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About Me

  1. A Forum Collaboration Sometime in early January 2022, we began an experiment to design and extensively test a new, chemical-free, aquatic plant cleaning method known as Reverse Respiration. We began with three unrelated technologies, two energy-based and one-gaseous-based as we were uncertain which, if any, would succeed or prove efficacious enough to be viable. As each of the nominated technologies was tested and analyzed, we eventually distilled the process down to the gaseous-based technology nominee, Reverse Respiration. We were greatly assisted throughout the experiment by many consultations with @OnlyGenusCaps and @Odd Duck such that it eventually became a collaborative effort involving four COOP forum members: @OnlyGenusCaps and @Odd Duck as consultants as well as @Guppysnail and myself operationally. @OnlyGenusCaps quite literally initiated the research. He encouraged and vigorously supported designing the experiment, literally from its embryonics. As we did not yet know which direction this might take, all three different technologies were fully developed and enjoyed a full, factorial experiment designed for each technique. These experiments for each were performed to verify the viability, or to reject a concept, and @OnlyGenusCaps was kind enough to review and advise on every one of them. Ultimately, two of the methods enjoyed partial success but suffered insufficient proofs and much of the performance was too mired in theory for us to assert claims with any degree of authority. However, for Reverse Respiration, we were able to fully develop proofs for each proposal and concept, all of which are available to anyone for download and review (see links at end). The initial concept was born in a discussion with @OnlyGenusCaps. He recognized the potential as I was unaware of the current plant cleaning methods and their limitations. @OnlyGenusCaps convinced me that the potential was great enough to warrant the research. As an expert in plant physiology, @OnlyGenusCaps has been an invaluable consultant throughout the testing. He analyzed our microscope images and videos and helped us identify and verify what we had recorded. His input, data and advice and continuous encouragement literally made this manifest. This experiment simply would not have been possible without his help. @Odd Duck, a veterinarian and authority in multiple related fields, reviewed and edited our documents and was a consultant for us as well. She graciously offered and examined our many microscope images and videos, and her observations led to redirecting our efforts to a pH theory that eventually led to proofs for the entirety of the process. Reverse Respiration might not have been fully understood without her help. She also was extremely kind to review and edit the entire lengthy document and made corrections and suggestions as well. It truly would have been a deeply inferior product without her expertise and input. Just one month into the experiment, it began to reveal its reach was beyond mere plant disinfection when an unusual post-cleaning growth acceleration was noted. And although the initial intent was only for plant disinfection, I was contacted by @Guppysnail as she was the first to observe that Reverse Respiration behaved as both an algaecide and potentially, a growth stimulant. I’m no expert in this area nor do I have enough experience with growing aquatic plants to speak with authority, so to that end, I found myself repeatedly consulting with this knowledgeable, veteran aquarist who would no doubt recognize and implement growing techniques that would escape my observation. @Guppysnail’s input became ever more invaluable and frequent, identifying growth patterns, their indications, species-specific conditions and behavior, as well as identifying pests. By then, the experiment expanded to 2 locations and 14 tanks such that we elected to make this experiment a collaboration. To that end, @Guppysnail and I partnered on this piece both operationally and as co-authors and her commentary is indicated throughout the article. Growth stimulation and observation, of course, take far more time for results than mere disinfection. As such, while @Guppysnail is a co-author of this article, you’ll see much more of her content in Part-2: Growth Augmentation in the coming months. Again, I truly do apologize for the length. I failed to find a direction forward that was more concise without neglecting proof of concept, and we didn’t want to present any concepts without a minimum of one proof; many have several proofs and even some precedents. At the end of the article, you may find all of the imagery, videos, university and laboratory studies in PDF form and the citations used during the entirety of the experiment. This content is free to download or redistribute and all the links are at the end of the article. I only hope the length does not dissuade anyone from reading it! But thank you once again for giving me a space to present results of my experiments and for allowing me to take so much of your time. Reverse Respiration A Chemical-Free Technique for the Removal of Worms, Eggs, Diatoms and Algae from Aquatic Plants in Less than 24 Hours Without ANY Residue Reverse Respiration disinfects aquatic plants without chemicals or special equipment by simply alternating the CO2 levels in the water in cycles that favors plants but not pests. Plants require CO2 and O2 during their day and night cycles. Reverse Respiration works by denying oxygen to pests during the CO2 cycle of the plants. So, with the plants immersed in a pure CO2 solution, they respire normally but all of the pests are asphyxiated. Then the next cycle is oxygenated, denying CO2 to any anaerobes. In both cases, when the plants desire CO2, we exclude O2, and the aerobic pests perish. When the plants desire O2, we exclude CO2, and the anaerobe pests perish. Upon completion some 12 hours later, there are no pests, no eggs, no algae, and the only residue is water. The original experiment design had a time frame of two months. This included a month of promoting pest breeding in the infested plants under test. Additional time was required post-cleaning to observe for long term plant damage or growth, and to observe if any eggs remained fertile. To that end, the experiment was expanded to six months, fourteen tanks in two locations, in order to facilitate testing all of the nominated technologies. However, initial observations of post-disinfection growth stimulation first noted by @Guppysnail caused us to extend the process an additional six months and is presently ongoing. A followup article by @Guppysnail, “Part 2: Growth Augmentation,” will explore several technologies that one can easily apply to stimulate growth, improve survival rates, and accelerate ‘melt’ and regrowth. Categorically Speaking The method and time for expiration of all the snails and worms we saw were similar, but vastly different than the timing for algae and live eggs. To that end, we’ve grouped the parasites into two categories, based upon the time required for expiration: Dynamic Entities (snails, worms, all pests with motility) and Static Entities (non-motile, i.e., algae, diatoms, eggs). Dynamic Entities identified (there were innumerable unidentified!) in the tests: Ostracodes (crustaceans) Various Copepods (crustaceans) Rhabdocoela (flatworms) Various Nematodes (roundworms) Planaria (flatworms) Detritus worms Collembola, common name springtails (hexapods) Pond snails Bladder snails Ramshorn snails Multiple (black and clear) smaller snails Limpets (snails) Hydra (simple invertebrates) Aphids Insect larvae Static Entities included the plants used in the test: Cryptocoryne retrospiralis Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Green’ Vallisneria Contortionist Anacharis (Egeria densa) Susswassertang Java Moss Hornwort Java Fern Marimo Ball Rotala rotundifolia Anubias Amazon Sword Hair BBA GSA Diatoms Snail Eggs Static Entities included algae and pest eggs under test Please note: Throughout this article, we’ll be taking some semantic license in categorizing for brevity and consistency. All plant cell content that is not chlorophyll-a will be referred to as non-chlorophyllic cell contents (all non-chlorophyllic enzymes, lipids, pigments and proteins, etc.). All references to gas spaces in plants, regardless of location, will be referred to as chymatous zones. Plant Damage The first casualty in plant cleaning is inevitably some plant damage and usually some mass loss. Comprehensive testing requires control batches (samples without changes imposed) that very closely mirror the batches under test. The “controls” are parameters where we have natural or original vs a sample under test. Alum Hydrogen Peroxide Vinegar Chlorine Bleach Reverse Respiration Untreated Our first control was a microscopic examination of the cells and content from an anacharis leaf treated with one of four popular aquatic plant cleaning methods: alum, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), vinegar, and chlorine bleach, as well as Reverse Respiration. Below we have specified timing and quantities for each procedure for a more linear comparison. Alum: 1 tablespoon per gallon, 2-day treatment. Relatively gentle, alum did minor damage to chloroplasts, but alum’s extreme acidity caused substantial dissolution of non-chlorophyllic enzymes and proteins (usually brown or yellow in color). Vascular activity continued, that and being multicellular are why the plant largely recovered from the damage. Anacharis Cleaned with Alum Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2): 1 part 3% H2O2 + 1 part water, 10-minute treatment. A mild antioxidant, H2O2 partially dissolved some non-chlorophyllic enzymes and proteins and partially oxidized (yellowing) the chloroplasts. Vascular activity continued, that and being multicellular are why the plant largely recovered from the damage. Anacharis Cleaned with Hydrogen Peroxide Vinegar: 1 part vinegar to 15 parts water, 5 minute treatment. Vinegar treatment resulted in minor non-chlorophyllic enzymes and proteins dissolution from extreme acidity but less damage to chloroplasts. Vascular activity continued, that and being multicellular are why the plant largely recovered from the damage. Anacharis Cleaned with Vinegar Chlorine Bleach: 1 part bleach to 19 parts water, 2 minute treatment (neutralized with dechlorinator). Virtually all non-chlorophyllic enzymes and proteins were removed and approximately half of the chloroplasts were killed, making this the most caustic of all treatments tested. Vascular activity continued, that and being multicellular are why the plant largely recovered from the damage. Anacharis Cleaned with Bleach Reverse Respiration: 12 hours in CO2 solution in the dark followed by 30 minutes plain, aerated water in the light. With Reverse Respiration, we experienced almost no enzyme loss. Chloroplasts were a brilliant green from the intense CO2 infusion and appeared nearly identical to the untreated plant. Non-chlorophyllic cell contents (usually brown to yellow in hue) were clearly visible and virtually unchanged from untreated plants. Vascular activity is dense and has rapid chloroplast activity, almost identical to an untreated plant. Anacharis Cleaned with Reverse Respiration and Anacharis Untreated There was little question that Reverse Respiration by far is the gentlest plant cleaning method we tested. Of all the techniques tested, within the limits of visual, microscopic analysis, it inflicted the least damage to the cell contents, proteins, enzymes and chloroplasts, and the only cleaning process that did not slow or reduce vascular activity. Tales from the CRYPTS by @Guppysnail Most aquatic plants are grown with their leaves ‘emerged’ in air vs submerged. This is much less expensive and enjoys a higher rate of success than when grown fully submerged. However, the leaves evolve differently in air, thicker and denser, as CO2 is much easier to access and more plentiful in air. When eventually submerged, they cannot perform metabolically and begin