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Consistency Deficiency

shangman

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Absolutely no judgement :) I love both my lowtechs and my high tech tbh, it's always nice to try something different and it doesn't mean you're betraying lowtech!! tbh in very happy with my lowtechs they're just as good and lush but darker light. I think having more people like you in high-tech is great, it doesn't all have to be the same thing, I think the aesthetics of a few people make it seem like it's less versatile than it is!
 

Hufsa

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It might be interesting and useful to know if you're able to quantify the lighting and CO2. The latter of these is not too difficult - be that the humble DC colour, or pH + KH values (despite its shortcomings). Lighting is not so 'easy' unless you own a PAR meter and spectrometer. Or, you could try one of the many apps that are possibly better than nothing.
Im not sure if I will be able to do much quantifying JPC, so it wont be a very scientific study by any stretch of the imagination.
I am however planning to keep my lights set to exactly the same as before CO2, and then spend a good amount of time just observing what effect the addition of the gas has.
I think it will make for interesting observation, but I doubt it will prove anything.

I find what goes for "evidence" in the hobby to stretch over a fairly large range.
If I eat 5 carrots today and my mother in law suddenly visits tomorrow, it would be silly of me to conclude that an excess of carrots cause MIL's and therefore "Im never eating vegetables again!" At the other end of that range are proper scientific studies, the likes of which our little hobbyist "experiments" will never get close to. I prefer to base my observations on slightly more solid grounds than the former, but have no illusions about its quality beyond that 😁


Over to the topic of my tank and the algae bloom, I doubt I will learn very much from this one. A lot of things changed around when it started, and ive already made way more than one adjustment to the tank to bring it back on track, as quite frankly the sheer variety of algae and the speed it arrived at had me wanting to fix the bloom as soon as possible. Ive cleaned one of two filters, did a partial water change and trimmed off a fair bit of affected leaves. While I was doing this I noticed how bad the flow over the substrate had become, and I am still midway through the process of changing over to spraybars again, since they give such superior flow in relatively hardscape-light tanks. I also took out some of the hardscape, I wasnt feeling the composition any more, its even uglier now but at least I have better flow, hey-o 😄

I should try to let the tank stabilize and find its non algae-filled stride before I add the go-go-gas, if I can muster the patience for that ;)

20220108_210000.jpg
Completely unrelated: The bolbitis has put out much fatter leaves after I increased the ferts

Ill try to remember to grab some more photos tomorrow :snaphappy:
 
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jaypeecee

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I find what goes for "evidence" in the hobby to stretch over a fairly large range.
If I eat 5 carrots today and my mother in law suddenly visits tomorrow, it would be silly of me to conclude that an excess of carrots cause MIL's and therefore "Im never eating vegetables again!" At the other end of that range are proper scientific studies, the likes of which our little hobbyist "experiments" will never get close to. I prefer to base my observations on slightly more solid grounds than the former, but have no illusions about its quality beyond that
Hi @Hufsa

Yes, I agree with most of what you say. In my opinion, we have to begin somewhere. And that gives us a foundation on which to build. But I fully respect your viewpoint.

JPC ;)
 

Hufsa

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@jaypeecee
Yeah it is nice to have at least a little something to go on, otherwise all of it would just be complete guesswork
 

Hufsa

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Hi @Hufsa

Yes, I agree with most of what you say. In my opinion, we have to begin somewhere. And that gives us a foundation on which to build. But I fully respect your viewpoint.

JPC ;)
I gave your reply some more thought yesterday and I just wanted to make sure what I wrote didnt come across overly pointed, or directed at you in any way.
I got a bit worried it didnt come out the way I wanted and wanted to make sure we're on the same page with that 😊

I try to be mindful of only putting out (what I think is) fairly good information on the internet, to make myself feel like im counteracting the large amount of sources that state vague notions as a proven fact, and that really confuse the heck out of beginners. I probably dont always succeed but I think it is a worthwhile aim to have in mind at least.

