Everything deficiency - Thinking toxicity (Low tech)

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
I'm not quite sure how to start this journal, so I'm just gonna start with this ;)
I have had aquariums for ten+ years, keeping various types of fish and mostly sticking to low light plants, with a special fondness for rhizome plants, who always grew alright no matter what I did to them.
I found an old picture of my main tank back then, which seemed to do quite well, despite very little expertise in the way of plants, and being fertilized only when it struck my fancy and not with any sort of regularity.
oruMJPC.jpg


I recently came out of a five year break from fishkeeping. Earlier this year I needed something to occupy my time and distract myself with, and so I pulled the old 180 liter out of storage along with what seemed like an unreasonable amount of fish-keeping accessories.

I set it up much like I used to do, with lots of driftwood and rhizome plants, and expected it to work out much like it had done in the old days. It didnt. The plants grew poorly and I had noticeable amounts of algae. Before my hiatus I barely had algae, so I figured maybe the lights needed replacing. As far as I could remember, the two T8 bulbs had about three years of use behind them, so this seemed like a good place to start.

While I was waiting for the new bulbs, an old familiar feeling started up. Some months had passed since I set up the tank, and my fingers were starting to itch. The kind of restless itching that makes you want to do over everything in the tank, to get a new fresh layout, and nothing can stop this itch once it takes hold. What you once thought of as a magnificent layout is suddenly unbearable to look at, and it is time for a big change.

This time, I decided, I wanted to try some stem plants. I researched some easy-ish varieties from Tropica, much of the driftwood was put away to make room for plants, and I brought home; Hygrophila difformis, Rotala rotundifolia, Ludwigia sp (palustris?) "Super Red", Staurogyne repens, Blyxa japonica, Nymphaea lotus, Vallisneria var "Biwaensis" and Pogostemon helferi.
From before I had; Microsorum "Windelov", Microsorum "Narrow", Bolbitis heudelotii, Anubias "petite", Weeping Moss and Salvinia oblongifolia.

I excitedly planted them all, and the only thing that happened was that the Ludwigia Super Red melted. And I mean melted, disintegrated. Nothing was growing. Not even the H. difformis! What on earth was this? I had kept H. difformis before and I knew that it would grow basically in a toilet bowl.

Something was very wrong in the aquarium. I started reading up more on plant care. The Super Red is such a beautiful plant, I am determined to make it grow for me eventually. My search for information lead me to plant forums, and I remembered fondly how much time I had spent on the aquarium forums before facebook was much of a thing. There is such a wealth of knowledge in the forums, and its nice to have somewhere to write down your thoughts and theories and get feedback on them.

So that leads me to this journal. I think I have a basic understanding of nutrients, light, algae etc now. A more in-depth understanding will hopefully follow, but you gotta start somewhere. I have been using Seachem Flourish, and assumed that it would cover the needs of the plants, since thats pretty much what it says on the bottle. Reading about NPK though, I looked more closely at the bottle and realised that it doesnt add much in the way of macros.

Therefore my working theory is that my water is lacking in nutrients, hence the journal title. Especially macro nutrients, since I had very few and small fish. At one point only 5 small fish in 180 liters of water, and frequent large water changes on top of that. Maybe I am totally wrong though, it is entirely possible and I look forward to finding out :)

I have ordered online an assortment of powdered fertilizers and I am in the process of getting more fish to help make nitrates. Last weekend saw the addition of 30 ember tetras, who have already shown to be very good at begging, eating, and pooping. I suspect the Seachem Matrix biomedia is stealing some of the scarce amount of nitrates that I have. After a week with no water changes the water sits at about 1 ppm Nitrate on a JBL test. I did read that hobby tests are unreliable though, so I dont know if this is useful information.

