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Help Validate a Newbie's Approach

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by Paul Naj, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Paul Naj

    Paul Naj New Member

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    Hi all. Thanks for the great website loaded with valuable information.

    I recently set up my first aquarium in about 15 years. The tank is about 2.5 months old and has gone through several redesigns and I have finally settled on what I like. Because of my travel schedule etc i've decided on a Non CO2 setup. My Anacharis and Java Fern seem to be doing well, the Anubias Hastifolia has sprouted a new stem and my Jungle val has started growing after being dormant from when i planted it 2 or so weeks ago. The problem is that the Dwarf Sagittaria and Sword have shown signs of deficiency including yellowing of leaves and holes and edges missing on the sword although both are showing new growth. I'm also dealing with GDA and a bit of residual brown algae. After reading Tom's dosing recommendation I've decided to follow the method below as soon as my supplies arrive:

    "While trace mixes can be added, I decided to use SeaChem Equlibrium instead.
    It has Fe and Mn as well as Ca/K/Mg/SO4.
    I will add about 1/4 teaspoon per 20 gal tank once every week or two.
    This greatly enhances the growth of the plants.
    I also will add about 1/8 and 1/32 teaspoon of KNO3 and KH2PO4 respectively once a week or two"

    Since I have a 45 gallon aquarium I was planning on 1/2 tsp per week of Equilibrium, 1/4 tsp of KNO3 and 1/16 KH2PO4

    So the above makes sense until I read the instructions on the bottle of Equilibrium and it states: "Plant preferences may vary but a general guide is about 1-2 meq/l (3-6dH) or match the existing or target carbonate hardness (KH, which ideally is also about 1-2 meq/l (3-6dH)". So I get that we are doing a non=limiting dose of nutrients but when I look at my parameters below I'm wondering if I may risk putting the system out of balance. Or am I over thinking this? :cool:

    Here's my tank:

    45 gallon (24" high), Emperor 400 HOB Filter, 3- 18 lb bags Eco Complete substrate mixed with 1 bag of of standard gravel, heated to 76 deg, HOT5 78W with 1 6700K and 1 10,000K bulb set @ 22" off the substrate on for 8 hour per day (dropped from 9.5).
    Plants: Anacharis, Java Fern, Amazon Sword, Dwarf Sagittaria, Anubias Hastifolia and Jungle Val.
    Fish: Turquiose & Boesemani Rainbows, Neon Tetras, Columbian Tetras, Peppered Corys, Siamese Algae Eaters and Amano Shrimp
    Water: Amonia 0, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10 (were 0 for a long time), pH-7.8 GH- 9 KH-5

    Thoughts on the pH, GH and KH? Any other recommendations are appreciated.
     
    #1 Paul Naj, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2012
  2. Paul Naj

    Paul Naj New Member

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    I did my first dose last weekend and I'm already seeing some effect. The anacharis which was already growing well appears to have an even more dense, greener growth this week and the jungle val have really taken off. I'm not sure if the val were just coming to life after planting them a few weeks ago or if the added nutrients caused the growth. The dwarf sagittaria are the same.

    MY one concern is that I lost one of my young male Boesemani Rainbows today. He was acting weird the past couple of days. My question is can this be an effect of eating some un-disolved Equilibrium? I thought I had it in solution but when I emptied the container there was still some solid on the bottom and i definitely saw that particular rainbow picking at the particles. Is this pure coincidence or do I need to be more diligent in my delivery of Equilibrium?

    I did a quick series of testing today and all of my water parameters have remained unchanged except Nitrates which are down to 5ppm.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Egeria densa(anacharis) will grow the fastest in the group you have, so make sure not to allow it to overtake all the other plants.

    Since it is a non CO2 tank, pH/Kh are not something to worry about.

    GH is Ca+ Mg, both plant nutrients, so you might add a small amount of SeaChem Eq once a week etc.
     
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