to rot…the infamous “crypt melt.” This is normal, and once the old growth rots and falls away, new growth will replace it over time. As they are thinner and have less mass than most plants, even water changes or other significant events can send a crypt or a val spiraling into a melt/regrowth cycle. The reuptake of the ‘melting’ plant’s rotted material as nutrients, known as remobilization, occurs, but this takes more energy and time than if the leaves are pruned. Pruning helps initiate the start of new growth, as there are no leaves for nutrients or respiration triggering new growth. The new leaves, of course, grow under water and are now adapted for an aquatic environment. They tend to be thinner and more exposed to the environment for improved access to nutrients and CO2 directly from the water but primarily due to the CO2 being not as plentiful under water. Reverse Respiration accelerates the melting cycle by chemically simulating the pruning process on dead and dying tissue. Once again, we are taking some semantic license, so I’ll be referring to this phenomenon as “pH Pruning”. pH Pruning is manifested as a form of accelerated dissolution of exposed, decaying (melting) cellular matter, accelerating the ‘melt,’ by exposure to the low pH of the CO2 solution. The CO2 solution dissolves the decaying matter at a much greater rate than normal decay. Reverse Respiration seems to accelerate both the decay of the dying organics and the replacement with new, healthy growth, although the latter may be due entirely to the former. There’s some suggestion that the dissolving of decaying material in concert with the intense CO2 charging of the chloroplasts may be a factor in the growth stimulation we initially observed (see “Val” images below). This would NOT occur if the tissue was healthy and intact, for there would be a multicellular and vascular buffer affording time before any form of dissolution occurs. The rapid dissolution of the decaying matter takes place because of the phenomena cited in the section on pH shifting (see “pH Shifting” below). What we found was a stark contrast between the way healthy plants reacted vs damaged ones. No healthy plants, leaves, stem or roots showed any discernable damage. Those that were previously ailing, however, melted or distinctly showed more damage over time once returned to the aquarium. Note these plants and plant parts were the ones that were already dying. Once leaves and stems are damaged or dying, they will not recover in any situation treated or not treated. Healthy growth is not affected, and new growth continues unaffected. Anacharis elodea densa In this picture the are several strands of Anacharis elodea densa. All were treated using Reverse Respiration. The leaves most heavily infested with BBA are the ones that were already dead. Most algae will take advantage of dying and dead leaves and the excess nutrients they release in the process of dying. Those not infested but unhealthy leaves are turning clear and will melt entirely. Left untreated those leaves would melt away on their own but over a longer period of time. Freshly planted Val leaves treated with Reverse Respiration are here beginning their classic’ melt’ cycle. New growth has already begun unusually early, well before the melt cycle is complete. Many of those unhealthy leaves still appeared healthy to the naked eye but were not. One common observation when purchasing aquatic plants grown emersed is that they appear greener and firmer than they would under water. This is because they are, but it is due to being grown in air (see above) and these will die off for new growth once submerged. Under a microscope we are able to see the vascular tissue of the plants in operation. The Xylem and Phloem of the vascular system carry nutrients and water to and from the roots and leaves. The vascular activity delaying cell saturation of the solution protects healthy plants during Reverse Respiration. · The visibly dead and dying have no chloroplast movement under a microscope. Untreated Melting Val · The ‘healthy to the naked eye but in the process of dying’ components show vastly reduced chloroplast movement or almost none at all under a microscope. Treated Melting Val · Healthy vascular activity is easily seen under the microscope in the undamaged leaves with chloroplast movement being rapid and dense. Untreated Val Many trials were done on healthy and unhealthy plants producing these same results. The dead, red BBA is eaten by aquarium inhabitants. Tanks that did not have inhabitants to eat it saw the killed BBA turn red, and eventually it turned white and disintegrated. Healthy Val Leaf Untreated Val Leaf beginning Melt Treated Healthy Val Leaf Treated Notice in the untreated, healthy leaf, the chloroplasts are widely distributed and easily discernable. In the untreated leaf with ‘melt’ beginning, you can see chaotic chloroplast distribution and clusters indicating low or no metabolic activity. The Reverse Respiration treated leaf looks nearly identical to the untreated, healthy leaf with highly discernable and plentiful chloroplast distribution, the only difference being an intense green from the saturation of the chloroplasts from the CO2 solution. To that end, our next control for this test was plant mass, that is: Does it lose any mass during the cleaning? We weighed the plants dry (when possible) to retain accuracy, or by using a fluid displacement method. Fluid displacement is more accurate than just weighing, since it ignores water weight on the plant; or you can weigh portions of the plant without cutting to determine if there was any measurable mass loss after cleaning. Unexpected Weight Gain With Reverse Respiration, we not only observed no plant damage, after treatment, we actually measured a GAIN in mass. What we found was the cleaned plant’s mass increased temporarily. This was not literal plant mass but actually the gas spaces within the plant, here, collectively referred to as the chymatous zones, filling with the CO2 solution. PEARLING (internal gasses escaping the chymatous zones) We found that an aquatic plant immersed in CO2 solution temporarily increases in mass, in concert with immediate “pearling.” This was further evidence of the chymatous zones filling with CO2 solution. Microscopic Image of Parenchyma The Chymatous Zones A variety of vacancies for gas exchange, respiration and buoyancy in plants are collectively known as the chymatous zones. Our intent was to demonstrate if these zones are indeed filling with our CO2 solution as an explanation for the mass gain. We needed to verify that the chymatous zones did indeed fill with the CO2 solution. Microscopic verification of this event was beyond our ken, so we elected to derive this mathematically. We used data from a now historic 1994 study done on chymatic pressure and area in leaves, done at the Department of Plant Biology, Louisiana State University. For this test specifically, we soaked a 671mG pothos leaf in CO2 solution for 12 hours. We calculated the chymatous zone area of this leaf sample and determined it could have enough vacancy to contain approximately 65uL of fluid if 100% of the internal gasses were displaced by water. In 12 hours, a CO2-soaked leaf gained about 67uG of mass, nearly equaling the weight of 65uL of water! The gas spaces were capable of containing 65uL of fluid which weighed 67uG. Yet within a 24-hour period, the plant had yielded back 98% of the weight gain, nearly returning to the original weight! This suggests liberal fluid passage into and exiting the plant, via the chymatous zones. Pressure Tactics Extensive testing of internal fluid and gas pressures in plants was performed at the Department of Plant Biology, Louisiana State University. In that 1994 study, they found that an aquatic plant’s internal CO2 pressure is about 3.5X greater than the CO2 pressure in the surrounding water. The CO2 solution, however, is much higher pressure than the normal atmospheric CO2 and that of the plant. The unopened container of the CO2 solution has some 17X more pressure than the natural atmospheric CO2 pressure but almost immediately stabilizes at about 3X the normal atmospheric CO2 pressure upon opening, where it remains on average for approximately 72 hours if undisturbed. Undisturbed CO2 solution retains enough CO2 to prevent any O2 saturation for approximately three days. Blue is plain, CO2 solution. The same test was made on Diet Pepsi (red) showing the additives in Pepsi inhibiting the rate at which it goes flat. A plant immersed in the CO2 solution begins to immediately fill the chymatous zones with roughly the same pressure CO2 as is throughout the solution, and within minutes, replaces all gasses from inside the plant with the CO2 solution. The CO2 solution is now both internal and external to the plant, effectively cancelling pressure impacting the plant. Pothos leaves deliberately hyper-stimulated with vibrational energy to simulate caustic conditions, performed in both plain water and in CO2 saturated water. The frontmost leaf was cleaned in plain water, and the leaf in the rear was cleaned in the CO2 solution. If the pressure is the same inside and outside of the plant, the plant experiences no pressure. We tested the pressure equalization theory by allowing the filling of the gas spaces in the leaves with the CO2 solution and then subjecting them to vibrational energy of normally fatal intensity. Notice the leaf cleaned in plain water (front) suffered significant damage, whereas the leaf cleaned in CO2 solution (rear) was nearly unscathed---further supporting the theory that having the same fluid inside and outside of the plant, the contiguity of masses---the energy is then the same throughout and around the plant, so relatively no energy impacts the plant. Snails, Worms, Algae and Diatoms Entities with more complexity than plants are less fortunate. Just 30 minutes in the CO2 solution eliminated 100% of the snails, worms and pests of all kinds, via asphyxiation. Worms of all types seem to expire almost immediately. Snails expired by minute 20. Unhatched eggs, algae and diatom expiration required 12 hours. Below: Images of parasites after being immersed in the CO2 solution for 30 minutes: Nematodes before CO2 soak After 30 minutes in a CO2 solution. Nematodes lost most of their mass and most of their elasticity. A Tough Egg to Crack Ostrich eggs Eggs proved to be another matter altogether. While the snails lost most of their color over a 30-minute treatment, (Snail Eggs-30 Minutes of Reverse Respiration) the embryos were still alive and in motion within the egg although their motion slowed considerably. Snail eggs after 30 minutes (left) and 12 hours (right) in CO2 water The snail egg on the left survived 30 minutes in CO2 solution but lost most of its coloration, and according to the study cited below, is likely sterile. (A study done in 2000 by the University of Miyazaki in Japan had demonstrated that nematode eggs subjected to 20% lower of oxygen levels than normal atmospheric levels for just 4 hours became unviable despite the still living embryo.) However, the snail egg on the right was identical but was killed by 12 hours of asphyxiation in CO2 water. Our intention was then to incubate the discolored eggs and watch for hatching. However, we found the 12-hour cycle of CO2 solution followed by just 30 minutes in aerated water (the “O2 cycle”) resulted in 100% expiration of all eggs and circumvented the need to do so. 12 hours of CO2 solution effected 100% egg elimination: Microscope images of treated snail eggs. Note the internal fluid exits the dissolving egg on the left, leaving visible ripple patterns as the fluid leaked over the slide. Similarly on the right, we saw the embryo begin to dissolve and leak well into the egg. Although algae were not a component in this test originally, when we observed Reverse Respiration’s tangential effects as an algaecide, we extended the tests to explore any parallelism amongst the egg and algae expiration, as they reacted quite similarly. Most forms of algae we care about are simple, single-celled organisms that respire