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Do ferts need to be increased with increased co2?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by skiboarder72, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. skiboarder72

    skiboarder72 Junior Poster

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    Lately, pretty much ever since I went to pressurized my growth rates have really slowed/stopped. The plants are all pearling, I have my co2 to the maximum amount I can (e.i. fish are gasping at the surface after its been on for a few hours). I am still getting some BBA? green furry algae on everything thats over a week old. I have been doing EI ferts, with my 65w (6700k/10000k) over 26 gallons going for 9hrs a day. I am also getting some GDA and GSA on the glass... I thought these should go away with high co2 levels/fert levels. My crappy test kits gave my co2 a 60ppm reading (and the puffers reflect this and bubble rate of 2-3bps). I am diffusing into a co2 ladder with my co2 on a timer with the lights.

    What am I doing wrong, my hornwort and swords and java ferns have stopped growing... they used to grow a few inchs a day back in my DIY co2 days... whats the deal! I am giving too much co2 for my ferts2??
     
  2. skiboarder72

    skiboarder72 Junior Poster

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    one of you guys has to know, your the smartest plant guys on the net!
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You have adequate light, so all that is left is nutrients and lighting duration. I have found that 8 hours a day of light is adequate for the plants, and reduces the algae problems. For nutrients you need to be dosing per the EI method, KNO3, KH2PO4 and a trace element mix, such as CSM+B or Flourish. If you buy or make a "drop checker" - see the thread about it here - you will be sure that you have adequate CO2 in the water. The fact that you still get BBA hints that you don't have enough CO2. GSA is a hint that you don't have enough phosphate in the water.
     
  4. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am not one of the smartest plant guys on the net by far, but I do have a lot opinions. :)

    One opinion is that one shouldn't stress his fish by injecting too much CO2. I don't know at what level fish start to be stressed. It probably depends on a number of other environmental factors. I read somewhere that plants can't make use of more than 30 or 40 PPM of CO2. So consider cutting back on your CO2.

    I assume that you mean that your pH and KH test kits are "crappy" and hence the calculated 60 PPM level is questionable. It might be, but since the fish are showing signs of stress it might not be, too. Until recently there was no reasonable alternative to those "crappy" test kits to estimate CO2 levels and yet people were able to create wondeful plantscapes.

    Since you are using EI I won't suggest testing your water for nutrients, but you might consider increasing the dosing. But I really don't know much about that.

    Good luck.

    Bill
     
  5. skiboarder72

    skiboarder72 Junior Poster

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    thanks for the replies,

    I have been dosing 1/4 kno3
    1/16th po4
    1/16th so4
    5ml flourish

    I think I am doing everything right... I don't think any new BBA is forming and I bought some excel to help me get rid of old stuff... this is getting frustrating though with the GSA and random stringy green dust/strings on some of the plants, my red myrio hasn't grown at all in the last 3 weeks, neither has my hornwort, i think that reading the fish is much more accurate than any test kit/drop checker and thats why I have pushed the fish to the edge, just to make sure that is not the problem

    i thought high co2 + EI + proper lights = happy plants :(

    any idea's master barr?
     
  6. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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    Your dosing sounds pretty good to me. You're dosing about what a high light, high growth 20g tank would get but your plants aren't high light plants and your light isn't very high light so they aren't sucking up nutrients, with the possible exception of hornwort if it's a fast grower. I imagine you are dosing enough.

    I dose Flourish per bottle instructions. According to the bottle, you're dosing 2x the normal amount. Flourish is more potent than the standard CSM+B solution. You could try dosing 2.5-3.0ml instead of 5ml.

    You may also have a need for iron. Plants pale?

    Drop the lighting down to 8 hours for now.

    What type of filtration do you use and how often do you clean it? You may have a buildup of waste in your filter.

    Any idea what your GH is? Adequate Ca and Mg? What about KH? Ei macros and micros don't address hardness or alkalinity. Those are parameters that have to be adjusted on an individual basis. You could try adding some SeaChem Equilibrium or Barr Booster if you have zip hardness.

