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Very hard water EI Dosing

Richardod

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4 Mar 2017
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Essex
Hi All.
I live in a very hard water area I am currently dosing the following ( standard Aquarium plant food solution see below )


Macro Solution

KN03

KH2P04


MgS04

Micro Solution



Trace Elements Fe 8.2% (EDTA Chelated) Mn 1.82% (EDTA Chelated) Zn 1.16% (EDTA Chelated) B 1.05% Cu 0.23% (EDTA Chelated) Mo 0.15%



I dose 60ml of both Micro and Macro on alternate days . to a 190l tank
I have attached my water reoprt ( it makes no sense to me )
Could anyone advise me if I need to add anything further to the solution to compensate for the hard water.
I just feel my plants could look a bit better and am not sure where I am going wrong I'm fairly sure my lighting and co2 are ok

Thanks for any advice
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
It is only really the iron chelator that maybe sub-optimal in your hard water, I'll add @Zeus. as he can tell you more.
I have attached my water report
It doesn't tell you a lot, they've only put in the compounds and elements that they are obliged to by law (which is why they quote all those pesticides). The ammonium level is pretty high, which suggests that chloramine is used as the sterilant, so you need to use a water conditioner like "Prime".

It doesn't tell you how hard the water is, but it is about 16 - 18 dKH/dGH, you can deduce that from the <"underlying geology"> and conductivity values

cheers Darrel
 

Richardod

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Essex
Thamks Daryl,
I did do a test for KH and DH a while back and it came back as KH 10 GH 17
I add 5 ml of prime after every water change ( 50% once a week )
It is only really the iron chelator that maybe sub-optimal in your hard water, I'll add @Zeus. as he can tell you more.

So what exactly does that mean do I need to add another salt to the mixture .

Sorry this is very confusing for me to try and get this right.

Thanks
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I did do a test for KH and DH a while back and it came back as KH 10 GH 17
Near enough. They are likely to <"be similar values"> to one another, mainly because the dGH and dKH both come from dissolved chalk (CaCO3) and that supplies 1 : 1 dKH : dGH. The dKH test doesn't actually measure dKH, it measures alkalinity and I'm not sure how the dGH test works.
So what exactly does that mean do I need to add another salt to the mixture .
You may need a different chelator for iron, <"dependent upon how your plants look"> (you need to read this thread to the end). Have a look at <"pink tint"> and the <"Chempak Sequestered Iron"> threads.

cheers Darrel
 

Andy Pierce

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27 Nov 2020
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Cambridge, UK
I just feel my plants could look a bit better
Could you add a few pictures of the plants? Maybe everything is reasonably good, particularly if your plants have been newly added, and you wind up causing more problems than you solve by messing with it. For what it's worth, my water (South Cambs) routinely tests at the very upper range of hardness (if you believe the test strips anyway), and I use the Aquarium Plant Food mixes you're using although because I can't resist messing with it myself (and really for no other good reason) I switch up the doses a little and boost the K with a little K2SO4: Estimative index, Fireplace aquarium. I've never attempted to "do something" about the hardness of the water other than to have a vague feeling of "this water tests up as being really hard, but I'm not sure what could be usefully done about it, and I'm actually reasonably happy with how things look as they are" which means the water hardness will probably never rise to the level of being actioned against. ;)
 

Zeus.

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Your Cu and Fe ppms vary quite a bit over year in your tap water 0.002 to0.1 ppm Cu and Fe .00012 to 0.1 ppm Fe. which is very similar to what happens with my tap water, which IMO is one of the reasons why at certain times of the year plants are not at there best, tends to be about this time of year, as soon as the farmer start fertilizing their fields, we will get a lower Fe and Cu as the water company's 'blend' the water to keep the NO3 down.

Like Darrels says no mention of water hardness ([Ca] and [Mg]) so calculating dGH direct isnt possible.

