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Thailandia Sunset

Hanuman

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Something odd has happened this week. My toninas lotus blosson has started melting from the bottom for the past ~4-5 days and I have noticed a sudden increase in BBA on all epiphyte plants. Also, L. Meta has grown substantially slower than every week and some of the E. setaceum is collecting some hair algae. Bucep BG is also collecting BBA 🤬. Pretty much a bad week.
If I have to conclude something is that I probably forgot to add the ferts last week when I did the WC. I don't see any other reason why this is happening since nothing else has changed. Oh yes I did change the light for a P900 Week Aqua, but that was only 2 days ago and this shenanigans started before that. Anyhow I will increase stem mass in the tank to provide more stability and most importantly I'll try not to forget to add the ferts this week!! I will also bath all the bucephalandra into some anti-algae solution outside the tank.


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Hanuman

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From Thailand with love and loads of reflections (as usual). I promise one day I'll do things properly and put a black backdrop. Light was upgrade for a Week Aqua P900. So far so good.
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I'm modifying my fert regime from next Saturday onward. All has already been prepared in advance and waiting the next WC. I am moving away from front loading to 3x a week dosing, not because there is an issue but because I have added urea in my new macro batch and I don't want big loads of urea in the tank at once. Therefore I am spreading the load over 3x. This said the urea proportions are quite low considering I am doing a 4:1 KNO3:Urea. Below are the precise numbers for the curious.

MACRO
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MICRO
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Note 1: As mentioned to @Happi in another thread, for this batch I didn't use Ascorbic acid and Potassium sorbate but instead I used Sodium benzoate (0.6gr/L). Let's see how it goes.
Note 2: Fe Gluconate 11% is added directly to the mix. After 24 hours, the mix has time to decant and the solution is then filtered with a coffee filter to its final vessel.

REMIN
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SYSTEM SUMMARY
- Yes the date is in the future because that's how I roll.
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Hanuman

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Today was filter cleaning day + WC. I have been having algae problems for the past two months. It just dawn on me it could be because I haven't cleaned the filter in like over 6 months or more.... So not only did I clean the filter but I also went into full maniac mode and arranged the media vertically so that flow would be less restricted. I had time to kill so had to find something to do! I also removed some bio media as I thought it's not doing much anyway (blue bowl). Now let's hope for the best.
I also started dosing my new concoction with urea. I did a double dose after the WC so that the plants wouldn't be shocked too much after me front loading the tank for a such a long time. Crossing fingers!
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Unrelated picture below. This is Cabomba furcata that I left in a container for over 4 months. Plant is very much still alive. Light is extremely low although it appears bright. The container is usually closed so that water doesn't evaporate. I replanted it today in the tank see if it would grow back to its full glory.
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Hanuman

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It's good to share the good and the ugly. Here goes the ugly.

GDA and what seems to be Oedogonium algae have been invading my tank on virtually all plants and surfaces. Even my fast growing stems like L. Meta and R. Bossii or slower ones like limnophila aromatica got rewarded with algae. What I think is happening:
  • Increased light intensity from new light fixture. I had it set at 100% but was higher than my previous Chihiros WRGB. I thought the increased height would compensate. I guess I underestimated the power and overestimate the height. Truth be told I also wanted to increase overall PAR of the tank to improve coloration of my bucephalandra. I supposed I got too greedy;
  • The above then leads to increased CO2 demand from plants. My DC is already yellow so I didn't want to increase it but I should have at least a bit;
  • Filter having been cleaned last week + fertilizer recipe slightly modified (basically less nitrate) + regimen having been changed (moving from front load to 3x dosing) + use of urea are all largely responsible for this algae galore me think.

Mitigation/solution:
  • decreased light intensity 2 days ago by 10 point % + rise the light by ~ 2 centimeters or so. This should ease the situation at least a bit.
  • Increase CO2 by a slight notch;
  • I will still double dose after WC;
  • Trim what is trim-able tomorrow during WC and treat some plants with anti-algae. I tried APT Fix on a small spot and that thing seems to be rather potent, more so than H2O2. I didn't have any shrimp die on me so at least that's good news;
  • Probably add a few amanos shrimps later next week depending how things evolve. I am also looking for a snails specie that won't bulldozer everything like Nerites. I haven't found any so far and I am not very optimistic in finding one considering that the acidic environment will ultimately kill them by eroding their shells. If anyone has suggestions on specific snails I'm all ears;
  • continue observing and treating plants with anti-algae until all this clears out to a large degree. Will probably have to decrease light intensity again but waiting for things to settle first.

Pictures below
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Plants (E. Quin, R. Bonsai) that don't have algae on them is because they were very recently planted.
 
