AcidGambit's Planted UNS 40C - Page 4 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #46 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ipkiss View Post
Whoa. Something is still a little off. New growth seems acceptable but it also seems like you're having trouble sustaining the old growth long enough to allow you to multiply your plants. It's like plant purgatory.

To attempt to answer your question, have you measured gh/kh recently? I'll tag @Seattle_Aquarist to chime in for more analysis.

Other ideas:

Did you ever measure that co2 properly?


what's your micro regimen like? U mentioned uns liquids but not much details. Which bottles so that we may help with the amounts. Might be something to look into as well. My final "hump" of getting to happy growth required some attention to the micros.

What's your lighting period? I feel (no science here ) that it's a little too long for the current state of your tank. Theres been good arguments of late that strong light alone does not cause algae so I'll refrain from saying that straight out, but it was accepted that if your tank state is not optimal, it sure accelerates the algae mess and will easily turn a bad situation worse. So think about shortening, give the plants and yourself a little less stress while figuring out what's missing.

Also, the community of late is accepting to the idea that full ei + rich soil substrate + a smaller tank may be an overkill situation. Even if it's not the direct cause of your problems, it may not be helping. There's thoughts about one fertilizer obstructing the uptake of another.

And finally, I threw all the ideas out as brainstorming. Might not want to enact all the changes at once!
Thank you for the questions. I've been really tied up with work, so I never got to assemble my pH monitor. Hopefully that will happen this weekend. It is cranked up pretty high, with more than 10 bps. With my skimmer and the strong current from the new filter, I think that I can sustain pretty high injection.

The light period is current 6 hours. I have the light - Aqua Worx Orion 12" LED - set to about half intensity with a dimmer.

As far as gh/kh go, I'll run them tonight. But my tap water is typically kh=6 and gh=0 because it is softened. I add one teaspoon of GLA Ultimate GH Booster for each 50% water change, which should give me a gh=3, but I will double check tonight.

Is it strange that the new growth on my Rotala Rotundifolia Red is coming in bright green?

In addition, I moved on from the UNS fertilizer and I'm currently using Nilocg EI fertilizer - the pre-measured packets of dry fertilizer that I mixed with 500ml and I use with the provide dosing bottles.
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post #47 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 03:20 PM
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Hi @AcidGambit,

Thank you @ipkiss.

AcidGambit I see you have been battling various issues for several months now and issues to continue to occur. A couple of things in all this posts have caught my eye.

Quote:
Any thoughts on the new growth and whether it is showing any deficiencies? I ask because I have a whole-home water softener. I add gH booster, but am I showing any deficiencies?
Quote:
As far as gh/kh go, I'll run them tonight. But my tap water is typically kh=6 and gh=0 because it is softened. I add one teaspoon of GLA Ultimate GH Booster for each 50% water change, which should give me a gh=3, but I will double check tonight.
I didn't see information on water parameters for your tap water or tank. Could you please supply the following for both your tap water and tank water?

pH -

Tank pH after sitting 24 hours( remove water from tank, let sit 24 hours, take reading) -

dKH -

dGH -

nitrates (ppm of NO3) -

ammonia (NH3) (tank only) -

Also, where are you located and what is the name of your water utility - I will see if there is any water analysis information online.

If I read correctly you are running two (2) light fixtures? You also have the tank across the room from two large windows?

The issues can be resolved, most appear to be nutrient related. subscribed. -Roy

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post #48 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for offering to help. I feel like "The Wolf" (from Pulp Fiction) got called in to fix my problems. As you noticed, I've been battling issues since I started the tank back in September or so. AR mini completely disintegrates in under a week. I'm getting close to wanting to give up, so again, I really appreciate it.

As far as equipment goes, I'm running a single light now. It is a Aqua Worx Orion 12" https://buceplant.com/products/aqua-...n-12-led-light. For what it's worth, there is some PAR value information available through the link, but I have not taken measurements in my tank to verify. Photoperiod is currently 6 hours, with the intensity set to 4/7 using a dimmer. You are correct that the tank is located across from two windows, however, they do not face the sun.

