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Am I dosing right

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by matthewburk, Dec 23, 2005.

  1. matthewburk

    matthewburk Junior Poster

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    I have a 90 gallon aquarium and am dosing

    2.25 teaspoons of KNO3 per week .75 per dose
    .75 teaspoons of KH2PO4 per week .25 per dose
    .75 teaspoons of CSM+B with iron per week .25 per dose

    high light, 60ppm co2.

    I have a suspicion I am overdosing on phosphate, based on the results I get in the fertialtor with these numbers.

    I am having problems with some plants, most annoying is that I pull out about 1 fullgrown leave per day of my crypt balansae becuase it has started melting.

    I also have a huge green dust problem, a GSA problem and now a BBA problem. It is not my co2 it has to be something else and to confirm high phosphate levels I tested with a Hagen phosphate test kit, I am over 5.0.

    I really need help with this, the high co2 and plenty of phosphates is not keeping the algae away.
     
  2. colonel

    colonel Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    I by no means know a whole lot about all of this, nor could I really tell you for sure that you are or arnt doing something right with this tank the way others in this forum could. So im not going to try, I will leave that advice up to others that could better advise you ;) what I did want to suggest is some more info that could help get you straightened out....
    you said...
    have a 90 gallon aquarium and am dosing

    2.25 teaspoons of KNO3 per week .75 per dose
    .75 teaspoons of KH2PO4 per week .25 per dose
    .75 teaspoons of CSM+B with iron per week .25 per dose

    high light, 60ppm co2.

    Are you just dumping all of that in once a week? or are you doseing over several days? the norm seems to pretty much be 3x a week for macros, 3x a week for micros on off days of the macros.
    also you sure about that 60ppm co2? I personally only trust a high quality PH meter caliborated often.... and as far as the PH/KH/CO2 relationship.... i have found it to not always be so accurate.
    what about your GH? and photo period? just knowing more about your tank and how you handle it comes into play here....
    I personally have a 75 g. that hasnt been doing so hot plany growth wise..... but I have found as long as I have good CO2 no matter what I do with the nutrients.... as long as I dont bottom out on something.... I get almost ZERO algae growth.... just some ideas
    Matt
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Am I dosing right

    I think you can back off a little, or do a larger weekly water change.
    What is your GH/KH?

    Often times they changes during winter for the tap.

    You can try the mist method also. It's helped a few folks with Green Dust.

    I "cured" a person's dust by doing the mist, vac the gravel(they did most of this 1/3 each time the 3 weeks prior), clean filters, and a couple of large water changes.

    I also got rid of Green water with a complete tank break down and gravel replacement.

    But you should be able to get rid of it with CO2 alone from what I've seen.
    I have been able to keep it growing for more than 3 weeks.

    It dies off.

    Since doing the mist, I cannot keep it or even start.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Am I dosing right

    I keep wondering, and don't recall any discussion of this, but: When you do the mist method, does your ppm of CO2 also go up? It seems that it would, and if so, how much of the benefit is from the higher ppm of CO2 vs the tiny bubbles of CO2 floating around?
     
  5. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    tom preaches co2 about everytime we have a problem in our tanks.from my experience that is the cause of most of my problems. i've started with the mist idea in all my press. co2 tanks.along with the proper circulation things have really changed in my tanks.no longer have to turn bubble up to allmost a steady stream to get enough co2 in tank,and my ph goes down faster.i shoot for 6.4 .but it takes a little time for things to change.large and many water changes when trouble accurs really helps me. regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  6. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    I'm not at all convinced that CO2 has much to do with green dust. I can pump in so much CO2 that my fish go all wonky, and it has no effect on green dust algae.

    TW
     
  7. matthewburk

    matthewburk Junior Poster

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    Not dumping in all at once, 3x per week, I gave a per dose amount, alternating days for macros and micros.

    50% water changes on sunday.

    I am pretty sure about the 60ppm co2, I use the miluakee ph probe green thingy. I calibrated it on 7.0 and 4.0 marks and check it regularly. I have so many bubbles going into my reactor I can't count them, it is like a continuous stream of bubbles.

    My ph drops from about 6.9 at night to 6.3 during the day KH 4.5.
    My GH 30 degress!

    Photo period is 11 hours 2low 7high 2low, no sunlight directly or indirectly.
    My light is the tek light t5 4*54 watts.

    My plants do grow, very very fast in fact.

    Tom, as far as the mist method, the bubbles are offensive to me and there must be another solution since your tanks have been algae free without deformed plant growth since before you were using the mist method. I am looking for that solution.

    Im going to back down to 1/8 teaspoon per dose on phosphates and see how that goes.
     
  8. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    until someone comes out with a very reliable testing method,and affordable i don't think anyone really knows how much co2 is really in our tanks at a given time.there can be too many variables in this hobby.each tank has a personality of it's own.when i start to get a little green dust it seems to be a little too much kno3. if i back off a little it seems to go away.but this does not happen overnight.if it takes a steady stream of bubbles of co2 and the livestock are allright,so be it.i think a lot of us are loosing co2 in our tanks in some way or another. all of us have to admit that if we choose to use pressurized co2 so plants grow much faster we are going to have to take on the problems that go with it. just like the difference between 2wpg and 5wpg,more attention and more work.maybe in the future everyone will have non co2 tanks and will be discussing how we can soupup EXCELL.bottled gas will be a thing of the past.
    regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Am I dosing right

    The pH measurement we have a good handle on, the KH is another story.
    Any hydroxide alkalinity will cause issues.

    30Gh and a KH of 4.5?
    Very odd tap water.
    Rare in fact. Well water?

