Thus Sprach Zarathustra, 80 gallon high tech build - Page 7 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #91 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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I'd be really interested in hearing your results Ben. Do you have access to lab equipment at work?
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post #92 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:54 AM
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I'd be really interested in hearing your results Ben. Do you have access to lab equipment at work?
No. No access to lab equipment. I just used a regular test kit. I kept adding the Alk Buffer and testing the next day and not getting the result I was expecting. So I added a bunch of it once, tested a couple hours later, and the KH was 6. Then a couple days later it was about 3.5, and then a couple days later it was back to 1. That's when I started searching on here.
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post #93 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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2.16.17 Dumbass update-

Something Ben said made me think, which can be good or bad depending on your point of view. I hopped on YouTube and found a video on how to use the GH test I have just to make sure I was doing it right. Turns out I wasn't. I'd been expecting it to go from green to yellow, not yellow to green (why they don't put that on the bottle, I don't know). Turns out my GH is now 23. Whups! At least we can rule out low Ca and Mg as contributing to the issues I'm seeing.

Next hypotheses to test:
Hn = Phil isn't adding enough traces
Ha1 = Phil isn't adding enough N.
Ha2 = Observed tissue death was caused by the H2O2 bath and the plants are still recovering.

Methods - Continue doing water changes and NPK dosing as usual, not adding any Ca or Mg until GH is 5 and adding approx. 1/8 tsp traces 2x/week for two weeks. If signs of chlorosis go away then it was likely an Fe issue and Hn will be accepted. If not, it's likely insufficient N, I'll up the dose of that for two weeks. If the plants improve then Ha1 will be accepted. If plants continue to shed leaves or roots of epiphytes don't show new growth then it's likely not an H2O2 bath issue and Ha2 will be rejected and another round of tests will begin.

Gotta love science even when it's frustrating. Hell, some of the most soul wrenching times in my life have been doing research. Science hurts (so good)!

On the up side, everything but the R. indica is growing, albeit if a bit pale, and the P. erectus is doing really well. That's been a difficult plant for me so I'm happy on that front. The Crypt. wendtii 'Bronze' is still shedding leaves but that could be either the H2O2 treatment or my changing water parameters too quickly.
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post #94 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 12:24 PM
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With high GH, iron from DTPA would be available for longer than Iron from EDTA found/used in many trace mixes.
I have 12 dgh ,and found that adding a bit of Iron from DTPA ( www.Greenleaf aquariums) in addition to the iron EDTA in CSM+B helped the ludwigia repens ,and ehinodorus red flame appear more red.
I kept trying to boost Iron by increasing the CSM+B, but a plant guru told me that this could lead to toxicities possibly ,and that the iron in CSM+B (EDTA) does not hang around long in hard water. Heard anywhere from 2 to 4 day's.
As I only dose fertz once a week(low tech),I think I was limiting iron availalble and was suggested to source some iron from DTPA which is more suited for harder water.
After trying the DTPA the red hues to a few plant's seemed to improve and stay more red throughout the week (To my eye's anyway).
Course if one is dosing daily or every other day ,it might not make much of a difference ,but with once weekly fertilizing, I felt it could not hurt to try Fe from DTPA.
I still add CSM+B once a week day after macro's but I also add a bit of DTPA and will stick with it after noting improvement.
I have had anubia/crypt's just melt away after H202 bath for too long or too concentrated.
Now I just toss plant's with algae on leaves into tank holding long finned albino baby bristlenose and cherry shrimp,and they clean the leaves within a day or two.
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post #95 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 02:03 PM
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2.16.17 Dumbass update-

Something Ben said made me think, which can be good or bad depending on your point of view. I hopped on YouTube and found a video on how to use the GH test I have just to make sure I was doing it right. Turns out I wasn't. I'd been expecting it to go from green to yellow, not yellow to green (why they don't put that on the bottle, I don't know). Turns out my GH is now 23. Whups! At least we can rule out low Ca and Mg as contributing to the issues I'm seeing.
Phil that's a good one, and I appreciate your candor in putting it out there. I'm sure you are not the first.

Another tip that can help. If you having trouble discerning the colors, hold a piece of paper underneath the tube, and look directly down into it. For some reason makes the color easier to read.

Looking forward to seeing where you go from here.
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post #96 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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With high GH, iron from DTPA would be available for longer than Iron from EDTA found/used in many trace mixes.
I have 12 dgh ,and found that adding a bit of Iron from DTPA ( www.Greenleaf aquariums) in addition to the iron EDTA in CSM+B helped the ludwigia repens ,and ehinodorus red flame appear more red.
I kept trying to boost Iron by increasing the CSM+B, but a plant guru told me that this could lead to toxicities possibly ,and that the iron in CSM+B (EDTA) does not hang around long in hard water. Heard anywhere from 2 to 4 day's.
As I only dose fertz once a week(low tech),I think I was limiting iron availalble and was suggested to source some iron from DTPA which is more suited for harder water.
After trying the DTPA the red hues to a few plant's seemed to improve and stay more red throughout the week (To my eye's anyway).
Course if one is dosing daily or every other day ,it might not make much of a difference ,but with once weekly fertilizing, I felt it could not hurt to try Fe from DTPA.
I still add CSM+B once a week day after macro's but I also add a bit of DTPA and will stick with it after noting improvement.
I have had anubia/crypt's just melt away after H202 bath for too long or too concentrated.
Now I just toss plant's with algae on leaves into tank holding long finned albino baby bristlenose and cherry shrimp,and they clean the leaves within a day or two.
Thanks for the tip Roadmaster. Our water here is normally very very low in GH and KH. The only reason GH got so high is human error and overdosing. I'm going to let it get back down to 4-5 dGH over the next few weeks as I do water changes. Until then I'm going to be upping the amount of CSM+B I'm adding. That being said, your info may help explain why I had issues with Texas Liquid Rock. I do have a bottle of Fe EDTA and Fe Gluconate mix laying around. That may be worth testing out at a later date.

