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post #361 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Back in February I had my water tested by a professional laboratory. Based on my dosage amounts and the measured water column amounts, I determined what my plants were using, and from there I calculated what upfront dosing and daily dosing would be required to keep the tank at a constant macro and micronutrient ppm level throughout the week, from right after a WC up to the next WC. My thought being that plants, if doing well, would like the consistency. What I found out, at least with my tank, was that consistent levels did not work out as well and the standard EI method worked out better.

My tank has a lot of different plants, some low tech, slow growing plants and fast growing, high tech plants. When I switched to the very consistent 24/7 routine, some plants would do very well, and others not so well. I also started to have BBA. When I changed dosing amounts, plants not doing so well would improve and the good growing plants would not do so well. I would change the dosing amounts again, and different plants would respond differently. And what was odd was Lud. Sp Red just sort of stopped growing and started to get algae, which was strange as it’s easy to grow. During this time I was constantly chasing the magical perfect dosing regime that was perfect for all plants. What I’ve come to realize is this formula doesn’t exist for a tank with many different kinds of plants.

About eight weeks ago I stopped up-front dosing and started to daily dose set amounts of micro and macro nutrients. It’s the standard EI routine, the WC resets the water column levels, nutrients get added daily and the nutrient levels increase, and at the end of the week the WC resets all parameters. Since I’ve done this a large percentage of plants across the board have improved. I believe the reason for this is the water column amounts are constantly changing from after a 60% WC to right before a WC. As the water column amounts slowly increase, they cross a zone that certain plants like, and as such they grow better. Maybe this zone is only there for one to three days, but the plants still grow well in this zone. When the tank ppm levels are outside this zone, they may not grow as well, but they still are doing relatively well and much better that being outside their optimal zone for the entire week which was occurring with upfront and consistent dosing. Maybe this is why EI dosing works so well.

I hope this makes sense to folks. It’s a different theory than what others may have, but with my tank having so many different plants, varying ppm amounts in the tank seem to work out better than having the same levels 24/7. Anyway, that’s my theory for now, and as I’ve learned with this hobby, my theories are constantly changing!

A little trimming last night, mainly removing about 90% of the floating dwarf water lettuce and topping the Eichhornia Diversifolia and replanting as a low as possible. @Greggz, I notice you acquired some, most like from @Maryland Guppy. I’m curious to see how yours grows. I like it as a low height plant, but this requires it to be topped and replanted every couple of days because of the fast growth.

Tonight’s Photos





@Grobbins48: It's always fun when hiking is involved!! BTW, your tank is looking great, I like the recent post.
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post #362 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Ken Keating1 View Post
and topping the Eichhornia Diversifolia and replanting as a low as possible. @Greggz, I notice you acquired some, most like from @Maryland Guppy. Iím curious to see how yours grows. I like it as a low height plant, but this requires it to be topped and replanted every couple of days because of the fast growth.
I was unable to sell this species or send to friends due to the algae outbreak.

When growing well this is not a small species of plant,
a 4" diameter stem and will grow to the top.
Don't shade this one and low CO2 will turn the bottoms purple.

I've acquired a new sample from LFS of 5-3"stems growing in a mini solo cup of capped soil.


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post #363 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 01:28 PM
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Very interesting Ken. If I remember correctly you swapped out substrate in the spring/ summertime? Wondering what impact that had to your dosing as the plants were adapting to new substrate.

Glad that this is working out for you, the plants look fantastic.

For me personally, the front-loading Macros is about convenience. That way I do not forget because I do it right after a water change. Recently I have been doing the same with Micros, however at 1/3 my weekly dose (essentially giving the tank micros one does after the water change, and nothing else). I would agree that some plants do better than others with this, and it is about finding the right mix of species that will do well in your water. I have given up on chasing parameters to please everything (as I do not think that exists!) and am just enjoying what will grow. If I try a new species I'll give it a few months and see how it adapts, and won't get upset if I need to toss it.

Anyways, thanks for sharing this, and looking forward to seeing how things go this winter for you!
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post #364 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Keating1 View Post
A little trimming last night, mainly removing about 90% of the floating dwarf water lettuce and topping the Eichhornia Diversifolia and replanting as a low as possible. @Greggz, I notice you acquired some, most like from @Maryland Guppy. Iím curious to see how yours grows. I like it as a low height plant, but this requires it to be topped and replanted every couple of days because of the fast growth.
Hey Ken interesting on the macro front end dosing. I have been doing so for quite a while and it just works for me. The particular mix of plants might make a difference, and like most things in this hobby, you never know until you try something in your particular eco system.