I will undoubtedly have tons of questions once the powders arrive :geek:
I cant wait to start mixing "potions" and experimenting.
The second batch of Ludwigia Super Red will be my teacher, since it seems to be the "wimpiest" species of the bunch :D Here is a picture of it, this is all from one pot from the LFS (amazing). About 1-2 cm of growth is "mine". Small, dark, a bit curly and weird looking.
3iA52It.jpg


If you read all of this then I apologise for the incoherent rambling and any grammar/spelling mistakes I may have made, and thank you for reading :geek:
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
My lighting is two "Philips TL-D 30W 865 Super 80 (MASTER)", at 8 hours a day currently. As far as I understand this is in the low range to possibly way bottom of the medium range. The reflector is gone from the ancient lighting top, I am planning to get it replaced soon, so the light output is probably less. I am not running CO2 and I dont really want to, hopefully I can still keep these plants. I dont need the most amazing colors or the fastest growth, I just want healthy plants my fish can lay eggs in, if that makes sense :D
Powders ordered are based on EI recommendations, as a temporary measure I got a bottle of Tropica Specialized Nutrition but it seems to be mostly water and not very economic in use.
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
Way too much time has passed since the last update.

The powdered ferts arrived not too long after the last post, very happy with my purchase from Aqua Plants Care.

I started dosing some strange improvised versions of EI low light dosing and general fiddling about. Tried dosing once a week or twice a week, with various amounts. I made a lot of changes and didnt take enough time to observe how each change affected anything. Despite this, the plants looked to be growing a little bit better.

Then I had a death in my very close family and the aquarium was put on the back burner for a while. The plants went without much fertilizer for a month or two.. The fishes got some food every now and then but that was about it.

Now things have gone a bit more back to normal, and this time Im gonna dose "by the book".
Every other day with homemade macros and Flourish micros, at full EI amounts. 50% water change every sunday with no ferts added that day, only a kH booster and some GH powder. Ive done this for about a week now and the changes look very promising.

I think I need more iron though, new leaves have a tendency to look distinctly whiteish and Im not convinced the Flourish is adding enough. I have ordered some Fe DTPA which seemed like a good choice for my pH which usually sits around 7,2. I threw in some CSM+B in the order as well. As far as I understand CSM+B is an "old recipe" and there are several slightly different varieties of it depending on who you get it from. I hope this one is fairly well balanced. The plan is for it to replace Flourish once I run out.

I am (possibly irrationally) a bit nervous about adding "so much" Flourish, ~11 ml every other day. Earlier this fall when I dosed more Flourish than I had done previously, I had two shrimp die within a few weeks of each other, and neither individual was very old. This might have been a coincidence though.

I am super happy to report that my diatom problem has completely gone, I read over and over that this is a symptom of instability in the system and that it should disappear on its own, but I felt like it was taking its sweet time clearing out of my system. But it was probably to be expected given the bumpy start I had with getting the filter cycled and the snail/planaria treatments it underwent that really seemed to kick off a brown-goop bloom.

I now have a wide assortment of green-themed algae, most prominently thread algae, but also a good amount of green spot algae, and some shorter thread like algae on some old leaves, the latter notably in the lower flow parts of the tank.

Im keeping my cool though, as far as I see it, green algae is closer to plants than diatoms and brown goop, so if I can grow green algae now then I am one step closer to growing plants well! :D Positive thinking is important. Im manually removing the thread algae because it bothers the fish to get tangled in it, but otherwise I am just focusing on the plants to see what I can do for them.

I dont know if my light is sufficient, Ive been having serious thoughts about upgrading to a Fluval 3.0, but my budget is limited right now and it might not be a real need.
The Ludwigia Super Red is growing slanted sideways, does this mean that it is happy with the amount of light it is getting?

The Rotala rotundifolia is growing much faster than the Ludwigia and I am unable to tell if its happier because its closer to the light, or if its just happier because of the ferts.
As an experiment, I left a few stems to grow long towards the light while taking the tops off the rest and replanting. Will be interesting to see if any differences appear.
This is a low tech tank and I dont want to use extra CO2, so a low light level might be all that is needed when CO2 is limited?


