Sam's 4ft nightmare, I mean journal

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Well I thought I have everything sorted. But its happening again. The old leaves are turning brown again. As you can see...

Plant1.jpg


Phelferi.jpg


I've done nothing different from the last set of photos when I had thought I'd finally sorted it. I'm getting rather chuffed off with this now.

My two thoughts are that it could be either the cold water that I'm using from refills, from my rainwater butt which must be 1-2C at the moment, but I add 20lt of hot water from the tap gradually during the process to counter the cold and the tank only drops a few degrees as a result of the water change. So this possibility seems unlikely and is what Ive always been doing. My second thought would be that the lighting level is too high. I have reverted to 2x54w tubes, as the 3x54w could be forcing the plants to work to hard and so the old leaves burn out quickly. This also seems odd as its affected all the plants in the same way and apparently at the same rate.

My only other thoughts are that it has to be something that affects the whole tank, as all the plants are affected. Could it be a toxin? I don't recall washing my hands before doing a water change or anything like that?

ANY thoughts or help would be really really appreciated, as I said, I'm getting rather annoyed with this tank and planted tanks. It not meant to be this difficult and its not as if I don't put in the time and attention (rant over).

Thanks

Sam
 

Egmel

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

I'm sure I've asked this before but are you using the rain water on any other planted tank? While you know the parameters of your rain water you don't necessarily know what the locals are pumping into the air on any given day!
 

Garuf

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Still looks exactly the same as Dan's tank that used akadama. I think it's something about it? What I can't be sure though.
 

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

CO2 - diffusion via glass diffuser. DC in the green/yellow range most of the time. Plenty of flow in the tank thanks to my 3000lph powerhead!

Yep using rain water and EI. I'm not using rainwater in any of my other tanks. Could it really be that? Its a sod if it is.

My other thought is that the CO2 has been in the greeny blue range for a week or so, could 'lower' CO2 do this? Seems unlikely also.

Thanks for the help guys.

Sam
 

Garuf

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

I think it's 2 fold, co2 and a possible toxin in your rainwater. I'd switch to a reactor and see if it helps then I'd ditch the rainwater and see what the results are.
 

jay

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Really don't see any point in using rain water.
If you get differing readings in the DC, then you have fluctuating Co2. The only difference should be from yellow/greenish with lights on after a couple of hours and yellow before lights on. Don't assume fluctuating Co2 is because of flow from filter or powerhead. Your injection method (regulator?) could have problems.

Also, don't use water from the hot tap. If you need to raise the temperature of water for WC, then either let it stand to get to room temp, or get a small heater.
 

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Im using rain water as I have uber hard water and keep soft water fish. RO water is hugely wasteful and I wanted to keep the amount of RO water I use to a minimum, that's all. I'm an ecologist by profession!

I've used hot tap water for years, never affected the other tanks as far as I can tell.

Sam
 

jay

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Themuleous said:
Im using rain water as I have uber hard water and keep soft water fish.

Sam


I have all soft water fish too. Wild tetras, wild dwarf cichlids, all bred before in my tap water in my planted tank.
Unless you're looking to keep/breed wild discus, I've never really look to much into water softness.

If you insist on using rainwater, then (if you don't already) you could put a small, carbon filled filter into the container that you collect it in. Should clear up any nasties that it may be harbouring ;)
 

Ed Seeley

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Like you Sam I like to keep soft water fish in soft water. I think it might be your rainwater though! How clean is the water butt and roof you're using to collect the rain water? My water butt I used to use always held some sediment, dead insects and even bits of leaves and this breaking down must have been releasing tiny amounts of ammonia into the water. Not enough to cause any problems with the fish I kept then, but maybe enough to cause issues with algae? I'd try running it through a filter with carbon and Purigen in to get rid of anything in there.
 

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

I run the rainwater through a huge 90cm pond carbon filter!!!! :lol:


Thats whats so confusing about the problem, there doesn't seem to be any rhym or reason to it, but something must be causing it!

