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Do I need to add ferts with liquid co2

ceg4048

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I agree that test kits are a waste of money in one sense. But as a beginner probably necessary for cycling tanks and helpful in understanding the chemistry in aquarium water. It'd be great if they sold much smaller kits at a fraction of the price.
People say this all the time, and it just isn't true. Test kits are the worst thing for a beginner because they program the beginner to think that the test kit knows more than they do. You do not need a test kit to cycle a tank, especially a planted tank. Just wait 6 weeks or more and the tank is cycled and stable. It's automatic. It can't not happen. Do lots of water changes, have lot's of plants in the tank and viola.

Test kits are actually more for the experienced hobbyist who understands the nature of the flaws in kits. Experience teaches possible ways of circumventing these flaws.
If you consistently perform frequent and large water changes, then you will automatically be removing toxic compounds that develop in the tank. Both the filter and the substrate will automatically develop the bacterial colonies.

Just having sand substrate makes it difficult as posts on forums deal with different substrates.
This is also a subject containing a lot of misconceptions. Sand, while not as good as a clay substrate, does not really cause any more problems than any other substrate. As long as you dose the water column with NPK and Trace elements then the plants will not care that they are in sand. You should simply carry on as normal because there is nothing to worry about.
the combination of micro ferts from the ferropol might be causing an iron overdose as I'm getting a film on the water surface.
This is also a subject filled with misconceptions. There is very little chance that ferropol causes Iron toxicity, primarily because there is very little Iron in ferropol. Even if there was a lot of Iron, plants can tolerate huge levels of Iron and will reject Iron and other metals if the concentrations are too high.

Cheers,
 

Jezmond

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Thanks for the advice guys, it's much appreciated.

I did add some Amazon Frogbit when I first added the plants a few months ago. For the first week it grew OK and sent out some nice looking roots. Then the following weeks it slowly went yellow and mushy and the leaves broke off and I ended up removing it bit by bit.

At the time I thought it was because it was getting bashed about in the current or because it was so close to the lights. Could this be a problem Darrel.

I didn't know about the duckweed index then. Coincidentally I was reading some of your posts on it last night. Sounds interesting I might give the Frogbit another try.

So far I've increased the LCO2 to 4ml a day and reduced the light. The algae seems to have stopped growing and the plants seem to be better colour.

It's entirely possible that the CO2 shortage is also masking an NPK shortage. We won't know until the CO2 problem is fixed....

Just wondering how we know when the co2 level is fixed.
 

ceg4048

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Just wondering how we know when the co2 level is fixed.
Well, there is no metric other than the observation that the CO2 related algae is arrested and that there are no other CO2 related faults apparent. The list of CO2 related faults is very long due to the fact that a large percentage of the dry mass of the plant is Carbon. I mean, that why logs make a great fuel in a fireplace, right? The coal that you burn is Carbon, stripped from CO2 taken out of thin air. Folks tend to not realize this point. So any time there is a Carbon shortage, depending on it severity, you will observe various symptoms. Melting, translucent leaves, browning, brown spots, black spots, holes in leaves, falling leaves, deformation of leaves, surface scum, hair algae, BBA, GSA and any other filamentous algae will all be a result, at least in part, to poor CO2.

CO2 is never really fixed, because as the plants grow, their demand for CO2 increases and as you give them more CO2 then become more dependent on CO2 and start to fail even when there is only a slight dip in the CO2.

CO2 is therefore like a narcotic and the poor hobbyists can only ever hope to play the role of a treatment center for the addicts in the tank.

I suggest that you trim the stem that has the leaves with GSA that are shown in your photos above. These leaves will never recover
The leaves that only suffer the hair algae will be OK, but the GSA infected ones are a liability.

When new leaves grow clean and without fault then you know that at least you are on the right track...for the moment.

Cheers,
 

Konsa

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I did add some Amazon Frogbit when I first added the plants a few months ago. For the first week it grew OK and sent out some nice looking roots. Then the following weeks it slowly went yellow and mushy and the leaves broke off and I ended up removing it bit by bit.

At the time I thought it was because it was getting bashed about in the current or because it was so close to the lights. Could this be a problem Darrel.

I didn't know about the duckweed index then. Coincidentally I was reading some of your posts on it last night. Sounds interesting I might give the Frogbit another try.

