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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-29-2018, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Eco-Complete Black and Flora Max Midnight

Eco-Complete Black and Flora Max Midnight are made by CaribSea. It is made from basalt which is a black lava rock. Basalt contains all sorts of trace minerals, iron, and calcium and magnesium. I am using Flora Max midnight "black color" and have been pondering some things. First is does the lower PH from CO2 injection cause the release of more of the minerals from the substrate? My PH is at a low of 5.6, a drop of 1.35 from a degassed state. If so is a basalt type substrate inert? It does release calcium and magnesium already, my PH will slowly creep up because of this. Not an issue for me. What might be is the release of trace minerals when dosing the water column with additional trace minerals.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 08:04 PM
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Basalt is inert. EC contains loads of minerals, but they aren't available to plants in any kind of meaningful way. CaribSea claims EC has all these minerals that are good for plant, but they also claim it never wears out or needs replaced. Both of these statements can't be true. (To be fair I've never seen were CaribSea claims that the minerals are actually available for plants. It is just inferred. They just say EC has the minerals that plants need)
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
Basalt is inert. EC contains loads of minerals, but they aren't available to plants in any kind of meaningful way. CaribSea claims EC has all these minerals that are good for plant, but they also claim it never wears out or needs replaced. Both of these statements can't be true. (To be fair I've never seen were CaribSea claims that the minerals are actually available for plants. It is just inferred. They just say EC has the minerals that plants need)
That was what I was initially thinking. However when basalt breaks down, for example Hawaii, it does release these minerals into the dirt. So why would this not be true in a aquarium?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 01:12 AM
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Hawaii has had thousand of years and lots of forces working on the lava. I don't really know how long it would take basalt to break down in your aquarium, but I don't think any of us have long enough to wait. If it provided any of these minerals in a meaningful quantity CaribSea would say so. Instead they dance around the facts with innuendo.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Hawaii has had thousand of years and lots of forces working on the lava. I don't really know how long it would take basalt to break down in your aquarium, but I don't think any of us have long enough to wait. If it provided any of these minerals in a meaningful quantity CaribSea would say so. Instead they dance around the facts with innuendo.
Good point.
Here is an interesting article, https://www.maximumyield.com/the-slo...-basalt/2/1207
This is an excerpt "Created through the cooling and solidification of magma and lava, basalt is the rock material that makes up most of the soils around the world. Compared to other volcanic rocks that are high in quartz, basalt weathers relatively quickly.

It begins to release nutrients to plants as soon as the roots make contact. Additional nutrients become available with ongoing decomposition, thereby resulting in a steady flow of nutrients over time."
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 01:58 PM
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That is interesting. I had actually come across that article the other day and skimmed through it. I still have real doubts about getting any kind of meaningful quantity of nutrients out of an aquarium situation. It doesn't help that the author works for a basalt soil amendment company.

"Rich Affeldt holds an M.S. in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is senior agronomist with Cascade Mineral Products. Made of 100% finely milled volcanic basalt from Central Oregon, Cascade Minerals is an all-natural soil amendment that is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute for use in organic production."
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
That is interesting. I had actually come across that article the other day and skimmed through it. I still have real doubts about getting any kind of meaningful quantity of nutrients out of an aquarium situation. It doesn't help that the author works for a basalt soil amendment company.

"Rich Affeldt holds an M.S. in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is senior agronomist with Cascade Mineral Products. Made of 100% finely milled volcanic basalt from Central Oregon, Cascade Minerals is an all-natural soil amendment that is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute for use in organic production."
Another good point, but I have been reading up on this and there are a few independent articles that back up what this guy is reporting. I am doing an experiment with a 60 gallon high light CO2 tank. I have been seeing some toxicity issues with some different plants in this tank. I have just recently stopped all trace dosing and have performed daily water changes now for a week. I have been dosing N,P,K normally well upped them a little to compensate for the water changes but averages out to the normal EI doses the tank would see in a week. I have already seen positive results from some of the plants so far. I going to mix traces individually in 250 ml bottles. Then introduce them 1 at a time every 2 weeks until I see negative results. From what I am seeing in this tank I have manganese toxicity.
The one mineral that seems to differ substantially with basalt, depending on where it comes from, is Boron. Some has high amounts others have almost none. Manganese is high though on all of them.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-01-2018, 02:14 PM
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I hope you'll post the results of your experiments. I've wanted to do something with individual containers and different substrates, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-01-2018, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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I hope you'll post the results of your experiments. I've wanted to do something with individual containers and different substrates, but I don't know if I'll ever get around to it.
I will here but it gonna take awhile. Something is off with this tank and I will find the solution........ or give up and go with BDBS
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-01-2018, 05:48 PM
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I also would be curious about your results. It is very difficult to isolate variables in this hobby and very easy to mis-attribute cause and effect. In your experiment design, I might recommend continuing to dose all micros at some level and individually overdosing one micro at a time to look for effects. It's undeniable that plants need micronutrients. In your current design (stopping all micros and adding them one at a time) how can you know that one nutrient causes problems, when at any point the lack of micros might start harming your plants? Furthermore, how do we know that the current improvements in your plants aren't attributable to increased water changes and increased dosing of macros? It's hard to be sure when multiple variables are changed at a time.

Regarding your substrate, it might be helpful to your experiment to throw some plants in a bare-bottom tank and dose it in parallel to your eco-complete tank to compare them.

I have a feeling that even if eco-complete is slightly water-soluble, it dissolves slowly enough that regular water changes should prevent meaningful accumulation of solutes. You would probably have to powder it and let it soak for weeks to see effects.

The plural of 'anecdote' is 'data.'
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-01-2018, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ursamajor View Post
I also would be curious about your results. It is very difficult to isolate variables in this hobby and very easy to mis-attribute cause and effect. In your experiment design, I might recommend continuing to dose all micros at some level and individually overdosing one micro at a time to look for effects. It's undeniable that plants need micronutrients. In your current design (stopping all micros and adding them one at a time) how can you know that one nutrient causes problems, when at any point the lack of micros might start harming your plants? Furthermore, how do we know that the current improvements in your plants aren't attributable to increased water changes and increased dosing of macros? It's hard to be sure when multiple variables are changed at a time.

Regarding your substrate, it might be helpful to your experiment to throw some plants in a bare-bottom tank and dose it in parallel to your eco-complete tank to compare them.

I have a feeling that even if eco-complete is slightly water-soluble, it dissolves slowly enough that regular water changes should prevent meaningful accumulation of solutes. You would probably have to powder it and let it soak for weeks to see effects.

I can see your point. I did not increase my macros per say, I just compensated for the increased reduction by water changes. Weekly totals are the same.

I have stopped the extra water changes, now back to once a week. I have just today started dosing Boron.
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