    Most high GH is from Ca and Mg carbonates, the water you have would need to be almost all from CaSO4/MgSO4........possible, but typically rare and they often will soften it if public tap.

    Since algae except for the Dust is not doing well, and you have a high GH already add some MgSO4 after the water change, say 3/4 teasspoon.

    See if this helps the plant growth. Greg sells a fair rich Mg GH booster.
    You can use that also. Try adding a bit more Trace also or TMG.

    If the CO2 is really 60ppm, you should see nutty pearling.

    The other thing you can do to see if it's CO2, try a little less light, say 3 x 54 w. That will allow you more wiggle room and be plenty of light still.

    Pulling the light away from the glass, bending the reflectors in so they do not hit the glass, etc can also help.

    Some folks wipe it off, then vac right away, then refill the tank again, then scrub glass about 2-3 hours later and drain their tank(double water change).

    This gets the zoospores that reattach after the first scrub.

    Then you can a balckout which seems to hurt this species for some folks for couple 3 days.

    It went away on it's own with good CO2 in my tanks, but persisted if I let it go. Any time I've ever had an algae related issue, I always look at the CO2.

    I've gotten very good at looking at plants(many species) and knowing what the low CO2 issues are(EI rules out the rest).

    I never got GW for a reason(good filters and water changes after tank reworks, not using substrate ferts like Jobes etc, anything that causes NH4 to back up), I also never get GD for a reason(likely CO2).

    I had GD for 3 weeks once, but when I cleaned the tank a little and boosted the CO2, it never came back.

    I've been unmable to cause a GD bloom many times, I've only gotten some blooms(3) from inoculation, but it never lasted for long before dying off.

    I know many seem to have it for a long time and it's frustrating, I've seen entire groups and clubs have issues with it, but they tried the mist and had no issues since.

    So there are a few ways you can go with this.
    I'd bump up the CO2 a tad if the fish are fine.
    Turn the CO2 off at night also.

    Try the 2x water changes and scrub and then quickly drain the tank to remove the stuff.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. matthewburk

    matthewburk Junior Poster

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    Its ground water from aquifers I believe, but it is from the city, so it goes through all the processing and what not.



    I do, especially with stargrass and glosso. Way way too much from the glosso, I just got rid of it, too much bubbling.

    I am pretty sure that it is not the co2, steady stream going into my reactor, not induvidual bubbles. I will try your other suggestions first and try this if all else fails :)


    I should metion that I never actually vac the substrate, is that a potential problem? After a 2x water change do I just do my normal dosing?


    I will try all of your suggestions, 1 at a time, thankyou.
     
  11. matthewburk

    matthewburk Junior Poster

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    One thing about my co2 levels. Once my bubble rate is at a certain threshold going hihger makes no difference, reactor maxing out I assume.

    What is interestion is that I had 2 maxi-jet 600 powerheads about 2 inches below the water level with the outflow pointed up to create lots of surface turblance. (Becuase of film building up, which I finally found out was due to a melting group of plants) The surface turbulance was very high. I expected more co2 loss but did not get it.

    I think the amount of turbulance/water throughput created in my reactor maxes out around 60ppm as far as being able to dissolve the co2 into the water, then a pocket of co2 builds up meaning I am putting in more c02 than necessary (however it is necessary to get maximum efficiency from my reactor). So my theory is that the outgassing of more co2 due to surface turbulance, was simply replaced by the excess that my reactor was unable to use before becuase of being maxed out.

    I think I will try opening my needle valve all the way and see if I can get above 60ppm.
     
  12. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    Matthewburk, i've tryed something that may work for you. i have a diy side mounted,(viaaqua [HASHTAG]#480[/HASHTAG] pump at 195gph) using viewtainer for reactor chamber. cut 3" length of another viewtainer and cut out center of end that slips on and made sleeve to attach to reactor chamber.this method gives bubble more time in chamber to break up,and you get very small bubbles coming out bottom. i've found that longer reactor chambers work better and much more efficient. regards,cornhusker :) :)
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Am I dosing right

    Using a DIY viewtainer and a decent powerhead, I can easily hit 100ppm of CO2 in a 30-55 gal tank in a couple of hours.

    You need to have some current push the mist outflow around the tank from one long end to the other.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. matthewburk

    matthewburk Junior Poster

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    Can I just add epsom salts?
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Am I dosing right

    MgSO4 . 7H2O = epsom salt

    So yep

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. matthewburk

    matthewburk Junior Poster

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    Re: Am I dosing right

    I did more thourough observation of my co2 and was able to get it over 100ppm quite easily, the fish did not like that at all. I now have my ph at 6.3 for most of the lighted period with a KH of 3.5-4.0.

    On my last water change I added the epsom salts, but also used all RO water bringing my GH to 15deg.

    I aslo started a treatment of maracide becuase I suspected ick becuase a couple of my fish were scratching against some rocks.

    I also halved my dosing of phosphate to 1/8 tsp 3x per week.

    I also double dosed excel for the whole week.

    The results from all of this have been great, but I'm not sure what really did it.

    Green dust has almost completely disappeared, same with GSA on glass, BBA is beaten back and plants that were growing in deformed are looking better.

    Also all the gunk in the tubes to and from my filter is clearing out, I would say about 75% of it is gone, have no idea what could cause this, but suspect the maracide since I have done the excel routine before and not had it happen.

    I have one question for you Tom :)

    Since I am cutting my tap with RO, and after tonights water change am around 10deg GH, do you still recommned the 3/4tsp of epsom salts?
     
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