Everything deficiency - Thinking toxicity (Low tech)

jaypeecee

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Hufsa

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I promised some follow up pics after lights come on so here they are :)

I snapped a picture of some BBA on the main root having turned all grey looking.
When I looked at the same spot later a bunch of BBA had disappeared :geek:

Before and after:
before.pngafter.png

Someone's an effective eater :pompus: Only four hours or so had passed.
There was a very full looking oto chilling just outside the picture.

Please disregard the new bunch of Pogostemon helferi blocking the view.
The new plants kinda just got plopped down in a functional but not very aesthetic way.

I also got a follow up pic of the big branch that was treated with glut first.
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Still some fuzz but not too bad in relation to how it was:
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Some other gratuitous shots:

Teeny tiny baby H'ra
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Emersed form Nesaea
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Hottonia and Rotala rotundifolia growth.
The tops look a little bit small and strange if I look very close but im making a -very- conscious effort to not overthink this and just wait and see.
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Pretty pretty Ludwigia palustris :snaphappy:
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Hufsa

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Been meaning to update this for a while, I dont know why but it tends to end up as these massive updates covering several topics instead of a steady stream of posts. Im not even sure where to start. I guess I'll start with what I left off with last time.

I have not killed the Rotala H'ra or the Nesaea/Ammannia crassicaulis (yet :p).
I find the conversion from emersed to submerged growth patterns fascinating. The rotala was confused at first, growing round emersed-looking leaves despite coming from an in-vitro cup. The leaves have been slowly getting more and more slender as it grows. The crassicaulis is turning a nice yellowish hue that I really like.
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The lone Rotala rotundifolia stem from last post did indeed stunt. I dont wanna say I knew it, but I knew it! :rolleyes: Im not sure why, did it get too close to the light and choked itself out with the light intensity and only ~el natural~ levels of CO2? My Heteranthera zosterifolia is perfectly happy growing right up to the surface. Why are Rotalas such little ******s :rolleyes:

The Hottonia did not stunt however so at least I have that going for me.

I've snapped some more gratuitous pics of my fish and shrimp. The fish are too cute not to share and the shrimp are just beautiful.
Please disregard the shoddy camera(phone)-work and the scratches and watermarks on the glass.
I am but a simple lazy peasant, not a world class photographer slash aquascaper ;):hilarious::hilarious:

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The cory on the left in the rightmost picture is one of my home made ones :happy:

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A very common sight is this multi-cat-pile-up :cool:
This group of zebra ottos is just so sociable and outgoing :thumbup:

I also got even more snails, bringing us up to a total of 21 nerites & clithon snails.
Some of them had some erosion(?) holes in their shells, I hope they can recover from this, and that the holes will not continue into the snail causing its demise. I need to read up more on this topic.

20200605_194945.jpg 20200605_194952.jpg
 

Hufsa

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I want to write a quick post about my lighting before I forget it, its been running on 25% intensity and 8 hours since last time I wrote about it. I think last week I turned it down to 20%, I dont remember why but I recall thinking it was the right thing to do at the time :oldman:
Today im also reducing it to 6 hours as im still getting green thread algae. Less green thread algae than what I had when I was foolishly running the lights at 100%, but still too much algae :meh:

For a long time ive been observing the plants being "woken up" by the ambient light in the room and it has left me considering if the ambient light is sabotaging my efforts to slow my plants need for CO2.
The ambient light hitting the tank is increasing in intensity as summer progresses. The window is northeast facing. My timer has been set to 13:00 to 21:00, now 14:00 to 20:00, since I like to view my tank in the evening. But my plants open their tops much earlier in the morning when the ambient light gets to a certain intensity, even if the curtains are closed. They also close their tops before my aquarium lights go off.
Could this mean that they have already had a long photoperiod and are "done" before my artificial photoperiod is even over?

