You don't have to change all that water

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by DaveyC, 19 Jan 2019.

  1. DaveyC

    DaveyC Newly Registered

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    For the last few months I've only been doing fortnightly 20% water changes and I have a sparkling tank at all times, strong healthy plant growth, very little algae and happy fish.

    The nutrient regime is potassium and iron on alternate days and micros twice a week. No nitrate or phosphate except what gets added via fish food.

    In the past when I've not dosed NPK, the tank inevitably crashes, so this success is a revelation to me.

    The benefit of this method is the time saving re the water changes and making the RO plus excellent algae control.

    The tank is 100 litres, ember tetras x14, cardinals x10. The change water is RO remineralised with Dennerle GH/KH to TDS 100. There's a CO2 reactor at 1 bubble/second. You need a fair amount of surface agitation. The tank water is TDS 200.

    The nutrients used are from Seachem Flourish range:

    Iron
    Potassium
    Comprehensive Supplement Micros (keep in the fridge when opened)

    This is what I dose:

    Sunday - Iron 2ml, Micros 2ml
    Monday - Potassium 4ml
    Tuesday - Iron 2ml
    Wednesday - Potassium 4ml, Micros 2ml
    Thursday - Iron 2ml
    Friday - Potassium 4ml
    Saturday - Iron 2ml
    Sunday - Potassium 4ml, Micros 2ml
    Monday - Iron 2ml
    Tuesday - Potassium 4ml,
    Wednesday - Iron 2ml, Micros 2ml
    Thursday - Potassium 4ml
    Friday - Iron 2ml
    Saturday - Potassium 4ml

    This regime is from Youtube, Mass Aquariums: "How to take care of a planted tank: lights, dosing fertilizers, pressurized cCO2, water changes".

    Plants from the tank:
    z3.JPG
    The CO2 reactor can be seen in the middle chamber below:
    z1.JPG

    Hope this is useful.
     
  2. TBRO

    TBRO Member

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    Good info, thinking of trying a leaner regime myself. T


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Simes

    Simes Member

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    Hi. I am using tropica aquarium soil and my aquarium is a new set up (just over a week old). Do I still need to dose or does the aquarium soil have it covered?
    Thank you
     
  4. Mick.Dk

    Mick.Dk Member

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    The short answer: YES and NO.
    the Tropica soil is an active substrate, meaning it will bind/release nutrients. How this will happen is largely dependent on the water applied, and develoment of your specific awuarium.
    In your newly set-up taquarium, the soil will release nutrients and bind nutrients extra strongly for some time. This means you will need to do (relatively) large waterchanges often to ensure nothing builds up to problematic amounts (this is stated on product) . The waterchanges and soil binding some nutrients, on the other hand, means you need to add some full-spectre(= both micro-and macro-nutrients, ex. Tropica specialised fertiliser) preferably after each waterchange. This will ensure enough of all nutrients are available to plants at all time.
    In time you will need to adjust the amount of fertilisers according to the uptake in your specific aquarium. This call for some experience, but reading up on "Estimated Index" and "Duckweed Index" would be beneficial.
     
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  5. alto

    alto Member

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    Got FTS photo?

    Plant list please and aquarium details re filter, light, CO2 etc
     
  6. tam

    tam Member

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    Looks very healthy growth - what substrate did you use?
     
  7. Nuno Gomes

    Nuno Gomes Member

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    That looks like a pretty low energy setup which is why it works with little water changes and maintenance. High energy setups require more frequent husbandry.
     
  8. DaveyC

    DaveyC Newly Registered

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    Thanks

    The substrate is inert plastic sand grade 1mm to 2mm or so. There's no fertiliser balls in the substrate. The only N and P the tank gets is from fish food.

    The plant in there is Ludwigia repens Red from Ebay (supplier plymstarr, recommended for high quality plants).

    Here's a photo of the tank: 1.JPG

    The tank is an Aquanano 60 (100 litres). The pump used is the one that came with it. I was going to use an Eheim instead but it was noisier.

    The lights are as supplied with my old Aquanano 40.

    I would like a bit more flow but all is going well so I'm living with it.

    CO2 is from a fire extinguisher and is timed to come on 2 hours before the lights. Photoperiod is 9 hours.

    The CO2 reactor is as follows (a medium one):

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Submersi...43a2ace0:m:m18-2xY4iTvSILo73yZaIOA:rk:37:pf:0

    The pump for the reactor is the smallest one Eheim do, the 300:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EHEIM-co...ca2666108:m:mqoXt6s6e6bplPNibB0YUkQ:rk:6:pf:0

    If I change more than 20% of the water once a fortnight, the plants go off the boil.

    The only algae is a light dusting on the glass which I clean off once a week, there's none on the plants.

    2.JPG
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2019
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  9. HiNtZ

    HiNtZ Member

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    Interesting, and a very nice tank. I'd like to know more about the Dennerle GH/KH!

    Do you have the info on the label at all? What does a dose give you?

    Also, is there a noticeable difference from week 1 to 2? I mean as in plant growth.
     
  10. Col1in

    Col1in Member

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    This is mildly related so hear me out! I've been watching Foo the Flowerhorn on Youtube, his videos are great, I'd highly recommend them. He has a bunch of 30l ish tanks but what struck me was he doesn't use filters or ferts, there is zero circulation, and they look great. So I've been looking at the flow and circulation in my 400l tank and wondering if I could reduce it, I have a wavemaker and a 2000 lph filter. Going by the the current advice I should have a 4000 lph of filtration, 10x the volume per hour. However surely your filtration depends solely on your stocking levels? And also water changes too? In a planted tank the plants will do some filtration, the more plants the more filtration. The smaller the fish the less waste they will produce. So small fish + loads of plants must mean cleaner water!! A while back I did a water change and forgot to switch my filter back on, a week later I noticed my tank going a bit cloudy, then I realised what Id done, it was panic stations. The filter was stinking inside, probably wiped out the bacteria, however I didn't lose a single fish! If that had happened to my friends tank which has no plants and is heavily stocked with cichlids it would have been a different story.
     