Now the Eicho is new to me. Once it settled in it took off. Like Joe said, might outpace Pantanal. And like MG said, nice large wide tops. A good looking plant, I just need to figure out how to work with it. I am out of town right now for about 10 days, and am guessing it will be to the surface (26" deep tank) or worse when I get back.

Your tank is looking pretty darn good for not having much care for awhile. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.
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post #365 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 02:38 AM
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In the end every tank is different.

Even despite all of the algae problems I have faced, didn't really alter dosing.
Bumped PO4 1ppm extra in the water column.
I think this is keeping the glass much cleaner.

I am still dosing macro & micro on the same day, about every 8-9 days.
The 8-9 day mark is when Fe has reached .1ppm or NO3 gets to 10ppm.
Water change is still about 12-15% per week to accommodate vacuum and cleaning etc...

Seams lazy, most definitely!!!
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post #366 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 03:26 AM
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You chemistry experts do not seem lazy to me. Much respect.

Style: Organic soil, sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech: Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Neptune Apex EL
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post #367 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 05:23 AM
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You chemistry experts do not seem lazy to me. Much respect.
Chemistry experts most of us are surely not!

Over time one's self measures what the tank consumes and dose accordingly.
I've reached out to several chemical engineers fresh out of college and they have no clue.
Most of us are in a league of our own!!!


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post #368 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Very interesting Ken. If I remember correctly you swapped out substrate in the spring/ summertime? Wondering what impact that had to your dosing as the plants were adapting to new substrate.
Good memory, I changed half of the substrate to BDBS, but I’m don’t think that made a difference. Most my plants in the back, along the left side and those in the Java Fern are held down by weights and not buried into the substrate. I just find it easier and quicker not to bury, plus I can move plants around quickly. I still need to change the other half, it’s just that I wanted to make sure I’d be around for a while in case the tank decided to react negatively. I have nothing against upfront loading, it does have it’s advantages. And I’m with you, if a species of plant does not do well it gets chucked, no sense it trying to spend months trying to get a particular species to look could when there’s plenty of other plants that’ll look great with a lot less effort.

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Hey Ken interesting on the macro front end dosing. I have been doing so for quite a while and it just works for me. The particular mix of plants might make a difference, and like most things in this hobby, you never know until you try something in your particular eco system.

Now the Eicho is new to me. Once it settled in it took off. Like Joe said, might outpace Pantanal. And like MG said, nice large wide tops. A good looking plant, I just need to figure out how to work with it. I am out of town right now for about 10 days, and am guessing it will be to the surface (26" deep tank) or worse when I get back.

Your tank is looking pretty darn good for not having much care for awhile. Looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if upfront loading was the issue, it may be a combination of upfront loading and daily dosing to obtain the same ppm levels throughout the week. With upfront dosing, one starts high and the levels go down throughout the week. What I was doing was keeping the same tank ppm levels throughout the week by upfront loading after the WC to the same level as before the WC, and then dosing to take into consideration plant consumption. But with different plants, most likely I'd get a different response.

The tops of my Eicho look great, but as it grows to the surface the leaves below the top to the substrate tend to space themselves out and lose those nice-looking thickness that the tops have. Post photos of yours as it’s growing, I’d be curious to see how you behaves. @Maryland Guppy, if you could do the same that would be great.

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You chemistry experts do not seem lazy to me. Much respect.
I think of it more as being a mad alchemist!!


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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 11-14-2019 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #369 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
I was unable to sell this species or send to friends due to the algae outbreak.

When growing well this is not a small species of plant,
a 4" diameter stem and will grow to the top.
Don't shade this one and low CO2 will turn the bottoms purple.

I've acquired a new sample from LFS of 5-3"stems growing in a mini solo cup of capped soil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
In the end every tank is different.

Even despite all of the algae problems I have faced, didn't really alter dosing.
Bumped PO4 1ppm extra in the water column.
I think this is keeping the glass much cleaner.

I am still dosing macro & micro on the same day, about every 8-9 days.
The 8-9 day mark is when Fe has reached .1ppm or NO3 gets to 10ppm.
Water change is still about 12-15% per week to accommodate vacuum and cleaning etc...

Seams lazy, most definitely!!!
Ouch, I forgot about the algae issues.