Im tempted to cover my tank with something that blocks the light and keep it on in the hours my lights are off. I would not be happy with this as a permanent solution as I am very lazy, but it would be interesting as an experiment. This would also interfere with viewing the fish while the lights are off :grumpy:

If this helps I guess I will have to try to sell in some blackout curtains and them having to be closed until 14 o clock to my partner. That will be interesting.. :hungover:
 

Ray

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dw1305

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Hi all,
Some of them had some erosion(?) holes in their shells, I hope they can recover from this, and that the holes will not continue into the snail causing its demise
I think that is mechanical damage where the "horns" have been knocked off. I'm not hopeful for their long term survival.

cheers Darrel
 

Hufsa

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Thanks for the link Ray, this is really interesting stuff. Based on what Ive read in that thread and links I will move my photoperiod to 12:00 - 18:00 and see how I get on.

I think maybe then, that my ambient light levels are a seperate "issue" from the opening and closing of my plants. Because they do turn their tops towards the window in the first part of the day, and then straighten up towards the light when it comes on. I was thinking that means that they are growing with the ambient light levels, but maybe they are able to turn without growing?

Shame to hear youre not hopeful about the two snails Darrel. The first one does look like the holes are placed along a line where the spikes might have been, while the other looks more like there was a hole in the very end of the shell and then it has eroded into a banana shape.. Weird. I did buy a lot of them with the thought that some might not make it. They didnt cost a lot so its not a huge loss, but of course I want the little critters to do well, and preferably not die hidden somewhere and foul up my tank with dead snail stank. Fortunately, the rest of them look much better than these two.
 

sparkyweasel

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but maybe they are able to turn without growing?
I don't think so. The usual turning is by growing more on the dark side (or on the light side of roots). It's called phototropism if you want to look into it.
 

Hufsa

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Ah thanks, thats what I thought. That means that the ambient light is indeed influencing my plants photoperiod. Been turning down intensity and now light hours and they just get sneaky and get extra light from mother nature instead :rolleyes:
Here I am, just doing what im told and trying to get the growth slowed down to match my CO2 levels, just to help their sorry plant asses grow better, meanwhile people who dont even know what plants they have are growing unstunting rotalas by the bucketful :arghh: /end rant


Continuing my update post;

Rotala H'ra and Nesaea update from today
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Ive moved the Nesaea behind the Super Red and gave the latter a trim and a replant. Tops were nice but lower leaves were bad looking and shedding all over the tank.

Ammannia senegalensis, newcomer that I dont really have room for but never seen this in shops here before and wanna see how it does in my conditions. So far not dead :thumbup:
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Whats left of my poor blyxa. It kept shedding mass amounts of leaves and I eventually pulled it out to see what was going on. I found intact and white roots, a melting middle part and shoots that looked salvageable. Unknown if this melt was just a process that was still going on from when I neglected things in spring, or if a new trigger caused the melt. Replanted and hope it recovers. This plant is not so easy to buy in stores, so ill be real upset if it dies. I dont think inert sand is doing it any favors either.

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Still getting some BBA on old leaves, but not seeing anything on the hardscape so far.

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Sessiliflora growing ok, has been getting hacked back a lot. The lower leaves have turned slightly brown with a coating of something, dont know exactly what.


I bought a few new pieces of redmoor wood last week, finally something that could go on the right side of the tank for the Windeløv fern to sit on. I also found a piece that I think can be used to accent the left hand root, so its not all buried under the Bolbitis. Obviously it all sticks out like a sore thumb right now cause of the fresh color, but they will turn the same shade of brown eventually.
20200613_173220.jpg

The right hand side is made of two pieces. Im not entirely convinced they harmonise well together, and with the left, I think maybe I need to rotate one of the pieces, like the pink arrows show. Please ignore the tangle under the red X, it was below the big root on the left hand side and I just threw them over there for now.

