From Shore to Summit, my 21 Long (UNS 90L) - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 75 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 04:05 PM
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That looks very nice! What kind of skimmer is that in the corner?

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post #32 of 75 (permalink) Old 09-12-2019, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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That looks very nice! What kind of skimmer is that in the corner?
It is an Ocean Free Surfclear skimmer, which has been working really well. If you look at the pictures, I had a stainless steel model, which I purchased early on. Although it looked great, it was extremely loud and required removal from the aquarium for cleaning. The Surfclear is silent, has a diffuse output, rather than a directed jet (which some may like, some may not), and you can clean the sponge without removing the entire unit. The Surfclear is available for about $25 on eBay.

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post #33 of 75 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Slowly but surely!

My tank has definitely gone through a period of "the uglies," but I think that it's on its way back. Stems are looking great. I replaced the Myriophyllum Guyana with Limnophila aromatica. The lower branches of the Limnophila aromatica are struggling, but new growth looks good. So I am going to give those stems another week before I top and re-plant. The Ludwigia Repens ‘Rubin’ is really doing well. It is branching all over the place, getting nice and bushy. So I am going to top it and re-plant as well. The AR mini has thrown down some deep roots, so I think that it is in good enough shape for me to trim the tops and replant them to add some density.

The DHG has been hanging in there, throwing out new leaves, but no explosive growth yet. So I bought another tissue culture cup of it, thinking that I needed to add more plant density to the tank, rather than wait for the original DHG to catch up. I'm hoping that the tank is sufficiently mature by this point for the DHG to get going. As of now, the newly planted DHG is pearling!

As for fauna, I added two otocinclus and give amano shrimp. I've been going aggressively after the hair algae with nightly hydrogen peroxide and manual removal, which is creating a dent in it. With the health of the tank improving and my elbow grease, I'm hoping that I can win the battle.


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post #34 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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I had a nasty hair algae infestation that coincided with some issues with my CO2 delivery, so I took advantage by running a blackout treatment for a few days while I built my DIY regulator. The tank came out crystal clear and the plants did well. I also took the time to trim back a lot of the older crypt growth (as well as entangled AR growth near the front), which developed pinholes. With things stabilized, I am going to give it a few weeks to determine whether the pinholes were related to the algae infestation or if I need to add more K to my macro dosing. I'm also hoping that this latest round of fixes will finally result in my DHG taking off.





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post #35 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-11-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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I don't want to jinx it, but the tank is looking pretty healthy at this point. I have my light close to full strength with a photoperiod of 6.5 hours. If things hold well for another week, I will bump it up to 7 hours to accelerate growth and hopefully get the DHG filling in faster. I made a few additions to the tank--both plants and livestock.

ALTERNANTHERA BETTZICKIANA AUREA appears to be happy because it is already pearling.



And thanks to @khanzer22 for the awesome tangerine tiger shrimp.

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post #36 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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This is going to be a long one. Plants are generally growing really well: stems are throwing off a ton of side shoots and pearl like crazy. New growth is also very dense (low internode distance). And my DHG is starting to throw off runners. So far I haven't seen anymore hair/thread algae.



But I've noticed for a while that my crypts and anubias nana (the crypts really show it) have light-colored growth, and the new leaves don't look a little anemic. So I ran a battery of tests hoping that I can get some help from the experts. I'd definitely like to hear from @Seattle_Aquarist, considering the help he gave me on my last tank.

So here it goes.

Remineralized RODI Water
I use remineralized RODI water because my whole-home water softener was killing plants and there was no reasonable way to plumb a bypass. I remineralize with the following:

Ca: CaSO4.2H2O brings it to 25ppm Ca
Mg: MgSO4.7H2O brings it to 10 ppm Mg
KHCO3 added to add some kH, and adds approximately 15ppm of K

This tests out as follows:
gH=7
kH=2
TDS=128

Water chemistry for remineralized water has been verified with ICP analysis.

Fertilization/Lighting
I follow EI dosing. I use two Kamoer X1 dosing pumps to automatically dose my ferts (Mon, Wed, Fri for macros; Tue, Thur, Sat for micros). I do a 60% water change every Sunday. Substrate is Tropica soil without any addition of root tabs.

Lighting is a Twinstar 900S at close to full strength (one dimmer position below full) that runs for 6.5 hours per day.

My tank volume is 18 gallons with hardscape and plants, but I rounded to 20 gallons for all calculations using Rotala Butterfly. I setup the dosing solutions in 1000ml containers, with each dose at 30ml.