-NOTE- This was written a couple of weeks ago. I was just gonna snap some pictures of the plants the next morning, and then of course I forgot to post it at all. I have some new theories that differ from these. New post is incoming :)
 

Attachments

  • 20191124_152548.jpg
    20191124_152548.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 115
  • 20191124_152045.jpg
    20191124_152045.jpg
    716.8 KB · Views: 128
  • 20191124_152056.jpg
    20191124_152056.jpg
    137.2 KB · Views: 121
  • 20191124_152102.jpg
    20191124_152102.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 116
  • 20191124_152110.jpg
    20191124_152110.jpg
    2.4 MB · Views: 114
  • 20191124_152209.jpg
    20191124_152209.jpg
    891.1 KB · Views: 125
  • 20191124_152218.jpg
    20191124_152218.jpg
    890.3 KB · Views: 124
  • 20191124_152227.jpg
    20191124_152227.jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 109
  • 20191124_152418.jpg
    20191124_152418.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 89

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
The DTPA Fe arrived shortly after the last post and new growth on the plants look much better.

I have moved away from thinking I need more light, I think the light is sufficient and that my problems are more likely to be related to insufficient surface agitation and distribution, and I also suspect that maybe the plants are nitrate limited somehow even with full EI dosing. The bulk of my filter media is Seachem Matrix, and I am wondering if the advertised anaerobic core of the Matrix is removing the nitrate faster than my plants can get to it.

I know that test kits are scoffed at at this forum, but I have tested the nitrates just to try to see if I can notice any sort of trend with the nitrates. If all the results of the test kit is off by, lets say 10 ppm, then at least it might give a pointer to the trends of the nitrates if not the exact values?

The plants are still struggling from something, and that what I mainly go by. The rotala rotundifolia is super useful in this way, because the growth of the stems are like a continually printed record of what goes on in my tank. And it stunts very easily for me. I also had some fantastically good looking growth for a short time, but then I replanted the tops and it stunted again. Very interesting. One day maybe I will see the entire puzzle clearly, haha. For now I am picking up one piece at a time and learning as I go.

Anyway, nitrates consistently test 0 from the tap and between 2,5 - 5 in my tank. Yesterday I tested before and a couple of hours after adding ~20 ppm N. Test went up maybe 1 point, if that. Something funky is going on. Either I have a faulty test, or the test is useless (forum favorite), or the plants ate 20 ppm N in 3 hours (seems unlikely), or the Matrix ate 20 ppm N in 3 hours, or there is something wrong with my KNO3 mixture and it is much weaker than its supposed to. I have had some crystals escape from solution and start creeping out of the pump bottle. Or maybe some entirely other factor is going on that I am unaware of. Its hard to know what you dont know.

With my new EI fertilizer and water change routine my shrimp deaths have picked up pace. I dont like it at all. Always adult shrimp but not the oldest ones, and they die one by one. These shrimp are second or third generation born in my tank, and I know they arent old enough to be dying of old age. It doesnt seem to be molting issues, and they are still breeding like crazy. I currently think something happening during the water change disagrees with them. I dont think this has directly to do with fertilizers any more.

I have ordered and am still waiting for a TDS meter to see if there are big changes to this sum value when I do a 50% change. The GH may fluctuate a little bit with water changes but not really that much, its around 3 in the tap and around 5-8 in my tank after I have added the GH powder for the plants.

I use a python to do both emptying and refilling of the tank.
I have been bothered by the gas of my tap water when it goes into my tank, there seems to be a lot of dissolved gases coming out of the changed water even after I run it slowly through a spray pistol/head. I havent seen any bubbles forming inside the fish (gas bubble disease), but bubbles do get stuck on the fishes' slime coats and sometimes on the outside of the shrimp as well. It -might- be harmless but it makes me very uneasy.