Oh and theres a big pile of seachem matrix on the sand because im doing stupid things with my filter media :crazy: I want to reduce the total amount of filter media in my filter to make sure flow through and oxygenation is maximised. Obviously, I cant do all of these filter shenanigans in one go, which is a problem because thats how I like to do things, way too much at once :shy: I think I disturbed too much of the media this time and am now paying for it in daily waterchanges :facepalm:

The new wood is making all kinds of fungal growth, which I expected. I know ottos love this coating and they have been gobbling it up almost as fast as its appearing.
What I didnt expect however, was that they also produced a pretty wicked surface film. It looked like the fallout of a big environmental disaster, with huge flakes of organic matter crashing together in the current like ice floes in the antarctic. It was so thick, air bubbles were getting trapped underneath.

Luckily for me, I also picked up an Eheim Skim that day, so that has been doing a pretty good job at keeping it to a minimum. Ill make a separate post about my Skim modifications later.

There seems to be a higher level of crust in general in my tank thanks to this, so now my thread algae is adorned with a nice slimy coat. Isnt nature beautiful.
20200613_173715.jpg

For now ill just wait out the fresh wood and the other changes, and see how it goes when it has found equilibrium again.
 

rebel

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"horns" have been knocked off. I'm not hopeful for their long term survival.
I don't know whether you guys in the UK have seen the office US version but Kevin glues back a crushed turtle shell with various office supplies..... I had a chuckle when I remembered that.


Could you possibly use egg shell or similar and patch it up with super glue?
 

Hufsa

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Could you possibly use egg shell or similar and patch it up with super glue?
Had a good laugh from that clip :clap:

I know there are tutorials out there to patch up snail shells, especially apple snails as they are big and often considered pets. Ive considered trying it but not sure if the endeavor might be too much for the little snails, and what materials I should use. I know some use nail polish over a bit of plastic, but I dont have any nail polish around, and id not want to get the wrong kind that will dissolve in my tank
 

Hufsa

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Tank got a large trim and cleaning today. Ill snap fresh pictures tomorrow, the lights are off now :)

I have had a fair bit of Sera Siporax biomedia lying at the feet of the plants up against the back wall, to provide shelter for newborn fry and shrimp. Last time I disturbed the piles there wasnt much mulm and crud there, only a few bits of bark from the wood and other sorts of dark things that no one likes to eat or break down. But when I disturbed the piles again today there was a -lot- of mulm and brown gunk and crud that didnt look very good. Since im trying to get the upper hand on algae, i decided to take the siporax out for now, and did a good vaccuum of the sand to get all the crap out. This way the corys can snuffle the sand there and help waft things up so it gets drawn towards the filter where I can remove it regularly.

The big thicket of Heteranthera zosterifolia was starving its lower parts for light and it was shedding leaves all over the tank. I had let the plant get too scraggly really. Need to throw away the bottoms and replant the tops more regularly. It wasnt too long ago I snipped the growing tops, so I didnt have a lot of healthy length to replant, hence it ended up a bit short. But hopefully it grows back quickly.

Almost the same for Limnophila sessiliflora, except here the lower leaves were doing better. I switched the placement of these two plants around. Im trying to not have very similar leaf shapes next to each other, as I think the contrast looks nice. H. z. was looking a bit too similar to the Hygrophila difformis in the back left corner.

Hygrophila costata ('angustifolia') in the back right corner also got topped and replanted. I was fishing out siporax from between the stems and realised the lower parts were pretty bare. At least im the one who has done it :angelic:
Ive been pinching off the dying or algae infested leaves, instead of letting it shed all over the tank like the H. z. :sorry:
To be fair to myself its a lot easier to isolate and pinch off a leaf from this big plant relative to the tiny fine leaved ones o_O


Because these three plants were the biggest in the tank, a fair bit of plant matter was removed.
I will monitor the water quality carefully for a while. I feel bad about removing so much, but I try to tell myself that it would be better to have smaller healthy plants regrowing than a bunch of decaying leaves and unhappy stems rotting.
Ive been changing 50% of the water every day as a result of my earlier filter shenanigans, so that part is already sorted. And since I kicked up so much crud I changed about 75-80% today.