    If everything was great before the increased Co2 and you haven't changed anything else, it sounds like some nutrient is being exhausted and becoming a limiting factor. You should have the macros and micros covered with Ei in that tank.

    Lighting, nutrients and minerals, carbon levels, cleanliness. Those are the areas you want to scrutinize whenever things start to go sour.

    I saw your thread days ago but waited because I wanted people who had experienced stunting to reply. Me, I'm just covering generic bases since I haven't been in your particular pair of shoes...yet.
     
  7. skiboarder72

    skiboarder72 Junior Poster

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    thanks for the reply richard, I have a ph of around 6.8 with a kh and ga ~160ppm, so I do not believe those to be problems, I don't have any pale leaves as of now so I don't think its an iron problem, I used to dose 2-3ml of flourish but I upped it to make sure I had no defiecencies.

    Cleanliness could be the problem as you brought up, I have been doing weekly water changes but I have a wisper 40 HOB filter, its a variable speed model with up to 210gph filtration, I usually have it on the max to ensure nutrients and co2 get swirled around, I haven't changed out the filter media and it looks to be pretty dirty (I have rinsed it out in tank water a few times though). The flow doesn't seem as good through it. It has activated carbon in it (which I am sure is no longer activated), should I replace the filter floss and carbon in it? I was told not to change these things on planted tanks because of the loss of minerals. Maybe I should switch this out. The used-to-be-fast-growing hornwort (3in a day) has stopped growing and I think maybe be polluting the tank too. Thanks again,

    anyone else have any input? you guys are a big help!
     
  8. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, I took the carbon out of my filter.

    Can't remember which, but it removes some of the traces (0ne of the gurus may explain further ;) ). I just run course and fine sponges.

    Brian
     
  9. skiboarder72

    skiboarder72 Junior Poster

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    I'll take it out when I get home later tonight... hopefully it will help
     
  10. lacustris

    lacustris Junior Poster

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    did your hornwort start to grow again??i had the same problem, since i started adding pressurized co2 hornwort stopped growing and became very thin..unhealthy..before that i didnt add co2 add all and i grow very very good, same with my javamos...still dont know the reason.
     
  11. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    This probably isn't very helpful because I can't explain why. But one time I went to two 15 watt incandescent bulbs on my 10g tank. I figured all my plants would just die off. But to my surprise my java fern totally went nuts and doubled in size in about a month. I think the higher lighting prior to that was enabling some other thing to use up the nutrients (algae maybe?) and with the lower lighting, my java fern finally got the upper hand. Even now, I have 26w of florescent light on my 10g and have co2 plus dosing ei, and my java ferns are not growing as nicely as they were back then. If anyone understands this I'd love to know why.
     
  12. Sintei

    Sintei Lifetime Charter Member
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    1: No coal filter!
    2: Hight CO2 could just be low O2. Doesnt make sense? Aim your filter slightly towards the surface to get some movement. You might loose some CO2, but infact youre getting more O2 into the water, and you can add more CO2 in the end.
    3 Use excell to nuke everything and get "a clean start".
     
  13. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Anything you add to help plants helps algae too for the most part. The trick is figuring out how to find the right ratios of ferts/light that will just give your plants the upper hand. It seems to me that adding co2 just basically moves things along faster on whatever track they are already on, so if you're on a track of helping algae, it will just get you there faster, it won't change the algae issue. I'm still learning and trying to figure things out, but I've had major run-in's with algae and what I've learned works for me so far is to

    1. reduce lighting as much as you can without having adverse effects on your plants, 2. keep up with serious 50% water changes every week and start out by cleaning off any algae you can and siphon it out, and 3. try adjusting the ratio of your fertilizing a week at a time and see what happens. (i.e. try adding more nitrate one week, more phosphate one week, etc. and take notice of the plant growth/algae growth)
     
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