similarly as most plants. Yet despite algae using CO2 for respiration, the CO2 solution killed all forms of algae we tested within hours: Black Beard, Green Spot, Green Dust, Staghorn, Hair and Diatoms. Green Spot Algae Hair Algae Green Dust Algae Black Beard Algae Staghorn Algae Originally, we suspected that the algae death observed was caused by a lack of respiration. That is, the CO2 solution denying a cycle for O2 respiration, followed by an “O2 solution” (aerated water) denying CO2 respiration, killing the algae. But algae death occurs far too quickly (<9 hours) for it to be respiratory… pH Shifting PH Shifting is a widely used process that uses pH extremes to extract the proteins and specific nutrients from plants and algae. Common sports drinks with algae proteins often use precipitated plant proteins made through this method. How Reverse Respiration kills algae and eggs is not unlike the same action that is commonly used to create high protein, algae-based nutrient drinks: pH Shifting. Normally the pH is raised greatly as chlorophylls, plant proteins and enzymes are more soluble in a higher pH. Once the plant proteins have dissolved into the solution, organic waste and other unwanted elements are filtered out. The pH is then quickly and drastically lowered to precipitate proteins and enzymes that are insoluble under acidic conditions (or pH is restored to neutral, and precipitates are removed electronically, known as ‘isoelectric precipitation’). This a generic explanation of pH Shifting as there are variations, but all operate in a similar fashion. Algae protein solubility per pH For our purposes, we employed a variation on this theme as precipitating the algae proteins is not for harvesting them but rather to act as an algaecide. Notice how the plant proteins begin to become insoluble as the pH falls, particularly so below a pH of 4.5. The CO2 solution’s low pH of 3 precipitates most of the proteins and enzymes in the algae cells, destroying (denaturing) them in the process. Most of the precipitated algae cell contents, however, dissolve in the CO2 solution's acidic conditions, forming extremely minute quantities of carbonate salts that simply rinse off. Plants have many proteins and enzymes, but chemically, all but one, chlorophyll-a, become unstable at a pH below 4. Although most plant enzymes are insoluble below a pH of about 4, chlorophyll-a remains viably active as low as pH 2! Chlorophyll-A Stability / pH Chlorophyll-A Light Absorbance Efficacy / pH BBA, GDA, GFA, GHA, GSA...R.I.P. by @Guppysnail While working on another project with plants soaking in the CO2 solution for an approximately a 12-hour period, something very unexpected was noted. It involved various plants covered in various algae. Green Hair algae (GHA), Green Fuzz algae (GFA), Green Spot algae (GSA), Black Beard algae (BBA), Staghorn algae, as well as some plants completely coated and suffocating from brown diatoms. At the end of the day, the unused plants were placed back in the aquarium. But WAIT...where are the plants covered in brown diatoms? There they were appearing completely diatom free and vibrant once again. A mystery is afoot! The other plants and algae were examined. The green fuzz/hair algae appeared lighter, some near white and opaque. Other algae appeared unaltered. · The plants were returned to the aquarium for the evening. · Almost every shrimp in the tank converged on all types of dead algae. · In the morning the brown diatom plants still had no trace of brown to the naked eye. · The green hair/fuzz was entirely white and opaque and had been mostly consumed by the shrimp or dissolved. · Plant leaves almost entirely covered with green spot algae were now partially cleaned of the GSA. · The real shock was the plant nearly covered in Black Beard algae (BBA) and staghorn. Every drop of the BBA and staghorn turned blazing red and was being consumed or dissolving. A second test of this resulted in the same alteration to the algae but was returned to a tank with no inhabitants that would consume the altered algae. Over the course of 72 hours, all types except GSA dissolved on their own. The GSA saw about half fall off. However, 100% of the GSA died and no more grew. In yet another example, here we have BBA treated with Reverse Respiration, but I had no animals in the tank that would consume it, so its action as an algaecide is on display: BBA Before and After Reverse Respiration Treatment Without any predators to consume the killed algae, the BBA turns white and slowly falls off. At this point the prior project was paused and we investigated this avenue. We simply had to know why it kills all algae, but not plants. The best potential for explaining our observations proved to be with diatoms. Diatoms have a different ratio of content such that there’s more non-chlorophyllic (brown enzymatic) content than green chlorophyll as opposed to common algae, yet it contains both. This seemed ideal to test this theory as if it dissolved most of the brown content (non-chlorophyllic enzymes and proteins), but the green, chlorophyllic content remained, it strongly points towards pH shifting. We found that virtually all of the algae proteins and enzymes are removed by Reverse Respiration, leaving expired or hollowed algae cells or cells simply incapable of a metabolic process. Only chlorophyll-a remains, such that the algae and even diatoms still appear bright green or form green patches due to the intense CO2 saturation of the chlorophyll-a (see below). However, in our testing, 100% of the algae samples turned red or white and died, as they no longer had any metabolic activity. Diatoms after 12 hours in CO2 solution---all enzymes are gone, leaving hollow cell walls and chlorophyll-a (green) remnants. BBA before and after CO2 treatment Hair Algae before and after CO2 treatment Diatoms before and after CO2 treatment GSA before and after CO2 treatment In all instances, we found most of the cell’s content is largely gone (denatured), leaving large gaps in and between the cells: Healthy BBA - Denatured BBA Once again, the only enzymatic remnant we found was chlorophyll-a, hence the dark green (darker here as they are stained for the microscope) in all of the images. Chlorophyll-a remained because it is the only one stable in a pH of only 3, but chlorophyll-a alone is not enough for metabolic processes to continue, so the algae perish. Timing is Everything Our final tests were to verify theories as to why algae perish within hours, whereas live plants seem immune and may actually enjoy growth augmentation from Reverse Respiration. It’s all about time: Left: Normal chloroplast and vascular activity Right: 4 days Reverse Respiration no activity Most algae are open to water flows, immediately and directly accessing water-borne gasses and nutrients, with no vascular systems to delay the process. This and other factors result in algae metabolizing at 10X to 50X the rate of terrestrial plants. Plants have a vascular system, a pseudo-circulatory system that requires time to bring gas and nutrients into the plant and distribute them. So, although it may appear stagnant, algae grow and perform nearly all metabolic activity much faster than plants. “Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?”- As You Like It, circa 1600 While the vascular system (and being multicellular) protects plants from damage, we needed to determine if the CO2 solution ever damages the plants, for if not, it conflicts with our theories on why it kills algae so effectively. To that end we subjected the same anacharis plant to repeated (and unnecessary) treatments until we observed damage and found that the same action that kills algae will eventually kill live plants if the treatment is extended some 8X longer than the required treatment time. (It required a 12-hour treatment be extended to 96 hours to finally incur plant damage.) It is this inherent delay in the distribution of gasses and nutrients that allows the plants enough time to see the pests and algae expire, yet it avoids any damage to the plants as evidenced in these microscope images below of an anacharis plant being treated with Reverse Respiration (extended from 12 to 96 hours to test how long a vascular plant will tolerate this low pH): Day 1 - Normal Vascular Activity-Day 2 - Normal Vascular Activity Day 3 - Vascular Activity; some enzymatic dissolution-Day 4 - No Vascular activity It took approximately 4 days before we witnessed any irreversible plant damage. The pests and algae are eliminated within 12 hours but live plants endure up to 96 hours without damage. The Difference is Night & Day Our initial intention for performing these treatments in the dark was that in darkness, the plants under treatment will not respire any O2, further depriving the pests of oxygen, therefore accelerating the expiration of the aerobic entities like pests and eggs. We did somewhat unexpectedly observe that the rate of expiration of the algae accelerated in darkness substantially as well. The algae expired at more than TWICE the rate when treated in the dark. In fact, some 12-hour expiratory events shortened to as little as 30 minutes simply from being performed in the dark: These charts are derived from a 1977 study done at the Department of Vegetable Crops, UC Davis. The difference between chlorophyll reduction between light and dark treatments in the chart above is the interference of electrons in the algae with external, photonic energy. That energy taken by the CO2 solution takes the form of a photon (light), but in the dark, the energy (electrons) comes from the algae itself. “Nothing and Something Create Each Other” (from Chapter Two, Tao te Ching, circa 500BC) The findings above were quite significant for us, as they helped to confirm our theories of how Reverse Respiration utilizes available energy, be it photonic or electronic, to act as an algaecide. Although it takes countless forms, mass, light, heat, x-rays, all are ultimately just energy. Be it a rock or a bolt of lightning, both are the same stuff, a form of energy. What a mass or a form of energy is defined as is relative and depends on the observer. It is the scale that creates the reality. If we were at the level of an atom inside of the rock, we’d see countless energetic particles moving near the speed of light. If we pull back, it’s just a motionless, dead rock. What makes it a mass is not inherent but rather where we observe it from. But in truth, it’s just the same stuff as the rest of the universe: energy. The universal equivalence of energy is why Reverse Respiration kills algae more effectively in the dark. A well know study done (see charts above) on the reaction of chlorophyll in various, acidic conditions (as well as many other plant cellular contents-testing performance in stagnant waters and other potentially acidic environments) was performed in 1977 at the Department of Vegetable Crops, at the University of California in Davis. It became well known because they perhaps not inadvertently, made the one of the first Quantum Biology demonstrations ever, 4 years before it became a viable theory, although that was not their goal. What they found was most cell content that was denatured or in the process of being denatured, did so at 2X-4X the rate in darkness than in light. Herein lies the paradox as we're speaking of plants. The photons present in this case have nothing to do with photosynthesis. As stated above, our original intent to keep the process in darkness was to prevent the plants from creating oxygen when we're trying to asphyxiate the pests! But what also occurred was an increased acceleration of the destruction of the algae. Without dwelling on the physics, in a nuclear environment, a photon can add energy just like an electron such that it can change the latter's behavior. So, if a proton (light) is present, sub atomically, it could "replace" an electron, leaving that electron unscathed, in this case, ignoring the electron in the algae because the photon supplied that energy, sparing at least some algae from being stripped of electrons. However, RR kills algae is by stripping the