Ive been kinda stubborn about filling water right from the tap until now, but this week I finally came around and bought a used 200 liter barrel to age my water in. The plastic is food grade, and it has not had "chemicals" in it according to the seller. It has however, had lemon juice / lemon extract in it :lol:
Its been given a good scrub without soap and refilled and emptied a bunch of times, but I think the aroma of the lemon juice has gotten into the plastic because it constantly smells faintly of lemon in there :hilarious:
The scent is a little bit alarming, but it was "all natural" lemon extract, so the worst that should happen if there were remnants in the barrel, would be that the water got a bit acidic. Or so I hope.
Ive tested the TDS and the PH and everything is as you would expect.
The water itself doesnt smell, just the barrel :lol:

So now I can change as much water as quickly as I like without worrying about TDS, PH, GH changes etc.
Before now I have been dosing Prime to the total volume of my tank, and letting it circulate for a little bit before refilling from the tap. But always in the back of my head is the worry that the chlorine has not found the Prime before it finds the gills of the fish. Not a nice thought. But now its all pre-mixed and even aerated.

We have been assuming my tap has a lot of CO2, based on the many bubbles that form in the tank when ive been changing water. But is it possible that its a different gas? Or maybe a different cause?
I did some testing last week and the PH of my fresh tap water is 7,3. I filled a bucket and let it just stand over night, tapped the bucket to get the bubbles to release from the bucket wall and tested once it settled. It came out to PH 7,1. So the PH went down after degassing, not up as I would have thought if the tap had a lot of CO2 mixed in..? Or am I misunderstanding something here?

I experimented last week with turning my filter's spray bar spraying into the back wall during water changes from the tap, and saw a significant decrease in bubbles. So might all the bubbles that got stuck on fish, shrimp and plants have been just tiny air bubbles made from the agitation from the spray bar?
Maybe its been an unintentional red herring all along.


Sorry for the long post with no pictures, I promise to make it up to you tomorrow :D
 

rebel

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We have been assuming my tap has a lot of CO2, based on the many bubbles that form in the tank when ive been changing water. But is it possible that its a different gas? Or maybe a different cause?
Dude that's a long thread in itself. ;) Look up pearling.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
We have been assuming my tap has a lot of CO2, based on the many bubbles that form in the tank when ive been changing water. But is it possible that its a different gas? Or maybe a different cause?
As the water warms up (and possibly depressurizes) it can hold less dissolved gas and the excess comes out as gas bubbles. I assume the bubbles are in a similar proportion to the atmosphere, so 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen and traces of argon (Ar), CO2 etc.

It is exactly the same as when you boil a kettle, by the time the water gets to boiling the water is totally degassed.
I did some testing last week and the PH of my fresh tap water is 7,3. I filled a bucket and let it just stand over night, tapped the bucket to get the bubbles to release from the bucket wall and tested once it settled. It came out to PH 7,1. So the PH went down after degassing, not up as I would have thought if the tap had a lot of CO2 mixed in..? Or am I misunderstanding something here?
You are very close to pH7, so if it is water with low conductivity? It may not actually have changed at all and was already somewhere near equilibrium with atmospheric gases.

cheers Darrel
 

Hufsa

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Dude that's a long thread in itself. ;) Look up pearling.
I somewhat doubt its pearling unless I have rare photosynthesizing otos and shrimp ;)

But ill check out the thread LondonDragon linked regardless :)

...if it is water with low conductivity?
I think so, the TDS of my tap comes out around 60. As far as I understand TDS meters dont actually measure TDS but conductivity, and then apply a multiplier to get a sort of equivalent "fake" TDS ?