We have come a long way in our understanding of how to grow aquatic plants in the past decades, not really so much from dedicated science (there hasnt been much of it from what I understand), but from experiments done by hobbyists. Im very grateful for that, otherwise we would still be really afraid of macronutrients and think of aged aquarium water as the holy grail. Sharing ideas and theories (word used with the non-scientific meaning) bring us forward and allow more people to successfully grow plants.
There also appears to be several very different ways of growing aquatic plants successfully, and I wish people would stop trying to argue about which method is the "bestest most right-est" one and rather focus on more productive things like figuring out why they work. Maybe something can be learned if we look at the methods and compare the successful elements of them.

Your experiments @jaypeecee are a fair bit more rigorous than the little tweaks I do, and im following all of them with interest :geek:

As usual im not sure where I am going with all of this, mostly wanted to write down my musings on the matter 😄
 

jaypeecee

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I gave your reply some more thought yesterday and I just wanted to make sure what I wrote didnt come across overly pointed, or directed at you in any way.
I got a bit worried it didnt come out the way I wanted and wanted to make sure we're on the same page with that 😊
Hi @Hufsa

You need not be concerned at all. I had no problem whatsoever with anything you said.

Your experiments @jaypeecee are a fair bit more rigorous than the little tweaks I do, and im following all of them with interest :geek:

It's good to get some positive feedback as it's greatly appreciated. Thank you! Everyone contributes to the knowledge of what goes on in our tanks. Having said that, I can fully understand that Aquarium Science isn't everyone's 'cup of tea'. But it's a great feeling to know when one has advanced our knowledge if only a teeny weeny bit. And only we as hobbyists are going to make it happen. Just look at what Diana Walstad has done for the hobby. :happy:

JPC
 

Hufsa

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Im having a tough day today health wise, so my apologies if im a bit off, but I wanted to share a little update on our mossy adventure.

Pictured: Fissidens bryoides
20220111_200130.jpg


Yesterday I set out to rescue some lanky sprigs of Fissidens from the clutches of the algae growth that has been ever increasing.
I had started with the biggest stone (that according to my picture records should be Fissidens osmundoides).
I was trimming off the green sprigs, trying to seperate them from the hairy growth, when I saw a tiny little Fissidens shoot, that was growing -out- of the algae. "What?"
I dont have a proper microscope (yet), but we do have a little handheld USB one.

I put some of the "algae" under the USB microscope.
2022_01_11_19_53_40_486.jpg 2022_01_11_19_24_25_981.jpg 2022_01_11_19_24_52_715.jpg

2022_01_11_19_23_07_717.jpg 2022_01_11_19_56_02_174.jpg 2022_01_11_19_27_58_561.jpg

Hmm..
2022_01_11_19_27_10_000.jpg

So it would appear the algae is not algae, but actually some sort of root/rhizome growth of the Fissidens :geek:
I was quite happy to see this honestly, I thought the Fissidens was so bad off, that the decay was so extensive it had attracted such a massive growth of short hair type algae.
But instead, its been growing.
Granted, growing these weird rhizome root things but still, growing :thumbup:

Maybe the Fissidens' are still trying to get adjusted from the rude awakening. I pulled them out of some pretty ice cold rivers in the middle of the off season after all.
Now that I know this, I wont trim them and rather continue to observe what happens.
I do hope they will grow more broad full fronds eventually, the addition of injected CO2 soon may make that a bit easier for them.

20220111_200135.jpg

Fissidens dubius in the center here. This one has the least growth compared to root/rhizome.
I thought I took a picture of F. adianthoides too, but apparently not.
Adianthoides is doing maybe the best out of all of them, quite a lot of green sprigs, although lanky. Ill try to include a picture of it next time.

To the right in the picture above is this interesting little fellow:
20220111_200141.jpg


I think this stone has the moss pictured here:
View attachment 177017
This one I am quite excited about, it was growing underwater intermingled with Fissidens :D

It has greened up a fair bit and appears to be growing happily. I hope this one makes it, its very cute 😊

Edit: Forgot the FTS

20220111_195941(0).jpg
 

Hufsa

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Gave the mosses in the windowsill-cups in the kitchen some TLC yesterday.
Several were growing so well they have been promoted to test subjects and placed in the aquarium.
A handful of others were fired for poor performance.

