Sam's 4ft nightmare, I mean journal

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Themuleous, 8 Nov 2008.

  1. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Hi All :)

    I'm not sure what the issue is so thought 'general discussions' was probably the right place!!

    Right, I really cant work out my 4ft. I'll admit that to start with the flow really wasn't what it should be but hopefully Ive sorted that now. The HC is at least staying alive having adding the eheim pump.

    Quick run down of the tank

    120x45x45
    Eheim 2080 filter 1700lph
    Eheim compact+ 3000lph closed loop for flow
    lighting - 1x54w osram lumilux skylight 880, 1x54w sylania growlux on for 8hrs. I had been running 2x osram lumilux skylight (three in total for 6hrs) but I cut it back to two tubes and increased into the 8hr.
    Ferts - 20ppm NO3 and 2ppm PO4 three times a week. 40ml AE trace three times a week. 50% water change with rain/tap water
    Akadama substrate
    Think that's most things.

    My problem seems to be that the plants grow (even pearl under the 2x54w!), but the leaves very quickly turn brown. The HM shows this really clearly but all except the java fern are doing it. DC is green to yellowish.

    HMresize.jpg

    PHresize.jpg

    HCresize.jpg

    DCresize.jpg

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated!

    Sam
     
  2. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Re: Completely stumpped

    Odd, it looks like what happened to a batch of my plants when I tried to de-snail them using an ammonia bath (which was obviously too strong). It can't be that though as you have fish alive and well in there. My next thought along those lines would be too low a pH but your shrimp seem fine so I'm guessing it's something else.

    Do you have other tanks which you use the same tap/rain water mix and if so are they suffering the same thing?
     
  3. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Re: Completely stumpped

    No cant said I do, the other tanks are RO and tap. But it seems really strange that rain water would do this? I filter the rainwater through carbon before it goes into the tank.

    Sam
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Completely stumped

    Hi Sam,
    Deformation and discoloration almost always suggests a CO2 issue, despite the dropchecker readings. You could test this by adding Excel for a few weeks. Use process of elimination by deleting the rainwater and using RO or tap for a few weeks in lieu. Circulation and flow patterns may also be an issue. Vary the outflow configuration/distribution methods to test this.

    Cheers,
     
  5. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Re: Completely stumped

    Thanks Clive. I'll whack up the co2 and dose excel for a week or two. The process of elimination method does take a while and I'm just to impatient! :lol: Just hope it works!

    Do you think I should increase the lighting back up to 3x54w?

    Sam
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Completely stumped

    Hi Sam,
    While it's a possibility that the lighting levels are below the LCP (Light Compensation Point), normally this is last on the list of possibilities. The reason being is that the plants are in fact growing by your own admission. This indicates therefore that photo energy levels are above LCP. If you were below LCP there would be no growth at all. Additionally, I would restrict the changes to one thing at a time otherwise it would be a shotgun approach and you won't learn anything. Besides, if it is a CO2 problem won't upping the light make matters worse? You know that I always suspect CO2 uptake first so I'm biased in this direction, but there is a remote possibility of a toxic agent in your rainwater not removed by your carbon filtration (highly doubtful but worth investigating).

    Cheers,
     
  7. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Re: Completely stumped

    Good point Clive. The java fern in the tank is going very well, so I doubt its something in the rainwater but worth a try if the co2 isn't the issue.

    Will leave the lighting as it :)

    Thanks greatly

    Sam
     
  8. Amoeba

    Amoeba Member

    Messages:
    41
    Re: Completely stumped

    In case of slow uptake you may end up with 60ppm NO3 and 6ppm PO4 in the water. High NO3 together with soft water may cause problems. I would reduce dosing to 1/3. Add 10ppm K as K2SO4 and 5ppm Mg as MgSO4 when changing water.
    Ideally try to achieve 4:1 Ca:Mg.
    What are the params of your tap water. What's the RO:tap ratio for your water changes?
     
  9. Nick16

    Nick16 Member

    Messages:
    1,761
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    Re: Completely stumped

    if the drop checker is yellow, then there is too much co2. green is perfect and greeny blue is to little. when it is fully yellow its about 70ppm and that becomes almost poisonous to fish and plants as there is too much co2 in the water. (you need 30ppm)
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Completely stumped

    Hi, There is very little data which indicates any correlation between high PO4/NO3/low GH and poor plant health.

