so not really useful at this stage.
 

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JoshP12

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Hi @kschyff,

It's growing man!! I think we just need more CO2 and more nutrients to keep up with your light demand (I wouldn't buy any new light like you had suggested before - yours seems fine). The drop checker should be at least that colour at 2 hours in (even lights on to be sure) and we can push it even more (so increase your injection rate - go slow and watch).

Aside from GSA, I don't see any algae!

I don't think you may even need a canister filter. The furthest away from the outflow is the rotala which seems to be getting the nutrients. Prior to buying one let's try honing in CO2 and increasing ferts just to see if it works.

Did you make those changes with the remineralization that were suggested before?

As you make the changes in nutrients/CO2 watch the new growth (primarily on your Rotala) - your slow growing plants will not heal and they are good indicators of long term conditions - the new growth on slow growers tends to indicate conditions of your tank from a "period of time ago that varies based on how slow they grow" ... but those fast Rotalas will be your primary indicator (or your fast growing floaters to help rule out CO2 deficiency).

EDIT: Your diffuser - after it turns off one day, take it out of the tank and soak it in a 3:1 solution of bleach and water for a bit, then (once all the gunk is gone out of it), remove it and soak it in a solution of water and dechlorinator (super blasted) - swish it around - do it again - sniff it - if you don't smell bleach, you are good (another option is to run it while soaking in bleach - but I've never done this). Then pop it back in the tank. You can also just drop dechlorinator right on it if you want. That will increase the efficiency of your diffuser which is important - but more important we dial it in. Do not scrub the ceramic at all.

Josh
 
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kschyff

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Thank you Josh. I did make the remineralisation change and now bring up the GH to at least 3 using the Salty Shrimp after my bi-weekly water changes. I will get to the diffuser and will slowly increase the bubble rate.
 

JoshP12

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Thank you Josh. I did make the remineralisation change and now bring up the GH to at least 3 using the Salty Shrimp after my bi-weekly water changes. I will get to the diffuser and will slowly increase the bubble rate.

This sounds good! Watch the fish!

Also, you can drop your temp a degree if you want - it will also help with the co2.

Josh
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
My favorite is the pump in a bucket ... and I'll add for $600.
The immortal <"pump in a bucket"> was originally a quote by Clive (@ceg4048), but I liked, and remembered, it because it <"cuts straight to the chase">.

I may be naive, but if you <"have a really good product"> surely you want to tell people what it does and why it does it?

If you look at the descriptions of many aquarium products their manufacturers couch them in terms that imply things, and <"that obscure what their product actually is, and does">. Often that is the issue for people, they aren't in a position where they can <"easily differentiate"> the <"coffee from the froth"> and drown in a sea of <"conflicting advice">.

I'm not invested financially in the <"Duckweed Index">, but I want people to try it because it works for me and I've found that it makes fish-keeping much more straightforward and enjoyable.

I'd guess that <"Diana Walstad"> had the same motivation when she wrote <"Ecology of the Planted Aquarium"> as did <"Dr Stephan Tanner"> when he started selling HMF's in the USA, money wasn't their primary motivation.

cheers Darrel
 
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kschyff

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Hi All. I can now state that since I have used the very accurate smart plugs the CO2 does not go green at all after it has been running for 2 hours before the lights go on. I even moved the diffuser to the other side of the tank. I am going to guess that this is flow problem now. I want to add something else to this: I have a nano tank, which I used when I was still getting into the hobby. It has a very cheap HOB filter BUT it is mounted on the side and pushes water along the length of the tank like a canister outflow would. I also have a DIY CO2 kit running there with a very cheap diffuser. That tank holds a perfect lime green indicator. Interestingly, the tripartita shows the same signs of deficiency there. I don't even use the the same ferts. Am using an all-in-one fert on the nano.

So, from the little bits of info I have gathered it seems that the only "common link" between the two tanks is the water I use in them, namely RO. Everything else is either slightly or completely different. I am very new to this hobby so feel free to make some suggestions.

I have just received my last ingredient to make an EI solution which I will first test on the poor nano tank (just in case things don't go as planned!)
 

JoshP12

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Hi All. I can now state that since I have used the very accurate smart plugs the CO2 does not go green at all after it has been running for 2 hours before the lights go on. I even moved the diffuser to the other side of the tank.

It may not be green at lights on. The DC has a delay, so if after 2 hours (after gas on) it is not green, it is reflective of the CO2 concentration when the gas was turned on. Does it change after 3 hours? If you have time, document the color at each hour from lights on and see. If it turns light green at some point, then shift your gas on time by that number of hours. Post your results here. You can alternatively (or in tandem) do a check with a pH test of some kind - many use < a cheap pH probe >. I have seen posts of people using test kits as well - but sometimes a "relative" number is easier than a "relative" color to discern.

If you go the pH probe route, we are ultimately looking for a relative drop in pH -- so the actual "number" of the pH is irrelevant (mostly, pH is a proxy of what is going on anyways).


I am going to guess that this is flow problem now.

It could also be an injection rate problem. Your flow/distribution may not be sufficient and your injection rate may be too low. So it is a balancing act of the two that is the hardest to get right.

I want to add something else to this: I have a nano tank, which I used when I was still getting into the hobby. It has a very cheap HOB filter BUT it is mounted on the side and pushes water along the length of the tank like a canister outflow would.

Either add something else OR one thing to do it all (i.e. a new set of filtration). It will require playing and watching plants + DC + fish etc.

I also have a DIY CO2 kit running there with a very cheap diffuser. That tank holds a perfect lime green indicator. Interestingly, the tripartita shows the same signs of deficiency there.

Then it may be a nutrient deficiency (or a Flow issue). If you begin dosing EI levels of macronutrients and the issues persist (acknowledging that you may have dead spots from poor flow distribution), then maybe you remineralize with an extra degree of booster and see if you needed more minerals instead of macro and non-GH micro nutrients.

Here is where using a floating plant as a helper to diagnose issues may be useful. It is just more information to try and diagnose the issue that you have. It could also be unrelated to those things and be a massive trim that allowed more light to an area which was extremely shaded for months. Or mechanical damage, or a animal.

Hope that helps.

Josh
 
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kschyff

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Quick question: can I dose the KNO3 and KH2PO4 together (I assume these I my macros) and then the next day I dose the Chelated traces (my micros)? Also, I bought some Epsom salts but don't know if these qualify as micro or macro.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Also, I bought some Epsom salts but don't know if these qualify as micro or macro.
Probably with the macros, but it doesn't really matter. The worry is about insoluble compounds forming, and this mainly effects iron (Fe++(+)) and phosphate (PO4---). which means that you need to dose these on separate days.

cheers Darrel
 
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