Everything deficiency - Thinking toxicity (Low tech)

Zeus.

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Will a lack of CO2 cause stunting like this?

I am no expert

Inter stem elongation :rolleyes: well if this was a High Tech tank with CO2 injection @ceg4048 would be quoting the experiments done on Rice and saying it was due to poor CO2 levels with poor flow in the tank. So it would follow IMO that in a non injected CO2 tank the Inter stem elongation is due to the same poor CO2 levels plus lack of flow would still apply as the experiments done on rice wasn't with CO2 injection and was based on the CO2 levels at certain depths in the rice paddy fields with low flow. The rotala that is growing well with shorter distance between the stems is getting better flow and hence CO2 so the distance is shorter plus getting more light so the rotala is also growing better. Flow may also be better higher up in the tank.

I see this same picture on my Rotala in my potted tank high tech tank, when the rotala in pots is planted close together the rotala has small leaves as it competes for the CO2 and because its so closely packed together flow is reduced which compounds the CO2 levels again the result is Inter stem elongation and small leaves, a few rotata break though which then get better CO2 levels and better light and presso the poor growth transforms like your has plus the leaves turn reddish dependant on light levels. The only difference is my tank is CO2 injected and yours isnt but IMO the cause is the same CO2 deficiency due to inadequate flow.



Nice pic :thumbup:

My rotala has the veining on the leaves just like yours not quite as distinct.

Plus your P. Pogostemon helferi shows no signs of an Fe issue IMO and its Pogostemon helferi thats show Fe issues first in my tank with hard water.
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Think the tank just needs some CO2 injection 1-3 BPS 24/7 would probably work wonders with tad more flow OFC
 

Hufsa

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Thanks for your reply Zeus :D
Adding CO2 is not an option, but flow and surface agitation was improved dramatically 2 weeks ago with the new filter. Maybe its a bit too early still to gauge wether or not it has had a positive effect on the plants? Since most of the plant mass will be from before this change. Everything happens slower in low tech.

[Edit]
If it continues to be an issue, then I guess another option would be to decrease the light further, to decrease the demand for CO2?
Maybe turn off one of the bulbs, since I dont fancy decreasing light period much more..
I like to be able to look at my tank with light and not just have a dark box all day :lol:
 
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Tim Harrison

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On the whole I think you're doing okay, but the system is out of balance. I'd guess the main culprit is too high a light intensity driving plant growth that can not be sustained by available CO2.
Under those conditions the uptake of nutrients will be limited and plants will suffer deficiencies no matter how much fertiliser you chuck in to your tank. Faster growing stems like Rotala will divert resources to growing new leaves, the older lower leaves will start to senesce and attract algae.
It might also account of the elongated internodes. But plants will never grow as compact low-energy as they will with 30ppm CO2 from a pressurised system.

I know you're not keen on reducing the photoperiod but a temporary reduction to 6hrs, until you have the algae under control, would be a good idea. In the meantime, it would also help if you...
Take a look at Tom Barrs Non Co2 Methods for the basic principles involved.
Increase the plant density, and add some floating plants, and/or plant some Vallis or similar and allow the leaves to grow across the surface.
Stay on top of filter maintenance and tank husbandry to reduce organics.
You could also give some thought to dosing LC, you might get better growth as well as a helping hand eradicating algae. If you choose this latter route follow Tom's guidelines for fertz and water changes.
 

Hufsa

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Take a look at Tom Barrs Non Co2 Methods for the basic principles involved.
Increase the plant density, ...

This seems like a solid plan, I have given it a good read and new dosing will be once a week macros of 10 ppm NO3, 1 ppm PO4, 10 ppm K, plus equivalent reduction in the other bits. Gonna continue to spread micros out over 3 days because of availability. Essentially 1/3 the fert amount that I have been adding until now.
I will avoid big water changes to reduce fluctuations in CO2. The shrimp should be happy about that :D
I can use the TDS pen to make sure im not getting old tank syndrome, and adjust water change frequency and amount by those trends.

I turned off one of the light bulbs this morning, so lights should effectively be dimmed by 50%.

More plants are at the top of the list, waiting for my fish store to get in a new shipment. Planning to get lots more stem plants.