Right now I think changes in TDS are the most likely cause.
I have gone from changing 50% to changing just 25% this past sunday, and I dont think I have found any dead shrimp yet.
However this makes build-up of ferts more of an issue. Changing twice a week is hard for me to do right now practically with work, sometimes I struggle getting just the weekly one in on time.
Hopefully the TDS meter will help me figure out what is going on.

On to some more happy news, I have splurged a bit and ordered myself (read: fish and shrimp) a late christmas present, a big upgrade to my ancient Eheim filter with Aquael's Ultramax 2000. The specs and the price of the filter is much better than one of a similar new Eheim type, and Im hoping the quality isnt too bad. I am super excited and waiting impatiently for it to arrive. As always when ordering online, I would rather it arrive yesterday :p
Im gonna have a long spray bar running all across the back of the tank for steady but good distribution. I will also go from a theoretical 750 LPH to a theoretical 2000 LPH, so its a big upgrade.
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,695
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
The DTPA Fe arrived shortly after the last post and new growth on the plants look much better.
Good.
I currently think something happening during the water change disagrees with them. I dont think this has directly to do with fertilizers any more.
I use a python to do both emptying and refilling of the tank. I have been bothered by the gas of my tap water when it goes into my tank, there seems to be a lot of dissolved gases coming out of the changed water even after I run it slowly through a spray pistol/head. I havent seen any bubbles forming inside the fish (gas bubble disease), but bubbles do get stuck on the fishes' slime coats and sometimes on the outside of the shrimp as well. It -might- be harmless but it makes me very uneasy.
Not so good. It could be temperature related, how much cooler is the water change water?
The bulk of my filter media is Seachem Matrix, and I am wondering if the advertised anaerobic core of the Matrix is removing the nitrate faster than my plants can get to it.
It is possible.
Anyway, nitrates consistently test 0 from the tap and between 2,5 - 5 in my tank. Yesterday I tested before and a couple of hours after adding ~20 ppm N. Test went up maybe 1 point, if that. Something funky is going on. Either I have a faulty test, or the test is useless (forum favorite), or the plants ate 20 ppm N in 3 hours (seems unlikely), or the Matrix ate 20 ppm N in 3 hours, or there is something wrong with my KNO3 mixture and it is much weaker than its supposed to. I have had some crystals escape from solution and start creeping out of the pump bottle. Or maybe some entirely other factor is going on that I am unaware of. Its hard to know what you dont know.
You know what I'm going to say ..............................Test kit..........

cheers Darrel
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
The tap water I use to refill the tank is maybe one or two degrees lower than the water in the tank. I dont refill with ice cold water.
Its a bit of a contested subject here in Norway, Camp A feels very strongly that the heated water from the boiler is full of toxic stuff and its better for the fish to get a cold shower, while Camp B feels that Camp A are being paranoid about boiler sludge, and that fish from the amazon dont like almost freezing water from north of the polar circle and that the possibility of some sludge is better than shocking your fish. I am in Camp C, which stands for Confused and trying to do some sort of middle ground.
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
A more timely update this time, the Aquael Ultramax 2000 arrived the day before christmas, and got set up immediately. Its a bit too tall for my aquarium stand, but I'm making do until I can build a taller one, a new stand has been on my to do list for a while anyway. It fits under there but the prefilter lid cannot be opened fully, and it needs to be tilted and pulled out (heavy) over a support bar before I can do any service on it. It spills out water on the floor when you open the prefilter, which I am not sure if is intended or not. Just a little bit of water, I think its the water that is in the pump itself and above the prefilter, but still a strange design. Maybe youre supposed to have the whole filter in a tub before you open it? That seems cumbersome.

