the beaslbob build - Page 8 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #71 of 189 Old 02-06-2014, 10:22 PM
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I am keeping it civil. However I do not recommend baking as the rise is not gradual . It's fast . That's a swing in itself. Not good for the fish. I too have to play chemist with my African tank and have achieved a consistent PH with the methods I recommend . Those methods don't require you to pay close attention to amount of water you change then dosing properly with each water change. We all ate prone to human error and that's just not a good recommendation if you want the safest choice. Sure , yes it most certainly will raise your KH therefor raising your PH.. But it's not a steady natural method. And once you go that route you are a dlave to it. I do respect your opinions .. Perhaps more then many here . But with my African tank I had to research water chemistry very closely to get a well rounded understanding .
Jess, I'm playing nice I swear . I firmly believe in what I'm saying and I can't recommend something that I feel has a high potential for failure .

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post #72 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 12:32 AM
kH does not directly raise pH it depends on a whole lot more then that. If anything it stabilizes pH, which can also flux considerably an easy 1.0 pH during a water change and fish won't die or get stressed. Mine usually does and that has nothing to do with anything i add or don't add depending how I feel. When I do add sodium bicarb or gypsum its powdered stuff. I take a spoon drop it in the tank. My fish swim all over and try to eat it and ect. If it really bothered all my GBR they wouldn't be doing it. Its a precise method that gives you X gH and Y kH if you so want it. Calcium carbonate can not do that. And your only a slave if you think 'consistent' really matters 3kH one week, 5kH the next week, 4kH.... honestly that's consistent enough for me. I will start being more consistent with my tanks when natures rivers do the same, till then the fish couldn't care(my plants honestly care more).

I could add the same gH and kH to two of my tanks. One I could tell you will stay around 7.8pH and the other 6.5pH. Oh and my tap water is 8.5-8.8pH. If you want a consistent pH on the latter tank you can forget about it.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #73 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 05:49 AM
Hello Mikaila31:
You are right it is always better when everyone not only speaks civil but respectful with consideration for each others views.
You speak of gypsum do you mean wall board or joint compound? What you say makes sense to me but would its use increase total dissolved solids in the water reducing clarity.

I believe that each and every individual has to develop their own processes for fish keeping. There is not a magic way that works for everyone. Fortunately here at tfk we are exposed to many different ways to keep fish and like a well stocked table we can choose and pick what is desired.
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post #74 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 08:40 AM
skipping ahead, ...

i have not read any references of plants consuming ammonia, all references i have heard mention ammonium

that there are no references about plants consuming ammonia only means there are no references, it has turned into common knowledge that plants consume ammonia, but i have also never heard a single mention by these people on the existence of what ammonium is, ... they are different, the plants consume one (ammonium) and there is no reference to the other in anything i have come across that recognized the existence of both.

after ammonium is nitrates,
plants can also directly consume nitrates
then the plants convert nitrates into nitrites and ultimately into ammonium where it makes use of it directly

often plants are seen to prefer lower pH levels, where more ammonia is converted into ammonium due to the natural pH present, ... far less direct ammonia, ... is this coincidence or a major issue that plants may not be able to really handle ammonia, and do indeed love ammonium, ... i dono, i can' find anything that talks about both and mentions the plants preferences concerning ammonia (not ammonium)


a high pH in the 8.4-8.8 range does not speak for CO2. pH levels of the ocean are likewise high, and they are finding the pH in the ocean is affected by having a greater CO2 level, greatly enough that the pH of the ocean has changed and is being lowered - and it's got a rather similar high pH.

a DSB (deep sand bed - not deep sea bed) also increases CO2 production in a tank as decomposition is allowed at greater levels with more CO2 produced.

a higher pH is nothing other than more disolved nutrients and solids in the tank that increase pH OH- ions. i'm no chemistry expert or even close, but this is a tendancy to have more metals and metal related compounds dissolved (i could be wrong, but without farther chemistry knowledge this is my current thinking) ...