According to some random calculator I googled, 60 ppm TDS is "93.8 microS/cm"
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
As far as I understand TDS meters dont actually measure TDS but conductivity, and then apply a multiplier to get a sort of equivalent "fake" TDS ? According to some random calculator I googled, 60 ppm TDS is "93.8 microS/cm"
Yes, <"that is right"> 100 microS ~ 64ppm TDS . The assumption made is that all the TDS are comprised of ions. That figure is the approximation where the ions are likely to mainly be derived from calcium carbonate, if you have water you suspect to be brackish (Na+ and Cl- ions) you use 0.5 as your conversion factor.

Because you have low conductivity water it is quite likely that the pH 7.1 and pH 7.3 are the same reading.

A pH meter is a <"modified conductivity meter">, and this means that it struggles with low ionic strength solutions. The "problem" with pH is a log^10 scale and it covers many orders of magnitude. Before you can interpret what a pH value actually means you need some measure of, ideally, carbonate hardness, although in most cases, in freshwater, you can use conductivity as a proxy.

Hydrogen-and-Hydroxide-Ion-Activities.jpg


You can see what this means in practice when you have a <"strong base strong acid titration"> (NaOH and HCl ) curve.

titration-curve11.png


cheers Darrel
 

Hufsa

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Before you can interpret what a pH value actually means you need some measure of, ideally, carbonate hardness...
My water has approx 3 degrees KH, is that what you mean? Or do you mean measure as in; we need a certain amount of it for it to be useful for ...something? o_O

My brain melted a bit looking at the NaOH graph. Is it saying that NaOH has a lot of effect around the mid range of the PH scale?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
My water has approx 3 degrees KH, is that what you mean? Or do you mean measure as in; we need a certain amount of it for it to be useful for ...something?
You need to know what the alkalinity (usually used interchangeably with "carbonate hardness" dKH) before you can interpret what the pH value <"actually means"> for the fish and plants. I have about 3 - 4 dkH and 100 microS. conductivity in my tanks.

You can use conductivity as a proxy for dKH, even though they aren't directly related. The reasoning is that you have very few ions of any description, and even though those you do have are likely to be Ca++ and HCO3-, you will have low dKH, because you don't have many ions of any description.
My brain melted a bit looking at the NaOH graph. Is it saying that NaOH has a lot of effect around the mid range of the PH scale?
Yes I am, it is the shape of the curve that is important. I started with the table showing the fourteen orders of magnitude (1 - 10^-14) for the H+ ion, but then I thought that a "titration and pH change" picture would be easier to interpret.

The difficulty with pH is that it is both a log^10 scale and a ratio.

When you start with the hydrochloric acid (HCl or H+ and Cl-) all the ion activity is H+ ions, acids are defined as "H+ ion (proton) donors" and you have a lot of H+ ions and a very low pH (pH 1). The sodium hydroxide (NaOH or Na+ and OH-) you are adding has all the ion activity as OH- ions and it's an alkali (base), and bases are defined as "H+ ion acceptors" and it has a very high (pH 13) .

When you have equal activity of H+ and OH- ions you are at pH 7, that is you have 10^-7 H+ ions and 10^-7 OH- ions.

When you start the titration you are adding OH- ions, but the pH only changes very slowly because you have a lot of H+ ions to accept. As you approach parity between proton donors and acceptors the pH changes really rapidly until you have an excess of OH- ions and then it you are back to slow change.

If you have soft water you will never have stable pH, because any small addition of acids or bases will change the pH. If you have heavily carbonate buffered water small additions of acids won't effect the pH anything like as much because you have an excess of H+ ion acceptors and a "buffer" of CaCO3.

We know that it changes in pH, when <"they don't reflect large changes in water chemistry">, don't effect fish, because when people add CO2 they perform an acid base titration which <"they measure using a drop checker">. At the end of the CO2 period you have a rapid rise in pH as the CO2 level falls back to the atmospheric equilibrium point.

cheers Darrel
 
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