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HC melting

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by nmullens, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    Problem: HC is melting and growing at the same time. About three weeks ago I added Tek T5HO 4 x 48" in place of two light banks 260W PC and 108w T5HO. Everything was growing fine a that point. Once I added the new light my HC started melting randomly. Sometime on water change day, sometime after dosing, and sometime on off days. My HC does still seem to be growing though as I get lots of pearling once I have all 4 bulbs burning. When I have a large melt I can also notice some yellowing/browning on a couple stems of downi also. I am guessing it is some king of deficiency due to the new lights just not sure what to change.

    Tank Specs:
    120 gal 4x2x2
    T5HO Tek light (2 bulbs 1 6700k and 1 10000k on for eight hours and 2 bulbs 2 * 6700k on for the last 4.5 hours of the eight)
    Filter FX5
    pressurized co2, that is fed into a DIY rex grigg reactor that runs into a Mag 9.5 needle wheel.

    Mid week on dosing schedule, nutrient measurements.
    NO3 about 5-10 ppm (used reference solution)
    PO4 about 5ppm (used reference solution)
    KH 3
    GH 2
    Temp 26 deg Cel
    Co2 maybe 5+ bubbles keeps drop checkers yellow.

    My Dosing Schedule EI:
    Macro's Day EOD:
    NO3 2.2 grams
    PO4 1.1 grams
    K2SO4 10 grams
    1 tsp of GH boost (three parts KSO4, thee parts CaS04, on Part MgSO4)

    Mico Day EOD:
    Chelated Micro Nutrients 1.5gram

    My tank:
    Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    If I understand that you increased the intensity of the light but DID NOT increase c02 and ferts accordingly, than I would suggest increasing c02 slowly and carefully until it is up to snuff and adjusting your ferts (only if needed) until things come around.

    Your burst of light no doubt triggers pearling (which shows the plant is doing it's thing) but I doubt you have enough c02 for ALL THE PLANTS and that is what your plants are saying.

    How many watts each are the new bulbs?

    Your link is for the home page. You need the url where your photos are..............:)
     
  3. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Gerry,
    I will try bumping up the co2. My bulbs are 54W t5HO. I have also fixed that link.

     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    You are a bit under 2 wpg (meaningless unit of measure (UOM) I know) but T5 with a nice reflector will give plenty of light.

    I would say plus new bulbs there was a decent increase in lighting that drove more demand and created a limiting scenario...

    You can also add more 02 (aeration, surface ripple, etc) to counteract any increase in c02 to relieve the fish....

    We always forget to increase c02 but are happy to increase fert dosing when the bio-mass gets larger or we have 'algae issues' :rolleyes: I am guilty of this myself :eek:

    I love your tank! Very nice! I envy the nice HC carpet... My HC is finally starting to creep YAY
     
  5. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    Thanks again Gerry, yesterday my UG started to melt a bit. Only a small patch the size of a nickle that was right in the middle of healthy growth. I bumped up my co2 again and will see how it looks after work today.


     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    You may want to slow down on adjusting the c02 so quickly...

    It takes time (days) for the plants to react to levels of c02. Some plants adjust more quickly than others.

    So, adjusting daily may be too much as the plants don't have time to adjust to th new level before you toss another at them. This will make things worse in a way as they will still not grow optimally and still produce nh4.

    Just adjust a bit every 2-4 days and watch the plants and fish.

    IME once the melt occurs this is past the point where the issue started and may continue even if the root cause has been fixed.

    So even if the c02 is now good, the plants may still 'melt' a bit.

    Just eliminate any bad growth as once things are better, the growth will be back.
     
  7. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    Good point, I will bump it up a bit slower. I kind of got in panic mode when I started top see them melt.

    Thanks again.