When I started grabbing moss outside like a lunatic my main concern was wether things would grow underwater or not, and I didnt really consider that an almost equally big factor is wether or not the moss will thrive in aquarium temperatures. Just like with the Scapania undulata.
Someone grabbing mosses in the woods in Thailand is likely to have better chances than in Norway, I suspect.

The kitchen isnt freezing but it sure isnt 23 degrees celcius either, the water in the cups is noticeably colder than the tank.
So if these recent additions die, I am going to assume the temperature was the main cause of it, since they were growing pretty nice and green in the cups.

20220113_103505.jpg


This one has been growing really well, in fact these are JUST the shoots produced since last time I maintained this moss, this time too I threw away the oldest growth.
I think it is Plagiochila asplenioides (?), another alternative is Plagiochila porelloides but that one looks more fancy..
It at least seems very similar to Plagiochila integerrima.

I added a few other leafy liverworts to the tank too, but didnt take pictures of them. Since the cups get highly fertilized aquarium water, there is a fair amount of biofilm growth in them, some cups worse than others. When I added the new mosses to the tank, the shrimp sprang into action and all the new subjects got a full makeover.

20220113_113301.jpg


I added at least one pest snail to each remaining windowsill cup, thinking they will eat the biofilm and help keep the mosses clean. Hopefully they wont go walkabout outside the cups, if so I have told the dog she needs to eat the escaped snails before my SO steps on one on the kitchen floor. She seemed to agree :hungry:
 
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shangman

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That moss looks beautiful, super promising. Big fingers crossed it doesn't mind the temp change and grows gloriously!
 

Hufsa

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Some random notes

Still seeing brown algae on some plant leaves, im definitely suspecting the Osmocote now, for some reason my gut instinct is saying ammonia.
Hard to say exactly why, I think my subconscious has performed some strange meta analysis of everything ive read and decided this is a likely cause.
Brown algae usually in immature tanks -> immature tanks usually have ammonia + sudden extra happiness of plants (from easily edible source?) <- newly added osmocote. Hrm.

Also getting staghorn on some leaves, even after I did a big clear-out of algae affected leaves.
Staghorn makes me think organics, decay, again ammonia :watching: Is there actually a pattern here or am I "seeing faces in the clouds".

I could uproot everything in that corner and extract the osmocote, but do I want to?
The Cryptocoryne 'Tiger' is in the process of putting out a new leaf and im reluctant to disturb it.
Blyxa has also finally rooted in a bit and growing some bigger leaves. Uprooting them would set the plants back to start again.

I could ride out the algae bloom, if the cause is what I think. The Osmocote is a 6 month one, but I doubt it will last that long underwater.
So we're looking at maybe a few more months?
Havent decided yet.
Will give myself a final deadline of deciding before the CO2 goes on, Im planning to get as many Hufsa-shenanigans out of the way before the gas as possible.


Ive got most of the CO2 gear at the moment, although a critical piece is still missing, the reactor.
This one is coming from China, meaning not any time soon. (Note to self: Check insurance covers water damage)
But its good that the reactor wont be here for a while, it gives me time to get everything sorted while I wait.

I feel like ive started my CO2 injection journey at the least normal end of things possible, by deciding which reactor to buy and then working my way back from there to the normal starting point. Ive gone terribly over budget, and spent 4 times what I had planned on this kit :facepalm::dead:
These new toys better keep me entertained for a while or I will be terribly upset! Just imagine all the kinds of algae I will be able to grow.. ;)

I havent forgotten my fish in all of this, their safety is one of the reasons the budget had to stretch a bit.
I didnt want to buy some cheap poor quality stuff that will fail and dump a bunch of CO2 into the tank or something else catastrophic.
Ive pondered if they would be safer being rehomed, but im not convinced they would neccessairly be better off with the average aquarist either.
It would be down to luck what kind of fishkeeper they end up with.