Are you injecting CO2?
 

ceg4048

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I'm fairly sure my lighting and co2 are ok
Yes, these are famous last words. In fact, these two items are exactly what you should worry about. The tank "probably" has too much light and the CO2 application is "probably" in need of a revision.

Hard water will have nothing to do with the problem, so worrying about things like Fe and Calcium, which are micronutrients is energy wasted.

Cheers,
 

Richardod

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Yes I inject c02
Ceg - The CO2 has got good distribution is a very difficult tank ( Juwel trigon 190 ) I have the Co2 through an in line diffuser via a spray bar pointing towards the front of the tank supplemented by two nano powerflow pumps pointed slightly downwards either end of the spray bar
20210203_190924.jpg20210203_191023.jpg20210203_191826.jpg20210203_191831.jpg

 

ceg4048

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Hello Richard,
Yes, I understand that the trigons are particularly difficult shapes to diffuse CO2 properly in and that is an even bigger reason to suspect a CO2 shortfall. There are so many ways in which CO2 can be faulty, distribution method certainly being a top candidate.
I can't quite make out the algae on the lower leaves in that first photo, but it looks like either some form of GSA, which is only ever caused by some combination of poor CO2 + poor PO4. So no matter how strongly you feel as if your CO2 technique is optimal it does no good to run away from the fact that there is a CO2/PO4 issue in the tank. It's depressing, believe me. No one knows this pain better than I do, but consider that you are adding both PO4 and CO2, in copious quantities, and yet the tank is revealing a shortfall in either one or both.

So lets examine distribution: The spraybar is mounted such that it straddles the two walls? How far beneath the surface? Are the holes in the spraybar pointed straight ahead? Where are the pumps mounted? A sketch or photo would be useful here.
Why are they pointed slightly down? The function of the pumps is to supplement the flow from the spraybar, therefore all pumps outlets and spraybar holes should point in exactly the same direction. Anything less means destructive interference and therefore loss of flow efficiency. As the flow energy strikes the front glass the water should be forced downward and should strike the substrate. This is the ideal scenario, however, if there are hardscape and plants in the way which disrupts this pattern then it may be necessary to make adjustments, but you must start from the baseline configuration and experiment from there.

What is the schedule of the gas on and off? Is there an approximate 1 pH unit drop before the lights are turned on, or does your dropchecker indicate light green at lights on? what is the advertised flow rate of the filter? If the filter is weak and if the nano pumps are not placed optimally then all that CO2 can be escaping before it strikes the plants. Maybe nano pumps are too nano, and maybe something more muscular is in order - too many unknowns at this time.

We haven't even touched on lighting, but I'll assume that you're not a Klingon pummeling the tank with a 5 megawatt laser and instead are using the lights that came with the tank?

There is always room for CO2 improvement, in every tank - and 190 gallons is a LOT of water to manhandle...

Here is a hard water anecdote just to show that the vast majority of plants do not really care about hard water, but they really care about CO2 - this tank had GH of over 26:
8394062257_477fde5dd9_b.jpg


Cheers,
 
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Richardod

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Hi Geg

the spray bar is on one wall pointed forward towards the glass , it is about two inches beneath the surface the pumps sit directly below the spray bar either end and they are pointed slightly downwards.
The light unit i use is this .
Product HeliaLux Spectrum 700 32 Watt
Length 693 mm
Power 32 Watt

Gas comes on at midday PH is 7.2 ( drop checker green ) lights come on at 2pm and build up gradually to a maximun ( 85% strength ) at 5pm PH 6.6 , they remain on maximun until 9pm when the gradually start to dim until almost dark at 11pm

I pointed the pumps slightly down because i waned the Co2 to get to the bottom of the tank .

The filter i use is this rated 1400l/h

Also see pic of Amazon swords directly below spray bar they just seem to constantly melt I have root tabs all around them and they still will not grow.
Yet in my old tank which was low tech ( old jewel Panarama ) they used to grow like crazy without issue.
 

