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Could Use Some Advice

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by imatrout, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. imatrout

    imatrout Prolific Poster

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    About 2 months ago I decided to change out the substrate in my tank to 100% Eco-Complete. I was having some success with plants, but felt that I needed to shift my set up to a more plant friendly environment. My problem is I have seen a real slow down in growth since then and even some plants that were never a prblem before, start declining. My Rotala Indica used to be a weed, now it barely clings to life, Sunset Hydro gets holes in the leaves and my Ludwegia will just die in the middle of a stem and fall off.

    Here's my setup and params:

    150 gal 100% Eco-Complete Substrate
    Pressurized CO2 with an AM 1000 reactor
    460 Watts of power compact lighting 12 hrs/day.

    Fish Load:

    8 Discus 4"-5"
    20 small Rainbowfish
    10 SAE's 2"- 4"
    6 Corys
    6 Pencilfish

    Params:

    NO3 = 25 ppm
    PO4 = 1.0
    PH Tap = 8.0
    PH with CO2 = 6.8
    KH = 9.5
    CO2 = 45 ppm

    Fert Routine:

    Sunday:
    50% WC
    1.5 tsp. KNO3
    .25 tsp KH2PO4
    1 tsp. K2SO4

    Mon, Wed, Fri:
    15 mls Flourish
    Tue, Thu, Sat:
    15 mls Flourish Iron

    I rarely dose macros during the week as I never run out of Nitrate. In fact it seems to build in the tank throughout the week like there is no uptake at all. Maybe it's the fish load?

    I might add 1/8 tsp of KH2PO4 on Wed or Thu. I have zero algae which is good, but I am seeing poor growth and health from plants and can't figure it out. I get minimal pearling. I have a small nano tank also that I basically treat the same way and it's perling like club soda!

    Any ideas or advice???
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Re: Could Use Some Advice

    Reduce lighting to 10 hours /day.
    Did you add the mulm from the old tank to the new one?
    If not it'll take awhile for the tank to accumulate the mulm and get cycling well.

    Next, stop trusting those test kits (NO3 in particular).
    Add more KNO3.

    If you get good growth for the first 2-3 days and then to drops off, then you have this issue and perhaps CO2.

    If NO3 is truly building up, then it's CO2.

    If CO2 is truly 45 ppm(when is this measured? Is it 45ppm all day long or?), then it's going to be the NO3. One of those are messed up.

    Better mixing, better circulation/current etc.
    I'd have no less than 350-400gph going through a reactor and then shoot the outflow down and along the bottom of the plant beds.

    Other issues:
    GH, do you add any MgSO4? I assume the GH is at least 5 or higher and it's never all Mg, so adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of MgSO4 should address that weekly.
    Traces: add 25-30mls 3x a week

    Other than this, I can give you a routine folks with high bioloads use........

    You add KNO3/KH2PO4, 3-4x a week and the above Traces/Mg etc, but do 2x a week water changes, 50% etc.

    This can help you whip the tank into shape and recorrect things when you are unsure.

    Or you can do it as normal routine.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. imatrout

    imatrout Prolific Poster

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    Re: Could Use Some Advice

    Thanks Tom,

    Do I have to worry about Nitrate build up with the discus? If I dose 3x per week, I'll have nitrate in the 40 - 50 ppm range. Isn't that supposed to be bad for the discus? Also, I'd appreiate the dosing schedule you mentioned.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Re: Could Use Some Advice

    No, many folks have done this with them.
    Nitrate from food is not the same as from KNO3.

    You can try and see, also, if you are worried about that, try ther 2x water changes a week, this will lower the food based NO3 source(if it's really this high) and replace it with inorganic NO3 and maintain a lower level, closer to 20-30ppm.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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