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New tank trouble

Andy P

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28 Jan 2021
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15
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Nottingham
Good evening
I’m concerned I’m missing something & very grateful for your objective experience & advice please
2/52 DSM with foreground & part-mid ground, went well, no algae/mold & all plants kept foliage & colour; substrate is tropica soil/powder with nutrition caps
Last Thursday planted rest of mid ground/background & set light/heater/HOB filter/algae doc & DIY C02; it looked great for 24hrs-then
Colour drained from most, foliage completely denuded from Ludwigia, partially from all others & Alternanthera foliage see through? I thought I’d played it by the book-images below, upset but determined to get it correct-regards
 

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ceg4048

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Colour drained from most, foliage completely denuded from Ludwigia, partially from all others & Alternanthera foliage see through?
Hello,
These are all symptoms of poor CO2. The lighting might be too strong, the injection rate may be too low, or the timing of the injection relative to the light on time may be incorrect. There may also be a flow/distribution problem.

CHeers,
 

Nick potts

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25 Sep 2014
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Torbay
Hello,
These are all symptoms of poor CO2. The lighting might be too strong, the injection rate may be too low, or the timing of the injection relative to the light on time may be incorrect. There may also be a flow/distribution problem.

CHeers,

No doubt these could all contribute, but after only 24hrs? I would have thought it would take longer for a co2 deficiencies to do what is seen in the pics?
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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1,809
Location
Nottingham
Yep, something very wrong there, for that deterioration to happen so quickly - it almost looks like there some bleach or other chemical in the water? I take it you’ve done lots of water changes?

PS - I’m not an expert, but I think that fish might be dead too.
 
Last edited:

ceg4048

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No doubt these could all contribute, but after only 24hrs? I would have thought it would take longer for a co2 deficiencies to do what is seen in the pics?
Hi Nick,
Well, you're right. it's a combination of poor CO2 during the day and poor oxygen at night. Doing a dry start doesn't really save you when the plants are flooded. This is a gas exchange issue and so it doesn't take long to suffocate, or to drown. Who knows how much light is being torpedoed into that tank? Sad, but true I'm afraid.

Cheers,
 

Ady34

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Hi Nick,
Well, you're right. it's a combination of poor CO2 during the day and poor oxygen at night. Doing a dry start doesn't really save you when the plants are flooded. This is a gas exchange issue and so it doesn't take long to suffocate, or to drown. Who knows how much light is being torpedoed into that tank? Sad, but true I'm afraid.

Cheers,
Hi,
as co2 deficiency causes structural failure, and in this post you highlight poor oxygen at night
(Poor gas exchange), can poor o2 during the night hours have the same effect on plants, as in structural failure that lack of co2 has during the photoperiod? I’m quite intrigued as I’m going through something myself and have come to the conclusion that that could be the case.....any more information on this point would be appreciated.
I can offer more information to my issue if needed.
 

ceg4048

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Hi,
as co2 deficiency causes structural failure, and in this post you highlight poor oxygen at night
(Poor gas exchange), can poor o2 during the night hours have the same effect on plants, as in structural failure that lack of co2 has during the photoperiod? I’m quite intrigued as I’m going through something myself and have come to the conclusion that that could be the case.....any more information on this point would be appreciated.
I can offer more information to my issue if needed.
Hi Ady,
Yes, I highlight poor oxygen because it exacerbates the problems caused by poor CO2.
CO2 is critical as it's consumption produces food in the form of carbohydrates (sugar). Having produced sugar the plant then can only produce energy by using Oxygen to burn the carbohydrates (as we do). The energy molecule is called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). When Oxygen is low the plant cannot burn carbohydrates in the normal fashion, so it switches to the alternate energy production mode, which is called fermentation. Fermentation is the anaerobic method of burning sugar and it only produces about 1/10th to 1/20th the amount of ATP energy units as normal (aerobic) respiration. So this is a double whammy and it cause the rate of decay to accelerate.
The OP is using a yeast based CO2 system, which by now we all know is finnicky at best and catastrophic at worst.

If you are experiencing similar rapid decay you need to look closely at your CO2 injection rate/timing as well as flow/distribution. This happens much more often than folks realize.

Cheers,
 

Andy P

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28 Jan 2021
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Hello again
thanks for all the ongoing advice-invaluable @ my stage!
I recently bought a 1L bicarb/citric C02 with diffuse/solenoid from AliX & a ONF flat nano+; so I'm waiting to set those up before I waste any more £ on plants (never knew C02 could be bad for plants?)
I'm swapping the HOB filter for a boyu ef-05 & trying to fit an oase thermometer in it as their similar filters, ordered proper Lilly inflow/outflow pipes too; I'm also wondering if I overdid it with plant caps (x3 opened & spread) under the tropical soil/powder-a mixture of this, inadequate lighting, poor flow & low C02 & high temps just overwhelmed the plants (alongside 1/2 of them were DSM-so probably drowned) not the best start really; but I've learned
thanks again, regards andy p
 