electrons from the algae! So, if light is present, the number of electrons robbed from the algae will be reduced. This is why RR kills algae some 40% more quickly in the dark. The conversion of photonic energy to electronic energy occurs in countless chemical and physical phenomena. Every digital camera or solar cell does this conversion by design. But in truth, in this environment, so does the algae. But instead of Silicon being the vehicle of photon to electron conversion, here it’s (largely) the Magnesium in the algae. While the presence of photons when discussing plants would suggest photosynthetic reactions, the action where the photons convert to electrons in this intense CO2 environment is about 10,000X more powerful than the strongest photosynthetic reaction, negating the latter as a factor in this environment. Yet it’s effectively the same action. With solar cells and cameras, the electrons eventually become power or electricity sending visual signals. With algae however, the CO2 solution removes and converts the algae Magnesium to a Magnesium Bicarbonate salt by stripping it from the algae and killing it. Eventually once dried, the newly formed Magnesium Bicarbonate is unstable, it loses any remaining CO2 content and ultimately manifests as a white powder residue in the evaporate, Magnesium Oxide - a common antacid. Below is a basic water test of plain water adjusted to a neutral pH of 7 and the same water used to dissolve the evaporate from a Reverse Respiration session. The insoluble solids are filtered out to compare the chemistry of the solutions. The brown coloration being the cell contents stripped from the algae (as well as general dirt that the effervescence ‘scrubs’ off of the plants), now dissolved in the water. The white powder, the Magnesium Oxide precipitant, dissolves in the fresh water, raising the pH and alkalinity. The rise in nitrate, nitrite and cyanuric acid are indicative of the brown, decaying organic matter from the algae and is relatively little. But the carbonate content is now quite literally, off the chart, as predicted in the nuclear model above: For a deeper peer into the subatomic governing this amazing reaction the entire study cited above is available for download in the PDF section at the end. If you have less time, although the famous quantum theorist Schrödinger initiated the idea of Quantum Biology with his findings, that relatively new science (<40 years) was largely developed by the British physicist J. McFadden. He was kind enough to make popular videos explaining this phenomenon. They are low budget productions, but the content is priceless: Professor Johnjoe McFadden's "Does Biology Need Quantum Mechanics?" at Imperial College London's 2014 The Solution is the Solution Admittedly, the path to this solution was much more convoluted and complex than we had imagined, in part because our initial intention was solely to design a ‘chemical-free pesticide’ to clean aquatic plants. But observations soon resulted in expanding the testing and analysis to explore these parallel events, as it soon evolved into a multi-faceted, pesticide – algaecide – and growth stimulant. Cleaning Aquatic Plants with Reverse Respiration Providing scientific proofs involved months of testing, hundreds of references, several consultants (several COOP forum members!) and reviewing dozens of laboratory studies. Yet as convoluted as designing the procedure and providing proofs was, the resultant process was distilled down to an extremely simple solution, so long as one observes proper timing and lighting. We found a literal and figurative solution by immersing the plants in carbonated soda or seltzer water for 12 hours in the dark followed by 30 minutes in aerated water, in the light. Plain, unflavored seltzer has the correct pH, pCO2 (pressure), anoxic state, and timing of decay to effect everything cited above in our testing. Aerated water is sufficient to serve as the O2-only portion of the cycle. Reverse Respiration Instructions: 1. Immerse the plants entirely below the surface in freshly opened seltzer water. It should be an open lid container such that the pressure does not build. You may need to add a weight to keep the plants submerged as the effervescence and high pressure makes them highly buoyant. 2. Place in the dark. Stir gently to help solution penetrate difficult areas but do not disturb once placed in the dark. 3. Remove after 9 hours-12 hours. Rinse. 4. Place in fresh water and aerate for a minimum of 30 minutes in the light. Rinse. For all of the reasons cited above, in less than 24 hours, there will be no worms, no larva, no eggs, no snails, no algae, and all of the carbonation and excess oxygen will have dissipated, …the only residue being WATER. IN MEMORIAM: Live snail embryo before and after 12 hours of Reverse Respiration Hair Algae before and after 12 hours of Reverse Respiration BBA algae before and after 12 hours of Reverse Respiration GSA algae before and after 12-hours of Reverse Respiration Diatoms before CO2 Diatoms after CO2, saturated green Close-up--CO2 saturated Plant damage (anacharis) after repeated, redundant Reverse Respiration treatments to test plant stress over a number of days: Day 1 (healthy) Day 2 (healthy) Day 3 (minor damage) Day 4 (dead). In summary, after six months of testing and treating dozens of plants, in fourteen test tanks, at two facilities, we had zero pest survivors, zero surviving eggs, and…zero plants perished. In fact, the opposite occurred… Part Two (preview): G R O W H Augmentation What we observed in the subsequent days was beyond paradoxical. Our intent was to quantify how much plant damage occurs and if it is reversible. What occurred truly surprised us and extended the experiment to an estimated six additional months longer than previously intended. The first obvious change in the plants upon immersion in seltzer is they become rigid and deeply green. Even crypts and vals stood straighter and more erect. The relatively sudden environment of pure CO2 saturates the chlorophyll in the plants, making them a deep, intense green within hours. In addition, the seltzer replacing the gases in the chymatous zones add mass and rigidity to the plants. But it did still more. We measured the mass of a hornwort sample in the control tank vs. the same after the first cleaning session. Just days after the cleanings, we noticed that the hornwort that was cleaned appeared brighter, greener and slightly larger. In the days to come, the hornwort subjected to treatment became much larger than the original control batch. Inside of a month, the cleaned hornwort was some 80% larger than the control (untreated) hornwort! External energetic stimulation of plant tissue to accelerate growth is in common use. While it’s not fully understood, applying external energy to plants, seeds, and roots seems to have a similar effect on plants as light energy. The growth stimulation in both cases was short lived though. It seems to accelerate for several weeks, producing longer, taller, and thinner plants initially, which eventually linearizes to normal growth and appearance. We noticed the growth of the control hornwort ‘caught up’ with the treated hornwort after an additional 4-5 weeks. And while many studies have been done, one famous study done at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2014 cited some theoretical possibilities. This study, which was done on the effects of externally applied energy to radishes, had shown accelerated growth up to a staggering 87%-150%! The study noted that auxins, plant hormones that regulate growth, saw their production greatly stimulated after the treatments. In fact, they grew so rapidly that they distorted the shape and size of the plant, albeit temporarily. In a matter of weeks, growth normalizes. However, this is just preliminary. The sheer magnitude of the potential for growth augmentation, improved plant survival and ‘melt’ acceleration from Reverse Respiration, and unusual applied energy treatments caused us to extend the experiment to include growth stimulation and plant survival efficacy tests. We will have data on several types of plants, their growth, survival rates, ‘melt’ acceleration, growth rate, mass and nutrient uptake. We’re currently testing three methods for applying external energy to aquatic plants that are easily applied at home. We’ll be testing not only for growth but for changes to classic ‘melting’ in delicate species, growth efficacy and survival rates. MUCH more on this is to come, as testing is in process now, but naturally, it will take several months for the data to mature. Please return for… Part Two: G R O W H Augmentation ******* ADDENDA In this section we intend to post new findings from ourselves, other users or any meaningful contributions to the experiment. Posts in this section may be unproven or theoretical and are noted as such if so. Addendum-1: SODA POPS A study performed at the University of Austin in 2018 was done on champagne to determine oscillation rates of the bubbles. Some have rightly raised the difficulty of cleaning plants that are deeply netted or suffer difficult to penetrate areas; that is, the formation of ‘micro pockets’ of trapped air or even water, shielding the pests we’re trying to eliminate. This of course is an issue with all forms of treatment in a liquid that is static. One of the interesting byproducts of using a carbonated liquid as the cleaning agent is that the liquid is dynamic or in continuous motion. While trapped, protected areas must exist to some extent, the following could suggest that the survival of ‘micro pocket shelters’ in carbonated water is far less likely than static cleaning solutions. The tests performed for the study above at the University of Austin in 2018 were done on champagne but we performed our own and found very similar results with seltzer water. Seltzer effervesces at an amazingly predictable rate. In fact, it bubbles at many rates but at two rates primarily. These rates don’t vary much over time, but they do lose intensity over time. These rates are known as oscillations as seen in the oscilloscope image below: Seltzer water has two dominant oscillations, one being infrasonic at about 1-3 times a second (1Hz-3Hz) and another much higher at about 7000 times per second (7kHz). The low frequency, infrasonic vibration of the first oscillation literally shakes the plant during the entirety of the bath. Simultaneously, the approximately 7000Hz oscillation behaves not unlike a pseudo ultrasonic cleaner as it forms immeasurable amounts of microscopic bubbles which pop, sending vibrational energy throughout the solution. Our hypothesis is that this energy is strong enough to penetrate microscopic nooks and crannies or to burst standing air or water and dislodge most anything from the plants' surface with surprising power, known as ‘cavitation.' This is known as cavitation and is how commercial ultrasonic cleaner’s work. Although we did not test this, we saw no pests or eggs survive even after 6 months. Of course, the degree of any additional deep cleaning and penetration this affords is speculation at this point. However, it could suggest that a combination of the very high pressure of seltzer with the mechanical cleaning action of the seltzer bubbles cavitating should at least improve the likelihood of micro pocket penetration. As an example of the incredible pressure, here the 300:1 pressure of seltzer water applied to algae cells forces the contents almost completely out of Marimo algae cells at around second 45 in the video: Marimo Algae Drained by CO2 Pressure Here is a sample of the recording of the oscillations in seltzer. A hydrophone was immersed in seltzer to measure the frequencies of the oscillatory energy. If you listen closely, you can hear the very high frequency ‘whistle’ of the fast, microscopic cavitation bubbles popping en masse along with the low rumble (and occasional large bubbles crashing into the microphone!) of the much larger, effervescence bubbles: Recording of Seltzer Oscillations This addendum is speculative and has not been tested beyond what is