Amazon Swords with brown spots on them, and Vals with hair??? on them - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 40 Old 11-29-2012, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Crushed coral is calcareous, which yes does add minerals (mainly just calcium) ... but it also raises KH and pH something you do not usually want in a soft water tank.

Targetting Iron or Potassium may be needed, but is something you have to be careful about. Iron specifically is toxic in too high a concentration.

Equilibirum, as we've mentioned before, contains all the minerals needed. It also has Iron in it.

Soluble Potassium (K20) 23.0%
Calcium (Ca) 8.06%
Magnesium (Mg) 2.41%
Soluble Iron (Fe) 0.11%
Soluble Manganese (Mn) 0.06%
Alright sounds perfect. I will just get that then. Just wanted to make sure before I purchased anything.

125Gal: 7 Silver Dollars, 1 Albino BN Plecos, 1 Green Terror, 1 Gold Severum, Red Severum, 8 Rio Cahals, and 2 Festivum

55Gal: 3 German Blue Rams, 2 Bolivian Rams, 1 Super Red Pleco, 9 Bloodfin Tetras, and 9 Oto Catfish

29Gal: Quarentine/Hospital Tank

20Gal: Female Pastel Ball Python
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post #22 of 40 Old 11-29-2012, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I just went ahead and purchased the equilibrium from Big Al's, 600g worth! I'll let you know how everything works when I start dosing. Also going to be adding some more Manzanita branches in there. Already have a couple. Such a cool accent to any aquarium!

125Gal: 7 Silver Dollars, 1 Albino BN Plecos, 1 Green Terror, 1 Gold Severum, Red Severum, 8 Rio Cahals, and 2 Festivum

55Gal: 3 German Blue Rams, 2 Bolivian Rams, 1 Super Red Pleco, 9 Bloodfin Tetras, and 9 Oto Catfish

29Gal: Quarentine/Hospital Tank

20Gal: Female Pastel Ball Python
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post #23 of 40 Old 11-29-2012, 05:36 PM
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I see nothing in those earlier photos to remotely suggest iron deficiency, nor potassium. And with the GH as low as it is here, I can guarantee that adding iron will kill these plants.

You need calcium and magnesium. Crushed coral adds calcium only. I have gone down this road, with coral, aragonite and dolomite. Aragonite and dolomite have both calcium and magnesium. But the problem here is their "side effects."

All of the afore-mentioned substances will raise the pH very high and fast, much more than they will add sufficient calcium. Equilibrium does not do this, because it is simply adding the salts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium [here's your extra potassium anyway] derived from calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate and potassium sulfate. This is highly beneficial to plants in the sulfates.

Example from my own tests over several months: Starting out with a GH and KH of 9 ppm (about half of one degree) and a pH around 6, adding just half a cup of crushed coral/aragonite gravel in the filter raised the GH by about 1 degree, but the pH shot up to 7.6 or 7.8 which was useless to plants but stressful on fish. With Equilibrium I got the GH up to 5 or 6 dGH and the pH is at 6.4 to 6.8 which is fine for the fish and ideal for the plants.

In order to get significant benefit from additional calcium/magnesium, the coral/aragonite/dolomite have to be in something like the substrate. This works for rift lake cichlids or livebearers where you need higher GH and pH. But not with soft water fish. And not all plants adjust to this anyway.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #24 of 40 Old 11-29-2012, 05:41 PM
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Well, I just went ahead and purchased the equilibrium from Big Al's, 600g worth! I'll let you know how everything works when I start dosing. Also going to be adding some more Manzanita branches in there. Already have a couple. Such a cool accent to any aquarium!
The calculation on the label is quite accurate. One level tablespoon of E will raise GH by about 3 dGH in 20g. So work out the tank volume (remember to substract for substrate, wood, rock, etc) and add sufficient to raise the GH to 4 dGH. Test the GH prior to the next water change. That's where the experimenting and calculations come, working out just how much will keep the GH at 4 or 5 dGH with water changes.

You don't want to go overboard because increasing GH will increase TDS (total dissolved solids) and these affect fish.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #25 of 40 Old 11-29-2012, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Whats a good GH test kit? I have only come across the strips for GH testing.
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post #26 of 40 Old 11-30-2012, 07:44 AM
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Whats a good GH test kit? I have only come across the strips for GH testing.
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I use the API one, it's a liquid kit like their others. Works a bit different though.

You add drops until a color change happens. The number of drops = dGH.

It also comes with the KH test, but I don't use that one (works the same was as GH, but I don't change the KH so not needed).

It's pretty hard to see the color change when it happens after 1 or 2 drops, because there is so little solution in the water, but after the second drop it becomes much easier (so when you're at 3 or more dGH).
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post #27 of 40 Old 12-01-2012, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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The calculation on the label is quite accurate. One level tablespoon of E will raise GH by about 3 dGH in 20g. So work out the tank volume (remember to substract for substrate, wood, rock, etc) and add sufficient to raise the GH to 4 dGH. Test the GH prior to the next water change. That's where the experimenting and calculations come, working out just how much will keep the GH at 4 or 5 dGH with water changes.

You don't want to go overboard because increasing GH will increase TDS (total dissolved solids) and these affect fish.
Horrible at math, I become really dumb when I see it, so calculating the volume of the wood, rocks and substrate will be tough.

I just received the Equilibrium today! But also noticed the vals in the tank were completely wilted and lying on the substrate. I pulled them out, because I figured they were done for. Now my lutea is forming those brown spots. I am going to do one more large cleanup on the tank, because it honestly looks like a mess in there, and I still need to do one last water change before I introduce the fish back in there. While I am doing this, I will reorganize it, this will be my last time, because I do not want to aggravate everything and keep moving them around.
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post #28 of 40 Old 12-02-2012, 12:31 PM
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Horrible at math, I become really dumb when I see it, so calculating the volume of the wood, rocks and substrate will be tough.

I just received the Equilibrium today! But also noticed the vals in the tank were completely wilted and lying on the substrate. I pulled them out, because I figured they were done for. Now my lutea is forming those brown spots. I am going to do one more large cleanup on the tank, because it honestly looks like a mess in there, and I still need to do one last water change before I introduce the fish back in there. While I am doing this, I will reorganize it, this will be my last time, because I do not want to aggravate everything and keep moving them around.
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I may not have picked up on this previously, sorry for that, but Vallisneria will not do well (and likely won't survive) in your soft water, even with the Equilibrium. This is a hard water plant, it uses bicarbonates as a high source of carbon, unlike soft water plants which rely more on CO2. Vallisneria grows naturally in the rift lakes for example, an indication of how hard the water can be for this plant.

The Equilibrium will get the other plants growing; just forget Vallisneria.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #29 of 40 Old 12-02-2012, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah they are all coming out.
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post #30 of 40 Old 12-02-2012, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Also, should I just get rid of the swords that are damaged or should I just take the dead leaves off?
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