I'm have no doubt that at least some, perhaps almost all, of the damage to the plants is due to the H2O2 bath. It's been a loooong time since I've done an H2O2 or Excel treatment for algae and likely overdid it in my extreme frustration. It's the chlorosis that I'm most concerned with and need to test one thing at a time to be sure.

Cheers,
Phil

Last edited by PEdwards; 02-16-2017 at 09:35 PM. Reason: Because Roadmaster's an [censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored] and I want to see if he reads this reason for editing. :P
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post #97 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Phil that's a good one, and I appreciate your candor in putting it out there. I'm sure you are not the first.

Another tip that can help. If you having trouble discerning the colors, hold a piece of paper underneath the tube, and look directly down into it. For some reason makes the color easier to read.

Looking forward to seeing where you go from here.
I'm glad you could get a laugh at my expense.

It wasn't a matter of discerning colors. It was all me not remembering the instructions that came with the test which have since been lost. I may be smart, but boy am I absentminded. Now if only I were a professor...

At this point, I'm just going to increase trace addition and see what happens. Still trying really hard to not bump the lights up a bit. Once this whole nutrient thing is figured out I may increase the photoperiod by an hour or two from 6 to 7 or 8 hours. Barring that, I may bump the intensity up by 10% depending on how everything does over the next few weeks to a month.

Candor to you is embarrassment to me. I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself though. This is the first non-experiment tank I've done since 2008 and almost all of the tech (other than using a sump) is new to me. I suppose I should just chalk all this up to "growing pains". At least it's a learning opportunity for all of us. I'm just waiting for Tom to come in and Preach the Gospel According to Thomas.
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post #98 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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@Greggz

I guess I'm just frustrated with myself at not being able to get this tank looking like my old one:

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post #99 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:44 PM
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@Greggz

I guess I'm just frustrated with myself at not being able to get this tank looking like my old one:
Striking photo there Phil. Just a beautiful presentation. I would like to get mine to look like that as well.

How big was that tank? The Angels look tiny in it.
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post #100 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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It was just a 75 gallon. The angels were babies given to me by a local club member. Atlanta's got a lot of great hobbyists!

That wasn't the best aquascape in the world, but the plants were healthy. I was starting to explore dutch aquascaping and we had little to go in here in the US (even less than now). Thankfully I was able to contact Willem van Wezel and he gave me some good tips...right before the club started up a HAP and all thoughts of aquascaping went to [censored][censored][censored][censored] in favor of growing plants for HAP points. LOL This was in the HAP phase. One thing I liked most about it was the back wall...that's all A. nana 'petite'. For some reason it grew like mad there.
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post #101 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quick link to an interesting site:

water-hardness
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post #102 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:58 AM
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And another article for those interested at Wetwebmedia, Aquarium, Pond, Marine and Freshwater Fish, reef tanks, and Aquatics Information "In praise of hard water"
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post #103 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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2.17.14 Photo Dump-

Taken for weekly journal of response to treatments.















First ever Buce flower











One month (?) ago I removed all the moss and scrubbed every piece of wood pretty harshly. Shows how tough this stuff is. Hoping this time it ends up growing all over the wood even if it takes a while.










I had a thought on the way home. What if my typically high PO4 is helping cause an Fe problem? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Last edited by PEdwards; 02-17-2017 at 11:36 PM. Reason: Because, because, because, because, because..because of the wonderful things he does!
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post #104 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Moved a couple species around to improve overall circulation and get them better light and flow. You'll have to wait until next week to see though, muahahahaha.
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post #105 of 166 (permalink) Old 02-20-2017, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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2.20.17 Water Quality update-

Did a 50-60% water change last night and only added 1 tsp N, 1/8ish tsp P, 1 tsp K, 1 tsp NaHCO3, and 5mL Brightwell Ferrion (had it laying around from a while ago). This morning 1/8 tsp CSM+B was added.

GH and KH in the tank this morning, 20 and 2, respectively. GH and KH from the tap, 4 and 2, respectively. Prior to the water change last night pH bottomed out the test at 6 so the CO2 is still working.

Other than not adding Ca and Mg, and reducing P by a lot, the only significant change I made to the system was unsealing the drip plate on the sump. CPR sumps have a different design than most and have a single housing box for both the intake and drip plate, think of a box with one side open. Until recently I'd been using a sturdy sheet of plastic and duct tape to keep it sealed, but that made it a PITA to clean the sponge in the unit and the tape on the bottom would come unstuck anyway. I haven't seen any measurable difference between sealed and unsealed so far as far as CO2 goes so far. Cleaning's going to be a hell of a lot easier now.

All of these troubles, testing, adjusting, and what not has had me thinking about my first high tech tank with a sump. I barely knew anything about high tech systems and DIYed a super ghetto system (plastic trash can full of lava rock in a 20 long and CO2 into the pump), but somehow I got lucky and it worked really well. The plants grew like mad and the water looked like champagne at the end of the day. Looking back 17 years to that tank, I wonder if it's just my standards are higher now or if I know too much for my own good. Just when I think I'm doing things right something comes up that tells me I'm not. There have been times recently when I've thought about going back to the simplicity of that old tank "just to see". I guess it's a good thing I dropped so much money on the wood that I can't justify taking it out or I would probably be spending money I don't need to on replumbing the whole damn thing.

The only pearling I see is on damaged leaves and the R. indica is still struggling.
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