presented here. ******* The Cinema Below are links (Ctrl + Click) to microscope videos we shot during the test period (10X-2500X, 40x magnification unless otherwise noted). They show various entities in the tests and provide a live, microscopic look into the eggs, how they protected the snail embryos, and how they eventually expired. Seventy-two microscope videos were shot for these tests, all of which are available for your viewing or to download here: Aquatic Animals and Eggs used in Reverse Respiration Tests under Microscope Aquatic Plants used in Reverse Respiration Tests under Microscope References PDFs of the Studies Below - Download Link Urban Forest Research Center, National Institute of Forest Science, Seoul, Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1‑1‑1, Bunkyo‑ku, Tokyo Judit Dobránszki (2021) Application of naturally occurring mechanical forces in in-vitro plant tissue culture and biotechnology, Plant Signaling & Behavior, 16:6, 1902656, PQM-1 controls hypoxic survival via regulation of lipid metabolism Thomas Heimbucher, Julian Hog, Piyush Gupta & Coleen T. Murphy Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA Banerjee N, Hallem EA (2020). The role of carbon dioxide in nematode behavior and physiology. Parasitology 147, 841–854. Aerenchyma formation in the rice stem and its promotion by H2O2 Bianka Steffens, Thomas Geske and Margret Sauter Physiologie und Entwicklungsbiologie der Pflanzen, Botanisches Institut, Universita¨t Kiel, Germany Photosynthetic Response to Elevated Carbon Dioxide Concentrations in the aerenchyma of Typha Latifolia L. Leaves. John Van horne Constable 1993 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Precision and Intelligence Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology,Nagatsuta-cho Batangas State University, College of Engineering, Architecture and Fine Arts, Pablo Borbon Main II, Alangilan, Batangas City, Philippines Batangas State University, College of Engineering, Architecture and Fine Arts, Pablo Borbon Main II, Alangilan, Batangas City, Philippines Emerson Process Management Beverage (Carbonated Drink) - De-aeration J. Aquat. Plant Manage. 45: 76-83 In-vitro Investigations on Ultrasonic Control of Water Chestnut MEI-YIN WU1 AND J. WU Corresponding author: Center for Earth and Environmental Science, State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh Department of Physics, University of Vermont Aerenchyma Carbon Dioxide Can Be Assimilated in Typha latifolia L. Leaves John V. H. Constable and David J. Longstreth Plant Physiology Volume 52, Issues 1–2, September 1995, Pages 93-106 Aquatic Botany CO2 and O2 transport in the aerenchyma of Cyperus papyrus L. Michael B.Jones Broad oxygen tolerance in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans W.A. Van Voorhies, S. Ward Author and article information J Exp Biol (2000) 203 (16): 2467–2478. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.203.16.2467-15 AUGUST 2000 On cryptobiosis and anoxibiosis: N. Dasgupta, A. M. Patel, B. A. Scott, C. M. Crowder, Hypoxic preconditioning requires the apoptosis protein CED-4 in C. elegans. Curr. Biol. 17, 1954-1959 (2007). [PubMed] Oxygen-Starved Worms JOHN F. FOLEY SCIENCE'S STKE • 27 Nov 2007 • Vol 2007, Issue 414 • p. tw432 • DOI: 10.1126/stke.4142007tw432 Van Voorhies WA, Ward S. Broad oxygen tolerance in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. J Exp Biol. 2000;203(Pt 16):2467–78. Epub 2000/07/21. Division of Parasitology, Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan The Aquatic Gardener 10 (1997): 126-131 Water Plants 101: Dave Huebert A. M. Humphrey, “Chlorophyll as a color and functional ingredient,” Journal of Food Science, vol. 69, no. 5, pp. 422–425, 2004. Chlorophyll Extraction from Microalgae: A Review on the Process Engineering Aspects Aris Hosikian, Su Lim, Ronald Halim, and Michael K. Danquah Bio Engineering Laboratory (BEL), Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Victoria (2010) “Fluorescence measurements of free Mg2” Elisabeth M Froschauer, Martin Kolisek, Frank Dieterich, Monika Schweigel, Rudolf J Schweyen, Max F Perutz Laboratories Department of Microbiology and Genetics University of Vienna Campus Vienna Biocenter, Dr Bohrgasse 9 A1030 Vienna Austria “Water content quantitatively affects metabolic rates over the course of plant ontogeny” State Key Laboratory of Grassland AgroEcosystem School of Life Sciences Lanzhou University Lanzhou 730000 China, College of Forestry Southwest Forestry University Bailongsi China, Department of Biological Sciences Missouri University of Science and Technology, School of Integrative Plant Science Plant Biology Section Cornell University “Determination of elements in algae by different atomic spectroscopic methods” (MG2++ and Carbonic Acid analysis) Attila József University Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry Szeged Hungary, Albert Szent Györgyi Medical University Department of Pharmacognosy Szeged Hungary, School of Pharmacy Portsmouth Polytechnic Portsmouth UK Studies on Sonication of Plants for Accelerated Growth: Sonication and ultrasound: Impact on plant growth and development Beneficial effects of ultrasound on plants—a review - ScienceDirect TOVATECH Tovatech - The Source for Ultrasonic Cleaners & Lab Equipment for More than 10 Years. Greenhouse Product News Effects of Blue Light on Plants Erik Runkle FEBRUARY 2017 Ultrasound has been investigated as a control for zoo[1] plankton in ballast water. Holm et al. (2008) tested ultrasound effects on a cladoceran (Ceriodaphnia dubia), rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis, B. calyciflorus, and Philodina sp.), and brine shrimp (Artemia sp.). The Potential Use of Ultrasound to Control the Trematode Bolbophorus confusus by Eliminating the Ram's Horn Snail Planorbella trivolvis in Commercial Aquaculture Settings Bradley T. Goodwiller & James P. Chambers, Pages 485-488 Sep 2012 Ultrasound has been investigated as a method for zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) control. (Kowalewski et al. 1993, Donskoy and Ludiyanskiy 1995). Donskoy and Ludiyanskiy (1995) cite research in which ultrasound ranging from 20kHz to 380kHz was used to induce cavitation and mortality in veliger, juvenile, and adult zebra mussels. The Potential Use of Ultrasound to Control the Trematode Bolbophorus confusus by Eliminating the Ram's Horn Snail Planorbella trivolvis in Commercial Aquaculture Settings Bradley T. Goodwiller & James P. Chambers Pages 485-488 | Received 27 Jan 2012, Accepted 09 Apr 2012, Published online: 10 Sep 2012 Ultrasonics Sonochemistry Volume 13, Issue 5, July 2006, Pages 446-450 Ultrasonics Sonochemistry Ultrasonic frequency effects on the removal of Microcystis aeruginosa 2005.09.012 Effects of ultrasound irradiation on the growth of Japanese radish sprouts. Marie Tabaru[1], Ryusuke Fujino and Kentaro Nakamuray Electrical Stimulation and Effects on Plant Growth in Hydroponics Bonghwan Kim and Kyunghan Chun University of Daegu Solar-Powered Electroculture Technique For Backyard Farming Elenor M. Reyes, GlennJordan M. Achico Accelerated Plant Growth--https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/plant-growth-zmaz84mjzloeck/ Molecular strategies for improving waterlogging tolerance in plants E.S. Dennis, R. Dolferus, M. Ellis, M. Rahman, Y. Wu, F.U. Hoeren, A. Grover, K.P. Ismond, A.G. Good, W.J. Peacock Journal of Experimental Botany, Volume 51, Issue 342, January 2000, Pages 89–97 Determination of elements in algae by different atomic spectroscopic methods. Chlorophyll Destruction by the Bisulfite-Oxygen System' 1977-PEISER/YANG Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis, California Professor Johnjoe McFadden's Presentation "Does Biology Need Quantum Mechanics?" at Imperial College London's Festival of Science 2014
  2. I want to start by saying my goal right now has been to grow moss. Simply moss. *deep breath, exhale slow* I had a tank which crashed due to my inexperience and losing CO2/fertilizer regularity. That was the underlying reason for the plants struggling. Following a few months of that, I trimmed the plant that was doing "too good" (PSO) and seemingly destroyed any progress I had on the tank. Everything dwindled down slowly over time except for my anubias. Following that, we moved houses, which led to everything in tubs with a light and almost no day to day care. I also lost the ability to setup the tank for an extended period of time which led to massive BBA outbreaks and extremely bad conditions for the plants. This post is my attempt to try to explain everything that has happened since those initial struggles and offer any bits of advice I can to help others who may have struggles with algae. I'll start here, with this video, and my morning of thoughts when the robots on youtube finally got one right and recommended a video I actually wanted to click and watch intently. I would encourage you to click it on and listen to George as you read and then go back and re-watch with the added visuals. When I first setup any sort of a "display tank" I had some pretty high expectations for myself. I had a tank, with good substrate, easy plants, and I wanted to let the plants grow before I did anything else. The idea being it was a planted tank, not an aquarium. I want to have plants in my aesthetic and I wanted to be able to have consistency in my dosing schedule and just enjoy the greenery. I planted the tank, it looks amazing and like 100's of videos I'd seen of aquascapes that led to success. Immediately I had issues with the plants uprooting themselves, not taking hold, melting, and withering away. All of that $ spent on plants was basically a waste. Attempt 2, I did a lot more research on planting depth, tried to ensure they didn't pop out of the substrate and things stayed in place, withered away, melted, and was basically a waste. Attempt 3, I tried to add the anubias from the tubs, convert it to new growth and then add another batch of plants and *hope* they actually take hold. Things were on edge of sustainability.... I can't keep buying plants to fill in this tank and have failures. This is the point when everything started to crash continuously for me. The anubias had BBA, the dwarf hairgrass had brush algae, melt, KH issues, lighting issues, lack of nutrients, and ultimately was not setup for success. Between power failures, my own struggles with consistency, overdosing because I thought it was a lack of nutrients causing the plants to fail and noticing too many shadows on the tank I had to take a step back and really just adjust how I was viewing the entire situation. One of Cory's videos had encouraged consistency, longer time between water changes, a month or several weeks at minimum. I was focusing on consistent weekly water changes and trying to keep that schedule, adjusting my lighting and dosing as a focus for my changes. There was some success to playing with those variables (separately), but ultimately the tank did crash and has struggled. I currently have the lights turned way down and I currently have the dosing set for 2/3 of a dose 2x a week of easy green. I think every sentence above speaks to how frustrated I have been with my inability to grow anything. I know if I add a stem plant in the back, it will help. If I add moss it will help. My struggle is getting enough new growth so that the entirely of the new growth can push out the algae for good. More on this concept later. I have had the tank to a place of stability where the algae is not increasing several times. Weeks of stability, but eventually something happens and it always takes hold again. I have even gone to doubling, tripling the amount of amano shrimp in my tank as a means to passively increase the ability of the tank to clean itself. Through all of these struggles there has been a few nuggets of advice I want to pass along and hope that if anyone is as discouraged as I am, to hold your chin up and try to keep pushing through the algae issues. First, I really want to commend, ecstatically so, the ability of amano shrimp to be great and cleaning algae in a tank. It doesn't matter what