as for CO2 & pH levels at night vs day, ... there's plenty of ways to ensure there is a constant gassing off of excess CO2, and introducing CO2 if otherwise deficient to mitigate this affecting pH at all regardless of day/night, any water filter that creates flow & turbulence with the surface will do this.
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post #75 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 08:57 AM
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Hmmm, well since ammonia and ammonium are in equilibrium, if the plants are consuming ammonium ion and removing it from the system, the equilibrium will shift toward ammonium ion (thus removing ammonia too), so indirectly they do decrease ammonia concentration, at least thats my guess based on my general chemistry classes.

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post #76 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 10:26 AM
Austin, yes, indirectly they do lower ammonia by removing ammonium, and homeostasis being what it is, ammonia will covnert to ammonium to be removed by the plants, ... provided ammonium levels are not drastically high (very low pH you have nothing to worry about.

if you do have drastically low ph and plenty of ammonium, ... that's just a dangerous mix.

beaslbob, ... curiosity, ... how different is your setup from the walstad method, ... to me it sounds very similar although you've said more than i've red of her book (i've red none, and still know more about her method over how yours is different from it.)

you can reinvent the wheel but ... while you think you've come across something amazing everyone else is looking at you from the cars they've been driving for years wondering what you're talking about and why you think it's so special.

to a lesser extent remineralized top soil, ... except your substrate base isn't remineralized, it has to be processed so the plants can get access to the nutrients.
humus, already remineralized, so that step is skipped

organics (humus) also preform some AEC action (retaining negative anions in the substrate)
you have no clay in your substrate, that would preform CEC (retain positive cations) so these are left to float into the water column

you have high pH, a sign of a possibly saturated water column with nutrients that your substrate cannot retain.

a high PH also removes some very important nutrients from the water column, boron, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, ... it limits others zinc, copper.

just removes these from forms that are usable by plants, ... in some cases it may be temporary (like nitrogen - our ammonia/ammonium relation), ... other times it's rather permanent (iron to rust - and you better hope you have a very acidic substrate, or you'll always have an iron deficiency, ... something i recall you mentioned you have to continuously supplement.

rust (which is accumulating in yours) is not good in a tank.

other nutrients in high pH will combine with other nutrients in the water column, move themselves into an insoluble state and both fall out (being unavailable to plants) i think it's calcium bonds with phosphorus, ... while calcium wants to dissolve into the water column, this will remove phosphorus from your plant availability.

listening to you in this thread and other threads you are good at pointing out that you know very little about what is going on in your tanks other than you are not changing water and your plants are healthy (enough) and your basing it on your "beaslbob method" that looks eirily similar to the walstad method, that she goes into enough detail to understand the sciences of what is going on in her tanks, ... something you are unable to provide us with, ... you are clear that you are going on visual observations as deciding from those alone what is going on in your method and deciding you have a 'good' method others should use.

i do know our tanks, and keeping them going, are very flexible, one person put forward a substrate mix he had that used (not exaggerating) a compost mix that included his dogs poop. and shrimp & plants thrived within days

our tanks are flexible, so flexible it's almost impossible to break them, ... yet you've got a pH high enough to ensure zero iron availability for your plants, ... you broke something in a near bullet-proof design and you're promoting it as good that everyone should try.

you've got a pH high enough in your tanks it's a wonder your fish are not stressed, ... but i haven't seen any pictures of your tank that show how vigorous and healthy your fish are, most freshwater fish i have seen like pH levels much lower than 8.0

6.0-7.0 are great, primarily as they're great for plants, (right nutrient availaibilty that years of evolution has decided is optimal due to nutrient availability) and plants that do a lot to make life possible for our fish prefer this pH range to grow it, ... and fish getting used to this level, again, due to years of evolution.

your pH is kinda scary high for most fish.

yet, once again, so long as things are stable we are seeing that things are, or can be a near bullet-proof design.