Im planning to stay well below the "maximum" levels, this should make the system a little less fragile. The added risk of the injected CO2 is definitely something that is weighing heavily on me. I hope I can strike a balance where the increased plant growth will be a bonus to the fish while I do my best to lessen the risks.
I havent decided exactly what level to go for, I need to do more research..

With all the things Im feeling I need to prepare and nail down before I start injected CO2, I find myself appreciating low tech in a way I havent before.
If I want to change my filter outlet layout and end up leaving one blasting randomly into a sideglass because I got exhausted halfway through, I can do that.
You can mess with the lights, you can mess with the ferts, you can do a lot of stuff and the worst you will get is a little bit of algae really.
Pretty much anything that messes with the offgassing and surface of the tank will be a no-no once I take the plunge.
Or well, if I do I will need to get the CO2 just right all over again.

It probably sounds like injected CO2 is a terrible idea for me but I am also really excited to see what my plants will say.
Im excited to be able to try more plants with the confidence that they will probably be alright in a CO2 enriched system.
I am also really looking forward being able to share mosses and buces and cuttings from plants that will probably be of better health than what I grow so far.

It will make demands but hopefully also give back.

I will end this boring post with a picture of what I think is Plagiothecium undulatum, a sample of which just graduated from the cups and is in the tank somewhere trying its best. It doesnt look quite the same underwater unfortunately, but it has been growing so far.

20211113_110100.jpg

plagiothecium undulatum.jpg
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Some random notes

Still seeing brown algae on some plant leaves, im definitely suspecting the Osmocote now, for some reason my gut instinct is saying ammonia.
Hard to say exactly why, I think my subconscious has performed some strange meta analysis of everything ive read and decided this is a likely cause.
Brown algae usually in immature tanks -> immature tanks usually have ammonia + sudden extra happiness of plants (from easily edible source?) <- newly added osmocote. Hrm.

Also getting staghorn on some leaves, even after I did a big clear-out of algae affected leaves.
Staghorn makes me think organics, decay, again ammonia :watching: Is there actually a pattern here or am I "seeing faces in the clouds".

I could uproot everything in that corner and extract the osmocote, but do I want to?
The Cryptocoryne 'Tiger' is in the process of putting out a new leaf and im reluctant to disturb it.
Blyxa has also finally rooted in a bit and growing some bigger leaves. Uprooting them would set the plants back to start again.

I could ride out the algae bloom, if the cause is what I think. The Osmocote is a 6 month one, but I doubt it will last that long underwater.
So we're looking at maybe a few more months?
Havent decided yet.
Will give myself a final deadline of deciding before the CO2 goes on, Im planning to get as many Hufsa-shenanigans out of the way before the gas as possible.


Ive got most of the CO2 gear at the moment, although a critical piece is still missing, the reactor.
This one is coming from China, meaning not any time soon. (Note to self: Check insurance covers water damage)
But its good that the reactor wont be here for a while, it gives me time to get everything sorted while I wait.

I feel like ive started my CO2 injection journey at the least normal end of things possible, by deciding which reactor to buy and then working my way back from there to the normal starting point. Ive gone terribly over budget, and spent 4 times what I had planned on this kit :facepalm::dead:
These new toys better keep me entertained for a while or I will be terribly upset! Just imagine all the kinds of algae I will be able to grow.. ;)

I havent forgotten my fish in all of this, their safety is one of the reasons the budget had to stretch a bit.
I didnt want to buy some cheap poor quality stuff that will fail and dump a bunch of CO2 into the tank or something else catastrophic.
Ive pondered if they would be safer being rehomed, but im not convinced they would neccessairly be better off with the average aquarist either.
It would be down to luck what kind of fishkeeper they end up with.

Im planning to stay well below the "maximum" levels, this should make the system a little less fragile. The added risk of the injected CO2 is definitely something that is weighing heavily on me. I hope I can strike a balance where the increased plant growth will be a bonus to the fish while I do my best to lessen the risks.
I havent decided exactly what level to go for, I need to do more research..