I am located in Bucks County, PA and my water utility is Newtown Artesian Water Company. I have a whole-home water softener that uses salt. It is plumbed to both the hot and cold water taps. Also, to the extent it matters, I do use some hot water for fills because the cold water is very cold during spring, fall, and winter.

Tap Water Parameters (not degassed for 24 hours; let me know if you need me to let the water sit for 24 hours)
pH: 6.9
dKH: 89.5ppm (5 drops)
dGH: 0ppm (0 drops)
Nitrates: 5-10ppm (hard for me to tell the difference between the two with the API test kit, but definitely lower than tank Nitrates)
Ammonia: 0ppm

Tank Water Parameters (after 24 hours)
pH: 7.1
dKH: 143.2ppm (8 drops)
dGH: 83.4ppm (5 drops)
Nitrates: 10-20ppm (hard for me to tell the difference between the two with API test kit)
Ammonia: 0ppm
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post #49 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipkiss View Post
Whoa. Something is still a little off. New growth seems acceptable but it also seems like you're having trouble sustaining the old growth long enough to allow you to multiply your plants. It's like plant purgatory.
Thank you again for this observation. I noticed this first with my Monte Carlo, but thought that maybe the bottom was rotting because I wasn't trimming often enough. But with these new stems, it seems like the "older" new growth rots away, right under the newest growth.
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post #50 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 01:16 PM
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@AcidGambit,

What's the difference in ph of the tank water from fully injected co2 to the same water degassed for 12 hours or more.
OR, if you stop injecting at night, what's the ph of the tank water after a few hours of clearing out the co2? Basically, Just trying to figure out the ph drop from injection here.

Also, I assume that when you say EI bottles, you're doing both macro AND micros?

Also also, I wouldn't gauge your tank success on AR. @Greggz had trouble with it I think, and neither could I for a while, and a lot others. I could not grow neither AR mini nor regular AR. Finally AR variegated worked for me.

Quote:
Is it strange that the new growth on my Rotala Rotundifolia Red is coming in bright green?
I think this is one of those stems that come out green and have to be blasted with light and also grow healthy to turn red. Let's not worry about color yet. Let's focus on getting it healthy first.
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Last edited by ipkiss; 04-26-2019 at 01:29 PM. Reason: added musing about rotala rotundifolia
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post #51 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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@AcidGambit,

What's the difference in ph of the tank water from fully injected co2 to the same water degassed for 12 hours or more.
OR, if you stop injecting at night, what's the ph of the tank water after a few hours of clearing out the co2? Basically, Just trying to figure out the ph drop from injection here.

Also, I assume that when you say EI bottles, you're doing both macro AND micros?

Also also, I wouldn't gauge your tank success on AR. @Greggz had trouble with it I think, and neither could I for a while, and a lot others. I could not grow neither AR mini nor regular AR. Finally AR variegated worked for me.



I think this is one of those stems that come out green and have to be blasted with light and also grow healthy to turn red. Let's not worry about color yet. Let's focus on getting it healthy first.
I just finished getting the reef-pi working, so I'm pulling a pH measurement every minute! I'll update the post after I pull two days worth of data.
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post #52 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 01:48 PM
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This is turning into a real CSI investigation lol



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post #53 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 05:16 PM
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Hi @AcidGambit,

I've read through this thread twice now; and this is what I think I've learned.

The current set up has been set up since about 4/5. It is a 17 gallon tank which is about 15.75 X 15.75 X 15.75. Substrate is Tropica Aquarium Soil (powder). You have CO2 with a 5# tank and inline diffuser; pH drop 0.2 determined by de-gassing after 24 hours. Dosing NilocG.com EI and a NilocG.com Ultimate GH Booster, 1 tsp per water change. Light is currently a Aqua Worx Orion 12" set at 4/7 (estimate [email protected]).

