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the beaslbob build

This is a discussion on the beaslbob build within the Advanced Freshwater Discussion forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> i guess i am :) yay...

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Old 02-07-2014, 12:59 PM   #81
 
i guess i am :) yay
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:26 PM   #82
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallyx View Post
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.

Pretty close.

Plants also use nitrates for nitrogen but do prefer ammonia if available.

The consuming co2 and releasing o2 vastly overides the nightly consumption of O2 and release of CO2. So the lowest planted pH is still much higher then the highest non planted pH.

And they do die and rot so you do have a minor h+ release just like all living things. Again totally overridden by the plant growth.

I saw one article on alk where plants (and anaerobic bacteria) actually return carbonate as they consume the resulting nitrates. Increasing kH. But that could be overridden by the plants consuming carbonate for carbon instead of co2 as in low co2 environments.

my .02
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:08 PM   #83
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
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.
The gypsum I use is food grade tho if you find industrial gypsum it would work as well provided there are no additives. Calling gypsum wall board/joint compound is a bit like calling potassium nitrate an explosive.

I add anywhere from 0-7 different things to my tanks after every water change and not one is a dechlor. What I add and when really itsn't dictated by anything except what I feel like and my ADD when I forget completely. They are all solids, so yes initially there is some clouding and yes TDS creases. TDS tho doesn't have a huge impact on clarity. Turbidity is usually suspended particles(not really dissolved) more then TDS. My tap TDS is ~120 and I can shoot that all the way up to 400 and there is no issue fish wise or with clarity.

Austin - that is correct on equilibrium. There will always be ammonium so the ammonia issue is non-existant. High enough pH and yes there will be less but it is still there and will always be. pH will become an issue before ammonia does in regard to plant life AFAIK. Caustic lakes are pretty much devoid of plants and fish for a reason. Plants are highly adaptive tho. Ammonia favoring equilibrium should be easily uptake into a cell if conc. is lower in it. There it could go to ammonium, ammonia to ammonium and vice versa happens very readily. But plants being highly adaptive have lots of special enzymes, active transporters, and other uptake methods amongst the many species. A number of plants can utilize nitrogen sources beyond ammonium and nitrate. Carnivorous plants are so specialized due to the lack of nitrogen in their environment along with other nutrients.

Agent - each to their own. My fish don't care. If you think yours do, then do whatever makes you and them happy. I have some wild caught fish, ones I have had since at least 09', I've been showering them with various additives for years.

I theres a thread somewhere on hear I made over a year ago(maybe two) of an 'el natural' filterless tank I did with heavy stocking. I may not agree with all of bobs methods but that has to do with technicalities more then anything, apart from perhaps water changes. I'm currently preparing to convert 3 more of my tanks over to soil this winter/spring. Also there is a difference between filtered, filter dependent, and unfiltered. I do almost always believe in circulation pumps at the least, you do not however need a filter. You can use a filter, doesn't mean the tank requires it. I have a 40g with ~46 fish give or take and when its filter starts making noise I unplug it. Usually thats due to water evap. and I'm lazy, might be a week before I actually do anything about it. Its basically a larger version of what my 15g once was.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:29 PM   #84
pop
 
Hello M__31:
I have never heard of food grade gypsum what is it and what is it used for? You raised my interest with this ‘A number of plants can utilize nitrogen sources beyond ammonium and nitrate. Carnivorous plants are so specialized due to the lack of nitrogen in their environment along with other nutrients’. Are these carnivore plants aqua plants or land plants or maybe a little of both?
Also when aquarium plants use nitrate do they first convert the nitrate back to nitrite then to ammonia? Just wondering.
pop

Last edited by SeaHorse; 02-09-2014 at 10:18 PM.. Reason: Please maintain reasonable font size.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:04 PM   #85
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
Hello M__31:
I have never heard of food grade gypsum what is it and what is it used for? You raised my interest with this ‘A number of plants can utilize nitrogen sources beyond ammonium and nitrate. Carnivorous plants are so specialized due to the lack of nitrogen in their environment along with other nutrients’. Are these carnivore plants aqua plants or land plants or maybe a little of both?
Also when aquarium plants use nitrate do they first convert the nitrate back to nitrite then to ammonia? Just wondering.
pop
This is the gypsum I currently use. You could go to menards and buy a bag of garden gypsum and that would be just as acceptable, its just a huge bag will last you a good more then a lifetime in the aquarium hobby. I add gypsum for plants, it is a calcium supplement. You could use calcium carbonate to the same effect, but like agent said it doesn't dissolve anywhere near as readily. I've dosed calcium carbonate to tanks before only to siphon out the powder 7 days later cuz its still sitting on the substrate and not dissolved. Its really no help when it isn't dissolved.