All the old filter media from the Eheim was put over into the Ultramax, and I mixed the existing Seachem Matrix with the provided ceramic thingamabobs so that hopefully the bacteria can spread easily. I am considering replacing the Matrix with normal ceramic porous media, I am really unsure if its messing with my nitrates or not and honestly would rather have one less factor to worry about. This would have to be done over a bit of time to avoid a filter crash. Im thinking maybe removing 1/4 of the Matrix every 2 months, this should allow the bacteria to colonise the other media without getting any ammonia and nitrite issues I think. Another option would be to break the Matrix into smaller pieces with a hammer, this should make the anaerobic areas of the pebbles smaller because of the increased surface area and oxygenation. It might ruin the Matrix though o_O

I used the provided spraybar plus one from Aliexpress I had laying around, plugged the pump in and was immediately disappointed with the flow, or lack thereof :meh: A couple of minutes of sulking later, I started to remember all the info I got from reading the spray bar threads on the forum. My spray bar setup probably had way too many holes! :oops::rolleyes: They make the holes in the bar to fit only that length of bar, and then of course some bars will be better designed than others. When you add another length of bar, you will get maybe double the amount of holes that you are supposed to have. Which makes the pressure drop and the waterflow in the tank will not reach far enough. Grabbed some black electrical tape and went to work, plugged up maybe closer to 2/3 of the holes, as the Aliex bar I had used was quite liberal with both hole size and amount. Much better flow this time! The glue on the tape wont last long term under water but I will look into maybe shrink-tube covering the extra holes, or something else. I ordered a bit more Aliex spray bar, so it will look less janky when its all the same kind.

The old Eheim is still running in the tank as well, only empty. It has the external Hydor heater on it, and being 12/16, the heater will not fit on the new 16/22 pump. A new 16/22 heater is on the list, but its not doing any harm the way it is now either, so its not an emergency.

Plants continue to look better, the rotala has mostly un-stunted and is growing nicely. I suspect it will stunt again when I replant the tops, but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised. I've bumped the KNO3 dose up to 10 ppm from 8 ppm. They get about 0.2 ppm of Fe through the DTPA as well. [Edit: 3 times a week.] There is still some thread algae and some struggling older leaves, but I am trying to avoid making too many changes at once so some time and observing is in order. Particularly with this new flow, which is a major change.

Shrimp deaths seem to have decreased, I have only found one shrimp so far. Im not adding any GH powder any more, and I am refilling the tank reeeeaaaal slowly, like 2-3 hours. Takes forever, thank goodness for timers so I can do other things in the meantime. Last water change was 50% again instead of 25%, which seems to have been fine. TDS change issues mitigated by slow refilling?

Speaking of TDS, the meter arrived today, and some quick initial measurements shows tap water around 63 ppm, tank water at around 171 ppm before macros and 184 ppm after. So there is a difference there. I dont know yet how big of a difference this is, some more reading is required. Water change sunday is coming up, and I am thinking of maybe changing 80-90% of the water to get it back to tap level, and then measuring daily to see how it evolves. Refilling of such a large water change would have to be done very slowly though, otherwise I imagine I'll have another shrimp death wave on my hands.
 
Last edited:

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
A closer look at the rotala rotundifolia. Sincere apologies for the image quality, my phone was not cooperating. I find it strange that some of the tips are doing great, while some of the others are still small and stunted looking. The good looking ones will stunt again as soon as they are replanted in my experience so far. They are not chlorotic any more as far as I can tell, the picture makes them look washed out because of the light.

20200103_192709.jpg


Will a lack of CO2 cause stunting like this?
I just find it strange how I am adding full dose of EI to a low tech, low to moderate light tank and still get them doing this stunting.
 
Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
42
Location
Norway
.

Speaking of TDS, the meter arrived today, and some quick initial measurements shows tap water around 63 ppm, tank water at around 171 ppm before macros and 184 ppm after. So there is a difference there. I dont know yet how big of a difference this is, some more reading is required. Water change sunday is coming up, and I am thinking of maybe changing 80-90% of the water to get it back to tap level, and then measuring daily to see how it evolves.
Hi, Hufsa.
I don't think you should freak out with the tsd numbers you are seeing.
A big water change without the usual gh Booster will cause a bigger tsd shock to your tank and might cause more Trubble.
Your tap gh level is so low that the tank probably benefits from a little extra.
Do you provide any additional magnesium and phosphate for your tank?
 