but how happy are your fish, how happy are your plants ?
you've got a theory, you're going on visual evidence and promoting a system that you are seeing is showing nutrient deficiencies.
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post #77 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 10:40 AM
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Interesting Mik.
I actually do have consistent values on all my tanks except my 16g. That one is a lower PH KH and GH tank. It does fluctuate a bit. But I don't care about the values on any tank other then my African tank which consistently high KH and PH are important . It stays at 8.0 PH and 14dKH.. Stays there. While those fish were in my QT tanks with a mildly fluctuating KH (and PH) they were stressed. They don't do well with incorrect water. Being mostly f1s I imagine they may be more sensitive to this . I do understand how baking soda effect PH. It most certainly does raise your PH mostly by way of your KH. I agree you can instantly get very exact values with this method ... What I do not like about it is how fast in changes your values . I know that isn't good for fish to unnaturally fluctuate that much in a contained environment . Sure, it changes and fluctuates in the wild. However those fish are in streams lakes and rivers . Not 20g, 55, or 125g tanks . The change from say .. A rain doesn't change the water as fast as we can(but shouldn't !) in out tanks. I also like to point out I prefer fish that are healthier then wild fish. . Fish in the wild do die from changing conditions stress and other stuff that we as fish keepers have much more control over. I understand your point ... I just don't agree it's the safest method. Also it does require you to pay a bit more attention to your tank then I prefer to recommend to any newbie.. Or really anyone who doesn't want to turn fishkeeping into a chore. But.. Just my opinion .

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post #78 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 10:51 AM
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My admittedly vague understanding goes something like this:

Plants use the nitrogen from ammonia, along with light, as energy to convert the C from CO2 into plant mass, releasing O2, thus raising pH.

They also release the H+ ions which combine with more NH3 to become NH4. Fewer free H+ mean lower pH.

Any of this close?

Hi Olympia. Glad you're on this one.
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post #79 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 11:16 AM

i've never seen any resources that mention a plants use (or not) of ammonia when they talk about ammonium, ...
when ammonia is talked about ammonium is not talked about
to me this suggests those resources that are talking about ammonia are considering them the same thing.

a plants internal pH is expected to be rather acidic, ensuring that inside the plant it's all ammonium.

and once more there is talk of one but not the other.

again, i have never in all my searching (aside from those long written research papers that (currently) i don't have the patience to read) i have never seen anyone talking about both, i have never heard any mention on a plants view of ammonia when ammonium is talked about.

in high pH systemsm, ... this could pose a question as there is an abundant quantity of pure ammonia in the water, (if there is any that has not gone through it's stages in the nitrogen cycle for our tanks), ... this does not answer a simple question, ... is ammonia toxic to plants ?

i have heard that plants can tolorate much higher levels than our fish ever could, ... but the question starts to wonder if ammonia is toxic to our plants.

we know ammonium is prefered for our plants, and plants survive in pH levels above 6.5, so they can tolorate ammonia, ... but none of that answers what is going on with ammonia as opposed to ammonium

a 6.5 (or lower) ph is almost all ammonium (practically zero ammonia)
a 9.5 is about 50/50 ammonia/ammonium
an 11 is 100% ammonia

even beaslbobs tank of 8.5 is still majority ammonium, ... even if total is negligible as plants are using ammonium and bacteria is converting ammonia

again, and i'm stressing this like a broken record

who knows anything about a plants use of ammonia that recognizes the reality and existence of a plants use of ammonium ?
i have yet to come across any resources on this (and lack the patience to read those detailed research reports)
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post #80 of 189 Old 02-07-2014, 11:44 AM
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I don't know how I missed this but I see you think bobs method is similar to the walstad method? I absolutely is not. Diane's method I can wrap my head around. Hers is a true method. She even uses filtration .. Her tanks are beautiful .. Bobs "method " is no more like the walstad method than nearly any tank that has plants. If he is using the wastad method(lol) then I suppose I am too.. Perhaps you are too , flear . For that matter haha.

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