With all the things Im feeling I need to prepare and nail down before I start injected CO2, I find myself appreciating low tech in a way I havent before.
If I want to change my filter outlet layout and end up leaving one blasting randomly into a sideglass because I got exhausted halfway through, I can do that.
You can mess with the lights, you can mess with the ferts, you can do a lot of stuff and the worst you will get is a little bit of algae really.
Pretty much anything that messes with the offgassing and surface of the tank will be a no-no once I take the plunge.
Or well, if I do I will need to get the CO2 just right all over again.

It probably sounds like injected CO2 is a terrible idea for me but I am also really excited to see what my plants will say.
Im excited to be able to try more plants with the confidence that they will probably be alright in a CO2 enriched system.
I am also really looking forward being able to share mosses and buces and cuttings from plants that will probably be of better health than what I grow so far.

It will make demands but hopefully also give back.

I will end this boring post with a picture of what I think is Plagiothecium undulatum, a sample of which just graduated from the cups and is in the tank somewhere trying its best. It doesnt look quite the same underwater unfortunately, but it has been growing so far.

View attachment 179977
View attachment 179978

On the Osmocote, if you suspect ammonia in the water column, do some big water changes immediately if you haven’t already. Personally I’d also test for ammonia to be sure, you don’t want to have any negative affect on your livestock,

On the CO2 side of things, slow and steady will be the order of the day for you. Start at very low levels, and adjust upwards maybe once a week.

You’ve already established a tank with healthy growth, in balance with your light levels. What makes high tech tanks more unstable in the way you describe is not the addition of the CO2, but the higher light levels that come with it. Don’t be tempted to increase light, increase the CO2 slowly and aim for a lower level than typical high tech (I’d suggest maybe half at around 15ppm would be fine) and you’ll be fine, and be rewarded with more vigorous growth and higher DO levels.

PS - that moss looks awesome! Looking up on the interwebulator, it appear to be a UK native too, so I need to keep my eye out and see if I can grow that emersed!
 

Hufsa

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What CO2 kit have you bought? I'm sorely tempted to go down a similar route for identical reasons with my new tank.
Oo, hybrid(?) buddies 😄

My gadget list:
CO2Art Pro-Elite Dual Stage CO2 Regulator
+ CO2Art Tubing
+ CO2Art DC Solution
+ CO2Art Spare washers
2 x 6 kg CO2 tanks bought from a local guy (£317 filled)
Yidao external CO2 reactor
Camozzi Needle valve
JBL Dropchecker
JBL Bubble Counter
JBL Checkvalve

Dual Stage regulator was a must have in terms of safety for the critters, end of tank dump doesnt sound any fun at all. I went for the one you can extend to supply multiple diffusers / tanks, thinking I might upgrade the aquarium size one day, and I wanted to plan for that. It seems you could split the line with some gadgets on the cheaper regulator, but that one comes with a lower working pressure, which might limit things. Went for CO2Art because of the reputation, customer service and support coupled with what seems to be a decent reg. Im sure there are better regulators out there (at even higher prices), but I think this will be good. Im crossing my fingers I dont have the same regulator experience @KirstyF has had, must have got a real monday reg 😬

The big CO2 tanks cost a fair bit, but I had to have something I wont have to run out and replace every other week, because of my health. I considered getting one big and one small spare, but with two big ones I can switch the "empty" one out and just leave the replacement running, filling up the empty at my own leisure. I wont have to switch the "main tank" back again once refilled. Less switching should also mean less potential for problems with connections, and a more stable experience for the critters. In addition, a small spare tank wasnt THAT much cheaper than a big one, which further influenced my decision.

The Yidao reactor has gotten good reviews from the forum users, I was dead set on not having CO2 mist in the tank so a reactor was an obvious choice. Since they are effective at dissolving the gas, they also seem a good economic choice. I dont fancy having to clean diffusers constantly either. Apparently the build quality of the reactor is not "eheim plastic", but everyone seems happy with it so far (foreshadowing?). Again, make sure your home insurance covers water damage just to be safe.. If the build quality bothers me a lot I can look into building something custom instead, Ill see. The ease of buying something premade won out this round.