Hi U are having closed tank and sometimes the high humidity is an issue.I have several low tech tanks and the frogbit is not doing well in one of them but the dwarf water lettuce is.If I were U I will try different floating plants to see wich one will be the one for your conditions.U can try Dwarf water letuce, Saggitaria,Red root floaters or even the duckweed but the latest is a pain to control and will end up everywhere if U have other tanks.
Regards Konsa
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I did add some Amazon Frogbit when I first added the plants a few months ago. For the first week it grew OK and sent out some nice looking roots. Then the following weeks it slowly went yellow and mushy and the leaves broke off and I ended up removing it bit by bit.
High light shouldn't be a problem, but it doesn't do well in high flow, if it all ends squashed up against the glass and 1/2 underwater. Usually if the plants are healthy they will end up floating in a calmer bit of the tank, or circulating around the surface. You may need to angle the spray bar a little bit more down, if they end squashed against the glass?

From your description that sounds more like a deficiency symptom, diagnosing these is a mugs game, but I might try adding some <"Epsom Salts"> and a <"different chelator for iron (Fe)">, if you have hard water?

cheers Darrel
 

Jezmond

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Hi everyone. Again, many thanks for everyone's input.

To update..

I've done a water change and trimmed nearly the last of the original round leaves of the rotala which is where the algae was most concerning and the cabomba which was looking a bit black from algae.

Things look much better.

Many thanks Clive for your sage advice.

The rotala has more or less doubled in size over the past fortnight and the tips are are still a beautiful pink, the new leaves are needle shaped and big nearer the tops, multiple side shoots have sprouted but leaves are small lower down. Apart from the highest tips it all has algae on it but only if I look close and in my case with reading glasses on (and my strong ones which show up all sorts!). The bad algae was on on the original round leaves but some on the stems which remains. (Spot dosing that now)

The cabomba which when I planted about 6 weeks ago zoomed to the top of the tank and was subsequently trimmed right back to give the sword next to it a chance to grow hasn't gained any height since. There's some really lush green leaves coming out at the bottom but next to it some very odd looking yellow leaves that don't seem to be what I've seen before where lower leaves go a dry brown.

New leaf on sword is a bit translucent but a week old.

Crypt undulatis had an old leaf that seemed to be going a really wierd yellow with contrasting dark veins yesterday or day before which gave me a sinking feeling. Today its coloured up really nice, the leaf is green and seems to have thinned in width and has nice looking reddish veins. The four surrounding leaves seemed to be doing the same and make the rest of the plant look shabby in comparison.

Ludwigia looks like it's been in the desert but much better over past day.

I haven't added any NPK apart from the K in the Ferropol and LCO2. Ferropol is 1% K and I've been adding >15ml per week plus whatever is in the dennerle carbo elixir (which I can't find the composition of) so maybe not enough but there.

Phosphate - the APi test turns dark blue out the tap (sorry Clive), I downloaded the water report but it doesn't mention phosphate (or magnesium) calcium is 3.5 ppm.

Nitrates - test says 20-40 ppm. I used to live in Hull and the APi kit said tap water was 60ppm so I know to aim low on that. The rotala is pink so I gather it's more like 10ppm

So far then NPK seems to be Ok ish but co2 wasn't enough. I have reduced the light intensity by 30% though since doubling co2. In my limited insight poor co2 levels relate to light levels. The lower the light the less co2 is needed and vice versa.

CO2 is therefore like a narcotic and the poor hobbyists can only ever hope to play the role of a treatment center for the addicts in the tank

Ideally I'd like to use co2 to grow the plants to the ideal size quickly and then reduce back to a low tech set up.

Light is not an issue for aesthetics. I much prefer the 15 PAR led light to the 40 PAR T8 light.

Once the plants are grown out do you think I could reduce the LCO2 as long as I reduce the light intensity.
 
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ceg4048

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Once the plants are grown out do you think I could reduce the LCO2 as long as I reduce the light intensity.
Well, can an addict just stop using narcotics cold turkey? What is the likely result?
If you want to wean your plants off of CO2 you had better do it very gradually, reduce the dosing by 10% or so every few weeks.
New leaves that appear will be accustomed to the new lower concentration.