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Hanuman

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So far GDA and filamentous algae have not receded. The glass gets covered with GDA only 2-3 days after WC. Sorry for the bubbles I took the shot in a rush this morning. I cleaned half the glass so you could see the difference but the bubbles make it difficult to see. You can see the demarcation though in the middle. GDA is also pretty obvious on the side panels. Never have I had such a bad GDA and hair algae, and to some extent BBA, outbreak in these years.
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Talking about plants:

  • Eriocaulon setaceum has grown at an accelerated rate. So has the attached hair algae. I will probably remove this plant all together as it's a pain to maintain. You basically can't trim it. You need to uproot, cut top and replant. It also grows lots of very fine aerial roots which becomes unsightly once the plant growth tall enough.
  • Ammannia Pedicellata golden: has also grown much faster than where it was in my smaller tank. Not much algae on it though so that's a good thing.
  • Rotala goias: it was planted clean 2 weeks ago and is now covered with algae as can be seen above.
  • Rotala bosii: I trimmed it 2 weeks ago. Growth has considerably slowed down since but that’s expected. This said I see quite some stunting here and there on new shoots. Not something I like to see. The plant will go regardless because I don’t really like it sending uneven sideshoots all the time. Not a predictable shape plant.
  • Tonina lotus blossom: this one has got my head scratching. For the past month and half I have been seeing some random melts starting at the bottom of the stem and then going up. I have had this plant for quite some time so I am unsure what is happening.
  • L. Meta: it’s not growing as I wish despite plenty of co2 and ferts. This plant used to grow much faster and have a big crown. Things are different these days.
  • E. quinquangulare: this one is getting algae every week. I have to remove the outer leaves as it just looks ugly.

The GDA and filamentous algae I am seeing are mostly due to the use of urea + filter having been cleaned 2 weeks ago.

I’ll give it one or two more weeks before I make drastic changes, like changing the substrate or changing my formula by removing urea from the mix altogether. I could also shove some root tabs everywhere see how that goes. I can also still decrease the lighting but I have 2 plants in there for which I really need to have high light for coloring reasons so I don't want to lower light too much. In the meantime I will add a few amanos to clean up the hair algae and perhaps 3 more otos to help cleaning the GDA/BBA on the plants. The only oto I have is basically 24/7 with a belly as fat as my thumb so I suppose there is enough food for a few more fish. I am tempted to also add one or two small bristle nose plecos for full GDA eradication in the upcoming weeks. I could then add them in my outdoor pond where they will live happily ever after. In fact I already have an L144 in that pond, but he is a maniac and likes digging around so don't want to use him. He is too big already.
 
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Hanuman

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Quick update.
We have lift off. GDA is now very faint after 4 days of WC. This is great and I attribute this to one thing: decreased urea dosing. On my last water change I only single dosed instead of the double dose I did since using urea in my fert mix. This solved my problem but it's not ideal for me. A single dose means a rather lean dose after WC and this is specially not good on a substrate that is depleted. I have two options. Either redo my fertilizer mix and exclude urea altogether (or greatly reduce urea in the KNO3:urea ratio) so I can more heavily dose after WC or change the substrate (or load the soil with those APT root tabs I have, but this is usually short lived).
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The algae on the back panel is normal. I haven't cleaned it in 3 weeks as it is not very visible when looking from the front.
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Hanuman

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Not sure where to post this so I am posting here in my journal as I don't think a new thread is justified for this.
So I re-stocked some Calcium Sulphate as I had finished my stock, except this time I didn't buy from my usual supplier. I just bought some from an online store which did not mention what hydrate it was. It was just sold as Calcium Sulphate. I assumed it's the dihydrate form as the description of the product says it's Gypsum and also food grade. That's the hydrate used in the food industry. Anyhow, suspicious as I am, I needed to carry out some test to make sure I was getting what I paid for.
So I did the following:
  • Batch 1 with old product: added 1gr of CaSO4*2H2O in 100ml of RO water then measured TDS @ 2128
  • Batch 2 with new product: added 1gr of CaSO4*2H2O in 100ml of RO water then measure TDS @ 1728

That is odd, in principle should be roughly the same but there is 400ppm gap there. I measured multiple times in the span of 15 minutes and results were replicable and consistent. So then I wanted to make sure I had the same hydrate by testing the hardness of the water. In order for my strip test to pick up the levels I had to dilute the above mixtures. I simply took a 6ml syringe of the solutions and added them each in 100ml of RO water. The results are below. As can be seen both solutions provided the same hardness. I know these strips tests are not accurate but I think it's good enough for the purpose. The only conclusion from all this is that my old CaSO4 is not as pure as I thought it was and probably contains some unwanted impurities which bump the TDS.

Moral of the story: I'll only be buying food grade CaSO4 from now on.
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MichaelJ

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  • Batch 1 with old product: added 1gr of CaSO4*2H2O in 100ml of RO water then measured TDS @ 2128
  • Batch 2 with new product: added 1gr of CaSO4*2H2O in 100ml of RO water then measure TDS @ 1728

Hi @Hanuman, I am wondering about this one. 1 gr would be hard if not impossible to dissolve in only 100 ml of water (CaSO4 solubility 0.26 g/100ml), and if it did, 1 gram of CaSO4(2H2O) in 100 ml would give you ~2300 ppm of Ca and ~1900 ppm of S.

