Few Q's from newbie

brettmck

Junior Poster
Aug 22, 2008
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Hi all,

I am a newbie here and would like to ask a few questions. Firstly my tank is a 90x60x60 approx 320L, running a eheim 2028 for filtration. Lighting is two 150w MH bulbs. I have used a thick layer of ADA malaya substrate and was using the ADA ferts but now it is getting too expensive to continue, my plants are

Aponogeton vanbruggenii
Marsilea hirsuta
Pogostemon stellatus
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Echinodorus tenellus
Rotala sp. green

CIMG2477.jpg


I am using co2 at 2bps at present. pH 6.8, kH 2, i never get any readings of NH4 or nitrite and only small amounts of nitrate. I use a liquid fert from a local aquatic plant nursery.

1. I have some potassium carbonate powder to raise my kH (my target is 4) and to supply potassium. How do i work out how much to dilute in de mineralized water? is it just guess work.

2. I occasionally get an algae bloom and the water turns a shade of green, is this underfertization or over? or not the right amount of co2.

3. when the water clears up i get algae growing on the leafs of my crypts but know where else, how to combat this.

I get really good growth at the moment but now i am trying to find a stable balance and keep the tank looking good. hope thats not too many questions all at once

Thanks
Brett
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 24, 2005
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That is about an 85 gallon tank, so you will need more than 2 bubbles per second of CO2 to get the CO2 concentration in the water up to the 30 ppm or so level that you need to be able to use that much light.

Rather than using a "liquid fertilizer from a local aquatic plant nursery", which you don't know the contents of, you would do much better to buy some cheap potassium nitrate, mono potassium phosphate and a trace element mix, such as CSM+B (or Flourish, Tropica Plant Nutrition Liquid, etc.), and dose those per the EI method described here, http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-index/62-estimative-index-dosing-no-need-test-kits.html.

If you have those MH lights set up so you can raise them, you can keep them high enough not to have excessive light intensity. If you have them raised about 6 to 9 inches above the top of the tank you should have about the right amount of light. The light intensity will drop proportional to about one divided by the square of the distance from the bulbs.
 

brettmck

Junior Poster
Aug 22, 2008
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Thanks for that,

I have reduced my light period to six hours and raised the light above the tank as well.

Raised co2 to 4bps for now and will see how that goes. have started reading through all the literature for EI ( there is a lot) my only issue with that is that i am sometimes away from town with work, sometimes a few weeks or more so water change is an issue. Is it ok just to do water change before i go and not add the ferts for that period?
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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When you miss doing a weekly water change, the concentration of some of the fertilizers may increase beyond twice the weekly total dosage of fertilizers. But, since the plants are growing and using much of that dosage, realistically the concentrations won't increase that much. You can go two weeks between water changes without having to worry about it, assuming you have lots of plants that are growing. But, if you stop dosing ferts for several days, you can stop the plant growth, which is an invitation to algae to start growing.
 

brettmck

Junior Poster
Aug 22, 2008
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Thanks for that, would a uv sterilizer be of any help to combat algae when i can't dose the ferts?
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Less light and more water changes will help a lot.
Excel can help with algae, but it's basically CO2 in a certain sense, so best to focus on the root causes.

If you are away from the tank long time frames, raise the light or find someone to take care of the tank during that time.

Tank still looks fairly new, so once the tennellus grows in, it'll be more stable.

BTW, on the Newsletter, there's a precise analysis to DIY the ADA liquid fertilizers including independent analysis for conformation.

But you'd need to be a subscriber, still, the cost of that is less than a single bottle of 250mls of any ADA liquid fertilizer :eek:

It's funny to hear folks complain about the cost of that, when the amount they'd save is far more;) I spent 600$ for the independent test myself, but in the long run, I wanted tro know so I could compare it.

So no more guessing and no more $$$ brand name liquid ferts.
I shared this so folks no longer have to spend all this $$$.

Some folks seemed to think I should give the 2 day's worth of full time work and 600$ effort away for free.

They would save far more than pitiful small amount for subscription, but still, many cannot seem to do economics :p

DIY ferts are cheap and easy to use.
They can also be modified to meet anyone's goal and also compliment the Sediment based ferts exceptionally well also extending the sediment life.

So the ADA sediment will last longer by adding the liquids.

Regards,
Tom Barr