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Excess Nutrients??

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by kevinmichael77, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    My tank had been running pretty well the last few months and all of the sudden growth had really stalled out and I've developed GDA and a bit of hair algae here and there on various plants. I did start adding a bit more traces and phosphates as well as started dosing FE 3x a week, I also cut back on my nitrates a bit since the levels were running pretty high when I'd test them. My question is I guess is that is it possible that excess nutrients can cause the problems I've been having? I've read up on the algal problems I've been having and this cause has come up a few times. My co2 has been stable and my lighting is sufficient so I'm just not sure what the problem could be. When I tested for nitrates this week it was around 40ppm but my phosphates showed a bright blue which tells me they are at least in the 10 range. I'd bumped up my phosphates from 1/8 to 1/4 3x but otherwise I've been following the EI dosing suggestions 20-40 gallon tanks.

    I'm just not sure what the problem is or what the next step would be to get my plants growing lush like they had been.

    Any help would be appreciated and please let me know if there's any further information you need which could help pin point the problem.


    Kev
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Just the algae alone is far more telling, those all seem to have a strong correlation with lower CO2 under high light.
    That would be the source of any stall you might see, prior to the changes you made in dosing.


    Only Co2 will produce such stalls in growth IME, ferts? I've gone some time without adding them and some time with adding them.
    They are more subtle.
     
  3. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    I gotcha. So would the best solution be to push the co2 a bit further or raise my light fixture? I know a drop checker is not 100% accurate but mine tends to always be a nice bright lime green. Then I could just continue my regular dosing according to the Ei scaling.

    Kev
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Do not even bother with the DC for CO2 content.
     
  5. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    I gotcha. I raised the light just a tad an I'll push the co2 a bit the next few days and see how the fish respond. It's just hard for me to tell sometimes if their gasping or just waiting for me to feed them.

    Thanks for your time Tom! I'll get this one day I swear.

    Kev
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Kevin,

    I would say root cause is plant growth exceeded the c02 available. If things have been growing in for some time, c02 needs to increase slightly as well. Heavy and rapid plant growth can eat up a lot of c02.

    I way overdose EI in all 3 tanks and that is never the cause of my algae or poor growth issues. Has always been c02 one way or the other :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Kevin,

    I would say root cause is plant growth exceeded the c02 available. If things have been growing in for some time, c02 needs to increase slightly as well. Heavy and rapid plant growth can eat up a lot of c02.

    I way overdose EI in all 3 tanks and that is never the cause of my algae or poor growth issues. Has always been c02 one way or the other :)
     
  7. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    That makes sense. So if plants can adjust and require more co2 can fish build a tolerance to rising co2 levels as well? May be a dumb question but ad much as I love growing plants I certainly don't want to slowly poison my fauna.

    Also just to be clear for my own sake. Is it possible to have excess nutrients to the point it will affect the plants or cause algae growth? I do my 50% water changes religiously once per week. I ask because I'm still in the learning phase but I've read that if you increase say, for example, phosphates it can throw off other required nutrients and an imbalance occurs. I do not have a scientific mind so the chemistry of all this is a struggle for me.


    Kev
     
  8. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    It seems in my experience that they can! I finally bought a long needed real needle valve (Ideal) and now I'm able to slowly, and accuratly adjust CO2 delivery rates. With the method of pushing CO2 a little bit every 4 days then observe I've been able to take the CO2 level way further than I ever thought I could with no fish stress. If I were to believe the KH/GH chart I would think I had 160+ PPM CO2 right now (but I don't believe it). My KH is 7, my end of the day PH is 6.1-6.0

    However, when I changed it quickly I did see fish stress.

    I do have a High fish load BTW,.. I keep Discus, guppies, tetras, and Plecos in this tank.

    Whiskey
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Kevin, fish can be trained, but you always need to be careful with fish and inverts.

    You could have excess nutes, but you would really have to dump lots of macros to make this happen. I doubt you are even coming close.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Kevin, fish can be trained, but you always need to be careful with fish and inverts.

    You could have excess nutes, but you would really have to dump lots of macros to make this happen. I doubt you are even coming close.
     
  10. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah I'm just making minor adjustments on the co2 every few days and keeping an eye on the fish behavior.

    I do have some ammano shrimp coming this week to help a bit with the hair algae. What is the best way to introduce shrimp to a co2 injected tank, especially one with higher levels? I'd hate to gas em all before they get a chance to help clean my tank up a bit.

    Also if that's the case there's no way I'd have excess nutrients. Like I said I've basically been following the Ei regimine ever since I started.

    Could adding the liquid FE have changed anything?
    Should I just add more of the csm+b instead?

    Kev

     
    #10 kevinmichael77, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2014
  11. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    Low lighting??

    So I've been battling stagnant growth and a bout with gda as well as hair algae. I tried a 3 day blackout and although it reduced the hair algae for a couple days it's still rampant.

    This evening I noticed that my bml controller showed that my lights were only at 10% intensity vs. the 100% that I had set them on. I'm pretty sure the controller is faulty as the display screen is all jumbled and flickering. I'm not sure how long the lights have been reduced but could this be the cause of these particular algae issues? I've returned to my normal Ei dosing, reduced feeding and steadily increased co2 with no change in anything just more hair algae. I'm afraid all my plants are unrecoverable at this point.

    Could the drastic reduction in light have caused this issue. I thought perhaps I had a tiny ammonia spike after a rescape that caused this but nothing besides my Wallichi is growing. Before I literally had to trim every week and a half to two weeks.

    Please let me know if I've found the issue and if my plants can recover.

    Thanks
    Kevin
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If Hair algae is coming back, you have plenty of light and not enough CO2.
    GDA, get a bristle nose pleco or two.

    I really never found much use for blackouts, but they can kill off BGA, that's about all.
     
  13. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    I gotcha. Everything seems to revolve around more co2, I was really hoping I found the culprit in the light. I just don't understand how the tank changed so much without adjusting anything. Besides going maybe a day without co2 after the tank emptied I never touched it up or down.

    I've really been pushing it an it's hard to imagine going much further without gassing the fish. The tank already looks like a big glass of 7-UP. I've got the co2 dispersing into the sump via a needle wheel pump but the tank still gets the soda look. I've been covering the return section with a thick towel to limit the co2 loss but perhaps this isn't working.

    Should I just keep adjusting it up?

    Kev
     
  14. gsjmia

    gsjmia Lifetime Members
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    Amano's do a good job on hair algae if you get enough of them to be hungry.
     
  15. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    Put 25 in last week. Not sure how many are left but not that many. Prolly need a thousand.
     
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