Odd, on the Eicho, the first couple of months the bottoms of mine did turn purple, but after that they started to stay green. But leaves below the top would spread themselves out between each other. Were you able to grow them without the leave spacing increasing?

You do have a much different dosing regime than most of us. That's what makes this hobby so interesting, there's lots of methods used and I'm always surprised how similar the results can be.
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post #370 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 03:15 AM
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Odd, on the Eicho, the first couple of months the bottoms of mine did turn purple, but after that they started to stay green. But leaves below the top would spread themselves out between each other. Were you able to grow them without the leave spacing increasing?
The 5 stems I brought home from the LFS were truly a salvage mission.
I wanted that plant again in it's glory, but will need to see how it pans out!

When growing well about 3/8 - 1/2" between nodes clean bottoms with no purple discoloration.

Definitely will grab pics as it continues to grow!
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post #371 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 03:42 AM
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Beautiful tank!
Really nice dwarf neon Rainbowfish! I would love to have some in my 90P. But I am worried that they would jump out since it’s rimless.
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post #372 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 07:03 PM
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Hey Ken- I am starting to get the Sunblaster itch again... Are you still using yours, and what bulb are you running with these days?



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post #373 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Hey Ken- I am starting to get the Sunblaster itch again... Are you still using yours, and what bulb are you running with these days?
Funny, I was just thinking about the Sunblaster a couple of days ago. I've haven't been using it for quite a while now, but every once in a while I'll get it out if I'm not satisfied with the tank photos because it does add some pop to the colors. The Zoo Med Flora Sun is the bulb in the fixture, I liked it, it did add nice color to the tank.

The only reason I stopped using it was the tank started to get more BBA when I started to use it, but I'm not sure if the Sunblaster was the actual cause because I made dosing changes the same time. Now that you've tweaked my memory, I may start it up again, but for 30 minutes to an hour max per day. But for now, all I'm using is LEDs.
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post #374 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-18-2019, 08:19 PM
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Funny, I was just thinking about the Sunblaster a couple of days ago. I've haven't been using it for quite a while now, but every once in a while I'll get it out if I'm not satisfied with the tank photos because it does add some pop to the colors. The Zoo Med Flora Sun is the bulb in the fixture, I liked it, it did add nice color to the tank.

The only reason I stopped using it was the tank started to get more BBA when I started to use it, but I'm not sure if the Sunblaster was the actual cause because I made dosing changes the same time. Now that you've tweaked my memory, I may start it up again, but for 30 minutes to an hour max per day. But for now, all I'm using is LEDs.
Now that is is 'winter' again I am back into the higher light, regular maintenance, etc. so the sunblaster (which is still in my Amazon wish-list!) popped in my mind again. I did recently turn back on my 2nd LED fixture for 2 hrs a day, so ~80ish PAR for 8 hrs, and ~150ish for 2 hrs.

The pop of color is what has me thinking of the sunblaster with the Flora Sun (though I cannot find the 46" version anywhere right now).

Anyways, thanks for the reply, and looking forward to seeing where things end up for you!
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post #375 of 428 (permalink) Old 11-19-2019, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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About 18 months ago I acquired 9 dwarf Neon Blue Rainbows, 5 males and four females. Back in spring I lost two males and one female because they got stuck under a portion of rising MC. Ever since I saw @Seattle_Aquarist thread regarding his school of Praecox Rainbows I’ve had an inkling to get more, but the local fish stores never have any, and if they did have any I’d worry about their lineage especially regarding the low quality of Praecox known to be in the LFS industry. A few months ago @Discusluv went to a local Sacramento Aquarium Society(SAS) function and obtained 6 Praecox with Gary Lange heritage from a member and posted this in a thread. They were still young, and I thought this person may be breeding them, so I went on the hunt to track this person down. I joined SAS shortly after and found out she purchased them from Larry, and he was breeding them from Gary Lange stock. When I asked how if he still had some for sale, he stated he had quite a few, as in a couple of hundred!. This past Sunday I went down to Larry’s house and saw his operation; he’s breeding quite a few different species of rainbows with all the lines coming from Gary Lange. I spoke to Larry quite a while and I came away knowing he knows what he’s doing and he takes great care in insuring his stock is high quality and has good lineage. I ended up purchasing 7 males. So far I’m pleased as they’re showing good color at such a young age of three months. I can’t wait to see what they look like in a few more months. It's funny how reading other's post can lead to purchasing fish in the future!




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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 11-19-2019 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Grammar
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