Could Use Some Advice

imatrout

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Apr 4, 2005
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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???
 

Tom Barr

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Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
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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
 

imatrout

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Apr 4, 2005
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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.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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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