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PO4 went down to 0,7 now. No GSA so far. GDA still present. Will let it drop more to start protocol when GSA appears.

Increased Mg level by 5 ppm. No addition of Ca and switching to full RO upcoming weekend to start Mg protocol.

assuming 15 ppm of Mg. can be maintained I can add 7 ppm per week, with 50% waterchanges I can never get more than 14 ppm, even if there's no uptake.

That means that with Ca:Mg of 1:4 only 3 to 4 ppm of Ca can be maintained. Is that enough?

regards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #382 · (Edited)
PO4 went down to 0,7 now. No GSA so far. GDA still present.
This is obvious. ;) You are still too influenced by the EI bubble. 0.7 of Po4 is a lot. Start the Kno3 protocol when it will be about 0.2.

Will let it drop more to start PO4 protocol when GSA appears.
GSA will appears when Po4 reach zero only if you respect the prerequisites of light, Co2, etc. Then you change the water, clean the glasses and start fertilizing only with kno3. You do the Po4 protocol only if GSA appears.

Increased Mg level by 5 ppm. No addition of Ca and switching to full RO upcoming weekend to start Mg protocol.
Bad idea. Keep using 50% tap water, otherwise you will create another imbalance. If you deal with too many factors at the same time, then you don´t know which change was determinant. Regarding the Mg, do the Mg protocol, don´t add 5 ppm just like that. If you feel like adding 5 ppm, then do it in 6 dozes, as a protocol and clean the glasses every day. You don´t need to look for the algae for excess of Mg, if you control GDA, that´s fair enough.

assuming 15 ppm of Mg. can be maintained I can add 7 ppm per week, with 50% water changes I can never get more than 14 ppm, even if there's no uptake.
This comment about 15 ppm of Mg was just a compass to know where the limit is. Use the protocols to find out the accurate need of your plants (I use about 3 ppm). It is all about efficiency. As I mentioned, abandon the EI bubble for using the MCI. The EI is based in too many dogmatic asserts. You know, like at church they say that the world was created in 7 days, this is a dogmatic assert, based on faith instead of facts.
The EI bubble has too many dogmas behind the appearance of scientific knowledge. Barr´s explanation about GDA and the solution he propose is a good example. It simple doesn´t work out.

I am a follower of the critical rationalism. Instead of trying to confirm my ideas, I propose them to debate because "no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a single counterexample is logically decisive: it shows the theory, from which the implication is derived, to be false. The term "falsifiable" does not mean something is false; rather, that if it is false, then this can be shown by observation or experiment. Karl Popper's account of the logical asymmetry between verification and falsifiability lies at the heart of his philosophy of science. It also inspired him to take falsifiability as his criterion of demarcation between what is and is not genuinely scientific: a theory should be considered scientific if and only if it is falsifiable"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper#Philosophy_of_science

That means that with Ca:Mg of 1:4 only 3 to 4 ppm of Ca can be maintained. Is that enough?
I don´t believe about the idea of ratios. I mentioned the 1:4 ratio just because I am doing a statement asserting that the opposite ratio seems to work better. I am attacking a dogma here. But this is just like a compass. The idea is to use the protocols because the plants combination will determinate different ratios of balances. You have not plastic plants and that´s why the whole idea about ratios is wrong. It is all about the residual after plants uptake. Is that clear?

Your plants and algae will let you know if this is enough or not.

Regards

pd: In my opinion, it is a bad idea to debate about MCI at Barr´s forum. You should use Barr´s forum for asking about the EI. ;)
 

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Thnx for the detailed explanation, I'm not doing this to discuss the method in some way or if it works or not and make you waste your time. I'm going to do as suggested by you or the method. Simple as that. If the method works, it will prove itself.

No one has been able to give me a working solution in getting rid of GDA so far, so I want to give it a try, and I hope it solves the problem.

Not to see which method is right. Open visor here.

Will keep posting as I proceed.

regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #384 · (Edited)
It´s ok, don´t worry. If I was too taught, I apologize, I replied to you in a break meanwhile I was writing an appeal to avoid a deportation.