JoshP12

Member
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
455
Location
Canada
I have enjoyed reading through this post; thanks for starting it.

My suggestion will be a pain and several people use a python and dose the water column after successfully; I like to age it in a bucket with a bubbler, doctor it, heat it, then add slowly.

TDS shock is real. Temperature stress is real.

That gas coming out of your tap is co2 and will stress the fish if the concentration is too high/too drastic/impacts fish due to ph fluctuations etc etc so all of these things (whichever it is) is going to cause stress.

Ageing your water in buckets with a bubbler will let your water equalize out - aside from the scientific view co2 coming to the 3ppm equilibrium with air, I like to let the water settle - it settles me.

I doctor it with GH/kh booster to what ever I want — the numbers you choose will depend entirely on your setup. Right now, it needs to match your tank (unless your intention is to slowly adjust you chemistry). If your water is good from the tap/rain bucket for what you want, then don’t doctor it.

The temperature camp imo is relative to wc percentage. If you are topping off with water that is 10 Fahrenheit lower it’s fine; if you are changing 90%... well it will induce some stress. Will that stress kill fish ... I do not have an answer.

At 50% changes, I think you should be close enough but just under your current temp: if it’s 77f go to 75f— our thermometers have error anyways, haha.

So I am in camp AB ... it depends. I will say that I tend not to put hotter water in - not sure why. Actually, I do know why; once my heater boiled over and the effect on my fish was unsettling; so much so, that when I fixed it my shrimp danced the entire aquarium.

Since you do not intend to use co2, you need to find the nutrient balance with your light at your natural co2 levels - easier said than done - if you liberally dose ferts, which is fine, then your lighting/husbandry of the aquarium will dictate if you see algae. I know that flow will also play a factor, but I have never beat algae with fixing flow ... yet ... but I have with lighting and “correct” husbandry.

Just my thoughts!
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
Thank you both for your replies, I appreciate it a lot and I am happy that you find it somewhat tolerable to read through my ramblings :D

I ended up not making a big change to the overall TDS at water change. I took some time to think about my GH and decided to start adding the powder again at water changes to hopefully avoid Ca and Mg deficiencies in my soft water. I still felt like changing a fair bit of water for some reason, so I did about a 75% water change. Probably to feel like I have a bit of control over whats in there and a cleaner slate to work from. To avoid shocking the shrimp, I added the GH powder in two doses, half of the powder slowly added when the tank was refilled to 50% full, and the rest between 75 - 100% filled. That should have kept the TDS relatively steady, instead of the levels going from "High"(relative) pre water change, Low post refill, and then to High again after adding GH powder to a full tank. Resulting TDS came out at (very roughly) 151, so that will allow for some rise from the ferts through the week before the cycle repeats.

I add Phosphate as a part of the Macro EI dosing, about 2 ppm 3x a week, but not any Magnesium so far when its not being added through the GH powder. Keep in mind I dont live in the UK, so an abundance of Ca in the water is much less of a given over here.

I feel like Ive been bouncing around way too much lately, from one theory to another. I would like not to, but its not so easy in practice. So many factors and variables, its easy to get dizzy as a newbie.

To be quite honest with you, aging the water is difficult for several reasons. I live in a very small apartment and space is very scarce. In addition, we struggle with humidity and mold, and I dont want to contribute to this problem with water standing around. Lastly but also a big factor, I want things to be easy and convenient, for the periods of time when I am less interested in the tank. It comes and goes a little bit and I need to make sure the upkeep is easy enough to do, even when Im not feeling super motivated. Ideally I would like to get out of having to dose ferts each day eventually, but I need to have a better grip on things before I try that, I think.