@Wookii recommended me the Camozzi needle valve, the standard CO2Art needle is apparently workable but not great. A decent needle valve that keeps the gas rate constant is another safety factor, this one can be locked, so you wont bump into it accidentally and gas your fish. I havent ordered it yet, I will do it a bit later when my wallet comes back from therapy.

Went for JBL for the miscellaneous gizmos, the drop checker seems easy to read, and since im removing the regulator bubble counter to fit into the cabinet, I needed something else to count bubbles in-line. Im hoping the JBL line of CO2 stuff is better made (knock on wood) than their inlet and outlet set, where a piece cracked fairly quickly. If this leaks I should end up with less gas in the tank though, so not quite as critical a piece. Planning to add a secondary check valve on the line as well, to protect the regulator.

Ive tried to talk myself out of it but I think I will also need a decent PH pen. I will be running low levels of CO2 so its not strictly needed, but to get good growth from the plants and little algae I should really make sure I have a steady level.. The Hanna ones are a bit costly, so would have to be purchased later. Ive gathered that the PH pen is more important to buy quality than a "TDS" meter, so im not sure how much I can save on this.

I think I have gained some CO2 knowledge through pure osmosis, just from hanging around on this forum for a while. Started with absolutely zero knowledge, but my practical experience level is still nil. I hope I can avoid some of the common mistakes.


On the Osmocote, if you suspect ammonia in the water column, do some big water changes immediately if you haven’t already. Personally I’d also test for ammonia to be sure, you don’t want to have any negative affect on your livestock,
Im kinda suspecting trace amounts of ammonia, if that makes sense. I think my plants and new algae bloom might be taking it up as fast as it is released. The reason I think so is because I havent seen any grumpy faces from the otos, and they are quite sensitive and usually vocal about it if something is wrong. There is also a really large amount of newborn shrimp, little water fleas and critters in the tank at the moment, which might be why my alarmbells havent rang.

I can do a test after this post, just to make sure.
Im becoming increasingly wary of tests, have had too many problems with them going out of date on me and giving strange readings, that sort of stuff.
I know the forum position on tests, but it hasnt been able to win me over until I had experienced some myself, im a bit stubborn in that way.
It doesnt help that the holiness of tests are deep seated from an early age in the fishkeeping side of the hobby, its not easy to rid yourself of that.

On the CO2 side of things, slow and steady will be the order of the day for you. Start at very low levels, and adjust upwards maybe once a week.

You’ve already established a tank with healthy growth, in balance with your light levels. What makes high tech tanks more unstable in the way you describe is not the addition of the CO2, but the higher light levels that come with it. Don’t be tempted to increase light, increase the CO2 slowly and aim for a lower level than typical high tech (I’d suggest maybe half at around 15ppm would be fine) and you’ll be fine, and be rewarded with more vigorous growth and higher DO levels.

Yess! Will go super slow 😊 Im gonna run my tank at the same light for a good while. They do say low light + some CO2 makes the most stable tanks.
 

Konsa

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20 Nov 2010
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888
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Lostock Hall
Hi there
Sounds like you have a good plan in place.
Osmocote in tanks will last few weeks only before is depleted.The 6 months they advertise is based on it being used in terrestrial setups and is very moisture and temperature dependent.It constant contact in water the nutrients are dumped rather rapidly and that is the reason some have issues with it if added generously.If you don't have active substrate that can bind some of the nutrients the benefits are relatively short lived.Thats why little and often is the best approach with this product.
I will personally try to resolve(wait out)the algae issues you experience before adding the CO2.Its true the plants will love it but so will the algae present.
Regards Konstantin
 

Hufsa

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Is that a typo? I'm paying £30 for a 5kg bottle.
I wish it was 😭 3800 NOK to be precise. I checked around the prices in stores and other private sellers and these two were slightly below store prices. A lot of things are more expensive in Norway, but dang that was a fairly steep difference 🙁
 
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