Everything deficiency - Thinking toxicity (Low tech)

Nick72

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21 Apr 2020
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
To add to that Darrel, I dry dose Gypsom (CaS04.2H2O) normally 3 teaspoons to my 190 litre tank after water changes.

The first time I saw the PH drop from 7.2 to 6.4 in 10 seconds I was somewhat concerned.

The fish don't seem to even notice.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
The first time I saw the PH drop from 7.2 to 6.4 in 10 seconds I was somewhat concerned. The fish don't seem to even notice.
I'm not sure quite what has happened there, gypsum should be a neutral salt "......CaSO4·2H2O = Ca2+ + SO42- + 2H2O. It adds calcium ions (Ca++) and sulphate ions (SO4--), but does not add , or take away, hydrogen ions (H+).....".

I've never tried it in the aquarium (I have hard tap water and access to other soluble calcium compounds), but somebody else will have done.

cheers Darrel
 

Nick72

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Joined
21 Apr 2020
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283
Location
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hi all, I'm not sure quite what has happened there, gypsum should be a neutral salt "......CaSO4·2H2O = Ca2+ + SO42- + 2H2O. It adds calcium ions (Ca++) and sulphate ions (SO4--), but does not add , or take away, hydrogen ions (H+).....".

I've never tried it in the aquarium (I have hard tap water and access to other soluble calcium compounds), but somebody else will have done.

cheers Darrel
Yes I was suprised the first time, and don't have a strong enough understanding of chemistry to question it.

I put the Gypsom in a 400ml beaker of tank water before putting it in the tank.

It goes goes cloudy almost like baby formula.

I assumed it was reacting with the carbonic acid in my tank water and giving off CO2 - but couldn't say why.

I get the PH drop every time and it takes several hours to recover, but as my CO2 injection does the same thing every day, and the fish don't miss a beat, I don't worry about it.

At one point I was also adding CaC03 in this method, which does the exact same thing - except it clouds the tank for several hours, where the Gypsom only clouds the tank for 30 mins.

Adding Gypsom for Ca (dGH)
Was adding CaC03 for carbonate (dKH), but have gone back to crushed coral.
 

Hufsa

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22 Aug 2019
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113
Location
Norway
I promised pictures yesterday so I guess I better deliver :)
They didnt turn out the best but I was feeling achy from the massive replant yesterday and couldnt be a**** to retry :angelic:

This morning my tank looked super clear and fresh. I didnt realise it hadnt looked that way until I saw it today. Hard to describe the change.
Of course I immediately ruined it by scraping off some stray tufts of BBA from the glass that I had overlooked from the time of the BB-A-pocalypse :facepalm: Of course also before the pictures were taken :hungover:
Well, this journal has never been about the glossy look but more about all the warts and stuff so I think it fits the theme just fine.
It was pretty funny to see the BBA tufts floating around in the current for a while. Like little toupees just waiting for a tiny bare head to land on :wacky:


As you can see the tank looks pretty bare now :sorry: But I hope things grow back quickly.

Most of the little bits in the water are bubbles from the skimmer. Theres a slight surface film again which means I need to clean the skimmer sponge. It clogs up super fast, I think thanks to the fresh redmoor wood.
At least im getting my moneys worth! Skimmer has a full time job ;)

The strange white thing floating behind the spray bar is a sepia shell waiting to be waterlogged, for the benefit of shrimp and snails. Ill tuck it behind the inlet once it sinks.

1a.jpg


You can maybe see that I rotated one of the right hand pieces of redmoor a bit. This was pretty much as far as it would go. Im not so sure about keeping it actually, maybe the chunky piece can go on its own. I want the left side wood to be more dominant than the right side. I might be able to find a different complimentary piece if I look through "my stash".

2a.jpg
Rotala still growing. This is the Rotala genus' last chance in my tank for a good while, so it better keep going.

3a.jpg
Anubias nana petite recovering (slowly as they do) from the big BBA trim. I pulled off all the leaves that were fuzzy and it didnt leave much. I think this spot might be too bright long term, will try to move them into some shadier spots.

4a.jpg
Its started :arghh::arghh: Tiny nerite eggs. I knew this day was coming, but I was hoping it wouldnt be this soon :(
I found a picture that supposedly shows how to sex nerite snails. So I guess some snail sexual harassment and a lot of fiddling with a magnifying glass is coming up :hilarious: I was thinking i could rehome the female snails.

5a.jpg
Bush of Super Red doing some weird stuff with its tops after being replanted. The top in the upper left even has green and red change in the same leaf. A few of the tops are all green now. I dont know, it will sort itself out im sure. You do you little plant.

6a.jpg
Ammania senegalensis was moved behind the sorry tufts of Blyxa. Not seeing any colors on the Ammannia, if its gonna stay green then I will sell it, since I already have a lot of green plants.

7a.jpg
What remains of the Heteranthera zosterifolia. Tiny tops. Looking forward to it covering the back wall again. Just need to be more diligent with trimming this time.

8a.jpg
Nesaea crassicaulis, looking nice, still transforming to submerged form. Was not touched so now its looming above all the other plants.