I am probably stubborn for not wanting to use added CO2. I just really dont want to. The added risk to the livestock, the refilling of the bottles, and all the parts and gizmos, its so unappealing to me personally.

It has to be possible to get a nice low tech tank, I have seen it done. Good surface agitation and flow distribution should max out my potential "low tech" CO2. With the new pump and the spray bars I feel like I have that part pretty sorted.
Will added CO2 make my problems easier to nail down? Probably.
Is it also beyond the scope of what I want with this tank? Yes.

As far as I understand it, one does not want CO2 to be the limiting factor for plant growth. Nor do you want nutrients to be? But its better than CO2 being the limiting factor, yes? So lights should be the limiter, and for low CO2 that means low light. My light looks bright to me, but based on those old watts/lumen per liter calculations its in the low range. So I am still uncertain about this.

And last of todays ramblings, should I decrease the fert dosage since its low tech? Im told over and over again that ferts do not cause algae, but can it still cause issues if theres a lot of unused stuff floating about? What if I need such a high dose, of NO3 for instance? Lookin at -you- Seachem Matrix, suspected nitrate thief o_O
 
Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
42
Location
Norway
A nice planted tank with no co2 is possible. It's just a bit harder. This is just my personal opinion. I may be wrong.
With co2 plants grow faster and can better compete out algea.

I think your plants look good. I have the same salvinia floating plants and my always seem to show a deficiency of some sort.

With no co2 and low-ish lights, you probably could just dose macros once a week after w.c
I would still dose micro in several small doses since it doesn't "last" in aquarium water.

You should find some way to make water changes as easy as possible.
I change 100liter in less than 1 hour from start to finish. With trimming and filter cleaning that doubles.
I put a 30 liter bucket on a shelf besides my tank to siphon new water into the tank. I mix up about half og the gh/kh/ferts in the first 30 liters. When this bucket is full I start siphoning out tank water straight into the drain.
I have a long hose connected to my shower mixer and when I start to siphon water back into my tank from the bucket I also fill water into the bucket from the shower tap. So no carrying water....and no deaths from gas bubbles so far.
IMG_20200105_18410.jpg

Cold water looses it's ability to hold gasses as it heats up. So bubbles is inevitable as long as you refill straight from the tap.
I have been trying to figure out a way of pre-mixing my water.
I would have to store it in a big drum, heat it, mix whatever i need to add, sirculate and pump it into my tank. It would be great but requires to much equipment.
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
The gas problem seems to be helped a lot by refilling super slowly, over about 2 hours or more. Much fewer bubbles are formed, now, most of the bubbles in the water look to be made by the filter splashing the surface when the water level is low. I think the very thin stream of water in combination with the churning of the filter outlets help it offgas quickly. I like to have the filter running during, to distribute the Prime and to mix the new water well.
Using 2 hours to refill is doable for me since it just requires checking up on it with a timer every now and then.

Dosing less ferts total is tempting, if its not truly needed then it would reduce my need for big water changes.
 
Joined
30 Jan 2019
Messages
42
Location
Norway
Dosing less ferts total is tempting, if its not truly needed then it would reduce my need for big water changes.
I think you misunderstood what I was trying so say.
What I meant was: you can dose macro once a week, because your plants will not consume ferts very fast.
Keep the total macro amount the same or even higher.
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
I think you misunderstood what I was trying so say.
What I meant was: you can dose macro once a week, because your plants will not consume ferts very fast.
Keep the total macro amount the same or even higher.

Ah, sorry, my bad. I was just sort of musing to myself about decreasing dosing overall. But I dont think I will, even if full EI is overkill for low tech, then thats sort of the whole point isnt it, to make sure there is plenty.
I get what you are saying about front loading macros. It sounds appealing with less work, but im worried about the plants running out during the week even though they shouldnt.

