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post #211 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 02:15 AM
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If that is all thats in the water, then why use an RO system? The water is otherwise very soft and shouldn't really need RO.
With RODI water there is never an unknown.
It's only what you add and that's it.

I'm striving for a low to non-existent KH to grow plants of a unique caliber.
In time I'll reach the goal but not in too big a hurry.
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post #212 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-12-2019, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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The only new species doing really poorly is the Rotala Magenta. I used a water bottle bottom filled with generic potting soil and covered with play sand as a temporary pot.

The tiny stems had been growing roots so hopefully they will get what they need from the soil. They are also in a more open area with likely more PAR.



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post #213 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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I'm still really discouraged. The biggest signal that nothing really has changed is that the Ambulia stems are still showing the "rocket" growth pattern, where they give up the bottoms of the stems. This is just the most noticable plant, they are all showing variations of this.

Just do this..
Just do this..
Just do this..

I've added DTPA Fe.
I'm dosing full EI.
I have done 2x 50% WC to remove built up NaHCO3.
I'm using a moderate dose of Equilibrium for Ca/Mg, without adding too much K.
MgSO4 for Mg.
I've increased CO2.

Tank is pearling like mad, slower than expected vertical growth, most things are showing Chlorosis.

Honestly, the only noticeable improvement came when I tripled the dose of Equilibrium and the Pearlweed carpet exploded. Prior to this, I was dosing lean EI and I suspect I was low in potassium. There hasn't been an improvement in any of the existing plants besides the pearlweed.

The point of contention now, is if my tap water contains something detrimental to the plants. It was suggested there might be NaOH. This seems to be the only way to explain the pH/KH relationship. Also explains the higher than expected KH.


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...nted-tank.html

The other side says that my pH tests are wrong and that I probably don't have enough CO2.

Local water reports are sparse of information although MDGuppy says there is minimimal sodium so it's probably not treated with NaOH. Even though we live in the same area, our water is apparently different and we are in different "zones". I believe his pH is 7.2, mine is 7.8-8.2.

I suspect I will have to kill some fish before they think there is enough CO2. I've shown a video of the massive pearling and the yellow/green drop checker, so I'm pretty sure only fish deaths will satisfy the hypothesis that there isn't enough CO2.

The only thing I *haven't* done is dose CaSO4; I'm still using Equilibrium for Ca, although I've calculated the dose so there isn't too much K.

The NaOH + CO2 precipitating CO3 and raising KH in the bargain seems to be the best explanation for what is happening. Another explanation is sensitive plant species that are injured by Na.

Unsure where to go from here besides an RO system, but this hobby has gotten out of hand and I need to put on the brakes. Was supposed to be simple and relaxing hobby. I've had BS high tech/expensive/time sink hobbies before.

I'd like to thank everyone for their help. I'm not sure there is anything else to offer.


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Last edited by ChrisX; 02-13-2019 at 03:37 PM. Reason: asdf
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post #214 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 04:17 PM
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I'm still really discouraged. The biggest signal that nothing really has changed is that the Ambulia stems are still showing the "rocket" growth pattern, where they give up the bottoms of the stems. This is just the most noticable plant, they are all showing variations of this.

Just do this..
Just do this..
Just do this..

I've added DTPA Fe.
I'm dosing full EI.
I have done 2x 50% WC to remove built up NaHCO3.
I'm using a moderate dose of Equilibrium for Ca/Mg, without adding too much K.
MgSO4 for Mg.
I've increased CO2.

Tank is pearling like mad, slower than expected vertical growth, most things are showing Chlorosis.

Honestly, the only noticeable improvement came when I tripled the dose of Equilibrium and the Pearlweed carpet exploded. Prior to this, I was dosing lean EI and I suspect I was low in potassium. There hasn't been an improvement in any of the existing plants besides the pearlweed.

The point of contention now, is if my tap water contains something detrimental to the plants. It was suggested there might be NaOH. This seems to be the only way to explain the pH/KH relationship. Also explains the higher than expected KH.


https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8...nted-tank.html

The other side says that my pH tests are wrong and that I probably don't have enough CO2.


Local water reports are sparse of information although MDGuppy says there is minimimal sodium so it's probably not treated with NaOH. Even though we live in the same area, our water is apparently different and we are in different "zones". I believe his pH is 7.2, mine is 7.8-8.2.

I suspect I will have to kill some fish before they think there is enough CO2. I've shown a video of the massive pearling and the yellow/green drop checker, so I'm pretty sure only fish deaths will satisfy the hypothesis that there isn't enough CO2.

The only thing I *haven't* done is dose CaSO4; I'm still using Equilibrium for Ca, although I've calculated the dose so there isn't too much K.

The NaOH + CO2 precipitating CO3 and raising KH in the bargain seems to be the best explanation for what is happening. Another explanation is sensitive plant species that are injured by Na.