Fingers crossed for steadier plant growth, less algae and less work with fert dosing and stressing about water changes :D:D
 

Hufsa

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I quite like the light at 50% intensity, its less of a "bright stage" level of lighting and more of a "cosy livingroom". My other half seems to have seen fit to fix "the issue" by turning the bulb back on again after I left for work yesterday, but he has now been informed that it was in fact intentional ;)

I happened to be mixing up a new batch of some ferts on tuesday and had a real problem following my K recipe. Apparently the numbers I wrote down, for 1 ppm per pump, is actually insoluble for my tank size and therefore I have no idea how I got it mixed up last time or how much K I have actually been dosing as a result. Probably less than I assumed since it wouldnt have been fully dissolved. New batch will have to be 0.25 ppm per pump, which means more pumping for me but oh well. Maybe it can count as exercise :angelic: Talk about being a lazy fishkeeper :p
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
Apparently the numbers I wrote down, for 1 ppm per pump, is actually insoluble for my tank size and therefore I have no idea how I got it mixed up last time or how much K I have actually been dosing as a result.
Are you sure? Nearly all potassium (K - kalium) salts are really soluble, for example you can dissolve 254g of KCl in a litre of (tank temperature) water.

cheers Darrel
 

Hufsa

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Are you sure?

I have K2SO4, apparently 1 ppm per 1.5 ml pump is insoluble for a 180 liter tank. Idk if container size matters but 400 ml solution.
I didnt find out until I added it in real life, so both calculator and practice says it doesnt work out :confused:
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I have K2SO4
I didnt find out until I added it in real life, so both calculator and practice says it doesnt work out
That is a lot less soluble, about 120g per litre, so you are almost twice the solubility limit. If you have other salts in solution? You also have to factor in the common ion effect, meaning that <"any less soluble salt"> (most of them) will come out of solution first.
1 ppm per 1.5 ml pump is insoluble for a 180 liter tank. Idk if container size matters but 400 ml solution
Container size does matter. You would need to divide 120 by 2.5, to get the maximum weight of K2SO4 you could add to 400cm3 of stock solution, and that is 48 g. I won't do all the maths, but but you would need about:
  • 107g of K2SO4
  • to give you 1ppm of K in 180 litres
  • dosing 1.5mL of solution.
Could you just dose a larger volume? 15mL would mean that you only need ~11g of K2SO4, and you would still get over three weeks of dosing out of a 400 mL container.

The maths bit
The RMM of K2SO4 is 174.3, and the RAM of potassium is 39.1, you have two of them so that is 78.2 and 45% K. The last thing is to multiply 48 by 0.45 and that is 21.5g of K. Divide 48 by 0.45 and you get ~107g and 1ppm K.

cheers Darrel
 

Hufsa

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I have pumps that dispense 1.5 ml at a time, so I only really need to pump a few more times because of this, so its not a very big issue :)
I have separate macro bottles, so theres only K added to that particular bottle. I use "battery water", which says its demineralised water for refilling of batteries and steam uhm.. irons? The thing that makes your shirts smooth and non crinkly. I think I read somewhere that this is a cheaper but probably mostly equivalent substitute to real RO water or destilled water, which tends to cost a bit more.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I have pumps that dispense 1.5 ml at a time, so I only really need to pump a few more times because of this
OK.
I use "battery water", which says its demineralised water for refilling of batteries and steam uhm.. irons? The thing that makes your shirts smooth and non crinkly.
Yes, we call them "irons".
real RO water or destilled water, which tends to cost a bit more
Strange it should all be the same, so cheapest is fine.

cheers Darrel
 
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Whilst contravetial on here... you might also like to try a siesta lighting regime to try and maximise available co2 during lights on periods. George Farmer is also currently giving this a go as per his YouTube.
 

Ray

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I'm very confused how Seachem Matrix which is apparently a biological filter media claims it is going to control nitrates. Last time I checked the nitrogen cycle produced nitrates (which of course your plants need!).

Your setup sounds good. Can we see a full tank shot? Check flow is getting to whole tank (2000 lph is enough on paper for 180l), keep up with the reduced light - some combo of 6 hours, no reflector, old tubes, floating plants, raise the height above water.

