The Whole Shebang

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 40 (following re-immersion)

Current run began 30th December.

Temp 25.9C
EC 272uS/cm* [up from 267 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH 4.52* [up from 4.43 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0.065mg/l [down from from 1.42 yesterday ; down from 1.42 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.007**mg/l [down from 0.535 yesterday; down from 0.535 at beginning of current run]
Na 95.68mg/l [up from 89.04 yesterday ; up from 89.04 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise
** Used 'hybrid' test - this result is indicative.

The jar had cleared appreciably and, though not perfectly clear, the wee photometers were able to find zeroes. In the jar, ammonia tested at 1.432mg/l (1.42 yesterday) - so no munching at all, same as the day before yesterday when the alfagrog piece was unmolested. Nitrite, using the hybrid test, measured 0.160mg/l (0.291 via hybrid yesterday) so there was probably an appreciable amount of nitrite munching overnight ; the colour of the reacted sample matched closest to 4mg/l on the Aquacare colour chart. I've not replaced the 20mls of jar-water that I used for testing and have re-parked the jar (loose lid) on top of the bucket.

I've just discovered that this 'reply' window can be resized as one edits! That's very handy.

No further bucket action today.

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 41 (following re-immersion)

Current run began 30th December.

Temp 25.9C
EC 277uS/cm* [up from 272 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH 4.34* [down from 4.52 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0mg/l [down from from 0.655 yesterday ; down from 1.42 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.003**mg/l [down from 0.007** yesterday; down from 0.535 at beginning of current run]
Na 108.53mg/l [up from 95.68 yesterday ; up from 89.04 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise
** Used 'hybrid' test - this result is indicative.

The jar had pretty much cleared ; no bubbles.

In the jar, total ammonia was 2.379mg/l (it was 1.432 yesterday). Nitrite was 0.021**mg/l (it was 0.160** yesterday) ; the colour of the reacted sample matched closest to 1.00mg/l on the Aquacare chart. The temperature of the jarwater was 19.3C

It seems ammonia-munchers in the jar may have given up the ghost and are disassembling themselves. I did check a couple of weeks ago whether there were any organisms running around on the alfagrog that I could see, but there weren't any then at x400. I'll check again later on today just in case and come back and edit if I see anything. Absent little critters, I guess it's probably the ammonia-munchers (and/or a different part of the biofilm on the alfagrog) degrading, since the nitrite-munchers are still operational in the jar. Alternatively, the ammonia in the jar could have increased because dead microblighters buried under its surface had been exposed by my having crushed it. Actually I think that's more probable, because there had been ammonia-munching previously with uncrushed alfagrog in the jar.

Just in case temperature was a factor (and because it's the easiest parameter to assess!) I switched the heater off after dosing the bucket with x1 ammonia and x4 nitrite : starting points are 1.380mg/l for ammonia ; and 0.594mg/l for nitrite.

I left the jar as it was ; I'd used another 20mls of water for today's tests - there's probably just about enough left for a pair of tests tomorrow without drawing up too much 'dust'.

No further bucket action today.

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 42 (following re-immersion)

Current run began 1st January.

Temp 17.9C
EC 284uS/cm* [up from 277 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH 4.53* [up from 4.34 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0.752mg/l [down from from 1.380 yesterday ; down from 1.380 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.001**mg/l [down from 0.594** yesterday; down from 0.594 at beginning of current run]
Na 105.43mg/l [down from 108.53 yesterday ; down from 108.53 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise
** Used 'hybrid' test - this result is indicative.


The fall in temperature of 8C overnight didn't seem to upset anybody. I've moved the bucket back into my 'fish room' and have switched the heater back on.


The jar's temperature this morning was 17.5C ; no bubbles ; total ammonia had risen again to 2.428mg/l (2.379 yesterday) ; nitrite had fallen again to 0.004** (0.021** yesterday) and the colour of the reacted sample matched zero on the Aquacare colour chart. The next thing I can easily test (to try to find out why the ammonia-munchers in the jar apparently died) is oxygenation ; but I'll wait until I start a new run to do that. I emptied the remaining water out of the jar, rinsed the alfagrog in RO/DI and then returned the crushed piece of alfagrog to the bucket.

No further bucket action today.

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 43 (following re-immersion)

Current run began 1st January.

Temp 25.8C
EC 290uS/cm* [up from 284 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH 4.26* [down from 4.53 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0.036mg/l [down from from 0.752 yesterday ; down from 1.380 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.006**mg/l [down from 0.594** yesterday; down from 0.594 at beginning of current run]
Na 112.07mg/l [up from 105.43 yesterday ; up from 108.53 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise
** Used 'hybrid' test - this result is indicative.


Bucket now back up to temperature ; nothing unexpected happened overnight ...

... except in my head! I think I understand why ammonia-munching is happening at such a low pH but I've been struggling for several years to understand why nitrite-munching apparently is. What's left of my brain has been wrestling with it anew over the past few days (to the exclusion of anything that may be happening offstage, for those who may be puzzled by any radio silence!). I woke up this morning with a "D'Oh!" moment. I did a quick literature search and see that what I think may be happening may indeed be possible. It may explain the bubbles-in-the-jar ; but also may raise more questions about why they stopped appearing! To progress this I need to get to the full text of a paper (the abstract won't do) ; rather than fork out £36 for 48-hours' access online, I'm wondering if I could get it via my local library. Anyway, that's all by-the-bye for now.

