What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Something Fishy, 28 Mar 2018.

  1. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    Hi guys

    Having a bit of a mare.

    I have upped to a 2 bps injection of CO2 and keep doing heaving water changing, using ferts daily too and keep lifting for 5 hours 14w in a 22l tiny tank. Had huge algae issues with leave for months but never with co2 and now drop checkers not changing at all and plant leaves don’t seem to be improving. Thanks.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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  2. Konsa

    Konsa Member

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    Hi
    14w is overkill for the size of the tank.U have too much light cooking the plants and not enough established plant mass to take it.
    I have small tank like yours (mine is low tech tho)with arcadia strech led 11w wich is not one of the very bright lights for the watts.. And had difficult start with it .Added floaters and a bucket of plants and serious cleaning crew till it balanced itself out .Try to lift the light higher if U dont have option to dim it.
    Will U please post a full tank shot.
    Regards Konsa
     
  3. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    Thanks Konsa will do mate.

    Hard one for me as the tank originally was doing really well and the plants have been growing under these lights, But it’s almost like the edges and patches of brown dust on the leaves.

    I can dim the light yeah - you recon have it on about half or? 7w or so. I have MC carpeting too on the floor which is doing not so bad.

    Puzzled too why thas drop checker isn’t changing colour :/

    Thanks


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  4. Konsa

    Konsa Member

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    Hi
    Its all trial and observations.U can drop light a third down as a start and reduce more if needed.U want sth fast growing in there too.
    Dont worry about MC it doesn't need that much light anyway.About drop checker try to inspect for leaks of the Co2 system and change the solution U are using.For that size tank it should not be difficult to get the CO2 right.
    Regards Konsa
     
  5. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    Do you have hard water? (I know Torbay does). If you do? It might be worth trying a different chelator for iron (Fe), and or some magnesium addition (if you ferts. don't include it).

    cheers Darrel
     
  6. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    Good point mate. I think we have fairly soft here don’t we? I have a tester at home I think so could tell you?

    Could that affect co2? I’ve never had a problem with it before :/

    Thanks


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  7. Edvet

    Edvet Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hardness doesn't effect CO2 solvability ( only the resulting pH changes)
     
  8. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    I presumed as much, so shouldn’t be related? I’m baffled why I’m not getting any changes in drop checker, bought new solutions too.


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  9. Edvet

    Edvet Global Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have 4KH water in the DC and it doesn't change color you 1) need to improve flow and distribution in the tank or 2) improve amount of CO2
    A pH profile with an electronic device ( pen or meter) will give some more info
     
  10. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    I’ll try another dropper tonight with a new mix in there as it could be a premixed solution that was cheap not working. 2bps is super high though right for a 22l tank? I have a med sized canister on it blasted the return into the diffuser.

    I’ve used this setup before and would expect at least a bit of shift of colour :/

    Thanks


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  11. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    Not directly.
    You should be able to get details from your water providers web site, via your postcode for your tap water. I thought the rocks might be limestone? a conductivity value for the tank would be useful, or the dKH.

    It looks like plant growth has stalled, as you are using EI, and adding CO2, it is likely to be a deficiency of a micro-element. Plants need differing amounts of all the <"17 elements essential for plant growth">, but they have a requirement for all of them, and the amount of one of them will, nearly always, be limiting. If it is <"severely limiting">, you don't get any growth

    This is why I use a floating plant for the duckweed index because it takes light (PAR) and CO2 out of the equation. Using EI removes the macro-elements (N, P & K) from the equation.

    Trying to pick micro-element deficiencies is a mug's game, but in hard water the most likely one is iron (Fe) mainly because it forms a lot of insoluble compounds (iron oxides, hydroxides, carbonates, phosphates etc.) and we have to chelate it to keep it available. The most commonly used chelators are ferric gluconate (Seachem Iron) and FeEDTA, neither of which works very well at pH values above pH7.

    Magnesium deficiencies can occur in either hard or soft water, but are easily rectified by adding "Epsom Salts" in either case. If you have very, very soft water then calcium deficiency is possible, but unlikely in any other case.

    cheers Darrel
     
  12. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    Great info thanks Darrel.