If you get stuck you could try daily dosing liquid carbon (Easylife EasyCarbo or Seachem Excel) - it will annoy the algae and should give the plants a boost IF there is too much light for the available CO2. Caveat, so long as you're not growing vallisneria.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I'm very confused how Seachem Matrix which is apparently a biological filter media claims it is going to control nitrates. Last time I checked the nitrogen cycle produced nitrates
The idea is that you get simultaneous aerobic nitrification and anaerobic denitrification in the filter media. This is dependent upon having a biofilm where the nitrification occurs in the outer layers and this helps to deplete the oxygen so that the inner pore space can harbour nitrate reducing bacteria.

It is theoretically possible, but it is <"so seriously flawed as a concept"> I really strongly advice people to try and ensure that they get as much oxygen as possible into the filter as possible.

One thing I've found from other forums is that, even experienced, aquarists often fail to appreciate <"how effective plants"> are at removing all forms of fixed nitrogen.

cheers Darrel
 

Ray

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Thanks Daryl on both counts - I'm surprised anyone remembers me! :) I agree, the idea of trying to achieve both aerobic and anaerobic respiration in the same filter sounds to me like an insane plan. Even if you could do it (and planted tank folks shouldn't), you'd be walking on a knife edge re. oxygen levels and if that equilibrium failed it would potentially be catastrophic.
 

Hufsa

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Our new plan to avoid fluctuating CO2 sadly had to be put on pause. I discovered a bacterial infection on one of my corys, and upon testing the water (yes i know, tests), found that there was a reading of 0,025 - 0,05 nitrite. I assume that the transfer of the complete filter media from the old Eheim to the new Aquael was too big of a change for the bacteria and thus I had a spike without me knowing. That is, until one of the fish got sick. Shame on me for not testing daily after such a change to make sure everything went ok. But if I learn from it then it is not all negative.

Ive been doing daily 50% water changes and the fish has now fully recovered without any medication.
There are still slight readings for nitrite, so I will continue with the daily water changes until the filter is back on its feet.


Whilst contravetial on here... you might also like to try a siesta lighting regime to try and maximise available co2 during lights on periods. George Farmer is also currently giving this a go as per his YouTube.

I read a bit about the siesta method before, it does seem like a highly disputed subject. Havent really seen anyone showing great results either positive or negative for it. I am personally unsure if I think that the plants will actually rest during the dark siesta. How long do they need to become inactive, and how long again to be active after this rest period. And wouldnt the algae be better at dealing with this sort of fast flip flopping. I dont know.


I'm very confused how Seachem Matrix which is apparently a biological filter media claims it is going to control nitrates. Last time I checked the nitrogen cycle produced nitrates (which of course your plants need!).

Your setup sounds good. Can we see a full tank shot? Check flow is getting to whole tank (2000 lph is enough on paper for 180l), keep up with the reduced light - some combo of 6 hours, no reflector, old tubes, floating plants, raise the height above water.

If you get stuck you could try daily dosing liquid carbon (Easylife EasyCarbo or Seachem Excel) - it will annoy the algae and should give the plants a boost IF there is too much light for the available CO2. Caveat, so long as you're not growing vallisneria.

Seachem claims that the bits of Matrix are deep enough to have anerobic cores, who knows if this is actually the case. Either way, its unlikely to be some sort of magical bogeyman that I can blame for all my troubles.

Full tank shot attached, its not exactly where I want to have it, to say the least, but it is in progress. Still waiting to get more plants. Photos taken right after water change, so please excuse the bubbles.

I have a spray bar running the back length of the tank, and the flow is a fair bit more than most low tech tanks, I am confident enough to say. If I squeeze any more pressure from the spray bar, the fish food gets blasted into oblivion immediately, the shrimp look like they are in a wind tunnel when they cross the sandy areas, and the plants start "whipping" more than waving in the flow. The fish can deal with even higher flow, but for those three reasons I am wanting to keep the flow at this level. Its a "good swirl all around" and all the plants are moving. There is slightly less movement in the back left corner, partially because this spraybar that I am using right now has uneven pressure and jets that dont go perfectly straight, especially at the start of the bar. I am gathering materials to make a custom one at the moment, and hope to be able to get straight jets and even pressure all along. Another reason is the density of the bolbitis and the h. difformis breaking up some of the flow in that area.

The light is currently running at only one out of two bulbs, and very annoyingly to me, only 6 hours a day. The bulbs were replaced at the start of my journal so they are no longer old, but the reflector is still gone, and it doesnt look like I should replace that any time soon.

