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3000 Liter High Tech Planted Tank

I saw the fish we received and I think we got 12 of each... This may change though as the owner will probably want more fish than that lol.

Yeah, they'll be lost in a tank that size - you could bump the shoals up to 50 of each, and still not see that many at once.

I went ahead and doubled the gluconate to 0.8 ppm weekly and doubled DTPA to 0.4 weekly. I've been thinking of other solutions however.

That sounds like a lot to me along with the EDTA in the micro mix, and could exacerbate the algae growth and I'm not sure throwing more of the same stuff at the tank will necessarily be the solution. Could you not try the EDDHSA chelated iron that @xZaiox suggested earlier in the thread?
The idea is basically to add the daily dose of micros/iron powder to the container ewithout mixing it and slowly pass water through it to very slowly dissolve it and add it to the tank.

That sounds like a recipe for massive dosing inconsistency. Is there are particular reason you/your client don't want to stump up for an auto-doser - you should be able pick up a basic 2-channel one for $50 on your side of the pond (maybe less if you shop around).
 
Could you not try the EDDHSA chelated iron that @xZaiox suggested earlier in the thread?
I haven't been able to find it in the US, though I just tried looking again and I might be able to find a global seller.

That sounds like a recipe for massive dosing inconsistency. Is there are particular reason you/your client don't want to stump up for an auto-doser - you should be able pick up a basic 2-channel one for $50 on your side of the pond (maybe less if you shop around).
I see. This facility is old school and afraid of automating things. But I think I could convince them by showing them how it would be safe. In the worst case scenario, I could make it so that only a weeks worth of micros gets dumped in the tank. That should be safe for the shrimps right? I'm only dosing the CSM+B at 0.25 ppm Fe. Unsure on what is the upper end of copper the shrimps can take. But it should be a lot safer with it being chelated I imagine.
 
I see. This facility is old school and afraid of automating things. But I think I could convince them by showing them how it would be safe. In the worst case scenario, I could make it so that only a weeks worth of micros gets dumped in the tank. That should be safe for the shrimps right? I'm only dosing the CSM+B at 0.25 ppm Fe. Unsure on what is the upper end of copper the shrimps can take. But it should be a lot safer with it being chelated I imagine.

I would have thought the risks of an auto-doser getting stuck full on and dumping the entire contents of a container into the tank were very low, I've certainly never read of it. The risk, if there is one, would be that it doesn't dose at all, or doses less than planned (though that latter risk is reduced on a tank this size with the dose sizes that would be require, as doser accuracy is less critical).

I assume the CO2 delivery is automated, and failure of that system that poses a far greater risk to livestock to be honest.
 
I would have thought the risks of an auto-doser getting stuck full on and dumping the entire contents of a container into the tank were very low, I've certainly never read of it. The risk, if there is one, would be that it doesn't dose at all, or doses less than planned (though that latter risk is reduced on a tank this size with the dose sizes that would be require, as doser accuracy is less critical).
That's good to know. I'll read more into them as they would be new to me.
I assume the CO2 delivery is automated, and failure of that system that poses a far greater risk to livestock to be honest.
Yeah definitely a greater risk. I did try to make is a safe as possible. Currently needle valve is adjusted to deliver a drop of 1.1 and it stays like the for the entire photoperiod due to the heavy gas exchange on the surface and the sump. If the regulator were to break and dump the contents of the CO2 bottle in the tank, the pH controller would shut it off so it never goes below 6.4 pH.

I noticed we have another pH controller laying around and I've thought about using it to turn on a giant air pump if the pH drops to a certain point.
 
Could this be another potential solution? Seachem - Acid Buffer I know a lot of people are against using chemicals to target a certain pH, but could using this be that bad? Says it converts kH into CO2 which is interesting. I guess it may not work since the rock structures might just raise the kH back up anyways with the lower pH increasing the solubility of the CaCO3. Also can see how this may be stressful for livestock. I could maybe do a small daily dose, just enough to cancel out the daily increase in kH from the concrete rock structures.
 
I would have thought the risks of an auto-doser getting stuck full on and dumping the entire contents of a container into the tank were very low, I've certainly never read of it.
Hmmm. I have had two doser timer failures, both where dosing pump failed to shut off.