Both for carnivorous plants. I own one aquatic species, bladderwort, one of the few that can tolerate high nutrient levels. I use to keep sundews and fly traps for a few years but ran out of space and time for my terrestrial species. They have specialized enzymes as well as physical adaptations that allow them to catch and consume small organisms. However due to evolving in an environment that was very nutrient devoid many have no checks or limits for nutrient uptake, unlike most plants. If you plant them in miracle grow and its a death sentence. That high availability of nutrients will kill most of them. All nutrients have toxic levels inside plants. Most carnivorous plants never had a reason limit nutrient up take, so many can't. Wrong soil or if you feed them too much they will die from nutrient toxicity.

Plants convert nitrate back to ammonium/ammonia, which is why they prefer ammonium/ammonia. Using nitrates there is an energy loss involved to make that conversion back. They can still get plenty of energy from nitrates its just not as efficient. They can also take urea and break it down to ammonium/ammonia, bacteria can do the same. Unlike most animals, our fish produce ammonia and not urea but most amphibians do produce urea. Urea is the most common nitrogen fertilizer for terrestrial plants. As far as the aquarium goes its less toxic than ammonia, but still pretty toxic to fish and such. Besides ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, and urea. There is a class of 'nitrogen fixing' plants, mostly all terrestrial that I know of. That have symbiotic relationship with bacteria that lets them utilize N2 out of the atmosphere and use it as a nutrient. The key part of that tho is the bacteria take the N2 and convert it to ammonia/ammonium for the plant. In the end all sources of nitrogen at some point become ammonium/ammonia in regards to plants.

Last edited by SeaHorse; 02-09-2014 at 10:20 PM.. Reason: excessive font size.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:21 PM   #86
 
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Thanks Mik for bringing up gypsum . It's very little discussed in fish keeping. I guess in a way we were arguing apples and oranges ? As I'm not against gypsum as long as you are aware of exactly what you are doing. Far more easy to control then baking soda. Actually a substance I often forget is a good buffer.... Simply because in my years you may be the only 2nd person who has said they use it.


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Old 02-08-2014, 11:58 PM   #87
 
Its no harder or easier to control then baking soda. They are two different things with different effects. If you actually want stability calcium carbonate the last thing I would personally use. I added gypsum(calcium sulfate), baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to some of my tanks yesterday each of these has an effect on either gH or kH. All dissolve quite readily(5-10min) which is much slower then the other 4 EI fertilizers I add. You could use calcium nitrate or calcium chloride in place of gypsum. For planted people there are so many different things you can add for different reasons. It really comes down to what your goals are.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:45 AM   #88
pop
 
Hello M__31:
Thanks for the word on gypsum I was thinking of adding a chunk of sheetrock to the tank to see what happens. I had no idea that it is used in the fermenting process. One mistake avoided. So I can use gypsum to control biogenic decalcification from plants. For some unknown reason I am thinking how is carbon dioxide associated with all of this is bionic decalcification the result of the lack of co2 in the water?
You got me thinking since plants consume all available ammonia will plant supersede the establishment of the bio-filter, if this is the case will heterotrophic bacteria fill in the bio-filter gap replacing the autotrophic bacteria. Since the atmosphere consist mostly of inert nitrogen so will the water have a similar amount of inert nitrogen can nitrogen fixing heterotrophic bacteria generate enough ammonia to re-establish the autotrophic bacteria based bio-filter.
The reason I ask is I want to add live plants to my setup and I am wondering if it is best to establish autotrophic bacteria based bio-filter before adding plants.

pop
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:27 PM   #89
 
i really do wish people understood more of the nitrogen cycle
i really do wish people understood more of what plants did and didn't do concerning ammonia
i really do wish people understood the relationship between ammonia and ammonium.

reality is ...
if plants consumed all available ammonia we would have instant cycling by adding plants with zero nitrites & nitrates all the time that would never build up and bacterial cultures to handle these would never get established

please people, ... how hard is it ???

