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Explain this...

His tank really was lovely wasn't it. No surprise he was the highest placed UK entrant in ADA!
Good luck, Sam. I'm sure it'll all work out okay, Is there anyway you and James can conspire to get a water sample tested for any possible pathogens?
Themuleous said:
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?

I'm now thinking it's probably best not to pre-treat the Akadama and just do plenty of water changes for the first few weeks. Give it a good rinse first is best IMHO to get rid of all the dust.

Themuleous said:
Will do matey :) thanks again, out of interest, what are the water changes for?

To keep KH more stable. Otherwise it will drop to zero. If you don't have any fish in there then no worries.

2kg CO2 in 2 weeks sounds a lot to me even in a 4footer for the Otos to survive at all!!! which makes me smell a rat somewhere.

What I mean is thta if 2kg did go into a tank with top circulation and flow then I would expect the DC to be permanently yellow. By that I mean it would go further put it would have reached the limit of the bromo blue!!!

The Otos surviving would say to me that there is something amiss with the CO2 here. maybe a small leak somewhere or something not working very well diffusion/flow wise.

I see Dan said that without light there's no point chucking CO2 in ;) I think George, Ceg and I would disagree. low light tank with no CO2 is not a problem and can mean no algae.

I would rephrase what we think of. Think of light being the driver still but then think of CO2 as the turbo. same engine, same driver press the button and zoom........

I think its a cO2 issue anyways.

The DC was permanently yellow!!! :lol: And it was def a 2kg FE in 2 weeks, as I changed it over to a new one to ensure it would give a constant rate. The Otos were only in the tank overnight at the very high CO2 levels, I managed to get them out the next day. I guarantee the CO2 has been going in there, the pH of the tank is 5!

I really dont see how it could be a CO2 issue? I was overdosing excel as well!

I know people are often convinced that any tank that is not growing plants [/i]must have a CO2 issue, but I think that also means people get blinded into thinking there can't be any other issues with a tank. For me by isolating the CO2 (as Tom would advocate) over the last few weeks has clearly shown that its not always the case and certainly that CO2 was not the determining factor in this instance. Tom I believe doesn't say that 100% of issues are CO2 related, mostly the vast majority.

Either way the DC has been yellow for months now (I also changed the solution several times to make sure) with no positive effect on the plants.

I won't bang on but I wouldn't expect Otos to survive more than a couple of hours in highly toxic levels of CO2. Are you sure the CO2 has driven the Ph down that far? I though I read somewhere CO2 wouldn't take it down past a certain level (5.6 or something like that)

It is a lot of CO2 though. I was thinking more of a slight leak somewhere. I drive mine into yellow albeit a smaller tank and 600g lasts me for 2-3 months!!!

I'll check the set up with soapy water when I get home, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't a leak, but if there is I'll happy retract this :)

Either way, even if the Co2 wasn't that high (say even at 40ppm) that together with the excel should have been enough for the plants?

Just checked, no leaks :)

James - The pre-soaked akadama, I only used normal ferts and trace mixed in tap water, could the akadama really have adsorbed sufficient PO4 for it to be harmful to the plant roots?

Also, the HC and plants (twice in fact) grow well in the tank for a week or so then reverted back to this 'degraded' state?

Try this: filtration cleaning, upping that etc, consider Activated carbon, purigen etc, also, start with some decent healthy plants.

Get a bunch and add them.
You have nothing left from the looks of it except a few stunted tips left.

You need a certain amount of healthy starting biomass.
Otherwise bacteria and cycling will not get going well.

So try that, filter, Carbon, and add fresh plants.

Tom Barr
Tom, are you referring to adding carbon into the filter? Or removal of?

Just to clarify, i always thought carbon was advisable to remove, as i've been led to believe.
He says purigen, which is essentially carbon it just doesn't remove ferts.
Yeh the HC isn't in a great shape I'll admit, but the other plants are 'ok' but still have the same growth i.e. leaves die off every quickly. I did add a few new plants (hairgrass, lilaeopsis and P helferi) a week ago, after I gave the whole tank a good clean, including the filter and powerhead. No real growth from the plants but they will be adjusting still I would assume, so will leave them for another week. I've decided to completely strip the whole tank down and re-scape with all new substrate, etc anyway over the Easter weekend. Worth a try.

I assume the carbon is to remove potential toxins?

Hi Sam,
sorry to see you arent having any luck,
What i would do is buy loads of new,easy fast growers,plant 95% of the substrate,and then follow Toms recomendations,

i would start with 2 54w tubes for 6 hrs with a burst at mid point with all four tubes for an hour,so you could run,

2 tubes 2.5hrs, 4 tubes 1 hr,2 tubes 2.5 hrs. and dont add any live stock,and run co2 at 5bps for as long as necessary.

regards john.