From scratch.. pretty much

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Matt Holbrook-Bull, 19 Jun 2008.

  1. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Nice work Matt, looking top notch.

    Sam
     
  2. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    Ive reduced the light in the tank from 160w to a partially shaded out 130ish watts.. Im struggling to add enough ferts to stave off deficiencies in the H. Polysperma as it reaches the surface!!

    Now the tanks quite settled in, I dont mind slowing it down. Pics soon... Ive added some background stems and moved things around a bit to improve flow, when its grown a little more Ill post.
     
  3. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    Any updates Matt?
     
  4. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah don't be shy ;) haven't seen you on MSN either! :p
     
  5. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    pics later :) after I get home!

    Ive been on msn! just maybe not when you have! :lol:
     
  6. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    Location:
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    2845358825_308c5beff4_o.jpg

    black brush continues to be a pain in the rear.. after talking with George for quite some time on MSN, Ive decided to do a 50/50 cut with rain water (I live in a nice clean air area and i refuse to use RO due to its environmental impact). Already things seem to be picking up. The rain water cut has reduced hardness by 1/3rd, so quite effective.. and with this summer and my huge 150 litre rain water butt outside I have an almost unlimited supply! Its just more time consuming at water change time as I need to preheat the water.

    The second sizable issue was the Glosso was dying off and getting extremely sick.. while I wondered if this was due to the very hard water, I think its more to do with my dosing method... I just tend to dump dry ferts directly into the flow of the FX5, unfortunately this tends to sink straight to the bottom. I suspect that this is causing the Glosso some serious issues as dry ferts are basically salts! So now Im dosing daily (to lower the amount at a time) and dissolving in tank water before adding.. after nearly a week, the Glosso is already picking up so Im pretty sure that was the issue!!

    After a few species trials in the background, Ive gone for LA which now finally seems to be taking off.. I wonder again if the hard water was an issue.

    Anyway, coming along.. even though I keep getting the same issues as I used to get cropping up.. hopefully the change in tactics will help.. watch this space.
     
  7. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    looks nice, the stems need to bush out more then it will look great :D
     
  8. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    Funnily enough my water is extremely hard and I always have bba... Who knows.
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    I have had and do have hard water now and yet I haven't seen BBA in over 8 years. The last time I had BBA I was using RO.:rolleyes:

    Cheers,
     
  10. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    The bonus is once you kill it I've sat and watched my ottos eat it. Something I'd have contested until I saw it with my own eyes.
     
  11. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    bba is a funny thing isnt it. George says that it will thrive in hard water, despite co2 levels.. my tap water is about 150mg/l carbonate hardness (calibrated test kit).. which is pretty damn hard I recon. Cut with 50/50 rain water, the tank sits at about 90mg/l.. Ill give it a few weeks on that mix, and then lower it again and see if it makes a difference to it. Will be an interesting test.
     
  12. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Thats an interesting one too, I have been dosing my dry ferts over the front of the tank since I rescaped it a little last time I replanted the glosso, and since then my glosso as also been suffering, I will start dosing them again in the internal filter as they can mix with the water there and then disperse into the tank, thanks for the heads up on that one.

    Thanks is looking good though, hopefully you will get rid of the algae and see it thrive again. keep us posted.
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, here's the thing Matt: 150mg/L is only about 9 KH using the conversion [1 degree KH = 18 ppm CO3/HCO3]. My tap runs at about 8 KH and from between 12 degrees to 17 GH, so if we are on the same scale then that's 144mg/L CO3/HCO3 and between 216mg/L and 306mg/L CaCO3/MgCO3. This data is from a standard cheapo KH and GH test kits. The water quality report lists 250ppm Ca and 50ppm Mg but it's unclear how they arrived at these figures. In any case the water is damned hard, so much so that I have a water softener to combat it. the report does not list the KH.

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if BBA loves hard water or high alkalinity but that's not what we are talking about. We are talking about inducing BBA. This happens all over the world, not just in UK water. Just check the various forums. A statistical analysis will likely show that there are just as many hobbyist inducing BBA in San Francisco's soft, low KH water as in any other location that has hard and high KH water.

    The glosso? Consider this line of reasoning: If you have BBA then you have poor CO2. Maybe the glosso's bad behavior is in response to the poor CO2. Again, I throw my powders in without a care in the world. Glosso could care less. Glosso does not however appreciate poor CO2.

    If you want to solve BBA for the rest of your life then you have to break the sound barrier in you mind. Here is a radical procedure: Step #1 is to get rid of all your fish. Everyone of them, even the algae eaters. Get best value at LFS or re-house in other tanks. Do a blackout or whatever you need to do to get rid of the BBA that is there now.
    Step #2 is to crank your needle valve all the way until your diffuser sputters and belches out bubbles. Don't worry about fine misting or efficiency or anything like that, just crank the heck out of it. It doesn't have to run 24/7. In fact you can program the timer so that it closes after 6 hours as long as it goes on at least an hour before lights on. Forget the dropchecker because it will be useless in this experiment. Just aim for a tank water pH drop of at least 1.5 units during that 6 hours.