Unsure where to go from here besides an RO system, but this hobby has gotten out of hand and I need to put on the brakes. Was supposed to be simple and relaxing hobby. I've had BS high tech/expensive/time sink hobbies before.

I'd like to thank everyone for their help. I'm not sure there is anything else to offer.
I've highlighted the parts of your post that jumped out at me. For me ".. slower than expected vertical growth .." screams CO2 for Stems. Most Stems are actually bog plants that normally will grow vertically to get to the surface where CO2 is more abundant. Inter-nodal spacing will be long as the plant spends more of its resources to get to good air. When we satisfy that CO2 need there's less need to"get to the surface and fewer resources are spent on stem production and are allocated to other needs.

The Ph/KH/CO2 relationship is a little too sketchy to taken by the numbers alone. The charts are only accurate when KH consists only of Carbonate. Throw in Phosphates and others and the numbers won't jive. But the principles can still be used. As I see it you may have a possible path with working a little more with CO2 But you need to pay less attention to the charts and numbers and instead watch your plants and live stock. If you can bump the CO2 up just bit without stressing your stock, good. Go for it and watch the plant for a change, good or bad. Repeat till you stop seeing improvement, any improvement, or untill you see signs of stress in the stock. Take a pH reading then and use it, or maybe a bit lower for a safety margin, as a good target.

Could get you to a place where the other things come into clearer view. My $0.02.

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post #215 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 04:42 PM
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I'm still really discouraged.
Sorry to hear it, I am very new to this hobby still (a few years) and have been there many times myself. I started my first tank with Tahitian Moonsand which is the devil and that combined with low light allowed me to grow NOTHING except algae in my first tank. These days I will never use anything other than a hard baked Aquasoil for a planted tank.


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The NaOH + CO2 precipitating CO3 and raising KH in the bargain seems to be the best explanation for what is happening. Another explanation is sensitive plant species that are injured by Na.
As I wrote in your other thread, I'm afraid you are barking up the wrong tree there, if your pH is acidic you are not precipitating Carbonate at all. Even if you were if would never be Sodium Carbonate, it would be Calcium Carbonate (limestone) if anything and I highly doubt that is the source of your problems as it is readily soluble in acidic solution especially in equilibrium with CO2.

I lack the experience of others around here, but I thought Chlorosis, is lack of light or Iron, I know you tested some Par values maybe revisit that?

If I have learned anything, be patient, change one thing at a time and wait days to see the progress. I have heard it said before resetting ferts with multiple large water changes and then looking carefully at what you are/should be dosing is prudent. I'd be tempted just to dose 1/2 EI from thrive and not touch anything else.
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post #216 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'm done. Thanks for your help.


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post #217 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 08:55 PM
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I'm done. Thanks for your help.

I know you are probably fed up with this discussion already but there is just one more thing I wanted to draw your attention to.
https://barrreport.com/threads/co2-ph-kh-table.10717/

At kH of 2 out of the tap you would need your CO2 to drop your to pH 6.3(or lower see Tom Barr note) to get 30ppm of CO2.
At kH of 6 out of the tap you would need your CO2 to drop the pH to 6.7 to get 30+ppm of Co2.

Are you sure you are getting down to pH 6.3? Otherwise take a look at the table for what your CO2 concentration could be be in your tank, keep in mind that is max CO2 and it could be lower because not all Carbonate hardness comes from Carbonate.
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post #218 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 12:33 AM
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Hello, I was just reading through your thread. Co2 at 3 bps and 5 hours to reach desired ph drop at 100 par. I am thinking when your lights come on, the plant load is eating up all the co2 in the first couple hours. At 3bps, it is not enough to replenish or maintain the co2, during the later part of your photo period. If you tried raising your co2 and the fish seemed stressed, either you raised the co2 too much at once, or circulation needs adjusting. I have a tank half the size of yours and my bps is unrecognizable. The fish are happy. Just something for you to look into. I would hate to see your give up. Goodluck


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post #219 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 01:08 PM
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I really enjoy this journal, despite not understanding half of what is going on. However:

If certain plants aren't thriving and are causing major stress, f*ck them and get rid.

If you're not comfortable with increased CO2, f*ck it and don't do it.

You've got a happy and healthy tank, so f*ck whichever parts of the hobby you don't like, and focus on what makes you happy. You sound at the end of your tether, and there's no point letting plants of all things make you this unhappy. I have a huge amount of respect for those on this forum who know every intricate detail about their tank and its chemistry, but I have an equal if not greater respect for those who know when to stop.

Alternatively, why not get a spare 20 Long (or similar), don't stock with any living creatures, whack it full of CO2/ferts/whatever else, and see what happens?
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post #220 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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If certain plants aren't thriving and are causing major stress, f*ck them and get rid.

If you're not comfortable with increased CO2, f*ck it and don't do it.
Exactly.