I have read a lot of journals where they use Biohome or Matrix as their main filter media, and they all seem to do just fine, so my nitrate "thing" with Matrix is probably just in my head. For those who have noticed I added a little extra bit to my journal title, since what I definitely have enough of is thinking and grumbling over things! Possibly far too much, leading to thinking toxicity :lol: At least im somewhat self aware :angelic::p

I snapped a quick picture of the rotundifolia from above, camera was much more helpful today.
Is it supposed to have this kind of dark veining?
Macros should be good, 30 ppm NO3, 3 ppm PO4, 24 ppm K during the course of the week.
Micros from CSM+B dosed to 0.6 ppm fe, as well as approx 0.6 ppm of iron DTPA during the week. That leaves CO2 and GH (Ca/Mg) issues the most likely candidates..
I do have soft water and havent been good about adding GH booster, and no extra Mg.
My water supply reports 22 ppm average of Ca.
I added about 5 ppm of Mg today, lets see if we get any changes :)
20200107_163604.jpg
 
Last edited:

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,695
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I do have soft water and havent been good about adding GH booster, and no extra Mg.
My water supply reports 22 ppm average of Ca.
I added about 5 ppm of Mg today, lets see if we get any changes :)
20200107_163604-jpg.jpg
That looks pretty conclusively like iron (Fe) deficiency.

New leaves that are small, pale and chlorotic suggests a deficiency of a non-mobile nutrient, and iron both causes those growth abnormalities and is non-mobile. Have a look at @Zeus.'s <"comments">.

We have quite a <"few iron deficient Rotala"> threads.

cheers Darrel
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
Hi all, That looks pretty conclusively like iron (Fe) deficiency.

Even when Ive been adding 430 mg of Fe DTPA 8% three times a week? :eek:
It should work out to around the ballpark of 0.6 ppm weekly, based on this from the calulator:
"To reach your target of 0.2ppm Fe you will need to add 514 milligrams (equivalent to 1/16 tsp + 1/32 tsp + 1/64 tsp ) DTPA Fe (7%) to your 180L aquarium"

I dont mean to doubt your knowledge Darrel, you are probably right, I was just surprised since I thought I had the iron bit sorted out now :facepalm:
How much would you suggest I add?
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,695
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
Even when Ive been adding 430 mg of Fe DTPA 8% three times a week?
Does seem strange, but I can't see what else it can be. Hopefully @Zeus. will chip in.
I also found the FeDTPA doesnt discolour the tank much at all compared to FeEDDHA

I still was getting
upload_2019-12-6_15-3-18-png.png


So I started dosing some FeEDDHA manually on micro day - the above pic was post adding the FeEDDHA hence the green being back in the new growth.

Think the FeDPTA was breaking down either in the micro mix or by the light.
You can get other ions interfere with the uptake of Fe ions, but normally that would be calcium (Ca++), and you don't have much of that. Lack of magnesium (Mg) could also cause some chlorosis, but that would effect older leaves.

cheers Darrel
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
Its hard for me to tell if the older leaves are also chlorotic, since they tend to get covered by algae very quickly. I uprooted some rotundifolia and a bit of ludwigia to get some good pictures of the older leaves. The hygrophila is also doing some weird curling thing on some of the new shoots.
 

Attachments

  • 20200107_164021.jpg
    20200107_164021.jpg
    3.8 MB · Views: 54
  • 20200107_184730.jpg
    20200107_184730.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 63
  • 20200107_184820.jpg
    20200107_184820.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 64
  • 20200107_184837.jpg
    20200107_184837.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 63
  • 20200107_185033.jpg
    20200107_185033.jpg
    1 MB · Views: 63
  • 20200107_185043.jpg
    20200107_185043.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 63
  • 20200107_185100.jpg
    20200107_185100.jpg
    1 MB · Views: 46
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
D Everything DIY build Journals 9
karel.brits Thinking about a second scape - some thoughts and questions Journals 2

Similar threads

Top