    What this will do is it will drive your tank as close as possible to the mythical "Unlimited CO2" saturation levels. Massive water changes are a must and massive dosing is also a must otherwise you'll see other types of algae as each macro bottoms out due to increased uptake demand. I can absolutely guarantee that you will never see BBA again. Now, you'll need to start backing off the CO2 until you find the lowest injection rate that doesn't annihilate your fish but yet won't bring back the BBA. Start with some cheap tetras. When you bring them home, float the bag and keep the fish in the bag overnight until just before CO2 "ON" time. What this does is it allows CO2 to build up in their bag and they get used to it so that when you release them they have already adjusted to higher levels of CO2 in their blood stream.

    All of this takes massive cojones but it will make a believer of you. Thereafter you will never question what causes BBA or staghorn or hair algae - ever. You will never worry about hard water, soft water or middling water...forever.

    Fish in the tank limit what you can do with CO2 and they stop you from probing the deepest secrets of your tank and of your plants.

    Have you seen posts that start out something like: "My NH4=0, NO2=0" - Well, we know that's bogus, right?. These values are never zero. They just read zero on the dumb test kit. Well how about the posts that start off: "My CO2=30ppm, and I have great flow but I have hair algae" I immediately think to myself : "Yeah, right, 99% probability this poster has a CO2 and/or flow problem" :wideyed:

    Few people understand the power of CO2 because they never stretch the envelope. I see a lot where folks setting up a tank can't wait to rush out and get fish or shrimp. I always think "My God man you have the rest of your life to add fish. First find the max performance of your tank so that you understand what it takes to optimize". I'm not afraid to get algae because there is no doubt in my mind what causes the various types. Without fail, taking the corrective action fixes the problem, but I get the feeling that most everyone else has doubts. There is just that niggling doubt that their case is just a little bit more special and that there is some other factor, maybe too many nutrients. The reason for the doubt is that they have never taken the tank to ultimate levels and back so that they can never truly believe. They want to get to the destination without taking the journey.

    I know now that I am only one of a handful of people on Planet Earth who actually thinks his CO2 is never high enough. And I've certainly gassed more fish than anyone I know. :rolleyes: But guess what? I don't have algae (until my CO2 bottle get below some threshold pressure level. That tells me to change my bottle.) and I don't even have any algae eaters. I don't really need them. That is the power of CO2. If I had an army of believers I could conquer the world.

    Orphan to Neo: Don't try to bend the spoon. That's impossible...Instead...only try to realize the truth...That there is no spoon. Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends but only yourself.

    Cheers,
     
  14. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

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    your not wrong clive. since i jacked up my co2 on your recomedation ive had limited algae :D just 1 otto. ive only just released 5 amano shrimp. ive upped it on my big tank yoo.

    all hail the co2 guru (bows) ;)
     
  15. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    Location:
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    my co2 is fine clive, I have a yellow drop checker with 10x flow around the tank. I cant fit any more in. I do think the salts laying in the Glosso are having a detrimental effect as well.. and I have ALOT of bba.. which definitely thrives in harder waters.

    at the end of the day, these tests will show one way or another if my theories are right :) the glosso is already picking up, so thats starting to prove the theorys right already. in addition, the die off is in an almost perfect line where the salts fall.. outside that area, the glosso is much healthier.

    i think theres more to BBA than co2.. there have to be other major factors that cause it. its the one algae that we havent really nailed down :) maybe this test will go some towards isolating some ideas.
     
  16. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    been a long time since I updated this!

    after a long time of having er.. no time, Ive pulled it all apart for a rescape. I didnt have the time to maintain a jungle type affair and it all took over.. the Lotus actually managed to cover the entire tank and flowered! Amazingly.

    So Im starting over. The Microsorum has matured lovely and I have tons of it, so Ive ordered some more landscape rock from Richard with the intention of 2 Igwami'esk islands in a meadow of dwarf hairgrass (also coming). Going to whack the light right down so I can have a low maintenance tank. This will be a totally new direction for me, so god knows what it'll look like, Ive only ever gone with jungle type layouts before, fun to try something else.
     
  17. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Plans sound nice mate. Don't forget to keep us updated, stranger! ;)
     
  18. Goodygumdrops

    Goodygumdrops Member

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    Location:
    Falkirk,Scotland
    Did you manage to get a pic of the lotus flower?I've always thought that would be something pretty amazing in an open topped tank,I'm even planning on setting up 3 planters on my decking with waterlillies for summer.
     
  19. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    no i was really silly and didnt get a pic before I cut the whole lot back. It was a pale yellow/white, maybe 4cm across, beautiful. Looked extremely like a chrysanthemum oddly!
     

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