First failure it dumped 1l of macro mix into the tank, as pump remained on when it should have turned off. Tank ran for many days with nitrate at over 350ppm., before I notice macro ferts container was empty. No change to fish behaviour and more importantly no change to plants....

2nd failure was pumping of liquid carbon into the tank. This killed numerous fish and wiped out quite a few of the plants.

After this I build a PLC to control the tank, and since then not suffered and dosing/pump issues in the 7 years it has been running.

How to use a PLC to control your fish tank.
 
Hi all,
Could this be another potential solution? Seachem - Acid Buffer
No. <"Best method for water changes when tap water has drastically higher pH than tank water?">.
I know a lot of people are against using chemicals to target a certain pH, but could using this be that bad?
Not necessarily bad, just absolutely pointless - <"Seachem - Acid Buffer">. The link to the safety data sheet doesn't work, but I'm pretty sure it will be sodium bisulphate (NaHSO4) based.

In <"Finding the balance"> as @MichaelJ says.
...........(Seachem) Alkaline buffer is pure sodium bicarbonate and acid buffer is sodium bisulfate … both are just terrible and have absolutely no place in a planted aquarium - I would say the same for the phosphate based ones.
Says it converts kH into CO2 which is interesting.
It is true, but like @_Maq_ says, all acids convert carbonate hardness to CO2.

So not a lie, but a deliberate attempt to imply something special for their product. <"Seachem's advertising"> is an <"absolute masterpiece"> in deception <"and disguising what their products are and do">.

Details below from the Seachem web site ......
....... To lower pH, use 1/4 teaspoon (2g) for every 80 L (20 US gallons) daily until desired pH is reached (this dose lowers alkalinity by about 0.2 meq/L (0.6 dKH)). Larger doses may be required in very hard (KH) or alkaline waters. For precise dosing, use the Seachem Digital Spoon Scale.

In order to adjust pH gradually, or if water is soft or not well buffered, use Acid Buffer™ with Alkaline Buffer™. When using Alkaline Buffer™ & Acid Buffer™ together to target a specific pH, utilize the suggested ratio chart.........
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cheers Darrel
 
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Hey all,
Fish have finally been added to the tank. We added 11 celestial pearl danios, 7 gertrudae rainbowfish and 10 otocinclus. There are a few more fish in quarantine waiting to be moved, mostly more otocinclus, siamese algae eaters and more rainbowfish. I will try next week to get better pictures or some video. The fish looked to be doing really good the past 2 days and even looked to be exhibiting some mating behavior. I accidentally had the CO2 injecting a 1.5 pH drop and all the animals still looked pretty happy so that is good to know but I have since reduced it back to 1.0 drop. I'm hoping the owner ends up wanting more fish like he did with the shrimp. Otherwise hopefully the fish have lots of babies as there are so many hiding places for them including those giant hollow rock structures.
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We did end up ordering 250 more bloody mary shrimp and the shrimp have had several weeks to establish themselves in the tank. There were concerns that something in the water may be killing the shrimp since we were not seeing any (I'm sure it was due to only 50 shrimp to a 3000L tank.). So I was asked to make a micro observation tank. The shrimps in the observation tank (micro refugium?) have been doing really good as have the shrimps in the main tank. I have been seeing a lot of babies.
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Here is the observation tank. I Iike throwing my clippings in there. Its basically a mini above tank sump.
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We also did find a couple of different colored shrimp in the shipment, orange and blue, and I did find an extra one in the observation tank. So I made them another micro tank for themselves. Though it did occur to me right after leaving that the cull shrimp could breed in there and have babies go down the drain back in to the main tank. So I will need to think of something to solve that.
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The plants in the tank have been doing okay. I have pretty much eliminated the green hair algae, the diatoms have been replaced by nicer green algae, the BGA went away after using some peroxide, BBA is reducing from using peroxide, the only thing left that has been a problem is staghorn. From experience I know this really only grows on unhealthy leaves which looking at affected leaves it is definitely the case. It is mostly affecting the pinnatifida with a couple other infected spots. I was reading this article from Dennis Wong How to grow Hygrophila pinnatifida and now I am pretty sure it is trace toxicity. I think the pinnatifida started suffering after I increased my CSM+B from 0.25 ppm iron to 0.6 ppm iron a few weeks ago. I had increased it to see if maybe the chlorosis was being caused by another trace, but no significant improvement. I have also been experimenting the last few weeks with different quantities of iron and never saw a significant difference. Dennis Wong also mentions curled leaves which I am seeing on my amazon sword.