Sam
 

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Hi Ed,

Well due to the complete lack of rain recently I'm now forced to use RO and tap so I guess we'll find out if its the rainwater, I kind of hope it is, at least then I'll know what the problem is and the solution.

The water butt like yours has a bit of debris in it and the odd worm or two (goodness only knows how they got in there!) so its not clean per se. It also has a big of a stagnant smell to is, but that's completely gone by the time its gone through the carbon filter.

The roof I'm not sure about as I haven't been up there to have a look as I don't have a ladder at the moment. Even if its dirty is not like the rainwater sits up there for days before getting into the butt, so wouldn't have much time to pick up nasty thing.

Thanks for the comments/ideas, really appreciate it. The odd thing is that the plants were doing great, and have suddenly starting going brown again, its all just a bit strange. This kind of counts out the substrate, ferts and CO2. Who knows! :lol:

Sam
 

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Well looks like it was indeed the rainwater. Two weeks since the last water change with rainwater and the plants are recovering/recovered. I've upped the lighting again to 3x54w and everything is pearling away.

This does leave two questions

i) What the hell is on my roof that is affecting the plants so badly? I do live v close to RAF Brize Norton, aviation fuel?

ii) Why doesn't the massive carbon filter remove it?

Sam
 

Ed Seeley

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

I reckon it's organics in the water caused by small particles decaying. Your carbon filter won't remove that. Can you put some purigen in the filter somehow to remove any traces of it?

I'd also give the water butt a really good clean and have some filter floss out of the water (above the water, maybe in the downpipe or the top of the water butt lid?) to intercept as much of the particles off the roof as you can before they get into the water butt.
 

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

The filter floss idea had crossed my mind. I'll see what I can DIY. It'll need cleaning pretty regularly as a fair bit seems to accumulate over the months. I'll also give the butt a good clean.

To be honest, I'm kinda resigned to being back to Jerry cans of RO and tap water for water changes. Its only around 100lt each week in total, so not too bad.

I might see if I can add a third RO membrane to my RO unit to reduce the waste water further. The RO waste is the main reason I wanted to switch to rainwater in the first place.

Sam
 

beeky

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

You mentioned before that you were reducing the lights, can you completely discount that? Also, what about the temperature difference, would that still be as drastic now you're not using rainwater? I did wonder if leaves were being hit with 1-2C water then it could cause cell damage, which would be more noticeable at the tips.

If it is the rainwater, then maybe you have a dead pigeon (or two!) in your gutter, although I would have thought your fish would be suffering if that were the case.
 

JamesC

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

A long shot but is that long piece of clear tubing you use food grade and do you drain it after using, or flush it through before use?

James
 

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Hi Becky, thanks for your thoughts. I will stick with the RO water to eliminate the rainwater as being the issue. If it happens again then it'll probably mean its the lighting, although that does seem odd.

It could be the temp of the water, but it didn't happen consistently and I've been using the rainwater all through the recent cold spell. Also, the temp of the tank only drops to 18-20C.

James - to be honest I'm not sure, I got it from here http://www.kiowa.co.uk/Products/PVC_Hos ... r_PVC_Tube. The website says its suitable for food use so would assume its OK. I do drain it completely after use, but I dont flush it through, other than the first bit of water that goes through it between me hooking it all up and putting the end into the tank.

All in all, very puzzling.

Sam
 

Themuleous

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Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues

Well interesting things are happening. Three weeks of using RO water and the plants are getting WORSE!!

DSCF3621.jpg


DSCF3619.jpg


DSCF3618.jpg


This leads me to believe it is actually the 3x54w tubes that are the problem. I'm going to run it with 2x54w and see what happens over the next few weeks, whilst also sticking with the RO water.

The only other thing to add is that the deformities are not 100% the same as previously, certainly the HC has been badly affect. Perhaps its a combination of the rainwater and too much light? Some of the HC has gone opaque which happened when I first set the tank up and the flow wasn't enough. I guess its perhaps that the plants cant get enough CO2 that is the problem with the 3x52w tubes, rather than it being the extra light per se. I've started running the CO2 into the powerhead, so its nice and stable now and there are tiny bubbles everywhere!

Sam
 
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