I want to leave the bucket to do its thing for at least a day, maybe two, while I see what happens to nitrate and while I think about what to do next!

No further bucket action today.

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 44 (following re-immersion)

Current run began 1st January (completed 4th January).

Temp 26.0C
EC 293uS/cm* [up from 290 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH 4.33* [up from 4.26 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0mg/l [down from from 0.036 yesterday ; down from 1.380 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.010**mg/l [up from 0.006** yesterday; down from 0.594 at beginning of current run]
Na 93.47mg/l [down from 112.07 yesterday ; down from 108.53 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise
** Used 'hybrid' test - this result is indicative.

I've resisted the temptation to begin a new run and will wait to confirm (or otherwise) that nitrate still trends down without a supply of nitrite.

Libraries are closed at the moment, apart from a limited 'Click and Collect' service, under Tier 4 restrictions.

No further bucket action today.

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 45 (following re-immersion)

Current run began 1st January (completed 4th January)

Temp 25.9C
EC 291*uS/cm [down from 293 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH4.43* [up from 4.33 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0.0728mg/l [up from 0 yesterday ; down from 1.380 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.006**mg/l [down from 0.010 yesterday ; down from 0.594 at beginning of current run]
Na 91.14mg/l [down from 93.47 yesterday ; down from 108.53 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise
** Used 'hybrid' test - this result is indicative.

The nitrate test demands that the vial is shaken violently for ten seconds and then rocked gently for a further 50 seconds, else the test result could be compromised. I use a timer to keep strictly to these instructions. This morning I zoned out whilst doing the violent shaking bit (I was actually looking out of the window, squirrel-spotting!) and by the time I realised, 16 seconds had passed. So I had to repeat the test. Out of interest I allowed the first one to complete : it returned 112.96mg/l as opposed to 91.14 by the eventual valid test. Anyway ...

No further bucket action today.

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by plankton »

Nothing like a good zone ou...................t. ;)

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 46 (following re-immersion)

Current run began 1st January (completed 4th January)

Temp 26.1C
EC 292*uS/cm [up from 291 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH4.49* [up from 4.43 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0.0607mg/l [down from 0.072 yesterday ; down from 1.380 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.005**mg/l [down from 0.006 yesterday ; down from 0.594 at beginning of current run]
Na 113.40mg/l [up from 93.47 yesterday ; up from 108.53 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise
** Used 'hybrid' test - this result is indicative.


When doing a test that involves shining a light of a certain wavelength through a sample, its preparation involves making sure that that the outside of the vial's glass is clean and dry, and that the inside has no bubbles clinging to it. So my routine includes handling a vial with kitchen towel and holding it up, at an angle, to the (ambient) light and rotating it to clear bubbles if I see any. This morning I saw ...

Image

What a brave little chap! He (and any mates that he might be knocking around with) aren't welcome though. I'll see if I can find any more ; if I do I think I'll have to reset the bucket earlier than I was planning.

No further bucket action today.

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 47 (following re-immersion) [I've just seen I'm on Day 45 on the graph! I'll try to find the error and correct]

Current run began 1st January (completed 4th January)

Temp 25.4C
EC 275*uS/cm [down from 292 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH4.58* [up from 4.49 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0.0485mg/l [down from 0.0607 yesterday ; down from 1.380 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.005mg/l [same as yesterday ; down from 0.594 at beginning of current run]
Na 112.52mg/l [down from 113.40 yesterday ; up from 108.53 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise

Well I haven't found any more wee worms - I used my big syringe to jet-wash the alfagrog in the bucket, took a jugful (jugfull?) of water off the top and then passed it through a fine sieve. I'll assume it was just a one-off unless I do see more later.

New nitrite reagents arrived yesterday.

I wonder why total ammonia isn't zeroing out at the moment? Nor nitrite, for that matter. I remember this happening in the first bucket trials, some years ago, and I didn't work it out then either! I'll leave the bucket alone for another day and see what happens.

No further bucket action today.

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Re: The Whole Shebang

Post by Vale! »

Day 48 (following re-immersion)

Current run began 1st January (completed 4th January)

Temp 26.3C
EC 281*uS/cm [up from 275 yesterday ; up from 112.6 at re-immersion]
pH4.63* [up from 4.58 yesterday ; down from 6.18 at re-immersion]
TA 0.0485mg/l [same as yesterday ; down from 1.380 at beginning of current run]
Ni 0.003mg/l [down from 0.005 yesterday ; down from 0.594 at beginning of current run]
Na 106.32mg/l [down from 112.52 yesterday ; down from 108.53 at beginning of current run]

* New electrode unit fitted to meter. Suspect slightly over-reading. Awaiting confirmation from Pass Ltd. that all is well, or otherwise


I began a new run with 4 drops of ammonia solution and 40 drops of nitrite : starting points were 1.4285mg/l for ammonia ; and 0.583 for nitrite. It's been a week since the bucket's last doses, so it'll be interesting to see what happens (given that there's been a low concentration of ammonia that's refused to go away for the last few days).

After those doses have been dealt with, I'm planning to do my best to see roughly how much oxygen is being used up during the next run. I must check the Clingfilm stocks at Vale! Towers before then!

No further bucket action today.

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