---

if you want nitrogen fixing bacteria, ... find, add, culture, etc. (whatever) get some cyanobacteria in your tank.

otherwise, skip this step, ensure you are doing the same stuff as a normal tank does all the time, ... things enter the tank, things decompose, things produce ammonia, and the nitrogen cycle starts.

adding nitrogen fixing bacteria to be concerned about ensuring your plants get enough N in their diet, means when you add a bio-load to your tank your going to have some serious issues if you don't have beyond a surplus of plants to keep up with the ammonia and rest of the nitrogen cycle.

this is an issue only if you recognize your plants are showing Nitrogen deficiency symptoms, ... please don't consider this if you don't know what nitrogen deficiencies look like.

only (repeating) ONLY consider this in an established tank with fish and the rest of the critters in there where your plants are showing nitrogen deficiencies.

---

yes this is an area i have considered in the past, and considering that i don't do things standard, i continue to keep it in mind...

but cyanobacteria is usually toxic, very hard to get rid of, and a major slim coat that can cover the bottom of your tank leaving you pulling your hair out with greater success than removing any cyanobacteria you may experience, ... those that have had it express often how they have a near impossible time getting rid of it.

... you know, just things to consider before you kill your tank and go bald
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:18 PM   #90
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pop View Post
Hello M__31:
Thanks for the word on gypsum I was thinking of adding a chunk of sheetrock to the tank to see what happens. I had no idea that it is used in the fermenting process. One mistake avoided. So I can use gypsum to control biogenic decalcification from plants. For some unknown reason I am thinking how is carbon dioxide associated with all of this is bionic decalcification the result of the lack of co2 in the water?
You got me thinking since plants consume all available ammonia will plant supersede the establishment of the bio-filter, if this is the case will heterotrophic bacteria fill in the bio-filter gap replacing the autotrophic bacteria. Since the atmosphere consist mostly of inert nitrogen so will the water have a similar amount of inert nitrogen can nitrogen fixing heterotrophic bacteria generate enough ammonia to re-establish the autotrophic bacteria based bio-filter.
The reason I ask is I want to add live plants to my setup and I am wondering if it is best to establish autotrophic bacteria based bio-filter before adding plants.
pop
Why would the water be lacking CO2? CO2 is always dissolving into the water as much as its equilibrium and solubility allow. Same goes for any other gas.

Plants will compete with a biofilter for ammonia. Any ammonia the biofilter processes to nitrate the plants can still uptake the nitrate and convert it back to ammonia for their own use. The degree to which they compete depends on the plant mass and how productive they are. A biofilter can still establish it may be to a lesser degree, depends on many variables.

Autotrophic bacteria being what exactly? If there were autotropic bacteria that could compete with our autotrophic plants and heterotrophic bacteria I'm sure they would be. Cyanobacteria like flear mentioned would in theory fix nitrogen, but again the reason it does this is because it is very adaptive in a low nitrogen environment. Likewise it gets out competed easily in environments that are not lacking nitrogen and other nutrients. You fill a bare tank, put a sponge filter in it. You could leave it forever uncycled and I've never heard of one start fixing N2 in any significant degree. Not sure why you would want to go to the trouble. A biofilter in theory is less efficient then plants. Plants sequester nitrogen within themselves completely removing it. Only in the event that they die would it be released. A biofilter simply takes a form we consider highly toxic and makes it less toxic. That nitrogen is still there tho and our aquarium 'cycles' are very much incomplete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flear View Post
i really do wish people understood more of the nitrogen cycle
i really do wish people understood more of what plants did and didn't do concerning ammonia
i really do wish people understood the relationship between ammonia and ammonium.
I really do wish you would pick up a textbook.
I really do wish you would read #75 and #83.

For those of us actually concerned with the availability of nitrogen and possibility of nitrogen deficiency(which can certainly happen) thats where potassium nitrate comes into play. A high bioload and a biofilter does not ensure your plants enough nitrogen, it simply make it harder to run out.
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