As you can see below my frogbit is not doing good so I can rule out CO2 as being a problem, macros are unlikely to be a problem with 12ppm NO3, 12 ppm K, and 2 ppm PO4.
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This week I finally got my peristaltic dosing pump and I have set it up to dose micros/Fe DTPA/Fe gluconate 24 times every day. I'm crossing my fingers that this can finally solve the Fe deficiency. I also cut the CSM+B back to the original 0.25ppm Fe EDTA, DTPA is 0.2ppm weekly, and gluconate is 0.2 ppm weekly. I have a 3500ml container in which I added 5ml distilled white vinegar per 500ml for a total of 35ml white vinegar. I am assuming this is correct? I found the recipe on a barreport post.
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Here is a shot of the tank right before it got trimmed.
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Here is a most recent tank shot
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It looks like it might be condensation dripping on them, and / or snail damage. The new leaves look OK, so I'd just pinch off the damaged ones.

cheers Darrel
Oh makes sense, upon closer inspection I see the big bite in the plant.
 
that is a veritable paradise for all those fish. They will soon be spawning as they mature in there.
They do look to be having a lot of fun in the tank so far haha. I cant wait to see them spawn!
 
I took some better pictures of the conditions the plants have been in the last few weeks. Some plants are affected more a lot more than others, such as the pinnatifida, the swords, hydrocotyle tripartita, and the ludwigia super red. Other plants such as the crypts, anubias, limnophilia aromatica, rotala rotundifolia, and pennywort look mostly fine, but some leaves do have staghorn on them indicating they must not be at full health either. As you can see in the pictures there is a lot of melting in plants, and the swords are growing twisted.

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These plants were once looking pretty lush other than pale new leaves. Like I said before I suspect trace toxicity since thats probably the biggest variable I have changed when I increased CSM+B from 0.25ppm Fe to 0.6ppm Fe. I did make a small adjustment in flow and inject CO2 into both return pumps instead of one but I cant imagine any of this causing the plants to
deteriorate this much.


I tested the pH in several locations in the tank and the pH at most varies by 0.05, I cant imagine this being that big of a problem but I could be wrong. Currently dropping the pH 1.2 and it stays very steady. I have plenty of gas exchange through surface agitation/overflow and sump. Dissolved oxygen last read at 99% right in the morning before lights came on. Macros dosing has not changed and is at 12ppm NO3, 2 ppm PO4, 12ppm K, I also dose 5ppm Mg. TDS reading at the end of the week before the 50% WC was 175. TDS after WC and dosing macros was 145. GH before WC 7, KH before WC 3. GH after WC 5, KH after WC 2. The degassed pH after WC is 7.5 and rises to 7.8 by the end of the week before the next WC.

I haven't been dosing micros/iron the last week week and a half and just resumed today. Here is what I will be dosing. This is the total weekly dose which will be split into 24 doses every day.
Fe Gluconate: 0.1 ppm (2.5 grams)
Fe DTPA 11%: 0.1 ppm (3 grams)

(9 grams of Planted CSM+B Adds Below)
Element ppm/degree
Fe 0.2
Mn 0.057
Cu 0.003
Mg 0.043
Zn 0.011
Mo 0.002
B 0.025
Here is the frogbit/duckweed currently after the 1.5 weeks of not dosing traces.
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Hopefully plants get better with the reduced micros, and the more frequent iron dosing. I cant think of what else would be causing this.
Edit: One thing I did notice is that plants growing by one of the returns always grew a little translucent, with melting I guess. Sometimes air gets sucked into the pump and microbubbles blow from this return, is it possible the water right by the return pipe is super saturated with oxygen and that is burning the plants right in front of the return? I don't think this is what is causing the problems in all of the tank since plants were once all doing fine, except plants right in front of the return.

