Chalky water with protein film - bacteria issue? - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Hi @DaveKS

The chalky water is back. I took the mayaca out four days ago for a 72hr blackout to kill the thread algae and returned it last night, floating until I have time to replant it. Yesterday was WC Sunday; I removed around 1.5 gallons and replaced 1 gallon while the remainder ages. I've been alternating oak leaves with beech, and aging the change water several days as added insurance. The old leaf stays in the tank until completely shredded; the shrimp and snails like the oak but adore the beech. There's an alder cone in the WC container too.

The tank has a full canopy of AF and RRF and a half-eaten oak leaf, so I'm surprised the mayaca's absence could trigger another bloom, assuming it did. As further insurance, I'm going to add a small piece of driftwood tied to variegated anubias and place it under the filter.

Dosing remains Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ and Flourish Comp @ 0.5 ml twice a week, plus supplemental KH2PO4 and the soup from the feedings. The system had stabilized, so I didn't run tests this past week. Prior to this bloom, the only issue had been the proliferation of thread algae in the mayaca.

Sorry for the long-winded post. Do you think it could be something else?

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Last edited by Rainer; 01-13-2020 at 04:55 PM. Reason: .
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post #32 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 07:56 PM
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Did chalky water start after the blackout or just after the water change?

Is hair algae only growing on mayaca or is it a whole tank thing?

What and how much/how often are you adding besides salty shrimp?
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post #33 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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- I thought I noticed it yesterday but only confirmed it this morning. The water change was a few hours before I returned the blacked-out mayaca to the tank.

- There's the occasional strand or two of thread algae on some of the mini-pellia, but not enough to bother with.

- Additives besides SS: Flourish Comp @ 0.5 ml, dosed twice a week; KH2PO4 dosed at less than 1/64th tsp once a week, when indicated. Generally feed a lettuce leaf or prepared food every other day, plus they have the oak/beech leaf.

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post #34 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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The water is pretty chalky today, despite adding driftwood to the tank four days ago and the half gallon of aged water I added yesterday. Along with that I added 3/32 tsp of baking soda to raise the tank's KH by 0.5 degree, but that's not enough to cause such cloudiness, surely.

Any theories, @DaveKS, anyone?

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post #35 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-21-2020, 07:47 AM
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Sorry didnít see your previous post, you didnít tag/quote me so it disappeared into the mist.

I was going initially under impression you moved mayaca out and did blackout on tank but your statement above makes it sound like you put mayaca in blackout?

But if you want my opinion I would have you go to daily low dosing.

Half gallon milk jug, 6 cups water, add .75ml Fluorish, add 1cup to tank per day to make up for evaporation. No dose on water change day.

KH2PO4, 200ml water, 1/8tsp for solution that you will dose 2ml per day except on water change day.

I really donít think the removing mayaca from tank was the cause, more like accumulative effect of dump and run dosing of ferts and unbound P and K in KH2PO4.

Itís about flatlined stabile dosing not hitting EI oriented specs. Feed your plants a low level every day and you wonít have a deficiency. In a low tech non CO2 tank the metabolic rate is so low itís nothing like high light EI dosing where if something runs out in middle of day your plant will choke and stall. All you have to do is make sure everything is there and never drops to zero for more than a day or 2. If you miss a day, no big deal double up next day, its low level dosing.

And I think itís time to move on from mayaca, itís a softwater plant. Itís never going to work in your harder water. Instead of P levels restricting uptake of iron I think itís potassium levels of SS blocking itís uptake of iron. Heck try some ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora) or even some basic Rotala rotundifolia.

Besides ambulia and Val Nana I suggested before in your tank look at Willow Leaf Hygrophila. Itís marginal for size of plant your tank needs put itís doable. Planted under that spraybar itís leaves will sweep with water flow of that spraybar and look like a willow tree weeping out 6-7Ē or so into tank.

Take top right 4-5 stems of what you see in this pic and shorten them, imagine managing them as layered 4-7Ē stalks weeping out into tank. Itís easy to find, leaves are some of the most rugged leathery around and it has absolutely no problem with harder water. When it likes it habitat leaves at top under light will even get a nice pinkish/bronze cast on tips.



Whenís going good and has current flowing by/over it this is look youíll see when looking down into tank.



Also Iíd also like to see you add some crypt wendtii red or bronze or something similar in middle area of your tank. Thatís one thing your missing, a crown type plant that sets there long term and spreads roots all across substrate bed. Plant lightly and let those roots spread out across bottom glass for next year. To me there is no replacement for biological processes that happen in root zone of those type plants. Your mosses donít do that, your mayaca I doubt has even 1/4 of root structure they provide.
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post #36 of 36 (permalink) Old 01-22-2020, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that post, @DaveKS, and the biochemistry behind it. I'll switch dosing schedules as suggested. The cloudiness is almost gone today.

Yes, I removed the mayaca to black it out. After trimming away the damaged bits, I have about half the stems left and those are maybe half the height they were before. I've replanted those into a small grove on the back wall on the side away from the filter. Closer to the filter I placed the rotala rotundifolia I'd ordered in the meantime. Unfortunately it's in emersed form (supplier kept that hidden) and very difficult to plant and keep that way in the sand.

I've been waiting for my invert supplier to restock on Val Nana, which could go in front of the filter, and American Shoreweed for the sandy expanse on the opposite corner, but your idea about willow hygro is worth serious consideration. I do have some concerns about it and the crypt throwing off the sense of scale, but I'm willing to try. I particularly like the idea of ambulia, which reminds me of the myrio mattagrossense I loved keeping in my old tank. Maybe shoreweed in the opposite corner, val nana in the other far one, willow hygro screening the filter and ambulia along the rest of the back wall. The driftwood, anchoring an anubias variegated, will go directly under the filter.

I'll post some pics to the journal when I have some time as a future planting reference for anyone interested.
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