ceg4048

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(never knew C02 could be bad for plants?)
Hi Andy,
Perhaps I phrased it inadequately. I did not mean that CO2 is bad for plants. There is no such thing as too much CO2. What I said was that NOT ENOUGH CO2 is bad for plants. Using a yeast based system is a very bad way to apply CO2 because it does not produce a sufficient amount of CO2 at the right time to be effective , especially when using modern lighting.
In the old days we could get away with fermentation CO2 systems because the lighting technology was also ancient and the amount of light energy was low compared to what we have today. Even back then, however, it was a lottery. There is no reason today to use this type of system when fire extinguishers, metering valves and gauges are readily available. I think you may continue to experience difficulty until you invest in a reliable gas injection system as described in this tutorial=> Fire Extinguisher CO2
I'm swapping the HOB filter for a boyu ef-05
OK, well, I don't know a whole lot about the Boyu, but an external canister should deliver better flow than an HOB. Again, some people have had success using HOB, so it's a combination of things that have gone wrong in your system.
I'm also wondering if I overdid it with plant caps (x3 opened & spread) under the tropical soil
NO, as I mentioned, your problem is strictly one of poor CO2 and nothing else. The plants do not care about your overdoing of root tablets.
inadequate lighting,
As I mentioned, the reason it would be inadequate is much more likely to be because there is too much light, NOT because of insufficient light.
high temps
Yes, high temperatures are not good, especially with all the other issues.

Cheers,
 

Andy P

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Hello again & big thanks as usual for your advice

I cleared the complete tank out today (virtually everything has melted-in11 days!) & waiting for light/C02 before I start again, remaining puzzled as to why everything turned so catastrophic so quick (literally 24hrs) & recall a UKAPS member mentioning if there was bleach in the tank-but I had washed/rinsed it out,

I've got a TDS meter & intend to buy a RO/DI filter system to assure decent water quality-do you need to top up with minerals after due to them being removed? I've also got an API water testing kit; no worries-slightly daunted @ 1st attempt but determined!

regards andy p
 

Wookii

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Nottingham
hello & thanks for your opinion-sorry don't know how to reply to an individual's thread yet!

yes completely baffled that in 24hrs it can completely look catastrophic, I cleaned/rinsed it out as best I could & today cleared the whole thing out; unfortunately, I lost some CRB shrimp & an ottocinclus; awaiting proper light/C02 & got a small external canister filter to improve the flow-i'm undeterred! regards andy p

Hi Andy,

Just copying and pasting the message you posted on my profile page, presumably in error.

The way to do it is in this thread, just click the ‘Quote’ button to the post you want to reply to 👍🏻

Anyway, yes, I’m sorry this went so bad for you after such promising looking dry start. It’s still a bit of a mystery to me if I’m honest. I’m loath to dare disagree with Clive (he a planted tank master afterall) but I still struggle to see how such significant destruction of the plant tissue could be caused by lack of CO2, if you say it definitely happened in the space of 24 hours. Over a few days or a week then yes, but 24 hours to turn all your plants to mush is something I’ve never seen before. I’ve kept plants outside in a bucket for a week in direct sunlight and not seen that happen.

When you say you lost shrimp and an Oto, you didn’t put them in this tank, that you’d only just flooded did you? If so, you should never have done that, the tank would not have been sufficiently bacterially mature to add livestock for another few weeks. There would have been a fair bit of ammonia released from the soil that would kill them in short order.
 

Andy P

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
28 Jan 2021
Messages
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Location
Nottingham
Hi Andy,

Just copying and pasting the message you posted on my profile page, presumably in error.

The way to do it is in this thread, just click the ‘Quote’ button to the post you want to reply to 👍🏻

Anyway, yes, I’m sorry this went so bad for you after such promising looking dry start. It’s still a bit of a mystery to me if I’m honest. I’m loath to dare disagree with Clive (he a planted tank master afterall) but I still struggle to see how such significant destruction of the plant tissue could be caused by lack of CO2, if you say it definitely happened in the space of 24 hours. Over a few days or a week then yes, but 24 hours to turn all your plants to mush is something I’ve never seen before. I’ve kept plants outside in a bucket for a week in direct sunlight and not seen that happen.

When you say you lost shrimp and an Oto, you didn’t put them in this tank, that you’d only just flooded did you? If so, you should never have done that, the tank would not have been sufficiently bacterially mature to add livestock for another few weeks. There would have been a fair bit of ammonia released from the soil that would kill them in short order.
hello again & thanks for the advice-yes there are some seriously knowledgeable members & generous with knowledge-which is reassuring

jeepers my learning curve is soaring & I feel quite nieve, really didn't intend to endanger any life & certainly, won't do so again. i think ill wait for light/C02+ set it up & wait a month+, then plant & wait another month+ before considering any inhabitants, thanks again

regards andy p
 

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