Deteriorating plant

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by Nomad, 12 Aug 2008.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Newly Registered

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    25 Jul 2008
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    Hi all,

    Wondered if some one could give some advice?

    Got a medium planted tank, and most of the plants are doing ok.

    Its 180l, with diy c02, with two bottles of 2l mixtures.

    To be honest its crap. Not very consistent. I'm using bakers yeast. I have just ordered some champagne yeast and will give that a go, plus i have the bottles below the tank and about 3metres (tube length) away from the tank, perhaps thats why its not working properly?. Any way thats a different matter.

    I also add flourish excel to it daily, as the co2 is rubbish

    I dose with ferts as well, these being:

    Mix1 40ml
    Potassium Nitrate (KN03)
    Potassium Phosphate (KH2P04)

    Mix 2 40ml
    trace elements.

    Monday i dose mix 1 , Tuesday mix 2, and Wednesday mix 1, and so on, whilst dosing with excel.

    Now, i used the chempak trace elements and they are wrong as they are not chelated. So i haven't dosed with a proper trace mix for 2 weeks, but until i realised about a week ago i dosed with the chempak stuff..

    One of my plants leaves are going see through and brown yellow patches have started to form on these. The other plants seem to be ok. I dont actually know exactly what plant it is, but it looks very similar or it is an Amazon sword. I left the sponge and lead weight around the bottom of it, would this affect it?

    Would not dosing with correct trace mix deprive the plant of vital nutrients enough to deteriorate like this?

    My substrate is seachem flourite, about 4 inches thick and also a good spread of laterite.

    I know its hard to determine what levels of ferts i should use based on what i have given you, but any recommendations? Improvements? I'm a bit thick when it comes to EI. I dont really understand it, even though i have read articles on here.

    My lighting is t8, unfortunately i only have 2 30 wat bulbs, which is no way near 2wpg. The bloke in the lfs said that you can only use wpg for t5's. The tubes i have arcadia tubes, and i havent seen them in the stores for more than 30w.

    Any suggestions as to why the plant maybe doing this?

    Sorry for the long post!

    Cheers

    Simon
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Chicago, USA
    Hi Simon,
    Poor CO2 is the likely culprit. Try upping the Excel dosage or frequency to compensate. You may wish to consider investing in a pressurized CO2 system as well.

    Your 40 ml dosages are meaningless unless we know how you prepared the solutions. How much of each powder did you mix with how much water to prepare the solution? That's the only way we can figure out how many grams of the powders are being input to the tank.

    It's never clear to me why folks have difficulty getting to grips with EI dosing schemes. If I put two teaspoons of sugar in a cup of tea and then drink half a cup of this sweetened tea, how many teaspoons of sugar would I have consumed? What if I drank the whole cup, how much sugar then? This is how easy EI schemes are. It's easy to tell whether the tea is too sweet or too lean and this is the same principle. If you're having difficulties with the concepts let us know exactly what troubles you and we can help clarify.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Newly Registered

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    25 Jul 2008
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    Hi ceg4048,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I am thinking of getting pressurised co2, but been put of with the expense of the regulator with solenoid. But I guess it seems the only way forward. Any idea what the likely price for a regulator is? I've looked on the bay and many seem to come from Malaysia and been a bit put off with that, as well as custom taxes.

    The mixes I use are detailed below:

    The first is made up using 500ml of water. (mix 1)
    3tsp. Potassium Nitrate (KN03)
    1/2tsp Potassium Phosphate (KH2P04)

    The second is also made with 500ml of water. (mix 2)
    1tsp CSM+B Trace.

    Just reading a few pieces on EI and a calculator which also mentions adding Ascorbic Acid
    Potassium Sorbate, whats the purpose of these?


    I'm gonna have another read of the EI, i understand what you mean, about sugar!

    Cheers
     
  4. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

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    Location:
    West Midlands UK
    My understanding is that dosing EI without good high stable CO2 levels is a bad idea. As Clive said you really need to switch to pressurised. Don't worry about importing reg and solenoid, lots of folks on here have done it, just make sure you get photographic/video evidence of any faulty goods. If you don't mind paying a bit more Aquariumversand sell regs and solenoids as well as full kits and are based in Germany.

    As to the bloke in the lfs saying you can't use WPG for T8s, he's talking out of his..... not his mouth. :lol: The WPG rule was DESIGNED with T8s in mind, T5s actually mess it up a bit as they are more powerful and efficient. Remember though when considering upgrading lighting upgrade CO2 first, otherwise you end up farming algae.

