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Reason oxygen bubbling plants (and for stopping)
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2012.03.05(Mon)15:09    Post subject: Reason oxygen bubbling plants (and for stopping) Reply with quote

I've been playing around with my RIO 180 (60watt T8 with CO2 setup) for quite a bit now trying to find the sweet spot for growing my plants. The primary reason for this was that I wanted to know for sure that my lighting was the bottleneck. This doesn't seem the case since there are times where the plants are doing extremely well.

For various reasons I've been having algae outbreaks after another. So far I've found all the sources but it takes quite a few weeks for the aquarium to recover, so I haven't really been able to make any conclusions.

The reasons for several algae outbreaks (just for the record) were:
1) Leaking Co2 bottle (so pH would be way up and Co2 way down from one day to the next when the bottle was empty after a few weeks)
2) Broken heating element (I check the temperature maybe once in a few days, so cold water for a few days doesn't really help the plants). This happened to me twice already Sad
3) The submerged wood began to rot / get soft on the outside presumably leaking phosphates into the water.

So that's a little history Wink Now for a solid question:

For the purpose of seeing how well I can make the plants grow and keep the water clear (and the aforementioned test to see if my lights are bottle-necking my tank for becoming a decent algae free zone) I've been doing a little bit more maintenance then usual (every week mostly on Sunday), namely:

1) Dose 15ml of Easy Life Profito each after cleaning
2) Dose 1 sometimes 2 caps of easy life liquid filter
3) Vacuum the gravel quite thoroughly (jiggling the top layer of gravel a little bit to get the top most layer of dirt). Cleaned about 1/4 tank (45liter) worth of water this way (most of it very brown and smelly water)
4) plant pruning when necessary

I've noticed that right after the cleaning / refilling with 45liter fresh water / dosing nutrients and Easy Life liquid filter - Plants start to go into overdrive mode. Producing enough bubbles to justifiably call the tank a soda-drink.

To me this shows the plants are loving their newly cleaned and updated habitat.

Now it's one day later and I notice the plants are producing almost no bubbles at all anymore. It seems the plants are requiring a lot less co2 as well as there is a lot less reserve in the internal reactor (plastic container with pump).

I've tried dosing nitrates before when this happened and that didn't do the trick. dosing phosphates or iron didn't help either.

So I'm really wondering what the plants are missing today that they seemed to have yesterday.

Here's a link (http://youtu.be/RUKlXDLlZVU) to how the tank looks now (~10:00pm, lights are going out in about 10 minutes). There's still a bit of hair algae left from the last outbreak (thermostat died last week).

The plants on the left usually are very fast growers but as you can see its only been a few days since they had a chance to grow properly again. As for the amazon sword who's state is dismal compared to what it has been before. You can see the big plant on the right bubbling, bu that's about all that's left of the bubbling ALL the plants did yesterday.

So leaving with the question... why are the plants not bubbling anymore like they did yesterday (or presuming a little bit: what are the plants missing after just one day?)
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.03.05(Mon)16:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is your fertilization routine, and how much CO2 are you injecting?
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2012.03.06(Tue)11:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dose 15ml of Profito per week after each maintenance run

I have pressurized CO2 with a pH sensor. I reduce the pH from ~8 (we have a lot of lime in the water) to about 7.15. At night pH would go down as far as ~7.

Same plant is bubbling today as well by the way, the rest seems to be the same as well as in the video posted yesterday.
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2012.03.07(Wed)14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'l be... I just poured ~7ml of profito in the tank and its producing a bit more bubbling then it did before.

That seems like an insane amount of nutrient uptake for such a small aquarium!

Guess I'll have to measure nitrates/ iron this weekend to be sure what exactly they're missing. If I keep pouring in the complete mix I'm bound to have excess of something I suppose.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.03.08(Thu)23:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for not replying earlier - but you've figured out what I was thinking already anyway! Very Happy

Pearling (the bubbling) should occur in high light assuming that you have enough fertilizer and CO2 for the plants to metabolize that fast. If you're not getting pearling, then obviously one or the other is running out. In your case - ferts seems to be it.

You can test nitrate and iron, but if it's another element then it will tell you nothing. If you have a single fertilizer mix (admit I have not looked up what profito is) then just dose more of it. You can tell when there is enough if your plants keep pearling. Excess doesn't matter too much - it will be diluted in your water change assuming you do one. This is basically the idea behind the EI routine, dose a safe range and remove the excess with a weekly water change.
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2012.03.10(Sat)7:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well aside from the bubbling starting again I seem to have some more algae as well. So whatever was missing got replenished and something that wasn't missing got it's excess.

I'm doing the regular cleanup / water change / dosing today and will measure for iron and nitrates Wednesday if the pearling stops. I have no test for phosphates.

I am wondering though. How fast should plants react to their nutrients being available again? - Will plants start pearling again within minutes / hours / days after getting their correct "diet" again?
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.03.10(Sat)18:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hours longest, if you don't have pearling by half way through your photoperiod then something is probably lacking.

What type of algae is it? Might not be due to an excess of nutrients.
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BossEd
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Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Location: Hoogezand, Netherlands

PostPosted: 2012.03.11(Sun)8:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

The algae I've been having for the last few weeks is hair algae. And the most information I find about those is that it's a "good sign". Which obviously I would disagree with Wink

The algae that came after my extra dose of profitio (which indeed is a complete liquid fertilizer) was I believe was thread algae and a wee bit of staghorn. - Making me think that whatever exactly is in the liquid fertilizer was replenishing something that was gone, but also overdosed iron, would you agree?

Strange thing is pearling sometimes starts also at the earliest an hour or 2 before lights go out. Now I do have a lights out period between 12:00 and 14:00 mostly to conserve some money on the electrical bill. (I go for the full 12 hours straight in the weekend days when I'm actually at home to enjoy the aquarium.

Also a friend of mine has a larger aquarium, with a bit more light, but same water supply. And he claims he doesn't use fertilizer all that much, only a little bit of iron every other week or so. Which makes me think the food might be a factor as well.

Right now my main food is the horrible horrible flakes, (haven't found a suitable alternative). Alongside with fried red fly larvae.

Maybe the food is giving off a lot of phosphates? - since flakes are very prone to just scatter to the floor without being eaten.

edit: Just finished the maintenance, LOTS of water changed (30%) lots of hair algae removed as well. Haven't added any fertilizer yet but the plants are already producing bubbles
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