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Help figure out a few tank problems.

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by ccLansman, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    So i upped my co2 and i still am not seeing the results i would like. Both drop checkers stay dark yellow all day. The diy inline co2 reactor is getting soo much co2 that it formed a large pocked of co2 since the injection rate exceeded the dissolution rate. I have done 2-3 water changes a week with tap and some with tap + RO. My tap reads 0ppm nitrate and 0ppm phosphate with the test kit. My tank always reads >20 ppm nitrates and 5+ppm phosphates even after a water change. What the heck is going on?

    Here are some pics, i received some healthy glosso and blanx and its already starting to look worse, here are some pics.
    (Specs, 2x65w 8 hrs a day, 2 hr burst mid day. Have not dosed no3 or phos in weeks, daily dose of FE + CSM+B about 1/4tsp, also received a free bottle of flourish so ive been adding 10ml every 3 days or so. Added 1/2 tsp K today.
    The reding of the veins on the blanx is what worries me and the dieing back of the older glosso leaves.

    Also added 20 or so red shrimp and they are no were to be found! Only tank inhabitants are 1xkilli, 5xSAE, 3xotto cats, 1xtetra

    Please help! Thanks!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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  3. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    lol sorry to chuckled but you have made mention of this numerous times. I do not have a way to calibrate it. So for the time being i have to use my analytical skills to determine my round about parameters. If my tap and RO test 0 ppm and my tank test >0 ppm i have to assume i have some NO3 and some P floating around. So if i do have some reguardless of quantity what sorts of things would cause the above results?

    well edit::

    1 hr after adding 1/2 tsp NO3 the tank is light up with bubbles like the fourth of july. Im going to go out on a limb and assume my test kit is some how off on both extremes. Reading 0ppm when there is in fact 0ppm and reading WAYYY to high when there is barely enough NO3/P. But for argument sake, any other reason why the above pictures are happening?
     
  4. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    cc:

    You may have already tried this, but I think you should try it again ... for at least 2 weeks, preferably 3 ...

    Simply follow the EI dosings exactly (4 days of KNO3 and KH2PO4; 3 days of micro nutrients; and, if your water is soft, GH booster on water change day), and do exactly one 50% water change per week -- forget your testing kits for now (no way you have such high nitrates with that light of a fish load and many water changes), forget Flourish. No need to overdo the CO2. Make sure pretty much all of your plants are swaying, i.e. you have decent flow.

    I can't remember your tank size, but, I think you know the recommended dosings.

    By the way, Hoppy (Vaughn) is right ... Killifish love shrimp -- killis and shrimp are pretty much incompatible species.
     
  5. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    alrighty Tedr108 you got a deal, but if things go awry im comming to get ya ;)
     
  6. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

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    About the killi's benn there done that, cost me 20 bucks. I will agree with VaughnH, I have tried calibrating my api test kit for nitrate and seen it was 5 ppm under I think, still don't trust it. Had my water test about a mo ago and the dip strips said I had 160 ppm of nitrate and went home and did a api and said I had 80 ppm, I did cut back for awhile and starting to up it again.
     
  7. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Fair enough. Here's hoping your next post is a complaint about your plants growing too fast and what a hassle it is keeping them pruned. :)
     
  8. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    CC

    You seem tohave lots and lots of problems with your tank whereas most of us don't!!!

    There is one major difference between what we see in your threads to the rest of our routines and that is the constant testing that you do.

    You test and have problems. We don't test and don't have problems.

    Ask yourself why?

    We don't test because if we follow EI or other regime we already know what we are putting into the tank. We don't need to test if it is there because we know we have enough already. I personally dose the EI level for a 20-40USG tank. Mine is a 33USG. However I dose both macro and trace daily so I don't need to remember which day it is. lol

    You test and get inaccurate results. These results make you think something is wrong which you then try to correct. Then you have problems within the tank. It's like chasing the gold at the end of the rainbow and then wondering why you never get to the end of the rainbow!!! Reason is because the facts you started with were wrong (the test result) and therefore you are looking for something that is not there.

    I would suggest that you leave the test kits alone for at least a month. Take the EI route as it is the easiest to use really. Run with it and the 50% water changes.

    See what happens.

    We already see that your kits are inaccurate!!! There is almost zero chance that your tap contains 0 nitrate and 0 phosphate!!!


    Forget what the tests are saying your tank has. You are dosing:
    Traces with extra FE and B = Fine
    K powders = Fine
    Seachem = Fine but is only what you have already dosed above.

    You are not dosing any N and P and haven't done so for weeks because you are assuming you have plenty from a test kit result.

    Your CO2 is yellow (is this all the way round the tank and is the solution 4dKH)

    Assuming that your CO2 is correct and the tank ppm is fine leads to 1 single assumption!! Far from having too much N and P as you think you may actually be starving the plants of N and P.

    If there is indeed N and P in the tank (assume there isn't for 1 month and see what happens) then it can only be a circulation issue IMO

    AC
     
  9. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You very likely can calibrate your test kits: Buy 2 gallons of distilled water at your local grocery store. Add 1/4 tsp of KNO3 to one gallon that water, which gives you a solution containing about 200 ppm of nitrate. Take a cup, 8 ounces, of that, and add it to 3 cups of distilled water, giving you a solution containing about 50 ppm of nitrate. Take 2 cups of that and add it to 2 cups of distilled water, giving you a solution containing about 25 ppm of nitrate. Take 2 cups of that solution and add it to 2 cups of distilled water, giving you a solution of about 10 ppm of nitrate. You now have some standard solutions, accurate enough to test your nitrate test kit. You have solutions containing 200, 50, 25 and 10 ppm (all with some error, but not significant errors for calibrating your test kit).

    Test each one with your test kit and write down the results. See how close your test numbers match what you know is in the water, and if there is a consistent error, a random error, or if the kit just doesn’t give any usable results at all.

    This isn't difficult to do, doesn't require any kind of scale, requires only common household measuring equipment, your KNO3 fertilizer, and some distilled water, which almost all big grocery stores now sell.

    Edit: For testing your phosphate test kit, with less accuracy, but an adequate accuracy: Buy 2 gallons of distilled water. Get a big container that will hold about 2 gallons, pour one and a half gallons of distilled water in it and add 1/8th tsp (half of 1/4 tsp) of KH2PO4 to it, giving you a solution of about 80 ppm of phosphate. Add 1/2 cup of that solution to 1 1/2 cups of distilled water, giving you a solution of about 20 ppm of phosphate. Add 1/2 cup of that to 1/2 cup of distilled water, to get a 10 ppm phosphate solution. Add a half cup of that to a half cup of distilled water to get a 5 ppm phosphate solution. Add 1/2 cup of that to 2 cups of distilled water to get a 1 ppm phosphate solution. Use your test kit to test these 80, 20, 10, 5, and 1 ppm solutions.
     
  10. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    I am reading diana westlands book and wanted to guage your response on this one.
    [​IMG]

    I have a large pump that blows from the back towards the front glass and its enough to make the glosso blow around. Could this be bad instead of good? Would my two filters + my koralia 1 be enough?
     
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