You can also try turning the lights off and leaving them off for a few weeks, then slowly increase the power. I've done that before but the only plants that were unaffected were the ferns and crypts. The other plants lost a lot of weight, and of course the plants with the strongest CO2 dependency the carpet plants withered away into nothing.
No guarantee that it will be painless, unfortunately.

Cheers,
 

Jezmond

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Hi all and thanks again for everyone's input.

It's been a while, many changes have happened so I haven't updated until things have settled which I think and hope they have.

So, over Xmas I was away for 5 nights so couldn't dose LC02. Algae didn't get too worse but gave me a chance to see it. I don't think it was staghorn but some sort of hair.

Whilst away I decided that I didn't want it and ordered some algexit and to up the dose of LC02.

Got a new filter - fluvial 306, set it up and dosed the algexit and upped the LC02 to 4.1 ml. After a week the algae seemed to be dying off and was pretty widespread after being away.

A few neons of 12 that have had various symptoms for months started bugging me. I did a bit of research months ago and decided to leave things. Long story short I decided they weren't right so got some melafix and after 5 days it wiped out half my fish.

Spent a week doing large water changes every other day and thus stripped all nitrates (I have really high phosphates in tap water) so started adding TNC complete last week.

Did a rescape, pruned pretty much everything with algae on, added a few swords and a crypt and a small shoal of cardinals and an angelfish.

I'm adding 2 hrs of extra lighting from an Arcadia stretch 23w.

So far so good, plants look much better with extra light and TNC.


I
 

Jezmond

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As I'm looking at my plants they look much better, possibly erect.!!

I'm thinking C02 has been the same, nutrients the same (+/- bio load and fertilizer) which leaves the extra light.

Any thoughts. !?

Thanks.
 

ceg4048

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Hi Jesmond,
Well, you did water changes, added a new filter, used the TNC regularly, the tank has had an extra 5 weeks to mature and so forth. I'm not sure I would credit the extra 2 hours of light for the improvement. I suppose you could remove the two hours of extra lighting period and see if things deteriorate, then add it again to see if things improve. It's not good to draw conclusions unless hard data is available, otherwise we are just seeing what we want to see...

Cheers,
 

Jezmond

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The best lighting advice to get an idea was from this thread.

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/par-readings-what-are-good-readings.26134/

Plus the chart from this thread

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-par-instead-watts.html#/topics/184368?page=1

PARvsDistT8-2.jpg

My tank is 16 inches tall so this suggests 2 X T8 lights would be around 50 par and thus plenty of light.

So the Arcadia LED according to the their website is 15 PAR. So assuming this is pretty reliable if I added another it would give me 30 PAR.

So without using a PAR meter and using the best information I can find.

2 X 23watt LED = 30 PAR

Or

2 X 20watt T8 = 50 PAR

When I compare the lights 1 X 23 watt Arcadia LED looks nearly as bright as the 2 X 20watt T8

I'm thinking of getting another 23 watt Arcadia LED and doing away with the T8's. This would be 46watts LED giving 30 PAR and would be much brighter than 2 X T8's

I'm not convinced that the 2 x T8's are giving anywhere near 40-50 PAR, more like half.

If so would 20 PAR a little bit low and plants benefit from an extra short period of extra light.?

Many thanks.
 

ceg4048

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Hi Jezmond,
Well, keep in mind that humans are not very good at seeing blue or red, so sometimes, when you look at a light source, it may not appear to be all that bright, but if there is a fair amount of blue, indigo and violet, then the total energy may be higher than you'd think. Likewise, if a light source has a lot of green, yellow and orange, then it may seem to be brighter to us but may not be as energetic. So one has to be careful using human eyes to determine PAR.

In any case, at the end of the day, you have to be happy with what you are seeing in the tank. If the tank appears dime or has odd colors then you may not enjoy looking at it as much, so if you want to get something brighter, then that's fine. You just need to be aware that as the PAR values climb, so must your diligence in assuring sufficient CO2 and so forth.

Cheers,
 

Danny

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So any time there is a Carbon shortage, depending on it severity, you will observe various symptoms. Melting, translucent leaves, browning, brown spots, black spots, holes in leaves, falling leaves, deformation of leaves, surface scum, hair algae, BBA, GSA and any other filamentous algae will all be a result, at least in part, to poor CO2.
co2 really does rule the tank.
 
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