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Re: black spots

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:38 am
by scroudt100
Yikes! almost overwhelming. But I'm still hanging in there.

I'll start the 4 times a day test tomorrow morning just before my lights come on.

I did infact order a phosphate test kit. I also ordered a nitrate kit, I don't know if I need it though. not sure when they'll be in.

I'm using my cousins digital pH tester, so it should be right on the money. but the other test kits are just the drops.

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:14 am
by William
Scroudt,

Hang in there my friend... You are doing very well! This will take a few weeks but we will hammer it out the old school way. Measuring water parameters, understanding what the numbers tell us and adjusting input into the tank accordingly. You will be limited by the DIY CO2 application but I am confident once you have a full grasp of all the concepts, a very nice planted tank is on the horizon.

Nitrate test is a good tool to have and you may have to use it. Digital pH monitor this is good to. The results are more accurate then solution based tests. Question - when was the probe last calibrated? Good to read you ordered a phosphate test!

I've been looking over the tap water results - pH & KH - and suspect results may be tainted by CO2 out of the tap. Age some tap water in a glass for 24 hours and rerun the test.

Best regards,

William

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:48 am
by scroudt100
I'm not sure when it was last calibrated?

I retest my tap water after it's sat for 24hrs

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:57 am
by Crazygar
The old fashioned way, is the easier way. Besides, when all else fails, you'll have this method.

Waiting the results.

Gary

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:24 pm
by scroudt100
Everything is going well, fish are happy, plants are getting new growth.

here is my 4 day test results:
first test was just before lights on.
second test is half way through the day.
3rd test is just before lights go out
4th test is a few hours after lights go out

Day1:
1st test: PH-7.2, KH 160mg/l
2nd test: PH- 7.1, KH 160
3rd test:PH- 7.1, KH 150
4th test:PH- 7.0, KH- 160
Day 2
1st test: PH-7.0, KH 160mg/l
2nd test: PH- 7.0, KH 160
3rd test:PH- 7.0, KH 160
4th test:PH- 7.1, KH- 160day 3
Day 3
1st test: PH-7.2, KH 160mg/l
2nd test: PH- 7.1, KH 150
3rd test:PH- 7.1, KH 150
4th test:PH- 7.0, KH- 160
Day 4
1st test: PH-6.9, KH 160mg/l
2nd test: PH- 7.0, KH 160
3rd test:PH- 7.0, KH 170
4th test:PH- 7.0, KH- 160

How does it look?

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:44 am
by Crazygar
So here are your "average" pH and Hardness;

pH : 7.0
Hardness; 160mg/l

pH is good, but the water is sure hard!

Gary

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:50 am
by scroudt100
you noticed that my water is hard to hey...I've thought about adding peat to my filter, but I don't want to discolor my water....any other easy alternatives?

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:21 pm
by Crazygar
In smaller amounts, you can start to naturally lower the hardness with Peat. Larger amounts, depending on Tank volume might be able to work. I would definately start seeing about adding Peat to soften things up a bit. Though, it will also slowly drop the pH as well.

Gary

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:29 pm
by scroudt100
Crazygar wrote:In smaller amounts, you can start to naturally lower the hardness with Peat. Larger amounts, depending on Tank volume might be able to work. I would definately start seeing about adding Peat to soften things up a bit. Though, it will also slowly drop the pH as well.

Gary

is lowering the hardness gowing to make that much difference for plant growth? And should I be lowering my pH much more then it already is(7.0)?
Anything else I may be able to use instead of peat. I don't want to chance staining my water.

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:32 pm
by freshfish
Unless your goal is to breed softwater fish or propogate plants like Toninas or Erios, I'd leave your water parameters alone, personally. Stability is more important most of the time, more than trying to continually alter the water that comes from the tap, especially during water changes.

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:05 am
by William
Scroudt100,

Hows it going my friend? I see you've been busy testing your water, IMO this is a huge step in the right direction. Lets look at the data you have collected to date:

As Gary noted average pH of 7.0 and KH of 160ppm / 8.9 dKH. I would expect more deviation in the lights out/lights on pH levels. This is likely due to the small plant mass in the tank - not enough respiring and expiring CO2 to cause fluctuations in the level. An important thing to note here - KH is holding steady at 8.9dKH this is good as you have more then enough buffer to avoid a pH crash. Also note the KH level remains the same. A common misconception, one I had when I started, is injecting CO2 lowers KH - it doesn't. If these levels are true you have 27ppm of CO2. This seems high for a DIY application and I suspect phosphates are skewing the KH results.

I still haven't seen pH and KH levels from tap water aged overnight. The posted readings from water straight out of the tap indicate 7ppm of CO2. This is too high, it should be in the range of 1 or 2 ppm. This discrepancy is most likely due to dissolved CO2 in the tap water or phosphates skewing the KH test results. To eliminate CO2 as a factor, age the water for 24 hours, allowing CO2 to out gas. If the CO2 levels fall into the 1-to-2ppm range then you know the erroneous readings are due to dissolved CO2. If you get similar readings then most likely there are phosphates in your water. When you get the phosphate test kit you can confirm the fact.

As for the KH in your water - personally I wouldn't worry about it. The levels are well within the parameters to keep the fish you have. Also be aware that if you add peat results from the KH test will be skewed and thus throw another variable into determining the amount of CO2 dissolved into the water column.

So your homework - age tap water for 24 hours and retest pH and KH levels so we have a better idea if phosphates are in the water.

When's the last time you did a 50% water change? You need to start doing this on a weekly basis as we are getting close to the next phase - ferting the tank...

Best regards,

William

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:21 am
by scroudt100
I'm due for a water change tomorrow. I've always done weekely water changes. I forgot all about the testing my aged water....I'll get that to you.
I still haven't heard anything from my phosphate test kit...I'll go ask the store about it tomorrow.

about adding peat to my tank or filter....I didn't really want to do this. I don't want my pH to drop much lower, and I don't want the discoloring from the peat. I'm not trying to breed anything either, so I think I'm just fine where it is.

thanks all.
Brian

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:35 am
by Crazygar
Keep it simple then.

Gary

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:37 am
by scroudt100
heres my home work results

pH - 8.3
KH - 200mg/l (11.2 degrees)

Re: black spots

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:45 pm
by William
Brian,

Results from you homework show a CO2 level of 1.68ppm. This is right in the range I would expect for aged tap water and suggests there isn't a problem with phosphates. I'm still a bit suspect of the 27ppm you are getting from DIY CO2 in the tank. I assumed it was a yeast system and not pressurized CO2. Please confirm how you are injecting CO2. If it is a yeast based system - I'm going to lean towards phosphates in the tank. When you get the phosphate test you need to confirm the tap has none and test the water in the tank.

Best regards,

Banik