it is, they will *eventually* get to it. My best example I can give you is 2 bushes of anubias that have pretty long roots. It's almost like clockwork how they let it fill with BBA, clean it, go elsewhere, and then cycle back to clean those roots. Waking up and seeing those pale bright green roots is one of my favorite things. They can clean any variety of algae and they will do so without needing much of anything besides oxygenation and time. Second, manual removal and manual effort is the only real way to get through a severe algae issue. When it first started I was at a loss because every bit of my anubias was caked in BBA covered leaves. If I remove those leaves, the plant will be encouraged to grow, but have nothing but a rhizome and a few roots to do so. Giving the plant time to do it's work, manually removing the leaves as new ones appear, scraping it off leaves when I can, using a brush on hardscape, scrubbing the hard algae off of the glass and hardscape, and manually taking out every bit of frustration on algae growing on the equipment is the only real way to make progress. It's going to float around the tank and massive water changes will help to siphon out a lot of the floating debris, but it takes constant weekly effort to keep brushing it off and keep pushing it back to get ahead. Especially if the algae is stubborn and persistent. On wood, use a knife or razor blade and scrape it off. Use a sponge or stiff brush on rocks to remove it. Use a soft toothbrush on your leaves and then siphon everything out. Remove the filter, clean it thoroughly, and get ready to do the same thing next week if you need to. Keep doing this, until you get things going the right direction. That is how you give your plants a fighting chance when you're dealing with severe BBA. Third, and I want to say this is my opinion only, I think everything that is green or brown brush algae and green hair algae can simply be stopped by adjusting lighting, dosing, and giving the tank time. There are members here who have algae balls for their tanks as a main feature plant. It's very cool to see. I would prefer moss instead, but I totally understand there can be an aesthetic where something like green hair algae looks nice on the back wall of a tank as it grows in. Manually removing it once, fixing the tank lighting, adjusting dosing, I think will generally fix the vast majority of issues for most tanks. The plants can generally out-compete those two types of algae pretty easily. A lot of people struggle when the brown/green brush algae becomes the BBA variety over time as things worsen. Finally, what do I mean by the chicken and egg thing? Well, this is where I am at now. I have to fix algae so I can have plants, but I can't fix algae because I don't have enough plants. Sometimes plants literally just won't work well in your water. Be it the type of plant and parameters in your water or a situation where those plants came from water that is very different than what you can provide. I think a lot of my own struggles come from water chemistry differences as well as not having the bioload to actually out-compete the algae in question. This is where I go back to my first statement, I simply want to grow some moss.... I am on the verge of getting rid of this stinkin' BBA, it's been a journey and I'm hopeful. Make sure you have enough plants in the tank. That's the final tip. If you're really, severely struggling with plants, add something like PSO that will just out-compete everything in the tank and grow literally.... like a weed. (ref. Goliad Farms and their love of hornwort). The main thing is to keep pushing through the struggle, adapt when you need to, and pay attention to what the tank is telling you. Even daily, try to figure out what is going on. It might mean spending 20-30 minutes sitting there and pondering. It might mean testing 3-5x a week to track how your plants are using fertilizers. Understanding what is going on is critically important and above all be patient and try to give your plants the best chance to grow in. If you need to, consider adding more.
  3. As of a few months ago I have had a bad algae problem please help ID so I can better combat it, here's some info on the tank 40 breeder 75 gallon sponge filter 5 gallon sponge filter https://www.amazon.com/NICREW-Freshwater-Aquarium-Light-Spectrum/dp/B08SC4DYN1/ref=sr_1_9?crid=XUH9G37NINEY&keywords=nicrew%2Bled%2Baquarium%2Blight&qid=1655485463&sprefix=nicre%2Caps%2C72&sr=8-9&th=1 (light) https://www.petsmart.com/fish/heating-and-lighting/lights/marineland-led-bright-lighting-system-16480.html (second light) stocking ( + or - some shrimp) (and endler fry) (and Im not finished stocking have to up schools and such since many are survivors of my first tank) 3x Panda Cory (Corydoras panda) 4 x Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)4 x White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes)2 x African Dwarf Frog (Hymenochirus boettgeri)1 x Peppered Cory (Corydoras paleatus)1 x Red Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda)10 x Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina heteropoda)1 x Nerite Snail (Nerita sp.)5 x Endler (Poecilia wingei) lights where on 8 hours with the marine land on for 9 (its an abysmal light worst $60 ever spent) I did have an out break of hydra about a month ago treated with no Planaria haven't seen any since parameters since I got the tank in a google spread sheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16UK8a2AfMVECLHKoTSaUJgTGwcMM_AnGU4rpGdVpf50/edit?usp=sharing) any help is greatly appreciated!
  4. As I continue to enjoy different algae, I have not been able to identify this beautiful soft algae mass. It is in three of my tanks, snails (including Nerite), Amanos, CAE and Neos won't eat it, and it is covering rocks and wood alike. I love the look of it, but can't seem to find a name to go with it. There is Staghorn to the left in this picture, but I am interested in the one on the right side: TIA
  5. Starting this thread/ journal to track my algae battle with the Aquario Neo CO2 kit. My 29 gallon tank just cranks out hair algae, whereas it’s never been a problem in my 10 gallon in the hallway. I’ve got two limiting factors that made me decide to try a co2 kit for this tank: 1. This tank gets direct sunlight in winter, spring, and fall. Usually not more than 30 mins, but that’s still a lot (at least I’ve balanced it to where the green water hasn’t come back…) 2. My husband likes to stay up late and watch the fish with the lights on, which I’ve complained about before, but I also want him to keep enjoying the tank! I’ve been able to reduce the hair algae production to a steady, sort of manageable amount, but my plants are starting to suffer and they need a boost to compete. I’m using the Aquario CO2 kit, with the large diffuser from the coop instead of the small one in the kit. I put the diffuser in last night, so let’s see how this goes! ETA: this tank was de-algaed one week ago, but the really small hairs don’t come of the plant leaves easily, even with a toothbrush.
  6. PH 7 ammonia 0 nitrite .25 nitrate 1 KH 5 Gh 13 auto heater keeps temperature in the green bar I think 72-78 but the lines are very small for my eyes. Started as small dots of green couple days ago and expanding. 50$ Amazon light on timer from 1300-2300 Growth on Anubis and Java were from previous build, trying to save the plants, a newly cycled tank some dwarf Anubis melted the stem plants are taking off. Generic aqua soil and ACO and API root tabs covered in aqua sand. 20 gallon high with HOB filter and small ACO air stone
  7. Hi Nerms! I noticed this white stuff on my Christmas moss in my 5g tank today. Does anyone know what it is? It looks like white fuzzy tufts clumped together. Is it hair algae? Tank Parameters Temp: 78 Ph: 7.6 Ammonia: .5 ppm (Yikes! The tank has been stable for quite awhile but my wife accidentally grossly overfed the snails the last couple days so that could be the cause. Will do a water change tomorrow morning.) Nitrite: 0 Nitrates: 20 ppm Gh: 196.9 ppm (11 drops) Kh: 53.7 ppm (3 drops) Inhabitants: just bladder and ramshorn snails for now but trying to get ready for neo shrimp. Lighting: we leave the lights on quite awhile each day in an effort to grow algae so I need to get a timer and pay better attention to that. Fertilizer: Easy Green and Seachem potassium at recommended dosage for the tank size once a week. Tank has been running for a year. Very heavily planted with Java fern, susswassertang, Christmas moss, various Buce and various anubias. Quite a bit of green hair algae but I think it looks pretty so I don't remove it. Any ideas? Thanks everyone!
  8. Today is maintenance day on my saltwater aquarium. I’ve discovered a few unwanted pests in the tank that I want to get rid of. Hydroids, these pests can start irritating corals as they tend to ‘attach’ themselves to the coral. Bubble algae, these shiny green bubbles look cool, especially when there’s a cluster of them. However, this algae, like all types of algae, can take over a whole tank. When the bubble pops it releases trace elements that will form new bubbles anywhere in the aquarium. Vermetid snails, these are very common in reef aquariums. They feed using a very long string, usually inches long, that they let float through the water column waiting for something eatable to get caught on it. The problem is that these stings can tangle around and irritate corals, causing them to close up and eventually starve to death. Pulsing/pumping Xenia, this is not really a pest or algae. It’s a very hardy and invasive coral. They are quite fun to the eye, as they are constantly pulsing their polyps trying to catch food from the water column. This soft coral (meaning it doesn’t have a skeleton) grows extremely fast and tends to release polyps throughout the tank so it can form new colonies on different parts around the reef - taking ‘real estate’ from other corals. I try to limit their spread by keeping them on a separate rock in the aquarium, but as mentioned above, their polyps float throughout the tank occasionally. Lastly, Asterina Starfish. Lots of people refer to these as ‘baby starfish’. They may look cute, but they form a big threat to corals inside an aquarium. They reproduce fast and are capable of eating entire coral colonies. Again, these are very common in saltwater aquariums. What pests are you currently trying to get rid of in your freshwater or saltwater aquarium?
  9. I upgraded the size tank when we moved 2 1/2 months ago. Added some new pool filter sand and capped it with the old substrate—mulm and all. Used same plants, rocks and driftwood from old tank, hoping to keep the beneficial bacteria alive. I do not like to disturb the substrate much because I want the substrate to be enriched to feed the plant roots. I have been watching this white growth develop and hoped that it was benign and maybe useful for the ecosystem of the tank. But maybe I am letting things get carried too far in this direction? Can anyone tell me what this is and if I need to intervene and remove it for the health of my fish?
  10. Hey! So for those who know, about 2 weeks ago I got a bunch of plants to fill up the empty space in my tank. The problem is that algae blossomed EVERYWHERE in my tank. Green and brown algae on the glass along with green spot algae, and blue-green algae coating the substrate and covering the tips of my plants. I'm able to clean the algae off the glass, but I have no idea how to clean the algae off the substrate. I do have a sand vacuum, but it's quite big for a ten gallon and doesn't fit well between gaps in the rocks and plants. I don't have anything stocked in the tank except for a betta fish, but I don't think the quality of my tank is good enough to introduce shrimp or other cleaning fish/inverts. For example, the GH is way too high and I've been struggling to get it down, and there aren't enough hiding places for tiny animals like shrimp in case my betta gets aggressive. Any tips to how I can effectively clean the algae and muck without a cleaning crew or ripping up my scape?