I am in a war with the honey gouramis over the floating plants. The female gourami, less affectionately named Miss Piggy, insists on eating off all the roots of the floating plants. Obviously the plants are not super happy about this, and coupled with the high flow in the tank they are having a -very- bad month.
Ive been having trouble keeping the plants contained in one corner when the little fat blahblahblahblahblahblahblah keeps eating the roots off and making them float out into the tank, to get bashed around by the spray bar and submerged to the point where the air coating of the salvinia leaves are destroyed, and then the leaf dies. I have two and a half small plants left at this point. I have made prototype number 532 of the floating plant containment corner, and it looks like this one is actually effective enough. Its made of stiff black plastic mesh attached to two suction cups with thread, and it goes both above the water surface and a bit below, to keep them in even when the water level drops a bit due to evaporation. I am taking them out and putting them in a small cup temporarily during the water changes, so that they dont get bashed around any more.

I dont really want to dose liquid carbon, it takes my tank in the wrong direction in relation to what I want.
I want to keep things simple and preferably in the direction of less fiddling and adding and mucking about, rather than more complicated. I also have concerns regarding adding ""some unknown chemical"" that we dont know exactly what does, into our tanks full of critters. I am growing a bit of vallisneria, not very well may I add, but I would like to give it a good go before I give up on it. I might have too soft water for it.

All in all the plants are still doing alright, its not perfect but it sure isnt a disaster either.
Getting some thread algae and some older leaves getting coated in algae still.
Most of the plants are growing just fine, the rotala has unstunted slightly, its not super happy but its not dying either. The hygrophila difformis is healthy enough that I can take off the top shoots to make it branch without issue, and the one new plant I got my hands on is growing very well. Its heteranthera zosterifolia, and it made the transition from tissue culture cup to my tank without missing a beat. Very pleased about this. I need more bushy plants to grow well so I can start covering up the back wall. Tank looks much too bare for me right now.
 

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Ray

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Full tank shot attached, its not exactly where I want to have it, to say the least, but it is in progress. Still waiting to get more plants. Photos taken right after water change, so please excuse the bubbles.

Looking very good indeed - thanks for sharing and please give another update in due course...
 

Hufsa

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Ive been looking for "the perfect" piece(s) of wood to have in my tank for ages now it feels. My plan is to have a big piece on the left side of the middle, and then a smaller complementary piece on the right hand side.

I havent managed to find nice pieces for sale. My usual redmoor pusher has a lot of very large pieces atm but they are much too big for my tank. Shame, they are some insane looking roots for a ~700 liter aquarium.

I had a rummage through my existing hoard for the third or fourth time, and with a bit of imagining and a bit of sawing I came up with this one for the left hand side.
Untitled5.png


I dont usually like when wood is arranged pointing straight up at the sky, it looks a bit artificial to me. I like to try to keep a balance between the man made and the natural looking, and I just keep asking myself if roots would grow that way in the wild. For a biotope style you would have the main body of the wood on top, and the roots reaching downwards towards the substrate, like the exposed roots of a tree. Or, you could go for the fallen branch look, which would be sideways, I suppose. I quite like the former setup visually, but it makes planting a big nightmare, the wood shadows the tank and its so hard to plant between the fingers of the wood, and it takes up a lot of space.

I have some african filter shrimp that I would love to have more visible, and I think some roots sticking out into the fast flowing water of the spray bar would be good to help entice them out. This root is therefore a sort of compromise between all those. The word windswept comes to mind when I look at it.

I have it soaking in my tank right now, with some cobbles of stone weighing it down. The bolbitis sits at the left side of the main body and the narrow leaf java fern sits on the right. I like how much height it adds to those plants, they suddenly seem a lot bigger and the bolbitis is my absolute favorite plant so I want it to have the main role in the tank. However, they almost completely cover up all the nice wood :arghh::arghh::arghh:
Why must this be so hard!?

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Which brings me to my second pet peeve, which are when people make amazing looking hardscapes but they get covered completely with plants rendering them almost invisible :lol:

So Im looking for a perfect red moor root that will allow one big fat bolbitis to sit on it and its little brother the java fern, it must not take up too much space in the tank for planting, and it must also have a lot of exposed roots somehow. Demanding, who me? :angelic:
Im not sure my current root is the one, time will tell.
 
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