Tap Water Parameters (not degassed for 24 hours; let me know if you need me to let the water sit for 24 hours)
pH: 6.9
dKH: 89.5ppm (5 drops)
dGH: 0ppm (0 drops)
Nitrates: 5-10ppm (hard for me to tell the difference between the two with the API test kit, but definitely lower than tank Nitrates)
Ammonia: 0ppm

Tank Water Parameters (after 24 hours)
pH: 7.1
dKH: 143.2ppm (8 drops)
dGH: 83.4ppm (5 drops)
Nitrates: 10-20ppm (hard for me to tell the difference between the two with API test kit)
Ammonia: 0ppm

I suspected a water softener when you gave your dKH and dGH. There are two types of water softeners out there, ones that use potassium chloride and the more common ones that use sodium chloride (aka 'salt')....do you know which type you have? Your local water supplier has very little analysis online but Allentown / Milford Township gets their water from wells like your supplier and the hardness is 12 grains per gallon or about 12.4 dGH. If you have a hardness test kit you can check for yourself, most outdoor faucets are not connected to the water softener.

First, I don't have a water softener....in fact I am the exact opposite of you my tap water is very, very soft (<1.0 dKG / 2.0 dGH). Possibly one of the other forum members that has a water softener will chime in and provide some input as well. Most water softeners use either sodium chloride or potassium chloride as the softening agent, both can cause issues with planted tanks. The water softener replaces the calcium and magnesium ions in the local water with either sodium or potassium causing an excess of either sodium or potassium in the water. Do you know which chemical is used in your water softener?

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Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 04-27-2019 at 05:33 PM. Reason: ..
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post #54 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @AcidGambit,

I've read through this thread twice now; and this is what I think I've learned.

The current set up has been set up since about 4/5. It is a 17 gallon tank which is about 15.75 X 15.75 X 15.75. Substrate is Tropica Aquarium Soil (powder). You have CO2 with a 5# tank and inline diffuser; pH drop 0.2 determined by de-gassing after 24 hours. Dosing NilocG.com EI and a NilocG.com Ultimate GH Booster, 1 tsp per water change. Light is currently a Aqua Worx Orion 12" set at 4/7 (estimate [email protected]).

Tap Water Parameters (not degassed for 24 hours; let me know if you need me to let the water sit for 24 hours)
pH: 6.9
dKH: 89.5ppm (5 drops)
dGH: 0ppm (0 drops)
Nitrates: 5-10ppm (hard for me to tell the difference between the two with the API test kit, but definitely lower than tank Nitrates)
Ammonia: 0ppm

Tank Water Parameters (after 24 hours)
pH: 7.1
dKH: 143.2ppm (8 drops)
dGH: 83.4ppm (5 drops)
Nitrates: 10-20ppm (hard for me to tell the difference between the two with API test kit)
Ammonia: 0ppm

I suspected a water softener when you gave your dKH and dGH. There are two types of water softeners out there, ones that use potassium chloride and the more common ones that use sodium chloride (aka 'salt')....do you know which type you have? Your local water supplier has very little analysis online but Allentown / Milford Township gets their water from wells like your supplier and the hardness is 12 grains per gallon or about 12.4 dGH. If you have a hardness test kit you can check for yourself, most outdoor faucets are not connected to the water softener.

First, I don't have a water softener....in fact I am the exact opposite of you my tap water is very, very soft (<1.0 dKG / 2.0 dGH). Possibly one of the other forum members that has a water softener will chime in and provide some input as well. Most water softeners use either sodium chloride or potassium chloride as the softening agent, both can cause issues with planted tanks. The water softener replaces the calcium and magnesium ions in the local water with either sodium or potassium causing an excess of either sodium or potassium in the water. Do you know which chemical is used in your water softener?
Yes, it uses salt. I'm still collecting pH data using my reef-pi setup, but it looks like I am getting plenty of pH drop with CO2 injection - about a 1.3 pH drop.



For reference, CO2 injection starts at 2PM and lights come on at 4PM.
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post #55 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 09:36 PM
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Hi @AcidGambit,

Based upon the graph above, you should have plenty of CO2 in your tank. In fact, it may be a little too much for sensitive fish. I try to target about a drop of 1.0 pH with the CO2 in my tanks.....sometimes a little less.