9a.jpg
Tops of Hygrophila costata looking like some kind of foreground plant that got lost :p


Today I didnt have a reading for nitrite for the first time in a while, so that was very nice. Maybe it helped a lot to get all the crud and decaying plants out.
Skipped todays daily water change but will check again tomorrow of course.
Just so no one thinks I dont care about my fish, I have been doing daily 50% water changes and also treating with Prime which claims to bind to nitrites etc.
So doing everything I can until the system is back in balance :oops:
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
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675
Location
Switzerland
Looking good . So is the Bolbitis growing OK without CO2? I thought I heard it was a CO2 junkie (so is Blaxia Japonica, but you mentioned that is struggling)...
 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
Bolbitis grows just fine without CO2. Its a big 'un, and I heard it gets even bigger with CO2. Right now its been trimmed down and pruned to about half its size because it was getting a bit ridiculous.
Been growing Blyxa okay too in periods, havent achieved the size ive seen in some pictures but it has done okay. If you look through the journal im sure you can find some pictures of it from when it was doing better. Including one where its displaying very clear iron deficiency :)
 

Hufsa

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Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
113
Location
Norway
Argh! Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me :shifty:

So I mentioned ive been shuffling some filter media around and removing some here and there.

You may also remember my infuriating stint with daily water changes earlier this year, a whole two months of it. A fish got a fin infection and my test kit showed a reading for nitrite. Okay, I come from the fishkeeping side of the aquarium hobby where test kit results are law and you obey.
I was trying to be more sceptical and cross reference my results so at the beginning of the period I checked the tap water as well and got a negative result there.
So I tested and changed water, and tested and changed water, and so on.
Apparently im not particularly bright, because it took me two whole months to start suspecting foul play.
When I tested the tap water again I got a positive reading. This was very confusing to me and hard to process, so I kinda just went "Thats weird, maybe the test was out of date" and moved on without thinking too much about it, because it made my brain hurt.

Almost everyone on here was quite adamant about test kits being unreliable, especially NO3 because of reasons. Alright I thought, thats their opinion but im not gonna throw out my tests just like that.
How else would you know how things are doing?

Well, about a week and a half ago, I saw a cory with slightly shorter mustaches than the others. Had recently disturbed the filter media a bit, and what do you know, when I tested the water I got a nitrite reading. This was a new test kit mind you.
Huh, I thought, I didnt know filter bacteria were such little delicate flowers. "Well, here I go changing water again I guess" :sour:

JBL is the brand thats considered the best one commonly available here in Norway. I find their nitrite test to be very hard to read. The low readings never seem to be as bright as the color circles you are supposed to compare it to. I can only assume that youre supposed to go by hue and not intensity, as it is with all other tests I have come across. So despite results being a very light yellow, I have taken the slightly beige-ish hue to mean a nitrite reading, since its supposed to be an almost greenish light yellow for 0.

This time I also tested the tap water right away, and tap water with Prime in it. I also tried diluting the water to be tested with 50% demineralised water.

Well, tap water tested negative. Tap water with Prime tested negative. 50/50 aquarium water and demineralised water tested not quite what I would call half of 0.05, but close, maybe. I let my aquarium water sample sit over night before testing again in case the Prime was interfering somehow and giving a false positive. Still tested positive. I was scratching my head trying to make sense of it, but changed water none the less to err on the side of caution.

Anyway, just like last time I have been changing water and changing water. Until today, where I tested tap water again. Positive. Water change barrel with only GH powder, postitive. Water change barrel with both GH and Prime, positive.

I dont know its appropriate to swear on this forum, so I will try not to. But this might give a hint on how im feeling about the whole situation.

Does anyone know why this is happening?
Please dont just say "test kits are unreliable" and leave it at that. That might indeed be true but I need to know how and why. I would love to have a more in depth discussion about this.

This is a sort of fundamental pillar that is now crumbling and I need to ease into it a little bit so please be kind, this is a bit difficult. In fact I found this whole post very hard to write, so I hope it makes sense to read.

If I cant use nitrite test kits to check if there is a water quality issue, how should I check it?
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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10,518
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nr Bath
Hi all,
Almost everyone on here was quite adamant about test kits being unreliable, especially NO3 because of reasons. Alright I thought, thats their opinion but im not gonna throw out my tests just like that. How else would you know how things are doing?
You could invest in a <"nitrite ion (NO2-) selective electrode">. That is quite an expensive option, but would be likely to be fairly accurate.

If time and money are no object you definitely can test for all the parameters you want. Time and money are the only provisos.

As a general rule it is easier to use colorimetric tests for nitrite (NO2-), rather than nitrate (NO3-), because there are some coloured insoluble nitrite compounds, which mean that you have one less step in the sequence (you don't need <"cadmium reduction", your nitrite is already reduced">.)

I approach this in a different manner, using methods <"based on probability">, I understand that it doesn't give you an empirical value, but it is less reliant in any methodology that has a single point of failure.

If you start from the premise that :
  1. Oxygen is the <"prime metric in nitrification">,
  2. heavily planted tanks, with some plants with <"the aerial advantage">, are very efficient at reducing all forms of fixed nitrogen,
  3. and that <"plant/microbe biofiltration"> is potentially a lot more <"efficient, flexible and resilient"> than "microbe only" biofiltration (there is no "plant only" biofiltration).
Then the only question you have to ask yourself are, "have any of the above been compromised? " and "is that likely to have led to an increase in ammonia? "

If the answer to either question is"yes" you just keep on changing more water until you are back to a steady state.

cheers Darrel
 
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