  11. Hello everyone. I have some kind of algae infestation and I’m not sure what kind and how to fix. It is completely covering all of my plants but nothing else. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
  12. Story time: I had a thriving heavily planted aquarium with 7 corys, 2 otos, 25 olive nerites, 8 amanos, and an indeterminate number of RCS's for a little over a year. I had to leave for a work engagement for about a month and had a friend (who knows nothing about aquariums) feed the tank a tiny pinch sinking wafers every three days. Friend told me the tank was starting to grow algae pretty bad, but I said, "don't worry about it." My octopus plants apparently took over the tank. I returned to a tank with horribly fouled water, ALL of my RCS's gone, all but one olive nerite dead and fouling the water, algae out of control with tons of that weird foamy algae that grows from too much protein. The Amanos all happy and healthy--nice and chonky--and all of the fish alive and healthy looking though hiding much more than usual. I'm still finding empty snail shells every once in a while after three weeks trying to recover my tank. My vals, java ferns, and amazon sword died from being covered in a film of algae. Crypts, octopus, dwarf sag, dwarf lily fine though disappointed in being neglected. The java moss died where I placed it and grew onto the log in the tank. Tank parameters: 60 gal; "hot rodded" HOB; airstone; bubble bio MB filter 75°F 7.3pH 0ppm NH3 0ppm N02 10ppm N03 0ppm Cu 10 dGH 10 dKH For an entire year the inverts in my tank have kept it great shape sometimes a little too much poop but nothing that was a problem. I had read that sometime neocardinias get some kind of black rot (from overcrowding, I think) that is very contagious amongst themselves and nearly 100% fatal if not dealt with. I took a sample of my water to the local aquarist shop to have them test to see if the water conditions were borked. They said the pH was a little high but nothing too bad. So I bought 30 more RCS's. Within a week, all gone, no corpses, no reds. I tested the water again with roughly the same result as above (I think the hardnesses varied slightly). I'm still battling the algae that grew on everything but the water remained clear and it is slowly getting back to being nice to look at. However, I'm very disheartened and on the verge of scooping up fish and amanos and re-doing the entire tank. TL;DR Did my corys get starved while I was away and have a taste of shrimp and that's what they want to eat now? Why did all of my inverts except Amanos, and one olive nerite die, but the fish are fine? Thanks for sticking through the story.
  13. As if I don't have enough projects going currently, I've decided to add a little 75 gal to the rack to explore aquatic algal ecosystems. I'm fascinated how many aquatic systems are largely algae based, in terms of the photosynthetic organisms. I'd like to play with how that will work in an aquarium setting. I have a terrible 75 gallon aquarium that I got on super sale. The silicone is a mess all over the thing. The glass barely lines up. And the company has a reputation for tanks of this size blowing out. I'll be leak testing it outside on a patio surface for a couple weeks before draining it and moving it into the rack (even though the rack has a floor drain below it). I've also sealed the gaps in the silicone and the ones around the plastic rim. If it holds, the next step is to drill and overflow into it. I don't think the sides are tempered. Well, I certainly hope not. If all of that miraculously comes together, my next step is going to be how to cycle an aquarium while building up algae. I've got "fishless cycle" ammonia and I'll probably do drops of that to get things moving. Normally I use snails and a few fish, but I am afraid the snails might hit the algae too hard before I can get it going. Fortunately, I have an algal mat that I can seed the tank with. I've been growing it for over a decade as a means of cultivating an associated plant. Look how great it looks: Imagine an entire 75 gallon with that floating on the top?! It'll be beautiful! I've been inspired to do this based on a few videos I'd seen of pupfish out west. Like this one: And this one: To me both of these are beautiful examples of algal dominated systems. I'd like to recreate them in my tank. ***Please note that I understand fully that those fish are endangered (ESA listed) and cannot be owned legally. I will not be attempting to replicate this sort of system with those species.*** I may try to do so with related "pupfish" like Florida flag or something. I just think those videos are show particularly beautiful and inspiring scenes. So, this will be a journal of my efforts to do what most people try to avoid, grow a tank full of mucky, matted algae and keep healthy fish in it. It'll be a slow process (like all my projects), but hopefully something interesting will come of it.
  14. I know mulm and algae can look unsightly, but overall they make the biology of the aquarium better by harboring bacteria and helping with the overall 'metabolism' of the tank.
  15. Ok so I am basically brand new to this hobby and I am really struggling when it comes to getting my plants healthy and controlling my algae. The only plant that I have noticed grow at all is my tiger lotus bulb. Everything else has basically stayed the same or gotten worse since it was introduced to the tank (melting, browning, deficiencies, etc). I struggle with diagnosing nutrient deficiencies because I’m new to this hobby and am not really sure what qualifies as symptoms of nutrient deficiencies vs regular plant behavior. Most of my plants have leaves that are turning yellow or brown, my Amazon sword has leaves that went from brown to yellow to translucent and also some have holes on them, etc. I’ll attach dated photos from when each plant was first introduced to the tank vs now. Plant symptoms Tiger lotus bulb - few minor holes but that’s it Amazon sword - translucent leaves, brown patches on leaves Anubias barteri - haven’t noticed much except little to no growth Anubias nana - haven’t noticed much except little to no growth Java fern - some holes on a few leaves Cryptocoryne lucen - hasn’t grown much, awkard leaf stem shape and occasionally leaves turn yellow Cyrptocoryne wendtii - completely melted, growing some small leaves now Pogostemon stellatus octopus - 50% leaves turning yellow or brown, 50% leaves green Water sprite - leaves are browning Water wisteria - didn’t grow at all, shriveled up and turned brown Java moss - basically all of it turned yellow brown Dwarf Sagittaria - not much change, few leaves have melted In this last month I’ve really struggled with algae as well (mostly hair algae). Every week I’ll do a deep clean of the tank (scrub walls + plants + decor, vacuum substrate, rinse filter) and get almost all of the algae out of my tank then do a 50% water change, but it just grows back a few days after. So I also need advice on balancing my tank. I want to dose more thrive fertilizer since I suspect my plants are missing out on many nutrients, but I also don’t want to encourage algae growth. I don’t know if I should mess with my light schedule, my fertilizer dosages, or both. My nitrates have been consistently high >40 ppm and Ive been dosing the recommended amount of thrive weekly for about 2 months now. My lights were on from 7 am - 3 pm for the first 2 months but last week I changed it to this schedule 8 am - 12 pm : On 12pm - 1 pm : Off 1pm - 3pm : On And I also noticed some water pests 1 or 2 weeks ago (detritus worms, hydra, I think daphnia / copepods, and rhabdocoela) but that’s a topic for another time Details Tank : 20 gallon long Substrate : fluval stratum Fertilizer: thrive c (dose 1x week) Light : Finnex stingray led light Filter : sponge Heater : Fluval E100 (I keep it at 78°) I set up my tank on August 1st 2021 and it’s not fully cycled yet (mistakes were made but the cycle is nearly complete now) When I set up my tank (8/1/2021) I planted the following all in substrate: Anubias barteri Anubias nana Amazon sword Java fern cryptocoryne wendtii cryptocoryne lucen Pogostemon stellatus octopus Tiger lotus bulb A month later (9/1/2021) I attached my anubias barteri and anubias nana to wonder rock and I attached my Java fern to a coconut hut I also added new plants (9/1/2021) : Java moss Water wisteria Water sprite Dwarf Sagittara Any help or advice would be very much appreciated, thank you 🙂
  16. How much hydrogen peroxide is safe to add to a tank to battle algae? I added hydrogen peroxide to my tank today (in a localized spot) to try to get rid of staghorn algae. It looks like I added way too much. Most of my boras brigittae and a few of my pseudomugil gertrudae have died. 😭 I changed 1/2 the water, added more, and then changed 3/4 right away when I noticed the problem about 10 min after the H2O2 treatment. Hopefully I removed enough of it, but I expect to loose a few more fish. Shrimp seem to be fine. One nerite is upside down, so I am taking it out for now. 29 gallon tank
  17. Hello, Need help identifying this algae and opinion on solution. I am 5 months into my 20 long low tech and I believe I am very close to having the tank balanced. I am autodosing 2mls of easy green 3x/week and keeping my nitrates at 25ppm which is primarily from fertilizer as my plants consume all my nitrates very quickly. I seem to be struggling with what I believe to be BBA on the edges of my plants and most of the algae affects leaves that are closer towards the top of my tank. Bottom plants don’t seem to be as affected. I am unsure what lever to adjust next to reduce the amount of BBA. I am running my fluval 3.0 at 30% for 7.5 hours every day and have a good mix of fast/slow growing plants. I have 3 Amano shrimp and a full blown infestation of cherry shrimp. Wondering if I should increase lighting, increase ferts, decrease both or a combo. My primary concern is that if I don’t figure out eventually i will have to keep trimming off the affected leaves that I’ve worked so hard to grow out. Thoughts?
