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cloudy water issue

This is a discussion on cloudy water issue within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> You may of already answered this, but did you buy those in tubes? If so I believe that is normal, the old leaves that ...

Old 12-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #21
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You may of already answered this, but did you buy those in tubes? If so I believe that is normal, the old leaves that were grown in emerged form will die off and new submerged leaves will grow in, I would leave them until they fully start to brown out then snip them off and see how the new leaves look as they come in.
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ADaleR1 (12-03-2011)
Old 12-03-2011, 03:05 PM   #22
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Reading through this thread, there are some issues that mostly have been mentioned, so some of my comment will repeat.

I agree with the member who recommended not using the API tabs. If you have a Flourite substrate, tabs of any sort are completely un-necessary anyway, but API's have been known to cause a mess.

The Flourish line of nutrients will work, as has been mentioned, though down the road if you retain a high-tech system (adding CO2 and your very bright light) it would be better to go with dry ferts. But not now, as there are some issues here that should be resolved before messing further with the chemistry and biology.

The advice about emersed leaves on swords yellowing and new growth being the submersed form is correct. But I am also seeing evidence of an excess of iron. This is another reason I recommend not changing ferts yet.

But I would also take a step back. Assuming there are discus in this tank [is this correct?], I myself would not use CO2 diffusion, nor such bright light with so light-sensitive a fish [as are the cardinals by the way]. If the numbers posted for your tap water are correct, it is fine. And on those, is the GH actually 17.9 ppm? This is only 1 dGH, which is what I have in my tap water. The KH is higher at 10 dKH, but that can easily be solved by boiling out the bicarbonates. This would not affect the GH which RO water will, and you do need more GH if anything. This is one of the issues with the swords.

So my suggestion would be to stop the CO2, stop all the ferts going in, do major water changes to clear things up. Use a good water conditioner, nothing else except Flourish Comprehensive once a week. Test the GH, KH, pH. A stabilizer such as Seachem's Equilibrium wold be best to add some GH. We can discuss these lines further if you like.

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ADaleR1 (12-03-2011)
Old 12-03-2011, 04:15 PM   #23
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Thanks guys, this is a great help. Yes, the plants did come from tubes, glad to know the fall off of the old leaves is normal!

Byron, no discus, just a few Bosemani and a dozen cardinals. I realize the cardinals don't like bright light, but when I used some type of online aquarium light calculator I found it didn't list my setup as bright light due to the height of my tank (28") and the lights are mounted another 8" or more above that. I also tried to make plenty of shaded area with rock and leaning driftwood, and was hoping a good growth of tall swords would provide more. I know on my old standard dimensional tank I had canned MH lights for a bright light setup and this tank doesn't seem nearly so bright as that. I have a 30" quad T5 using 2 10K bulbs and 2 Actinic bulbs. Would you consider that high output? I could take out one of the 10K bulbs if necessary. Why do you suggest stopping the CO2? Also I haven't used any other ferts besides Flourish Comprehensive (and only used that 1x a week for the past 2 weeks), I just ordered all the other ferts because I thought I needed them. Would the excess iron be a result of the root tabs + the fluorite substrate?

For testing of the GH I'm using API's KH and GH test kit. Granted the GH is really tough to measure with the color shades, but by the 2nd drop to the 5ml tube the color was definitely green and not orange, putting me at the bottom of the scale. That's why I was originally using Kent's R/O Right to add minerals back into the water. Given the parameters of my test water would you suggest mixing tap and R/O to maintain the lower pH I want, or do you recommend another method to lower pH? I'll look up more info on the boiling out the KH, never heard that before.

It's been several years since I've been in the hobby and there is no good local shop within a couple hours of me at my new base, so I appreciate all the knowledge you guys are passing on to get me back up to speed.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:26 PM   #24
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After reading your 4 pinned threads it sounds like I need to do the following:
1. remove air pump from aquarium, don't use bubble wall for ox or underground filter
2. probably remove one of the 10k T5 HO daylight bulbs from my fixture.
3. set a timer so there is 10 hours darkness (do the 2 blue led 'moonlights' count?), blue lights on for 2 hours, then daylight bulb also comes on for 10 hours, then blue lights remain on for 2 more hours to achieve the following: 10 dark, 12 blue, 10 daylight.
4. possibly remove the CO2?
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:27 PM   #25
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My thinking on the CO2 was that it will obviously affect the water chemistry and as a means of getting things stable, it might be best not to have it. Which would mean fewer nutrients. And less light to balance. This would allow the biological state to settle down and then one can build up as needed.

Your GH is low and we don't want to lower it further which adding any form of RO or pure water will do. The KH being higher is interesting, I've forgotten now how that occurs, but it doesn't matter; reducing it a bit can be done by boiling the tap water which boils out bicarbonates but will not touch calcium and magnesium which are the primary hardness minerals. Once the KH is less, the pH will tend to lower more. This is safer on fish and less costly, than using preparations.

The iron issue is due to the lack of calcium. As Diana Walstad explains it, cell membranes have a phospholipid bilayer that is stabilized by calcium. When calcium is not available sufficient for this function, the plant takes up iron to displace the desired calcium, and this cause metal toxicity since iron is a very toxic heavy metal. It is also a micro-nutrient of course. It will be present in the substrate, it is in the Flourish Comprehensive, it might be in the tap water in trace amounts, and in the API tabs. All else being equal, plants can take up heavy metals which is one way they help purifying the water, but with a lack of calcium, the plant suffers. I have the same issue with my larger swords. My solution has been to add dolomite or aragonite to the filter, just a couple tablespoons, to increase the calcium and magnesium. Crushed coral also adds calcium. It doesn't take very much of any of these, and the pH will rise as well, so it would be best to get the KH down first.

The light has some issues. Actinic light is not the best for plants. While most will manage under it, some clearly do not do well. The other 10,000K tubes are also high in blue, so there is a real shortage of red, and while aquatic plants need blue and red to photosynthesize, the weight in on the side of red as the most important of the two, esp if you have red-leaf plants. Full spectrum (sort of enhanced daylight) tubes, at least two of them, would improve things for the plants.

On the CO2 issue, this is up to you. I obviously prefer the natural or low-tech approach, but that is only one approach. I have never bothered with CO2 because I can achieve what I basically want without it, so that means one less thing to cause issues. It also means I can have much less light, which I believe is better for all forest fish. Plus, i can use fewer nutrients to balance. There are some plants that I cannot keep for more than a few weeks, because my light isn't sufficient. I just don't bother with them once I try and they fail. I stay with what works. If you haven't yet, you might want to take a look at my tank photos under "Aquariums" below my name on the left.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:55 PM   #26
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Much better

Over the two weeks I did two 50% changes, and just completed my weekly 20% change. All better! Just need to focus on getting the plant parameters correct. The tiger lotus has gone crazy, trimmed up a couple of the runners.

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