    Maybe I’ll look at buying some Evo Aqua full ferts then and see if they help things. Maybe Amazonia had enough beige but now it’s running low? Growth was ace when I set it all up first :/

    The bit that’s messing with my head the most is why the CO2 isn’t dissolving. Thinking about it I even had a Dennerle pump mixer with it in and it still wasn’t changing the drop checker back then!

    Cheers




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  13. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    Full tank shots :) lights have been dimmed to around half power (4 clicks out of 7) so I guess 14w light is now on about 8-9w. co2 on for ages and still no change to drop checkers. Added a third now with new mixed solution in. [​IMG][​IMG]

    You can see the return pipe blasting the diffuser.

    I’m dosing excel and tropica plant growth alternating daily.

    Also shot the water test with 17ppm being 1grain? So 48 would be just short of 3 grain.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]yot[​IMG]


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  14. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    You can't say exactly which salts (ions) are contributing to the ppm TDS, but in the tap water (I assume it was your tap water, because of the temperature) they are likely to be mainly Ca++ and HCO3-.

    17 ppm CaCO3 is 1dKH, so even if it was all CaCO3, that is under 3 dGH/KH.

    TDS meters really measure conductivity and 48ppm TDS is about 70 microS, so pretty soft water. What does the tank water read? I think the Tropica fertiliser contains all the essential nutrients, but probably not a lot of them.

    cheers Darrel
     
  15. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Last time I was checking specialised out I think it was quite low in nitrates if using EI as a comparison.
     
  16. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    Fair enough yeah, I’ll try a more comprehensive one like Evo Aqua that George raves about - could that really be the problem then here?

    Still unsure about the co2 my only current conclusion is that the extinguisher I am using has somehow taken in air as it was basically empty so I’m not actually injecting co2. Otherwise I cannot make any sense why their would be no CO2 in the water accordingly to the drop checkers.

    Is that browning and spotting on the leaves a sign of something as I’ve not really seen it quite right browsing on here!


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  17. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

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    Hiya mate, it wouldn't take very long for any trapped air to get out of the system. We're probably talking a matter of hours here. You need to reset the tank and lowering the light is a step in the right direction to take the pressure off. Firstly I would check your connections on the co2 setup with soapy water and make sure there are no leaks. That being good get the drop checker with a fresh mix in and get it lower down near the substrate maybe a couple of inch up. Bubble rate means nothing, its just a good visual indicator of whether you turning it up or down has done much. Then start cranking up on the needle valve gradually over the next few days while you're about to observe until you get good colour when lights come on. forget the bubble rate, it is what it is , if you need 5 bps then that's where you need to be.

    I would also trim off all the browning leaves, let them go and concentrate on new growth, the plants are wasting energy trying to repair them and the dying leaves are adding algae fuel into the water column. Ditching these leaves will also leave more goodies ferts/co2 for the survivors. If you want to use up your trop spec then increase the dose beyond what it says on the bottle maybe even 2x or 3x, I can't find the post now but last time I dug into it it is very weak in macros. Maybe even go down the route of the EA stuff or purchase some salts. Also, as Darrel said make sure you add some magnesium sulphate in the way of epsom salt. Very rare your tapwater or ferts have any in or in the ferts in trace amounts.

    Keep this up for a month or so and if it improves look at maybe turning the light up another click...if you want that is.
     
  18. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    Thanks mate all sound advice.

    I think the crypto may need to come out as healthy leaves on it arn’t really happening. It’s not grown any in months :/

    Are these a good shout over the EA comprehensive as they seem much better value http://www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk/fertilisers/dry-chemicals/starter-kits/ei-starter-kit.html

    Co2 still confusing as the bps before was 1 you see so 2 should be ample, plus I know it’s going in as diffuser is letting loads out which is being well mixed. I have 3 drop checkers now...

    My obvious answer is I’m injecting waste air and not co2... I might pick up another canister and try that too.

    Will keep lighting the same and look at the EI dry I think as next steps. Need to nail this as I have new tanks to setup I have sumps to add too to this nano and the TMC signature!


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  19. foxfish

    foxfish Member

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    You could test the PH to see if it drops when the gas is on.
     
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  20. Something Fishy

    Something Fishy Member

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    Was thinking the same fox actually, good shout.


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