     
  8. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    Well I think I still have some HC melting and I also now have BGA starting on my HC. I have bumped up my co2 to the point where I can't count my bubbles and I have so many micro bubble that it is unpleasant to look at. Fish are still doing good other plants still doing good. I have noticed that the only day I had pearling this week was water change day about 5 days ago. Downi seem paler then normal more yellow then dark green. I had that start of BGA on the fringe of some HC on water change 5 days ago and it has very slowly spread around some HC and on my UG. I am not sure what I should do now. Should I black out now for 4 days to take care of the BGA . Should I try and wait it out. My guess is that I was limiting on my NO3 as I was running it lean to start with before I bumped my co2 way up. I have bumped up my NO3 now a bit. I also cleaned my filter but it was looking very clean anyways. This higher light is kicking my ass. Everything was perfect before I had to go and change it up. Also my light is about 5" above my tank, is that high enough? I have it on a stand and I think it can go up about another 4" but I already get a tone of light spilling out, it is kind of annoying looking at it from my couch. I was so excited to get the new lights but they have caused my nothing but troubles.

    hear is a video I just did of my HC maybe that will help diagnose the problem. I did it with the white balance on so everything is way greener in real life, otherwise it was so green you couldn't see anything clearly. The bright HC is new growth, the greener HC is BGA .

    P1010408.flv video by nmullens - Photobucket
     
  9. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    Yesterday I did my water change a day early and by the time lights went off in the tank I could see that I had another huge melt. probably half of my HC and UG was totally melted and I am now seeing BGA on about half my plants. My tank has a strange odor this morning and I also notice that my drop checkers were still yellow in the morning. My fish don't look happy any more and neither do my plants. My Tek lights have been heating up the surface of the water to about 27 but that is only the top where my thermometer floats. I am at a loss on what to do with my tank now. Do I keep bumping up co2? Do I black out my tank? Do I sell my Tek lights and go back to something less powerful. Do raise my tek light up even higher (if I do this is there some kind of skirt I can put around it to help with the light spill over?)? Do I change up my dosing regiment? Do I do a watter change every day or EOD. Should a mod my fractionating impeller with mesh on the top to help dissolve more co2. Some one please help I am so lost and fear that my tank is on the verge of a total crash. I know lots of people in hear use Tek lights maybe some of you could chime in with what you do on your tanks to make them work..

    Please Please Please HELP !
    Nic.
     
  10. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Looking at your latest video, I still see a nice tank. May be you should take a closer shot
    to make problem more visible.

    Anyway, I think your problem may be from too low NO3. As you dose it very lean
    (2.2 grams [KNO3] in 120 gallon tank is just 2.97 PPM of NO3, regular EI is around 10 PPM 3x a week).
    This might be fine with your previous lighting unit but not with the new one.

    You said you had bumped up NO3 a bit but how much?

    Most people agree that low NO3 can be a cause of BGA. And you have low fish load,
    which means less NO3 from them too.
     
  11. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    My NO3 is at 2.5 grams eod now. I can tray and get a better shot of the melted plants when I get home from work later today.
     
  12. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    +1

    Thats kind of right, 10 ppm NO3 is a good dose for most tanks w/CO2 at non-limiting levels. BGA, is getting the NH4 from the slow death of the plant we are feeding it. :cool:
     
  13. nmullens

    nmullens Prolific Poster

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    Well I suck at taking pictures and have been unable to get any clear ones that might be more useful. I pulled out the nutri-clac to try and figure out where I should be with my NO3 and this is what it come up with.

    Targets
    NO3 10ppm
    K 30ppm
    P04 1.5ppm

    EI 3x week
    KNO3 = 3.89 grams
    K2SO4 = 8.08 grams
    P04 = 1.1 grams


    I will give this a try and hopefully I will see some improvement. Status update for today, havn't seen too much of and spread of the BGA. UG had large melt again but first melt spot in UG is showing signs of recovery. New melt in UG might be because I tried to spot treat some HC beside my UG with excel to see if it might help get rid of the BGA, to no avail. HC has lots of new gorwth and looks better then it has in a while still can see a small amount of melt and BGA on older growth.

    Any ideas what I can do to get rid of the BGA or will it go away once everything is dialed in?

    In this picture you can see large empty area where the UG melted to snot. My endlers cleaned up the snot. The empty area in the middle was my thickest UG before.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    My BGA was gone when I added more KNO3 and reduced lighting hour.
    It did not come back when I adjusted lighting hour back to normal.
    This occurred when the plant started to grow better too.
     
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