Micros (Green Leaf Aquariums EDTA+DTPA MICROMIX): 5.94g. This should give me the following in each dose:

Element ppm/degree
Fe 0.2
B 0.035
Mn 0.057
Mo 0.002
Zn 0.011
Cu 0.003

KNO3: 30.86g. This should give me the following in each dose:

Element ppm/degree
NO3 7.5
N 1.69
K 4.73

KH2PO4: 4.7g. This should give me the following in each dose:

Element ppm/degree
PO4 1.3
P 0.42
K 0.54

K2SO4: 4.7g. This should give me the following in each dose:

Element ppm/degree
K 0.84
S 0.34

Tank Measurements
Below is a recent ICP analysis for my tank:


And these are the parameters that I tested:
pH (before CO2 injection): 6.6
pH (peak drop of CO2 injection): 5.3
gH: 6
kH: 2
TDS: 155
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
Phosphate: 0

Deficiencies/Algae
As I mentioned, I had a lot of hair/filamentous algae in the beginning. I corrected it by doing a 5-day blackout treatment, followed by a bunch of water changes and getting my CO2 dialed in. I think the tissue plants I chose in the beginning simply didn't like my tank environment in its immature state. I've been algae free for about two weeks. BUT, GSA has crept in and seemed to accelerate along with the increased growth of my plants.

Here are the deficiencies I am seeing:
Cryptocoryne Beckettii


Cryptocoryne Wenditi Brown and Cryptocoryne Albida Red melted upon planting, came back for a bit, and have melted again.

ALTERNANTHERA BETTZICKIANA AUREA is pearling and throwing off shoots, but it looks lighter than when I first got it.


Anubias Nana Petite, showing GSA, but very light new leaves with wrinkling.


My Thoughts
My initial thought, before the GSA, was that I was looking at a K deficiency due to the chlorosis. But I think the ICP results show that there is enough K in the tank water. With the breakout of GSA, my current thought is that I have a phosphate deficiency, which is confirmed by my in-tank measurement. If so, that's surprising given that each dose should be giving me 1.3ppm. Could the phosphate on my macro solution reacted and gone bad? Do I simply need to add more? Or am I completely off the mark?

Due to my previous issues with the water softener, this is the first time that I've brought a tank to this stage, so I'm admittedly a bit out of my depth. I'd really appreciate some help!
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post #37 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 03:53 PM
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Hi @AcidGambit,

Nice start on this tank! First I looked at the pictures, then I looked at your parameters. My first thought was insufficient iron (Fe) due to the chlorosis and interveinal chlorosis on the the new leaves. Looking at your dosing levels and readings I agree that your phosphate (P) level needs to increase; I tend to keep my PO4 level at about 5.0 or slightly less. I also dose my iron at higher levels, typically I dose 0.4 ppm twice a week.

If it were me I would tackle iron level first and bring that up. Why? Because phosphorus (P)is a mobile nutrient and normally a plant will 'steal' P from older leaves and move it to new growth. When this happens leaves become 'off-color' and premature leaf drop occurs on older or recently matured leaves. Iron on the other hand is an immobile nutrient and if it is deficient then new leaves exhibit the chlorosis and interveinal chlorosis that we see in the pictures (BTW, nice shots!). I believe both will eventually need to be addressed.

Keep us posted as things progress! -Roy

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post #38 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Hi @AcidGambit,

Nice start on this tank! First I looked at the pictures, then I looked at your parameters. My first thought was insufficient iron (Fe) due to the chlorosis and interveinal chlorosis on the the new leaves. Looking at your dosing levels and readings I agree that your phosphate (P) level needs to increase; I tend to keep my PO4 level at about 5.0 or slightly less. I also dose my iron at higher levels, typically I dose 0.4 ppm twice a week.

If it were me I would tackle iron level first and bring that up. Why? Because phosphorus (P)is a mobile nutrient and normally a plant will 'steal' P from older leaves and move it to new growth. When this happens leaves become 'off-color' and premature leaf drop occurs on older or recently matured leaves. Iron on the other hand is an immobile nutrient and if it is deficient then new leaves exhibit the chlorosis and interveinal chlorosis that we see in the pictures (BTW, nice shots!). I believe both will eventually need to be addressed.

Keep us posted as things progress! -Roy
Thank you for checking in! What iron product would you recommend? My iron currently comes from Green Leaf Aquarium's EDTA+DTPA MICROMIX, which should give me 0.6ppm per week. If possible, I would like an iron product that I can mix in with my micros dosing solution (I mix about 60 days worth at a time) and remain stable? Should I go with EDTA Chelated Iron powder, DTPA Chelated Iron powder, or ferrous gluconate?

Any recommendation on where to start with dosing? I should be getting 0.6ppm per week with my current micro dosing (0.2ppm per dose, three doses per week).