I was having more fun with it when I was focused on the fish. Maintaining a planted tank seems to me like a form of masochism. Maybe some people have found a stasis with a level of maintenance they are happy with, but I notice those people are either running small tanks or have a very high level of tech including RO water.

There is also a good degree of misinformation. The "drop pH by one to reach 30ppm" is complete BS advice and assumes a certain water type. The "disregard the CO2/KH/pH table" is complete BS advice too. The "your pH test kit is incorrect" is complete BS advice. The "your water should have no issues" is somewhat BS advice for a number of reasons.

My tap water comes out at pH 8.2, KH =2. Using CO2 to drop pH by one point, only provides a few ppm of CO2. According to the chart, pH needs to be around 6.3 to reach the magic number. Its not a linear relationship.

People have said water with pH 8ish should have a much higher KH than 2. That this obviously points to an incorrect pH test. But wait, not so fast! It turns out there are situations where NaOH or other chemicals are used in water treatment. But my "local water tests shows low Na" proves that is not the case.... Yet adding CO2 is raising KH by two so there is some carbonate being precipitated. There is *something* extra in the water whether it is NaOH or CaCO3.

I've raised CO2 delivery to bring CO2 to the 6.3 range. Plant growth is possibly improved, although its just the species that were already doing well. Problem species are still problem species. The issue is I can tell the fish are more restless and agitated. Basically this is a pH swing of 2 points every day, and the fish aren't really happy with that. If my tap water was "normal" and came at pH7.2, KH2, then the "drop pH by one point" would apply and there wouldn't be such detrimental effect on the livestock.

Now, here comes the chorus of "advice" which frankly at this point I am tired of hearing. The misinformation and armchair quarterbacking increased the noise and makes the hobby unenjoyable. Its not that anyone did anything wrong, its just that I discovered that the hobby is not what I thought it was. Running nosebleed CO2 on the verge of gassing my fish is not relaxing or fun. I'm not willing to do anything that would increase maintenance time.

Also, according to the table, my tap water is "dead" and holds very little CO2 which explains why low tech setups haven't worked well. If the tap water was in a more normal pH/KH range, CO2 in standing water would be considerably higher.

Basically this water is best suited for hardscape and plastic plants.


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post #221 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 05:02 PM
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Well, short of giving you advice my own advice to myself was find plants that "like me"....
Match plants to conditions not conditions to plants.


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That is about perfect water for a Sulawesi shrimp tank. I know a lot of folks in the freshwater invert community who would absolutely DIE to have water like that coming out of their tap.
@OVT will know where that comes from..
Except for salt (you didn't explain what "low" actually means) his water was/is about the same.

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post #222 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Well, short of giving you advice my own advice to myself was find plants that "like me"....
Match plants to conditions not conditions to plants.



@OVT will know where that comes from..
Except for salt (you didn't explain what "low" actually means) his water was/is about the same.
Great advice. I don't know how much salt is in there other than a local water report MDGuppy linked last week that suggests its "low". I know that there is some kind of amendment because the act of adding CO2 to tap water raises KH by 2.
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post #223 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 05:43 PM
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Go back to where it was enjoyable- wherever that may be for you.
Wishing you the best...
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post #224 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 05:50 PM
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Great advice. I don't know how much salt is in there other than a local water report MDGuppy linked last week that suggests its "low". I know that there is some kind of amendment because the act of adding CO2 to tap water raises KH by 2.

still betting they add NaOH...as suspected earlier..
Maybe they pull some of sodium out later .. or "low" is not "low" if you get my drift...

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My water district reports "hardness" 108, Alkalinity 69, Ca 21, Mg 12.7, Na 63, SO4 60, K 3.3 (all in mg/L) AND pH of 8.5
Testing the tap water myself I get pH 8.8 with calibrated HANNA pHep 4 and dKH of 3 using API's reagent test kit. I tried to measure dGH multiple times with the said API kit without any success (the color never turns from orange to green regardless of how many drops of reagent I add).
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tap-water.html

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There is no health-based standard for sodium in drinking water. Only a small portion of the sodium we consume actually comes from water. Instead, the standard for sodium is based on taste. The Canadian Drinking Water Guideline for sodium is 200 mg/L. Sodium concentrations above 200 mg/L will make the water taste “salty”.

Public drinking-water systems under the Safe Drinking Water Act are required to sample for sodium on a regular basis and report to the Medical Officer of Health when sodium levels exceed 20 mg/L. This information is made available to local physicians in order to help persons on sodium-restricted diets control their sodium intake.
that's Canada for you..

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post #225 of 279 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 06:19 PM
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@ChrisX do you have a TDS reading on your tap?

.. and you already know my current advice.
  1. Find the 'fun' aspect of the hobby for you.
  2. Do the 'fun' stuff.
  3. Smile.
  4. Repeat from (2).

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