Cheers,
Michael
 

John q

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Joking aside surely we can predict the tds of 1g of caso4 in 100ml of water? Or maybe not. @dw1305 is there a simple calculation?
Will try 1g of calcium sulphate hemithydrate in 100ml of water tamoz and report the findings
 

MichaelJ

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Hi all,

I'm not sure, there almost certainly is a list somewhere, @Oldguy may know? We do have a thread with some discussion of the <"purity of calcium chloride"> (CaCl2.nH2O), where @X3NiTH may have answered this question?

cheers Darrel
Just add up the ionic charge. It won’t match the TDS as that will only match the calibration fluid but it will be darn close.

Cheers,
Michael
 

John q

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This is where we start to learn.
What's the difference between ppm and ionic charge.
1g of caso4 in 100ml of water assuming it dissolves, which it won't... should give us a total ppm of 4190 ish. Can this be back tracked to tds, are tds and ppm linked?
 

MichaelJ

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This is where we start to learn.
What's the difference between ppm and ionic charge.
1g of caso4 in 100ml of water assuming it dissolves, which it won't... should give us a total ppm of 4190 ish. Can this be back tracked to tds, are tds and ppm linked?

You can certainly calculate the electric conductivity (uS/cm) of a dissolved compound from the ionic conductivity and molar mass and then derive the TDS. Whether you will measure the same ppm depends on the TDS meter (conversion factor) and what dissolved compounds you’re measuring - it will only be an approximaiton. The ppm’s of the fertilizer and mineralization I’m mixing for my WC fairly well matches what I measure with my TDS meter - it’s about ~20 ppm’s off (as far as I remember) from just adding up all the ppms from the rotala calculator.

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Zeus.

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This is where we start to learn.
What's the difference between ppm and ionic charge.
1g of caso4 in 100ml of water assuming it dissolves, which it won't... should give us a total ppm of 4190 ish. Can this be back tracked to tds, are tds and ppm linked?
When myself and @Hanuman added TDS reading to the IFC calculator based on the amount salt being added to a certain volume and the relevant maths. Hanni did some bench tests with various salts and we found the results compared to the TDS meter reading very acceptable, so we was happy to add the feature. Obviously all the salt has to dissolve, but Hanni did some solid work on the conditional formatting in Excel so it has 'bells and whistles' to let you know you have exceeded solubility limits for all the various salts
 

Hanuman

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Hi all,
Hi @Hanuman, I am wondering about this one. 1 gr would be hard if not impossible to dissolve in only 100 ml of water (CaSO4 solubility 0.26 g/100ml), and if it did, 1 gram of CaSO4(2H2O) in 100 ml would give you ~2300 ppm of Ca and ~1900 ppm of S.
Yes I was well aware that 1 gr of CaSO4 would not dissolve entirely in 100ml of water. That was exactly the point so that the solution would be totally saturated and I could compare how much sediment would be left out between the 2 solutions :). There wasn't much if any difference at the end of the day. This was a way for me to assess if I was dealing with the same compounds or not, albeit not very precisely.
Also the actual TDS figure didn't matter to me. If the two products were exactly the same in purity I would have read the same TDS or very close (if you account for measuring errors with the scale and water volume) regardless of the number shown on screen. That's what I was after. Not the actual number.
Impossible 😀
Indeed. I mean, we did make the IFC calculator and looked at 100s of compounds solubility limits in multiple conditions from multiple sources and multiple times after all 😅.
Joking aside surely we can predict the tds of 1g of caso4 in 100ml of water? Or maybe not. @dw1305 is there a simple calculation?
Will try 1g of calcium sulphate hemithydrate in 100ml of water tamoz and report the findings
I have to say I have no clue about this. Try to make it as precise as possible. I used a 0.1 precision scale and a 100 ml lab graduated cylinder.
I'm not sure, there almost certainly is a list somewhere, @Oldguy may know? We do have a thread with some discussion of the <"purity of calcium chloride"> (CaCl2.nH2O), where @X3NiTH may have answered this question?
Let's see what our trusty @X3NiTH has to say on the subject. Would be interesting to know why there was such a difference in tds readings between the two. I assumed that one was contaminated/less pure than the other but I could be wrong.
 

Oldguy

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With reference to some of the above posts, just don't go there. You will be entrapped by the Nernst equation. This hobby is for enjoyment not flagellation.
The solubilities of chemicals can be found on the internet.
Common ions will reduce solubility ie Ca & Mg Carbonates, the carbonates will 'add up' to precipitate Ca & Mg below their individual solubilities, so use dilute solutions and add larger volumes to you tanks. (Even non common ions can reduce total soublities [I once had a fad of making transition metal complexes in a range of colours and some were sods to get out of solution, so used various very soluble salts to form saturated solutions to try and 'force' the desired compound out of solution]).
To a first approximation ppm and TDS can be viewed as the same thing.
Do not take as gospel your test kit and meter readings they are a useful guide. The real test: are plants and critters doing well.
Enjoy the hobby, have fun and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

 
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