    Ade
     
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Newly Registered

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    Cheers Ade, do you know if any of them paid custom taxes when they received it? Any one moaned about it on here?
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Simon,
    Well you can opt for the European built regulators but they are expensive although they probably are higher quality and have better precision. The units coming out of Malaysia and Singapore are sufficiently cheap (but sufficiently functional) that they are worth trying. I use the one sold by AquaticMagic and it works good enough for me. There are a few others about on ebay but they are about the same in terms of quality and reliability. Since I'm not using it for anesthesiology during brain surgery or any critical functions like that I don't worry about the little quirks. :lol:

    This is the unit I use. I didn't have to pay any customs duty on it at all. http://cgi.ebay.com/CO2-Regulator-Elect ... dZViewItem


    Normally, if this tank were more highly lit (using T5s for example) I'd consider this severely underdosed. The NO3 in this mix and at that dosage size is about half of what the baseline NO3 dosage is and the PO4 is over three times leaner than baseline. Typically, if you were to increase your lighting with this dosage you would quickly see both BGA and GSA but you haven't reported either of these and if that's the case then you may be OK with this dosage for this particular lighting level. Just for your reference, a highly lit tank your size normally gets the following EI dosing:
    3X per week 1/2 teaspoon KNO3
    3X per week 1/8 teaspoon KH2PO4
    2X per week 3/16 teaspoon Traces (or 10 ml TPN)

    Yellowing can be due to either Fe or N deficiency so it's a bit complicated. I would try higher dosages of your mixtures and take another reading in a few weeks. You may also need to increase the dosage or frequency of the Excel. Poor CO2 complicates things quite a bit.

    3 Foot T8 tubes only come in the 30W range. The higher wattage means longer tubes. You also don't need to buy brand name tubes. You can use what you find at Homebase or B&Q for a lot cheaper provided they fit your connectors and that the colors are pleasing to you.

    These are additions in order to make the "all-in-one" nutrient mixes. Normally, the Iron in the trace mix would react with the PO4 which forms a less soluble precipitate thereby defeating the addition of both these components. The Ascorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate help to keep the Iron chelated in order to keep it from reacting with the PO4.

    Cheers,
     
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Newly Registered

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    Cheers ceg4048,

    I've started a new thread on co2 in that forum, but looks like i have picked the one you have in that thread.

    Are you saying that if i increased the lighting with the current levels i dose with then I may get BGA and GSA? If that was the case, would I increase the dosages to say, what you recommended in the EI?

    I didnt realise that normal t8 tubes from say b&q etc are the same, as aquarium ones, i'll have a look, but suppose i'm still limited to wattage based on the size of my tubes?

    I suppose upgrading to t5's would be better, i read some where you can get adaptors to convert t8 fittings to fit t5's? Any idea on that? Would a new starter (think thats what its called ) switch be needed?

    Also, how did plants survive before t5's? lol. I'd rather stay with the t8's. Could i consider getting the reflectors? Would that help?

    I dose with excel daily, so perhaps i should increase the amount i dose with.

    Is the bottom line, get an improvement in co2 and then see how the plants are? Then I can determine whether its the limited co2 causing the plant to deteriorate or not enough ferts?

    Thanks for answering all my questions so far!
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Light is the engine that drives the pace of all other processes. I always like to think of light as a throttle of an engine. More light means a more open throttle. This means more speed..and more danger. To support the higher speed you need more petrol and more lubrication. In fact, you need more of everything, and your system must be robust enough to handle this higher energy level. If you fail to provide the resources to support the higher energy the system will fail. Therefore higher light immediately requires higher CO2 levels for higher photosynthesis, which requires higher levels of NO3, which requires higher levels of PO4, which then require higher levels of traces.

    It's difficult to say exactly what dosing levels you will need to keep the plants healthy enough to fight off the various forms of algae but the data I gave you is the baseline. Higher lighting would make it imperative to dose closer to those numbers or risk algal attacks. If you dose the numbers I gave you that would eliminate the mystery of whether there is a nutrient deficiency or not.

    Better is relative. More light means more growth, but also can mean more trouble. If you are getting T5 then you will need to change the ballast. My tank is very highly lit and it lives on the razors edge of extinction. I really have to pay attention to CO2 and nutrients as well as to water changes. My margin of error is almost nil. Lower light effectively equates to lower stress.

    They just didn't grow as fast and there wasn't as much algae. The right reflectors are very effective and can boost the light energy entering the tank significantly. They are a less costly and easier alternative.

    Yes, Excel is basically CO2, just not nearly as much. Because of the complications I always prefer to add more of everything while leaving the light unchanged. When you add more light you add another set of problems. I agree with Ade that you should concentrate on CO2 delivery first. This will make the biggest difference. You can always add more light but it's useless without better CO2.


    Cheers,
     
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Newly Registered

    Joined:
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    ceg4048, you the man.

    Again, thanks for taking all this time to reply, appreciate it!

    I will try and sort a FE co2 setup first and see what if that will improve the plants, and to rule that out.
     

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