  18. Hello friends, I have been struggling with BBA proliferating in my tank after previously battling green string algae. Currently, BBA is the predominate algae out of control but hair algae is also making a comeback. I will list a number of my tank parameters below and hope that someone has any ideas on how to modify my tank care to stop helping BBA (and hair algae for the matter) grow. I'm feel pretty defeated as of late and am contemplating getting out of the "high tech" tank territory since it has been quite problematic for the past number of months with algae. Background Story Some background, in August, I decided to switch to using Aquarium Co-Op's Easy Green (EG) from Seachem Excel in addition to Easy Iron (mistake). The reason I added Easy Iron (EI) was to try and support mini Alternanthera Reineckii and thought I should add some more iron to help contribute to the vibrant red color. I was dosing 2 pumps, twice a week with EI and EG. That's when the BBA started. After doing that for 2 weeks, I stopped using EI altogether thinking that was the cause. Perhaps foolishly, I also thought that I could "out compete" the BBA by starting to now dose EG daily (following George Farmer's fertilizing method) since I am running a high tech setup. I started dosing EG daily for 5 weeks with weekly 50% water changes and the BBA remained steady or got slightly worse. Presently, I switched back to dosing EG only twice a week still w/ weekly water changes. With every water change, I'm having to remove a lot of BBA including bleach dipping my C02 diffuser and cutting the top of all the Monte Carlo Carpet each time, trimming plants and replanting stems, etc. The BBA may have gotten slightly worse tbh after I stopped dosing fertilizers daily and switched to twice a week. I don't know what the main cause is. Perhaps my lights are too intense. Perhaps I need to use a different fertilizer. Perhaps by C02 is not dialed in. What I do know is that BBA is thriving now in this tank ever since I started dosing EI and it won't go away. Before I had BBA issues, I had hair algae issues. This has made it almost impossible to keep flame moss (or any kind of moss) b/c algae will inevitably grow on it. Water Solution Testing I took these measurements yesterday (10/25) before performing a 50% water change on my 22 gallon long tank. I should mention that the water I use is remineralized reverse osmosis water (RO) using Salty Shrimp "Shrimp Mineral" GH/KH+. I take RO water and remineralize to about 200-220 total dissolved solids (TDS). I follow this method from Flip Aquatics. pH = 6.8 Ammonia = 0ppm Nitrite = 0ppm Nitrate = 5ppm I still don't fully understand how interpret the GH/KH measurements but below are the number of drops it took to change the color of the GH/KH solution, respectively. GH = 13 drops KH = 6 drops Plants Monte Carlo carpet Rotala Macrandra Mini = x9 stems Rotala Indica = x6 stems Flame moss - used to be on the rocks seen pictured but got too covered in BBA and hair algae and now treating in sperate bucket with Seachem Excel and Hydrogen Peroxide. You can see some of it in the one "nice" picture of my tank I included. 3 Buce = there are 2 bigger buce you will see in the "nice" picture and 1 very small one elsewhere in the tank. I also removed the 2 big buce to treat separately with excel and H202 to kill BBA Hydrocotyle Tripartita "Japan" = a few "clumps" Cryptocoryne wendtii Bronze = 3 Critters Celestial Pearl Danios = approx. 12 Galaxy Rasboras = approx. 4 Chili Rasboras = approx. 18 Phoenix Rasboras = 4 Pgymy Corydoras = approx. 8 Otto Catfish = approx. 6 Red Cherry Shrimp = approx. 8 Amano Shrimp = 3 Used to have 1 female betta - R.I.P Lighting / Ferts / Filter / Water Temp / C02 / Type of Water / Substrate / Misc I attached the screenshot of my Fluval Plant 3.0 light. Looking at another post on this forum, I'm wondering if my lights are too high. You will see that the light cycle starts at 12pm and ramps up to 100% at 12:30pm and goes till 6pm (6 hours total) . I just changed that today to reduce my lighting time in hopes that would slow down BBA growth. However, for the past number of months (6 or so), my light was starting at 11am and ramping to 100% at 11:30am and turning off at 6pm (7 hour total). Filter - Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 w/ Seachem Matrix media, Seachem Purigen and filter wool Water Temp - set to 74 degrees fahrenheit w/ heater that is apart of the Oase filter Fertilizers - as mentioned above, I currently only use Easy Green Lighting - Fluval Plant 3.0. It is handing about 1.5 feet above water. C02 - 5 lbs. tank. Gets to 30ppm about an hour after the lights turn on. The C02 turns on 2 hours before lights turn on. I take RO water and remineralize with Salty Shrimp "Shrimp Mineral" GH/KH+ to 200-220 TDS. Tank size = 22 gallons (long) My tank is in a basement that has a pretty consistent temp, however, I heat my tank as mentioned above. The tank is located next to a window sill so it does get a bit of indirect sunlight every day and it goes with the season. I live in the midwest US. I started injecting oxygen into the tank for about 3 weeks now after I gave up for now on using water skimmers. I suffered to many fish deaths from my nano fish being sucked into water skimmers to their death. (See my other post - I have yet to follow up on it). Substrate - ADA Aquasoil 2.0 with ADA Aquasoil Powder type on top. Finally....I typed as much info as I knew to provide. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer. Like I said, all this has made me want to get out of the high tech space for aquariums b/c of how many hours I have spent deep cleaning my tank and trying to diagnose the root cause of algae unsuccessfully. After being in the hobby for almost 2 years now, I still feel very much like a n00b and am humbled and frustrated! Thank you for reading and your help!
  19. I've got 3 nano tanks that have been set up for six weeks (edit: up since Aug 1. Brain fog math error). The shrimp/snails/fish in all three are doing great. The plants in two are also great, a little algae, but just enough to keep the snails happy. Then there is THIS 5gal portrait tank. The one I thought about for weeks while watching aquascape and getting excited by the hobby again. Even the java fern has struggled! The original light with the kit was said to be ok for low light (this is lo tech too btw), but the crypts, moss, and hair grass, etc., weren't thriving, even with 12hrs on a timer. Stem plants I added three weeks ago drastically melted and I had to deal with a bacteria bloom followed by managing a small ammonia (.1ppm) and then nitrite spike (.1ppm). Daily water changes of 20% helped. Decided it was time for a better light and some liquid fert (I did use an aqua soil also). I already had a bit of brown algae on surfaces, but knew this was common in new setups, and it made the snails happy. Added light, hoped the Buce and what was left of the melted stem planta would bounce back. The easy green arrived and I gave it one stingy pump since it is 5 gal. Within 3 days I had brown cotton candy throughout all the tank, but more closer to the light. Is it brown algae in a thread form? Hair algae that happens to be brown? I can remove a lot with a chopstick and in just a couple of hours it comes back with a vengeance. Afraid to add more fert, worried that if I drop light, I lose my struggling plants. Photos are from a couple of days ago, threads are spreading considerably lower now even as I remove quite a bit 1-2x daily. Probably have been overfeeding a bit as there is are 10 juvie chili rasboras I was worried about feeding enough. The betta is fine with them but no cleanup crew except nerite and bladder snails. The snails are enjoying the brown algae on surfaces, but not sure they can really go after all this suspended threadlike stuff and adding any other cleanup crew isn't an option because mean betta. Well water with a likely high iron content, 7.2 out of the tap. In the tank: Ph 7.3 Ammonia/Nitrites: 0ppm Nitrates: 20ppm, possibly a little less Gh: 180 Kh: 50 75-78 degrees
  20. I was unexpectedly gifted a bunch of plants. I don't know what most of them are, and the person who gave them to me doesn't know what any of them are. I know I have an Anubias - a big one - and one of those banana plants. I'm pretty sure one is a sword plant, and there's a bunch of moss. Everything else is a big question mark. I don't know whether to be thrilled about this or not, as I have a Co-op order on its way. Well, I said I wanted heavily planted, looks like I'm going to get just that. I need to remember to leave space for my sponge filter. What do I do with big handful of moss?
  21. I really want to get a great planted tank but I can't seem to be able to feed my plans without feeding algae. I wouldn't mind the algae but it grows on the plans and suffocates them. My lights are on timers and I'm adding flourish liquid fertilizer and root tabs. I've been trying to keep NO3 around 20 to 30 ppm and I've been pretty successful. My lights are on a timer and go on and off so they're on 8 of 12 hours (two separate two hour breaks in the day) I started using some gluteraldrahyde (the ingredient in easy carbon) to stop the algae and it's slowly killing it back but I'm afraid 1) it's harming the thin leaf plants 2) as soon as I reduce the dose I'm going right back to growing more algae. What should my next steps be?
  22. Hi All! I'm battling staghorn in my puffer tank and based on the info I've collected from you incredible people, I've decided to try to tackle my lighting first but I'm not entirely sure that's right. I have Java fern, anubias, crypt parva, susswassertang and various swords in the tank. All the plants are doing very well! Thank you @Guppysnail@Torrey for recently describing the siesta period! The tank gets some indirect natural light in the late afternoon so I have my timer set for two hours in the morning and four hours at night when we're more active -- we're bakers so we're pretty nocturnal and view the tank more at night. But the lighting adjustment was just done yesterday so not enough time yet to know if that'll help. Nitrates tend to be on the high side because of the messy puffers so I do a ~40 percent water change once a week and don't use liquid fertilizer, just root tabs for the swords. So, long story longer, is six hours enough for now? Am I going in the right direction?
  23. Ok new here, just joined. I have a 29 Gallon 8 month old planted community tank. For fish 4 Zebra Danios, 6 fancy guppies (for the wife) 8 small Neon Tetras 6 Cory Cats, 4 Amano Shrimp 3 Nerite Snails. I have 0 Amonia 0 Nitrites and 1 or 2 Nitrates. I do weekly 1/4 water changes. Use Prime in the buckets of fresh water from the tap that goes back into the tank. Tap water PH is 7.0. For Filter I use a Fluval C3, and have small bubble wall air stone. I use Seachem Matrix and Purigen in the chemical chamber and Matrix in the wet/dry chamber. I keep my tank at 76 degree. I had a awful Green hair algae breakout. Covered all my plants. was dosing it with Api c02 and using Thrive-s for the plants. I was using a LED light but found out it was not full spectrum. I ended up taking out all my plants and replacing them with nice green new ones. Also replaced the light with a true Full spectrum 6,700 Kelvin light and put it on a timer. 8 hours even have it ramping up and down to start and end so full light for 7 hours. I have Easy Green Plant fertilizer coming. Should that keep my plants happy and healthy. Oh for substate I'm using Landen Aqua Soil Substrate for Natural Planted Aquarium. Pricey but supposed to be excellent. Am I on the right track? Any input? I can not use a C02 system in my apartment complex. Here's 2 pictures of my new plants and tank. Any input or am I on the right track? Sorry for the long intro.
  24. I have a 15 g Fluval flex which is heavily planted and had 4 pea puffers. I’ve gotten rid of the puffers and want to stock the tank to balance it and clean up the algae outbreak. I am thinking of some Amani shrimp, a few neurogenic snails and a pleco. good or bad idea? Better ideas?
  25. Has anyone ever tried barley Straw to get rid of algae in their aquarium? I have read it works even on the black beard algae. I'm thinking of trying to see if it works, I read its slow but natrual so I'm thinking of trying it out. Any info yall might have plz chime in.
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