    Additionally, there are no requirements in EI dosing for any ratios. Unlimited nutrient availability under the eutrophic conditions of EI renders all ratios irrelevant. Ratios only have any relevance when there is a shortage or limitation.

    Dropcheckers are a useful but very limited tool and it cannot determine actual CO2 uptake. I agree that one should be careful when increasing the injection rate though and if injection rate or Excel increase results in improvement this likely indicates a flow distribution problem.

    Cheers,
     
  11. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    Re: Completely stumped

    For once I agree with Ceg.

    With DC colours it is possible to go into yellow without harming the fish but I would not suggest it for the inexperienced. better to stay lime green unless you are absolutely sure what you are doing.

    AC
     
  12. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Re: Completely stumped

    Well I came down stairs this morning to 11 dead tetras. Gutted. The DC is still saying lime green and I've run it well into the yellow before without mass deaths. I did dose excel as well, the ‘initial’ dose rate after the 50% water change.

    Could that or the combination of that with the higher than normal co2 kill fish? I've 3x dosed excel before with no ill effects.

    This tanks got we well and truly baffled.

    Sam
     
  13. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Re: Completely stumped

    Sam, IMHO your dosing is seriously way too high. You're dosing 60ppm NO3 per week with 50% water changes which means that your tank is running at 120ppm without even taking the bioload into account. With a heavily planted tank under high lighting you may use up to about 3ppm NO3 daily, but with your tank I'd be suprised if it was 1ppm. This means you are running well over 100ppm NO3 and the recommended levels are around 20ppm. Also soft water is a lot less forgiving with high fert levels.

    I'd be surprised if rain water was causing a problem with the plants.

    James
     
  14. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Re: Completely stumped

    Ok James, thanks for the advice. I'll cut it right back to 10ppm or do you think 5ppm NO3 x3 a week would be better? And the same with the PO4, down to 1ppm each dose?

    Sam

    EDIT - the only fish affected where my silver tip tetras. Most of the rest of the shoal was gasping when I got down there but interesting the ottos didn’t see bothered by it. In the past when I've had high CO2 the ottos have also been gasping. Could silver tips be particularly susceptible/intolerant of high CO2? I don’t recall seeing them that often (if at all?) in high CO2 tanks?
     
  15. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Re: Completely stumped

    I wonder if the plants use the Excel fist leaving a higher than normal concentration of CO2 in the water.
     
  16. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Re: Completely stumped

    Perhaps, but I only added the excel last night just before the lights went off, so dont think that s the case here.

    Thanks for the idea though, it all helps! :)

    Sam
     
  17. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Completely stumped

    Sam, sorry to hear about the losses mate. The CO2 levels were adjusted too high for the tetras but I haven't seen evidence that the combination of NO3 and soft water makes fish any more susceptible to CO2 toxicity. The gasping is clearly an indication of CO2 stress. It's hard to predict which fish will be affected more acutely. Adding the Excel alone without injection rate increase will effectively add available CO2 without the risk of acidosis.

    Cheers,
     
  18. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Re: Completely stumped

    Yeh really disappointed as I've never had it happen before. I've reduced the level back down and will dose the excel as planned. See what happens.

    Thanks Clive.
     
  19. Amoeba

    Amoeba Member

    Messages:
    41
    Re: Completely stumped

    It is correct if the levels of NO3 are at EI level (~20ppm). For 60ppm+ NO3 it may be a problem. I've observed that in my tank.

    For many plants extra Mg is not required. It is beneficial for more demanding plants, like Rotalias. But high levels of Mg will block K. Also try dosing 20ppm NO3 and 20ppm PO4 and see the results.
    EI is based on more than just "Unlimited nutrient availability ".
     
  20. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Re: Completely stumped

    This touches on something I've been thinking about recently regarding nutrient "poisoning". I'm not talking about fish, but in the same way humans might get Vitamin A poisoning if they eat 50 carrots a day, 365 days a year, do plants suffer if the nutrients are too high? If the plant has a lower concentration of nutrients than the surrounding water, would they OD?
     

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