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post #39 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 06:27 PM
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[quote=AcidGambit;11265451]Thank you for checking in! What iron product would you recommend? My iron currently comes from Green Leaf Aquarium's EDTA+DTPA MICROMIX, which should give me 0.6ppm per week. If possible, I would like an iron product that I can mix in with my micros dosing solution (I mix about 60 days worth at a time) and remain stable? Should I go with EDTA Chelated Iron powder, DTPA Chelated Iron powder, or ferrous gluconate?
Quote:

Hi @AcidGambit,

Any recommendation on where to start with dosing? I should be getting 0.6ppm per week with my current micro dosing (0.2ppm per dose, three doses per week).
Since your pH is 6.6 - 5.3 any of the three (ETDA, DTPA, or ferrous gluconate) will do the job - just try dosing a little more iron. I use all three in my micro-mix which consists of:

4 parts* CSM+B
1 part DTPA 11% Iron Chelate
1 part Ferrous Gluconate 12.46%
* All parts by volume (i.e. teaspoon) not by weight

If I dose the above at 1/32 teaspoon per 8 gallons of water I get about 0.398 ppm of Fe per dose plus my micro-nutrients from the CSM+B plus the additional iron.
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Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 10-17-2019 at 04:29 PM. Reason: ..
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post #40 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-20-2019, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I just added DTPA and Ferrous Gluconate to my micro solution. Each micro dose (3x per week) should have another 0.2ppm of Fe. I guess I'll just check back in in a few weeks. I'm guessing that you think I should get the Fe situation figured out before messing with the phosphate, correct?
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post #41 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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So, the bad news is that I went away for a week and came back to green city! I think that it is a mix of GSA and green dust algae.




The good news is that my DHG carpet has taken off and it's getting hard to tell the demarcation between the plugs that I originally planted. Could this be a sign that the added Fe helped? I've read that DHG loves Fe.



On the deficiencies. What does everyone think of the new growth on the anubias nana? The leaves are big and light green, but they do not appear to have as much chlorosis and interveinal chlorosis.




New growth on crypts is pink, could this be caused by the high light?


@Seattle_Aquarist, the plan was to wait longer on the Fe dosing increase, but I'm concerned about the new algae taking over the tank and killing everything. Should I bump up the phosphate in the mean time or stay the course? My theory is that addressing the Fe issue increased the growth rate in the tank, further exacerbating the phosphate issue. What does everyone think?
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post #42 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 03:59 PM
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Hi @AcidGambit

Did you leave the lights on 24/7 while you were gone? Even if you were on a 'normal' photoperiod seems likely the nutrients dropped to very low levels resulting in most of the issues you see. If it were me I would trim heavily algae infested leaves, clean the glass as best I could, do a 50% water change, siphon off the top layer of sand and replenish, and go back to the dosing you were doing before you left. Also, if you can, check your hardness and calcium ppm and compute you magnesium level. Were you dosing any magnesium (Mg) in the past?

Just an FYI for future reference, I usually cut my photoperiod down to 50% - 75% of normal when on vacation.
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post #43 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Hi @AcidGambit

Did you leave the lights on 24/7 while you were gone? Even if you were on a 'normal' photoperiod seems likely the nutrients dropped to very low levels resulting in most of the issues you see. If it were me I would trim heavily algae infested leaves, clean the glass as best I could, do a 50% water change, siphon off the top layer of sand and replenish, and go back to the dosing you were doing before you left. Also, if you can, check your hardness and calcium ppm and compute you magnesium level. Were you dosing any magnesium (Mg) in the past?

Just an FYI for future reference, I usually cut my photoperiod down to 50% - 75% of normal when on vacation.
No, everything ran according to schedule. I use automation for my lights, so they remained at 6.5 hours. In addition, my dosing is done automatically with dosing pumps and it looks like they ran according to schedule. The only other thing that I can think of is that I had cut a piece of white plastic to cover the front of the tank, to prevent sunlight from coming in during the day (the tank is near a window). I haven't been very good about leaving it up when I leave the house, but it was up the entire time I was away on vacation. Perhaps it was reflecting light back into the tank (which would have otherwise left through the glass), which in essence resulted in a higher photoperiod/more intensity. Come to think of it, the first appearance of GSA might have coincided with first using the screen.

Maybe I'll clean everything as you suggested and leave the screen off for a week and see where I end up.
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post #44 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 06:41 PM
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Hi @AcidGambit

"White" material is an excellent reflector, I agree it likely accounts for the algae issues experienced. The extra (reflected) light likely also accounts for the deficiency issues (GSA, etc) since extra light requires more nutrients.

-Roy

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post #45 of 75 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Stage 1 of the cleanup is complete.



I've come to realize that I need a better algae scraper to get everything off the glass. I'll also need to take another pass at pruning off all of the GSA-covered leaves. The best part of this cleanup was finally biting the bullet and cleaning my lily pipes and tubing. It was less painful than I thought it would be.

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