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Richardod

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No unfortunatley I wished it was that simple, the plants in the picure shown is my fourth attempt to grow them, there is plenty of root tabs around them .
I could grow them in my old low tech tank till the cows come home I was forever cutting them back, but in this tank with Co2 I cannot get then started at all.
It's so confusing.
 

ceg4048

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Hi all,

Scuppered, I'd convinced myself the damage to the Amazon Swords <"was Plec damage">.

cheers Darrel
Yes, I also though the damage looked awfully suspicious and it may still be a combination of CO2 shortfall and predation as the fish find it easier to pick apart as the tissues decay.

In any case plecs are not going to be the reason for the GSA. There seems to be tissue decay at areas just beneath the pumps and it appears that there are thickets and hardscape blocking the flow towards the rear. The path of the flow using this technique should be; towards the front glass at the top of the tank, deflected down to the substrate and then deflected back towards the rear of the tank. That requires a lot of muscle and so pointing the pumps down defeats this strategy. Both the spraybar holes and the pumps should face exactly horizontally towards the top of the front glass.

It may also help to thin out the bushes to allow more rearwards flow at the substrate level so that the gas can more efficiently reach those plants at the back.

Gas comes on at midday PH is 7.2 ( drop checker green ) lights come on at 2pm and build up gradually to a maximun ( 85% strength ) at 5pm PH 6.6
OK, am I reading this incorrectly or are you saying that the pH reaches it's minimum of 6.6 at 5pm, and that the light is turned on at 2pm when the pH is somewhere between 7.2 and 6.6? If that's the case then that is part of the problem. It's accepted the gas needs to drive the pH to 6.6 prior to the lights coming on. That will give the plants the best chance. So you may want to think about a higher injection rate sufficient to pull the pH down faster.

The filter i use is this rated 1400l/h
OK, that means it delivers a maximum throughput of about 700 L/H. A 200 gallon CO2 tank is happiest with a total flow rating of 2000 G/H, which is about 8000 L/H rating. Of course, that's the very top end and one can easily get by with less, but I give these numbers just to illustrate where you are within the band of acceptable flow. The pumps do add to your 1400 L/H rating but you haven't given those rating numbers, but add them up to see where you are.

I pointed the pumps slightly down because i waned the Co2 to get to the bottom of the tank
As I mentioned , since the energy is pointed down instead of horizontally the effect is actually the opposite.

No unfortunatley I wished it was that simple, the plants in the picure shown is my fourth attempt to grow them, there is plenty of root tabs around them .
Which is further evidence that so-called root feeding plants do not really care that much about root feeding. They care about what's in the water column because their leaves are adapted to feed directly from the water. The function of roots are many fold and are more fascinating than the mythical "root feeding".

I could grow them in my old low tech tank till the cows come home I was forever cutting them back, but in this tank with Co2 I cannot get then started at all.
Many folks have trouble with this issue and that's because they are force fed misleading ideas about plants.
In fact, the most important function to plants growing under water is actually availability of gas. The two most important gasses are CO2 and Oxygen. Think about how quickly you breathe while sprinting the 100 meter dash. How about when taking a leisurely stroll in the park? A low tech tank is the leisurely stroll. Plants do not need to breathe very quickly. Conversely, turning the lights up higher forces the plants to sprint. Getting sufficient CO2 in order to produce enough food and oxygen is more critical under these conditions. If we don't pay enough attention to the delivery of the gas we are forcing the plants to sprint while wearing a mask, or while holding their breath. How easy would that be?

So we've got to pay attention yo gas exchange in plants. If that's not done then nothing else matters, not root tabs, not Iron and certainly not "water parameters".

Cheers,
 

Richardod

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Thanks Ceg for the advice much appreciated I'll get on to the changes you suggested tomorrow .
Hopefully if this corrects the flow of the C02 I might be there .
I'll let you know
 

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