We also added the rest of the fish today, mostly siamese algae eaters and more otocinclus.
 

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The tank this week is looking a lot better. I think it's safe to say toxicity from the micros was the problem. I'm curious which one specifically was the problem. Pale new leaves seems to mostly be affecting the Amazon sword, pennywort, and a tiny bit on the rotala. I'm not gonna stress about it anymore though as it's not that bad. I'm just happy the plants are growing again. I'll just continue experimenting with the timing of the iron doses, I think in a few weeks I'll try one big dose for the photoperiod and little doses every hour during lights off. I may also try Mn.

Here is the sword and pennywort. Sword was stunted before and it is growing a bunch now, same with many other plants.
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Here are pics of other plants in the tank. I think they are looking pretty healthy again.
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Here is how I left the frogbit last week.
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Here it is one week later. It more than doubled in quantity. No obvious signs of deficiency I think.
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I also ended up setting up a little walstad cull vase for this one orange cherry shrimp I found.
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I can also confirm that the return pump definitely seems to affect plants that grow right in front of it. I went ahead and removed affected plants in its path. You can see in the picture below how it makes the plants translucent. My theory is still super saturation of O2 and N2 since the pump sucks in air sometimes, but I'm not sure as this doesnt seem to be a thing in smaller tanks.
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The siamese algae eaters I added last week pretty much ate every single piece of staghorn and green hair algae in the tank which I thought was crazy. It's such a big tank and they got everything. They didn't seem to touch BBA. I spot treated it with some H2O2 to see if they are more likely to eat it dead.

Caught a video of the rainbowfish doing their dance thing.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how the tank is doing now. I've noticed people really like taking selfies with the tank which makes me happy to see people think the tank is pretty enough for their background. Here is a full tank shot of this week.
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The tank has been doing pretty good. The plants have been doing much better ever since reducing micros. I also tried supplementing some additional Mn and I think I saw a little improvement. The Amazon sword is the only plant that has paler new leaves, but its not too bad. Overall the plant is growing well. Ive also been dropping the pH by 1.4 per suggestion from Tom Barr. Now the the pH is always below 6.5 during the photoperiod so I think that may have also helped with Fe.
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The amazon sword also had a lot of babies.
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I began dosing a little bit of calcium to help the sword as it's leaves were growing a bit twisted before and it seems to have helped. I'm also hoping it helps the baby shrimps as I wasn't seeing a lot of them in the shrimp breeding tank. Recently I started feeding that tank daily and it is full of babies. They've been growing well.
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Unfortunately I've noticed quite a bit of planaria in there which makes me wonder if I could be seeing a lot more babies if it wasn't for them. I'd prefer to steer away from meds because it'd be impossible te remove all the snails. Has anyone here had success with managing planaria using planaria traps?
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One thing I've noticed is an increase in green spot algae in the past few months. I think it's been coming down? I'll have to wait some more. I feel like in the first month or two I didn't see any green spot algae which makes me wonder what the reason could be for that.
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As you can see above in the first two months the nitrates and phosphates ran lower, I also had elevated calcium. Not sure if that has anything to do with it. Also does anyone know why my nitrates could be reading way lower than what I actually dose? I dose 12 ppm NO3 from KNO3 after every water change. Could it be poor quality KNO3? Not mixing it well? Or inaccurate testing? I use a hach spectrophotometer. Regardless though the plants have been happy with all the levels above.

I added a little bit of rotala blood red.
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Hygrophilla pinnatifida has been getting massive. It is 60 cm tall with 30 cm long leaves.
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More plant pics.
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I also found 3 baby fish in the tank. Not sure what they are, but they've been doing well. I'm just glad the fish are happy enough to be breeding. Same with the shrimps.
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Otoclinclus fat and happy.
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I've been growing some red root floaters in here. I was reading on 2 hr aquarist they are another way to measure nitrate levels. I'm gonna start using them and frogbit for my duckweed index.
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Here's some fish footage for those interested. Bubbles in the beggining from H2O2.

Full tank shot.
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