I don´t believe that there is something like valid or invalid methods.

I think that every method have strong and weak points (asserts). I just believe that when one of the asserts is refuted, it should be abandoned.

Regarding your case, just forget all that you know, otherwise some dogmas might play against the find of a solution for your issue.

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PO4 level dropped to 0,5 ppm now. Tomorrow a major water change, this will put me at 0,25. Will also clean the windows.

I'm getting some GSA three days after the last cleaning (2 wpg) GDA still developing for now, but this can be expected, as PO4 is still not low enough.

Will post again later this week.
 

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Yesterday I did a major waterchange of 50%, half RO, half tap. PO4=0,2. Today I see some GSA develop, but also a touch of GDA.

With the tap water I automatically add 12 ppm of Ca and 2 ppm of Mg, and I get some extra Ca. from the rocks. GH=6 and KH=4,5 today.

I want to use resin to lower GH to 3, mainly for my Eriocaulon sp.

I cleaned the windows again and started to add PO4 again, following MCI at 1 gram/500G per day.

regards.
 

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Two days later....no GSA....so I stopped adding PO4, this should be the weekly dose of PO4. 0,2 to start with, added 2 times 1 gram/500G, a total amount of 0,9 ppm. This should be ok now.

But.....GDA is still there.

Now I'm adding Mg every day to change the Ca/Mg ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #389 ·
I cleaned the windows again and started to add PO4 again, following MCI at 1 gram/500G per day.

regards.
You should not add Po4, this is a mistake.
Once you find the Kno3 protocol you change the water and start the kno3 dozing. If during the week you find some GSA, then you clean it and you add a doze of Po4. If the next day there are new GSA, then you clean it and you add Po4 again, and so on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #390 ·
Two days later....no GSA....so I stopped adding PO4, this should be the weekly dose of PO4. 0,2 to start with, added 2 times 1 gram/500G, a total amount of 0,9 ppm. This should be ok now.

But.....GDA is still there.

Now I'm adding Mg every day to change the Ca/Mg ratio.
Of course GDA will be there if you added 0.9 ppm of Po4.
You should add it.
And GDA doesn´t dissapear by itself, you have to clean it everyday, continue doing the protocol until it doesn´t appear anymore. Then you know how to fertilize, because if you change your regime, then it will be there again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #391 ·
GH is 2 to 3 now, and adding 0,5 ppm Mg daily.

Still GDA....

Not so easy as suggested after all...
You mentioned before you have rocks with Ca. You have to remove them.
How is your Ca:Mg ratio? it should be close to 1:1. If you are adding 3.5 ppm per week, it is probably low.
Regards
 

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I'm now using a water softener resin in the filter. GH went down from 7 to 3 because of that, so not much Ca left. Most rocks are already gone, just a few left. this is just since saturday, so let's see what happens.

Still adding 0,5 ppm Mg per day.

PO4 dosing 0,9 ppm per week, no GSA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #393 · (Edited)
I'm now using a water softener resin in the filter. GH went down from 7 to 3 because of that, so not much Ca left. Most rocks are already gone, just a few left. this is just since saturday, so let's see what happens.

Still adding 0,5 ppm Mg per day.

PO4 dosing 0,9 ppm per week, no GSA.
Don´t use resines.
Don´t add Po4 when you have an algae issue. The DGA is related to an complex imbalance where Po4 and Ca is involved.
So, don´t confuse the fertilizing approach with the algae control one. Use the alga control one now.
Perhaps 0.5 mg is too low.
But now we have a new problem, Sodium, you know, the MCI works under certain conditions, if you modify them, good luck.
Regards
 

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....... the MCI works under certain conditions, if you modify them, good luck.
Regards
Ouch!! Touchy??;)

I found the right amount of PO4 to add according to the protocol, after dropping to the GSA level (I got it at 0,2 ppm) it took two additions of 0,35 ppm to stop the GSA. According to the protocol this is the amount to add per week.

