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Explain this...


6 Jul 2007
Aston, Oxfordshire
So to test the theory that CO2 is the issue in my 4ft 250lt I removed the fish and shrimp and whacked the CO2 right up, to well over the fish death level (I unfortunately left two oto's in there, which were in a shocking state when I found them and probably wont have survived much longer, but think they just about pulled through :)) and have been dosing 10ml excel everyday and EI (40ml TNP for trace). I had to change the FE this morning, which means I've pumped a 2kg FE of CO2 into it in two weeks, that should have been enough surely?

Here's the result (wait for it!)



Exactly, nothing has changed, zero, nada, zilch. The leaves are still dieing very quickly, with slow overall plant growth.

I know two weeks isn't very long but lets be honest, there should have been at least some change in that time if CO2 had been the limited/controlling factor.

Anyone brave enough to try and explain this?


PS - I've now reduced the light to 1x54w, if nothing else I should be able to have a low light tank, crikey I've spent enough, I want something planted!
My first guess....What lighting did you have over it whilst you were chucking in CO2? If you don't have enough light then theres no point in chucking CO2 in....
Hi Dan, you're the first to try? :lol:

I had 2x54w T5's - 1x54w osram lumilux skylight 880, 1x54w sylania growlux on for 6hrs (I have in the past run 3x54w but nothing could cope with that so have been running it 2x54w for the past few months)


EDIT - sorry if this thread sounds like Im angry or having a go at people I promise Im not :) I've just got to the point of laughing at myself! :lol:
How about deodrant or other personal hygene products that you may use that can get in the tank on hands, arms or if a deep tank armpits :lol: Air freshners around the house can cause problems.

What about the tank and equipment mate? Is it a new tank or second hand? Is it possible theres something leeching from the silicone from some previous meds used in the tank/equipment?
Did you do anything with the akadama before putting it in the tank, ie, pre-treating, rinsing, etc?

Thanks LD, the water supply is the only thing that has been consistent throughout this whole thing (several years), even with my nano. Literally everything else has changed on more than one occasion.

I did raise it in another thread, but was assured by Clive that it probably wasn't the issue (viewtopic.php?f=51&t=5106&start=10#p60642).

Not to distrust him, but I think I'm gonna switch to 100% rainwater with reminerlization, just to discount it completely. At least that way I will know.

Certainly the plants seemed to got worse when I upped the amount of tap water I was mixing with the RO.

Thanks again

JamesC said:
Did you do anything with the akadama before putting it in the tank, ie, pre-treating, rinsing, etc?


Hi James, yes I pre-soaked it in tap water with added PO4, NO3 and trace. However I didn't do this with the akadama I used in my nano, which would suggest its not the issue. I remember you also mentioned that akadama doesn't absorbed some of these things anyway due to cations/anions (I can never remember!)?


PS - would it be better to use 100% RO? Just to rule out it being something the water picks up for the atmosphere?
mmmm, did you give it a rinse afterwards? It's best to use calcium and magnesium sulphates really if you wish to prevent the initial KH dropping problems. You added loads of potassium which may or may not be a problem, I don't know. Also how much in the way of trace did you add? May be some poisoning going on if it was a lot. Not saying that this is the problem, but can't think of what else it could be, especially if you didn't treat your nano and you have no probs there.

I genuinely think it's akadama that's the issue, it really does seem like you have all the other bases covered. Long ago I remember Dan had a tank with Akadama and his plants suffered similarly to the point where it wasn't until everything was stripped cleaned and planted heavily again with fresh substrate that anything took off.
To be honest I dont remember as I'm pretty sure I wasn't overly accurate with the fert addition to the water it soaked in (a bit of this and a bit of that was my general thinking!).

I think you've hit the nail on the head really as to why this is so perplexing. I've run two tanks, both completely separate (apart fromt he fact that I was looking after them!?!?!), even down to the stock fert solutions I made up to dose them with (I made up separate bottles for each tank), I've used different substrates (EC, tropica below quarts gravel, akadama), different lighting (i.e. different tube types), different filters, everything has been changed at least once, but yet the effect on the plants has always been the same.

I did manage to get the HC to grow almost perfectly (some leaves were still very small and it was never a lush as it should have been) in the nano but a rescape ended that short run of success.

Hummmm, just so confusing. Even if I wasn't doing EI right, or the lighting was off, the plants would at least grow, right?

Thanks so much for your help everyone, one day I'll stop asking the same 'why dont my plants grow right' questions, I promise!

It's not the Akadama itself that could be the issue, but what is done to it. In the far east it is widely used and even Amano used it for years until he developed AS. I've had it a while now and growth is great.

This is baffling to the core, Sam. Do you remember Arana's tank? He said he's had similar issues with his tank because of house plumbing till he got the boilers and storage tanks changed over to newer ones, he put the problem down to lead and copper oxides in his water coming from the tanks and pipes and build up of general filth. Is this at all possible in your case?
I would be surprised if it was the Akadama, as I did managed to get the HC to grow in it in my nano eventually.

However, as you suggest James it might be something I did with it. As its not overly expensive, I could easily replace it (that tank could do with a re-scape anyway) with un-soaked akadama?

How does that sound?

Now you mention it, yes I do Gareth. I'm not overly keep on replacing my water system yet, but I will def remember it encase everything else fails.

Thanks Guys.


PS - I have definitely learn that I should be more careful about logging what I do to my tanks as I think I'm starting to get confused as to what I have and haven't done in each tank, which really doesn't help the situation.