I found this for the Allentown water supply. They also have well water as their water source as does you water utility.



The water is considered hard but it has good Ca:Mg proportions. I suspect that the salt used in your water softener, and all that additional sodium (Na) in the sodium chloride/salt is effecting the uptake of potassium which in turn is effecting the calcium and magnesium uptake.

Mulder's Chart of Nutrient Interactions


Do me a favor, seldom are the outside faucets of a home connected to the water softener. Could you check the water parameters of some water from your faucet please?
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post #56 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @AcidGambit,

Based upon the graph above, you should have plenty of CO2 in your tank. In fact, it may be a little too much for sensitive fish. I try to target about a drop of 1.0 pH with the CO2 in my tanks.....sometimes a little less.

I found this for the Allentown water supply. They also have well water as their water source as does you water utility.



The water is considered hard but it has good Ca:Mg proportions. I suspect that the salt used in your water softener, and all that additional sodium (Na) in the sodium chloride/salt is effecting the uptake of potassium which in turn is effecting the calcium and magnesium uptake.

Mulder's Chart of Nutrient Interactions


Do me a favor, seldom are the outside faucets of a home connected to the water softener. Could you check the water parameters of some water from your faucet please?
Thank you for digging into this. My outside faucets are connected to the water softener, but I had a sprinkler system installed last year that bypasses the water softener. I have to travel for work, but I should be able to get the parameters in a few days.

As for CO2, I'm glad to hear that I have more than enough injection. I only have amanos in the tank right now, and they don't seem to have an issue.
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post #57 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-29-2019, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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This is turning into a real CSI investigation lol

It looks like the water softener might be hard on his plants...

YYYEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
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post #58 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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I was able to collect some water out of my sprinkler heads this morning. I'm sure that I looked ridiculous to my neighbors.

pH: 7.5
dKH: 89.5ppm (5 drops)
dGH: 179ppm (10 drops)
Nitrates: 5-10ppm (hard for me to tell the difference between the two with the API test kit, but definitely lower than tank Nitrates)
Ammonia: 0ppm
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post #59 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 10:45 PM
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Hi @AcidGambit,

lol, it wouldn't be the first time my neighbors thought I was ridiculous!

Actually your tap water (without water softener) isn't that bad......I have seen substantially worse. Your next water change do 50% using 75% tap water and 25% water softener water as the replacement water. Do not add any Seachem Equilibrium. Keep your photoperiod, light intensity, and nutrient dosing the same (except Equilibrium). Let's see how the plants respond over the next two weeks. Do monitor your nitrate level in the tank, if it gets above 40 ppm send me a pm.

I will be at the AGA Convention for the next several days, until Sunday (one whole day of plant auction!) and will be on the forums infrequently. I'll try and post some pictures and / or short videos.

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post #60 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hi @AcidGambit,

lol, it wouldn't be the first time my neighbors thought I was ridiculous!

Actually your tap water (without water softener) isn't that bad......I have seen substantially worse. Your next water change do 50% using 75% tap water and 25% water softener water as the replacement water. Do not add any Seachem Equilibrium. Keep your photoperiod, light intensity, and nutrient dosing the same (except Equilibrium). Let's see how the plants respond over the next two weeks. Do monitor your nitrate level in the tank, if it gets above 40 ppm send me a pm.

I will be at the AGA Convention for the next several days, until Sunday (one whole day of plant auction!) and will be on the forums infrequently. I'll try and post some pictures and / or short videos.
Unfortunately, the only bypass that I have is for the sprinkler system. I literally had to stand outside with a cup over one of my sprinkler heads to collect it. So it looks like I am going to go the RO route. Believe it or not, it will actually be easier for me to split off a connection for a RO system and build a mixing station in my basement. I'll likely add in a drain direct to my sump pump for emptying tank water, so it should make maintenance even easier than a Python!

Would you be able to help me out with a method for remineralizing RO when I start? I just found out that UNS is going to release a bigger, 25-gallon cube tank in June, so that is when I am going to start over.
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