I also test the water every week, for GH, KH, N, & P. It’s not that I am too concerned about the actual readings, I just want to make sure nothing super wacky is going on. For me, stable is good. Todays reading were GH 6, KH 4, Nitrates 25, Phosphates 3.
Now keep in mind this AFTER a 70% water change. Which means my Nitrates were closer to 75, and Phosphates closer to 6 before the change. Yes, they seem high. Remember, this tank is HEAVILY stock with fish. An even then, producing lots N & P, I still dose full EI macros. If I don’t, my plants rebel every time.
I keep a spreadsheet documenting everything I talked about here. I know it seems a little crazy, but it helps me to see where I’ve been, and that helps me plan where to go.
Boy that has a nice ring to it “Rainbow Zoo Aquatic Garden”. If I ever rename my thread, that will definitely be it!I read through the entire thread, which is very informative to me because your set up is closest to mine. Like my cichlid planted tank, you keep a zoo of large Rainbows in a lush aquatic garden. Most plant journals I read are all about plants with hardly visible small schooling fish. Maintaining a planted tank with heavy fish load is a different ball game from maintaining a light fish, plant heavy tank.
I also keep a spreadsheet on my tank maintenance schedule, including testing results and species I keep, for the last 30 years. I only started my first and the only one planted tank this year, which is recorded in my spreasheet. Keeping a spreadsheet isn't crazy as I own 6 fish tanks and need to know each tank maintenance schedule and requirement.
The fish load in my planted tank is even heavier than yours, as I keep bulky cichlid ranging from 3 to 10 inch. I notice you have several clown loaches. They can be problem in the future as they can get big and like to burrow in between and push plants apart. My cichid like to dig, so I stay out of stem plants and grow mostly epiphytes (Anubias, Buce, and Java fern) attached to rock. I love the beauty of your stem plants, but I can't keep them.
With heavy fish load, I also do 75% WC weekly, but the plant uptake still isn't enough to drastically bring down N and P. I am surprised you still dose N and P despite reaching 75 ppm and 6 ppm before your WC. Are you sure your plants need them or they are benefiting from the K coming from dosing KNO3 and KH2PO4 since you don't have test data for K to know the deficiencies.
You mentioned that in every WC, you spray with peroxide on exposed surfaces to combat algae. I do it too. Do you also dose Excel? I do to keep BBA out of hardscape, though my plants are nearly all free of algae.
Yes it's Proserpinaca Palustris, and it definitely changes a lot. It's like a mood ring for the tank.Hey Greggz, if I am not mistaken, the Mermaid Weed is Proserpinaca Palustris. If this is correct, I have experienced something similar. I have seen it change shape like that when I was playing around with Fe/traces. Your case though is much more extreme. I have seen differences like that between my CO2 and NON-CO2 tanks. Good to know people having similar experiences.
And about the spreadsheet: I do the same man.Glad you mentioned
OK am I nerdy now if I have a spreadsheet for that too??? Maybe I am because I do.Hi Greggz! Great write up on your maintenance routine. Your tank and fishes look great!
Can you please let know on your daily/weekly dosing (ppm) of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe and Micros? Is there any other element that you dose in addition to these?
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Yes, that's a typo, 0.125 DTPA Fe 1/8 tsp per dose. And yes, RO water, so I add minerals back in.I think he meant 0.125 or 1/8 tbs DTPA Fe to get 0.13 ppm Fe. I dose the same at 1/8 tbs to achieve 0.2 ppm Fe in my 75.
He uses recomposed RO water, so he adds more minerals. I use tap water on dolomite substrate which is rich in Ca, Mg and CO3 will likely achieve the same mineral balance.
Yes, those numbers are after the water change. My tank is well fed heavily stocked and creates quite a bit of N.Thank you! Spreadsheet shows NO3 between 20-30 ppm and PO4 between 2-4 ppm. I interpret that these are numbers you see after the weekly water change. Please correct me if I am mistaken.
4 ppm PO4 4x a week seems to be a lot compared with general EI recommendation. Any reason why you dose at this level?
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LRJ thanks for the kind words. On this board in particular I consider myself someone just stumbling along trying to figure things out. I will say finally two years after starting this journey I'm pretty happy, but it's been through a ton of trial and error. Still have a ways to go to get the levels of some on here, but as always will continue to try and improve.@Greggz Awesome post about your maintenance routine, dosing, record keeping, etc. Always helpful to get a detailed look at how people who are successful in this hobby run their tanks, and a reminder of how much behind the scenes work goes into that success.
I have a question. Your GH testing at 6 seems surprisingly high given your doses of CaSO4 and MgSO4. Is there something else contributing to the tank's GH? I'm curious, because I am in the process of transitioning from tap to RO and have been working on figuring out the right levels of reconstitution.