Then the Ca/Mg issue. MCI doesn't tell that Sodium plays any role in this situation, just PO4, Ca and Mg. Since I use tapwater for the waterchanges, which measures GH 7, (48 ppm of Ca, 6 ppm of Mg) and my tank also measures GH 7, It seemed a good idea to get the Ca out of the water (and it did), and remove most of the rocks. Half of the Ca is gone now, GH dropped 50% in 2 days.

This brings with my extra Mg additions the Ca/Mg ratio much closer to your suggested optimum.

If Sodium does play a role, then the method is not correct. If the method says it's a PO4 and Mg/Ca issue, it should be indepedent of any other substance (Sodium in this case). If not, the hypothesis is falsified and should be abandoned.

Anyway I'm still trying to get rid of a problem, and if I was biased to thinking it wouldn't work, I never would have tried and waste both our time.

regards,
dutchy
 

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Discussion Starter · #395 ·
Anyway I'm still trying to get rid of a problem, and if I was biased to thinking it wouldn't work, I never would have tried and waste both our time.
Well, I will be as clear as possible: You need a ro filter.

Or you can continue trying adding up to 15 ppm of Mg per week. I suggest you add a higher doze, otherwise it will be too slow, ad 1.5 ppm of mg per day instead of 0.35.

But before you start any protocol, make a water change to reduce Na and Po4.

And read properly the Kno3 protocol, it says: "stop fertilizing at all".

So, don´t confuse the fertilizing approach and the algae control one. When you control algae you do exactly what the protocol says and you don´t add or change anything else.

The protocol says also, read the water quality chapter, there I mentioned that ro water should be used when you have too much Ca and I say nothing about using resins.

The protocols are very specific and the idea is to follow them without any change or good ideas. Why? Because I know that they work out because they had positive feedback for years.

The method I propose is to play a variable at a time, at most two, then you know what causes what effect generates. When you add Na to water then you might have another new algae related to this new imbalance.

We were having consultations about a new algae, all the issues were from Barcelona where water has Ca, Na and sometimes Po4. The new factor was Na.

So, does Na have any relation to GDA? I have no idea, I didn´t test this idea but feedback says that there is another algae you might have if you add extra Na.

But, you decided to deal with GSA first, I think that you should deal with GDA first.

Regards
 

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Thnx for the explanation.

GDA is the only algae I have, I just let GSA bloom to find the right amount of PO4.

I have an RO filter. With all the rocks I had the RO couldn't keep up. That's why I used the resin. The rocks are gone now.

Anyway, I took out the resin and changed water from the tap and RO. GH is 4 now. I want to keep it low because of the Eriocaulons in the tank.

I'll go back to square one and try again.
 

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Dutchy, any update? I went to this process of MCI page to page but I wasn't able to understand the protocol thing.

Christian, Could you please simplify this with out any technical works what exactly to do in certain protocol? Say Kno3 for GDA. My understanding is just use Kno3 and not to use Po4 together as EI suggests? Once GDA is gone and GSA starts to appear then start po4 Protocol? Is this what it is? How about Micro dosing? should 1 stop as well while doing any protocol?

1 think is making my head spin..you suggested to dutchy that take care of GDA first and once GSA starts to appear then use Po4 protocol to treat that, right? so when will this treating process stops? Asking cause if you stop certain chemical to dose other problem starts...say if 1 stops dosing kno3 then perhaps 1 might like to get BGA or stunt growth etc.
 

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Christian, let me try to explain how I see it. Perhaps this is of benefit to others that don't understand the protocol.

The starting point should be to reduce any chemical and algae inside the tank, so that you have nothing in it besides what you add. Then only can you control the tank. Work with one parameter only. That is the aim.

So on Day Zero, do a 50% water change and clean the glass thoroughly. Clean everything. You may have a GDA problem, but you may also have some BGA and perhaps GSA. The GSA may be there from when there was a different imbalance. It doesn't go away unless you clean it. It merely stops blooming when the conditions change. But it is still there. So don't let its presence confuse you. Likely you may have some Cladophora also. So perhaps in this example you start off with many different types of algae in the tank and you are confused as to what to do. Don't be. Clean everything. Reset the water in the tank. Put in a lot of effort to try and manually clean everything you can. Wipe the glass so that it is crystal clear.

