Maintenance of Pogostemon helferi

LondonDragon

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ceg4048 said:
Honestly it baffles me why JamesM and LD are having difficulty because this plant has become somewhat of a nuisance,
Me too mate, the glosso is doing great but the Blyxa and Helferi are completly gone!! :( Also the L Aromatica is not doing great, I used to prune it back every couple of weeks, now I get the same growth I did in two weeks in about two months! Nothing has changed in the tank.
 

JamesM

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LondonDragon said:
ceg4048 said:
Honestly it baffles me why JamesM and LD are having difficulty because this plant has become somewhat of a nuisance,
Me too mate, the glosso is doing great but the Blyxa and Helferi are completly gone!! :( Also the L Aromatica is not doing great, I used to prune it back every couple of weeks, now I get the same growth I did in two weeks in about two months! Nothing has changed in the tank.
Before I change the tank it was doing great, but since the change most has melted away, although some survives. I've lost 3 otos and about 30+ shrimp due to high co2 too :( Flow *should* be good as I've also added a powerhead. :?
 

ceg4048

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Well, shoot. All three cases, Paulo, James and Justin sound like C starvation but different mechanisms. Justin, BBA is not a good sign. The threadlike algae you refer to might be hair and would be consistent with poor CO2. Here's one of the pitfalls of pointing the powerhead right at the plant you may not actually be delivering CO2 for a long enough contact time or you may be fostering unstable delivery. Instead of pummelling the plant with a pump it's better to point the flow overhead or to the side so that the force pulls nearby water along with it in a way such that the leaves sway. It also depends on where the diffuser is. If you have the diffuser on one side of the tank but the powerhead is on the other the flow that impinges on the leaf may not be saturated. I'm not a big fan of point source type flow or internal diffusers so you may need to play with the positioning of the pumps, especially in relation to the bubbles coming out of the diffuser. What I mean is whether the pump output is catching the bubbles as they leave the diffuser and forcing them down towards the substrate? Have you tried the spraybar mounted against the back? How early prior to lights on does the gas go on?

I think both Paulo and James have spraybars with supplemental flow but I think you guys also have mondo plant mass as well right? If Excel/Easycarbo isn't an option then thinning might be needed. I know you'd prefer to perish the thought of adding a second diffuser so I won't even mention it. Have you tried shutting down/masking a bulb for a few weeks? I'm almost certain we're looking at a flow pattern issue. 30+ shrimp fried James? Sorry about that mate. :(

Paulo can you try floating some Blyxa and L.a. in a dark corner to see if that helps to slow the decay? CO2 is higher at the surface but it's closer to the light so keep the stems away from too much brightness and see what happens is all I can think of.

Cheers,
 

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Thanks Clive, I might turn the Koralia pump off for a week or so and see the effect!
 

Oz_planter

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Cegs,

Thanks for your relply. The powerhead I am using currently does have a single point source of water, so tonight I will move it higer and put the diffuser attachment on (it's a flat-ish looking thing that softens the water).

I have the Co2 going into the intake of my fluval external and unfortunately I don't have the spraybar attachment, I have the standard one that the come with. The Co2 comes on 1.5 hours before lights on and runs until 1/2 hour before lights off. I have a siesta period with the lights during the day, but the Co2 runs throughout this time.

I will probably buy the nano koralia next week, which I hear has a more 'non-direct' flow pattern, at the same time I think i'll grab some Flourish Excel...

Cegs, I've modified your dosing regime a bit... I'm adding 1/2 tsp of K2SO4 on Macro day... It's just that I noticed some brown pinpoint spots on some of the stem plants, which I believe is due to lack of K... Am I wrong?

Justin
 

ceg4048

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Well, if you're dosing the standard amount of KNO3 and KH2PO4 then it's unlikely you will be short of K. If you are dosing less than these values then there might be a shortage. This could easily be a CO2 issue as well. Assuming your other plants are Excel friendly I would try daily Excel supplementation for a while, either bottle recommended or higher. Excel acts as a mild algecide as well as being a source of bioavailable CO2.

Immediately remove all leaves infected with the BBA.

Cheers,
 

Oz_planter

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Will def give the excel a go... I've had success with it before on BBA, ironically last time I tried EI, the same thing happened... BBA and filament algae... I just never have any luck with EI dosing... All it seems to do is make the BBA grow and the water look murky...

Sunday is water change day, so I will remove all the BBA affected leaves, which is basically all of the E. Tennulus

Will keep at it for another couple of weeks and see if things get better...
 

ceg4048

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It would be a mistake to correlate BBA with EI. There are plenty of EI tanks which are BBA free and plenty of non-EI tanks with BBA infestation. This is strictly a CO2 issue so the focus should be on optimizing CO2/flow/distribution. While it is true that a high nutrient tank exacerbates algae problems the nutrient levels are not the cause of algal blooms. Fix you CO2 and you will fix the BBA and hair algae. The real limitation to your tank is the fauna which handcuffs you and prevents unlimited injection rates. You therefore have to work around this limitation. Lowering the light will help as higher light creates a higher CO2 uptake demand. High CO2 rates will actually make the water clearer since it allows the plants to photosynthesize at a higher rate thereby oxygenating the water and supporting the bacterial colonies which do a the bulk of the nitrification.

Cheers,
 

Oz_planter

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Makes sense Cegs. I know EI doesn't equal BBA... it's just me doing EI that equals BBA ;)

Lower light? So do you recommend switching off some of the lights? I have moved the powerhead and the CO2...

I have moved the CO2 so it doesn't go into the filter, don't know if going into the filter was such a good thing... I have moved the powerhead up off the gravel and put the diffuser on it... Am going to move the CO2 diffuser under the powerhead so that the Co2 rich water is blown around the tank.

Trimming time today with the BBA affected leaves...

I'm not giving up on this, I'm going to struggle until I get it right...

Thanks for all your help Cegs and everyone!

P.S. should I stop the addition of K?
 

ceg4048

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Hi Justin,
I'm fantasizing about an experiment where bromo blue is injected into a tank and it colors the water in such a way that once can visualize the various pH levels across the tank based on the CO2 profile across the tank. Many assume that the tank is homogeneous but it's far from it. You can have certain areas rich in CO2 near the top of the tank and other areas that are relatively starving. If a particular plant happens to be in poor CO2 concentration area and if at the same time that area perhaps is highly lit (light distribution isn't homogeneous either) it will just be a bad combination of factors, especially if that plant is not a particularly efficient feeder. This is why, in the same tank some plants are fine while others struggle. It's not certain that using the filter intake for CO2 is the best way to go for your configuration, but it may be good for some. I mean, the tennelus might get better with a new configuration while other plants all of a sudden do less well. Your approach is a good one though - try different configurations and see what works. It took me months to settle on what I have now.

Light creates a demand for CO2. The higher the light the higher the demand. If the demand is not met properly then CO2 related algae is induced. Lowering the light intensity is always a good way to reduce the stress of CO2 uptake demand. It's another tool in your fix-it box. Frequent and large volume water changes is another tool (don't forget to dose everything afterwards though).

A far as the extra K addition, adding more won't hurt but I suspect it won't solve the problem. There is too much evidence that CO2/flow distribution is a root cause for the variety of symptoms you've got.

Cheers,
 
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