  11. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    It is plants that make the difference, I've done the same <"more than once">.

    Canister filters are prone to <"problems with oxygenation">, even when they are running, particularly if you fill them too full of the wrong media.

    I always tell people that when you have plants, you don't just have plants you have <"plant/microbe" filtration"> and that is more resilient and efficient than "microbe only" biological filtration.

    The water change and turn-over figures are really for high tech. tanks fed with EI levels of fertilsers, if you are low tech you can use less of both. Have a look at <"Low-flow and ...."> and the <"Duckweed index">.

    cheers Darrel
     
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  12. Siege

    Siege Member

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    Nice looking tank. Super in balance. Brilliant achievement.

    Tai’s is similar low tech with brilliant growth.



    If you go truly hitech - high lighting & higher co2 - plant growth will be much quicker but more importantly plants will be more compact and act really differently.

    Really, in a hitech tank you you need to do those water changes, the bigger and more often the better.

    Super important - when you do the water changes, don’t just change the water. Instead get in there with a turkey baster and remove all the detritus at the same time (apologies if this is basic to some!)



     
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  13. DaveyC

    DaveyC Newly Registered

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    Thanks. Here are the instructions:

    P1140177.JPG

    P1140178.JPG

    Before I had a RO system, I used to buy remineralised RO from my local shop who were strong on planted tanks. They used Dennerle GH/KH to make it. The TDS of that was always about 100 so I took that as the way to go and it's always worked well but I stand to be corrected.

    It became difficult to get the GH/KH and the last lot came from Germany via Amazon I think.

    Looks like the name has changed to Osmose ReMineral+, hopefully the same stuff.

    I really rate it as it's specifically designed for planted aquariums.

    I did try making my own from an online recipe but the plants stopped growing!

    Previously I was doing EI dosing with weekly 50% water changes and found the pearling started to diminish by the end of the week. And if I missed a change the algae would accelerate over the second week. With the new regime the tank looks uniformly good all the time, which is nice. There's no pearling but light intensity is pretty low. The growth rate is about 8 inches a month, so about moderate.
     
  14. DutchMuch

    DutchMuch Member

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    he has done things in the past *videos removed* that make me want to throw up whenever i hear someone say "oh yea yea he's awesome and great!"
     
  15. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    If you are happy with it, and it works for you, keep on using it, but
    You could make your own, and leave the sodium (Na) out. Sodium doesn't really have any use in the planted aquarium.

    The blurb usually talks about "osmotic balance" as a reason for adding the sodium chloride (NaCl) to these remineralising mixes, but I have a certain streak of cynicism and I can't help coming back to the fact that sodium chloride is the cheapest salt to buy.

    Because you have the break down for all the elements in the mix you could work out exactly the mix of salts in the product. The sodium (and choride) don't contribute to either dKH or dGH, if you leave them out, and it doesn't change those parameters.

    I'd be surprised if you can't replicate the mix with calcium carbonate (CaCO3), calcium chloride (CaCl2.6H2O), potassium bicarbonate (KH2CO3) and magnesium sulphate (MgSO4.7H2O).

    cheers Darrel
     
    Last edited: 27 Jan 2019
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  16. DaveyC

    DaveyC Newly Registered

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    He's new to me, I'll let you know how I get on! With flow, I think it all depends on how bright your lights are. You can get away with poor circulation if your light intensity is low. Reducing the light intensity can actually make the plants happier. With my tank as it is now, it's great not to have to worry about how many fish I have (a lot for a planted tank) or how much food I put in, as the plants seem to be sucking it all up. Plus I'm enjoying having a weekend off the water change! With what I've learned with this tank, I feel a lot more confident about my next project, a long term crypt tank.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jan 2019
  17. sciencefiction

    sciencefiction Member

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    Lovely tank with really healthy plants. I think that if you manage to keep your TDS steady and not rising over time then the regime of water changes is working, regardless of what it is.

    One thing I'd like to note is that to truly confirm a method is working, you'd need a few years keeping up the same way, rather than a few months. Take the fish's life span and long term health as your measurement of success. The reason I am saying this is because healthy plants doesn't always equate to healthy fish.
     
  18. soggybongo

    soggybongo Member

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    spot on Darrel I use this formula

    0.4g Calcium Chloride Dihydrate
    2.0g Calcium Sulphate Dihydrate
    2.0g Magnesium Sulphate Heptahydrate
    0.7g Potassium Carbonate
    25 litres Water

    The above solution gives:
    24ppm Calcium
    8ppm Magnesium
    16ppm Potassium
    7ppm Chloride
    GH=5
    KH=1
     
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  19. DaveyC

    DaveyC Newly Registered

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    Thanks very much, just watched it, inspirational.

    If I let my family take care of my tank, I'd give it a fortnight before the whole thing was trashed!

    Just the layout I want to do next. Amazing it's run with no CO2 and no regular ferts, I'd be afraid of melting. I guess if you had any fast growing plants in there it would wreck the balance.

    One day I'd also like to create the illusion of a river section either with just C. balansae or vallis, anything that's going to wave in the current. I've grown balansae before in Eco-Complete and when I pulled it all out the root system was absolutely everywhere - it's a beautiful plant.
     
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2019
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