I would suggest you do more than 50% water change. Why? Because perhaps you have 4ppm of PO4 in the water and a 50% water change will reduce that to 2ppm. That is still too much. But in tanks with sensitive fish like whiptail plecos you can't do a 90% water change. The fish won't like it and perhaps will die. Also, Crypts don't like such large water changes. Amano suggest smaller water changes and to use water from another stabilized tank for tank with lots of Crypts in. However, this is not always practical in our homes. Try to do a 50% water change with dechlorinated water while you clean the tank very well, then 4 hours later another 50% water change, and perhaps 4 hours later another 50% water change. This way you can reduce anything in the water to basically nothing over one day, without compromising your fish or plants.

So now you have a tank with virtually nothing in the water and you have manually cleaned as much algae as possible. Start with the KNO3 protocol. The idea is that you add KNO3 until you see GSA. Stop dosing micros, or GH booster or anything like that. This protocol should take 1 week. Plants will be fine without micros for 1 week. Many of them get micros from the substrate if you use soil or ADA products. But even without those substrates, they have reserves built up and they will be fine for the week. I don't know of any plant that will die within a week of no micro dosing.

Make sure the light is right, and the CO2 is at 30ppm. Make sure the flow in the tank is good in every corner.

On the day you see GDA, you stop dosing KNO3. Add up all the KNO3 you dosed up to that point. That is the total of KNO3 you should dose weekly. You can divide this amount into 3 or 6 or 7 equal parts. Depends on how you want to dose; 3 times a week or daily or whatever suits you. Now clean the GDA off the glass and wait until day 7 and do a 50% water change. Remember, no more KNO3 dosing for the rest of this week. No other dosing either.

Repeat this process the following week using your amount of KNO3 you found out in the first week. This is to verify you get the same result. If your calculations were correct, and the tank balance is still the same, you should expect to see GDA on day 7 this time. Once again, no micros, gh booster or PO4 or anything else. The plants will be fine. Trust me.

After this week, you do your 50% water change on day 7, you can now start dosing micros and gh booster. Try to get the mg:ca ratio 4:1, but if you have a lot of Ca in your tap water then perhaps you need to use RO water, other wise you will have far too much Mg in the water. In this easy example it seems that the fish load is enough to provide PO4 and you don't need to dose PO4. Sometimes this is more complex, but you need to understand the impact of feeding the fish and the PO4 and NO3 produced from the fish waste. NH3 and NH4 can also cause problems, and this should be addressed by improving your biological filtration and ensuring you regularly vacuum and trim dying leaves.

This was a very long explanation. I hope this helps.

Christian, correct me if there was anything I said that you don't agree with.
 

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For example, everybody read about the Ca:Mg 4:1 ratio. This is a ratio from terrestian studies. Under the water this ratio produces several problems related to algae. The ratio that works better is exactly the opposite 1:4.
Wanted to ask as I believe it is important and most others are referring to the Ca:Mg ratio as stated without driving home that most test kits read Ca and Mg as CaCO3 (Ca-CaCO3, Mg-CaCO3). So in regards to your ratio you are talking about the ratio of cations Ca:Mg correct?

Also, and this is very important, are we referring to the ratio on an atomic level by atom or by mass/weight ratio? It seems pretty obvious we are talking about the cations only and by mass right?
 

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Yes I am going to double post, I can't edit the last post to update.

I think the 1:4 Ca:Mg (Calcium:Magnesium) ratio idea is when people measure the total weight of MgSO4 and CaCl or CaSO4. If that is correct the actual Ca:Mg weight ratio is about 1 : 2 AND interestingly the Atomic ratio is 1:4 Ca:Mg Atoms.

I'm just thinking that if I really wanted to hit a ratio of 1:4 Ca:Mg using MgSO4 and CaCl I would have to add a h^ll of a lot of sulfates to get that Mg qty up there. Or have very very soft water.

I would love to hear some educated comments on this.
 
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