My tap water has 56mg/l Ca and 23 mg/l Mg.. is this enough? I have regulatee Co2 and No3 is 10mg/l. Potassium and P04 is enough.. But i have this problem... my anubia land java ferns leaves turning yellowish..
My TOTAL general hardness is around 54 ppm (3 degrees). I aim to keep my calcium : magnesium ratio between 3:1 and 2:1. This puts Ca at 36 to 40 ppm, and Mg at 14 to 18 ppm. These are, I think, perfectly adequate numbers for these secondary macronutrients. Do you KNOW what your K is? Some time ago I went through a spell when my sword plants were dying back and I couldn't even get Hygrophila difformis to grow. I was much surprised to discover the problem was potassium deficiency. My potassium now tests at 50 ppm and I dose it daily to maintain that concentration. If you think there is any chance at all that your potassium isn't what it ought to be, throw some K2SO4 in there. There is no downside to excess K, and it may be just the ticket.
The yellowing you describe could be chlorosis due to iron deficiency or shortage of some other micro or trace. I assume you are using a well rounded full-spectrum micronutrient mix. I am using Nutritrace CSM+B as a main source, and provide additional iron with ferrous gluconate. This can be had as SeaChem Flourish Iron, or you can mix your own. It is active iron complexed with a carbohydrate ligand and is especially adept at rapid foliar uptake. If you can keep your iron around at least 0.5 ppm for a few days using ferrous gluconate, you might see improvement. If you think you might need to add other trace, don't hesitate to do so. Your plants might be wanting manganese, etc.
I have numerous large Anubias barteri that do very well in a tank being dosed as I describe. For a slow growing plant, they sure do grow fast! Their color is great and they put out inflorescences pretty regularly. See my recent post in the Aquascaping forum.
Hi Paul, thanks for your answer.. and condolence to us for passing another legend, Kobe Bryant...
My Potassium is 15-20mg/li.. i have a DIY KCl to dose in my tank. I do not want to overdose a lot of chemicals since i have discus in my tank.. actually, i already have 21 deg of GdH, which is high for discus.
I will buy a testkit for Fe. Perhaps it is the culprit. BUT i am dosing 30ml of EasyLife Fe every 2 days already that is why i am not suspecting this is the deficient. Do you think No3 is also low for 10mg/li?
Something is not computing. If you truly have 21 degrees GH, that is 376 ppm (mg/l) earth-alkali. The greatest part of the GH in natural waters (and tap water derived therefrom) will be Ca and Mg. If you are sure about your Ca and Mg numbers, they together are accounting for 79 ppm. That is a tad over 4 degrees GH. This is not only a more credible number, it is a very suitable hardness for discus and other softwater fishes. 21 degrees is not just high for discus, it is off the charts insane. Check out how you are coming up with that GH number, or conversely, how you are getting your Ca and Mg numbers. It is not likely that both are right.
K is not an earth-alkali and is not a component of GH. If your testing proves that 15 to 20 ppm K is consistently maintained, that MAY be sufficient K. It would cause no harm if it were more. In any case, a rise in K will not cause a rise in GH. K ions in any sensible concentration probably go completely unnoticed by fish.
You are not clear exactly how you are dosing K. If all the K going in is KCl, I would be concerned about excessive chloride. Chloride is a necessary trace, but is not normally present in rain forest streams in significant concentrations, and could be toxic if in excess supply. If the entire source of added K is KCl, that is a LOT of chloride. Sulfate is a source of sulfur, a secondary macro, but is otherwise biologically inert in aerobic environments. This is why K is usually dosed as K2SO4. I, and probably many other aquatic gardeners, have at least 200 ppm SO4 in our systems, because it is the safe way to dose Ca, Mg, and K. I suggest you stop dosing chloride. This could be a problem.
If you are dosing Easy Life Ferro according to the label instructions this is probably enough iron. How are you supplying other micros? Over time inadequate amounts of trace can start to show. Manganese, molybdenum, zinc, cobalt, and boron will be wanted eventually.
I highly recommend Hanna's H1721. You will get consistently accurate results in the 0-5.0 ppm range and it is easy to use. You can order direct from Hanna Instruments. Be sure to order extra reagent packets.
10 ppm nitrate is perfectly okay. I keep my NO3 at 5 ppm. I keep my PO4 at 3 ppm.
I think I need to trust my test kit (vial method) of Mg and Ca rather than the test strip from JBL Pro scan. JBL is telling me my hardness is above 21 dGh thay is why I am hesitant to add more chemicals in to my tank. Shame....
Yes, K is indeed 15-20 ppm and this is constant to my aquarium. And good to know that increase of it will not increase my GH. I am using KCl and to have 20ppm of K, Cl has 7ppm, is this high? I could not find any K2S04 here is Austria, unfortunately.
Regarding Easy Life Fe, it is written that I should dose 60ml for 600 liters per week. When I realized that my anubias leaves are turning yellow, I changed my dosing from weekly to every 2nd day (30ml).
My P04 is roughly 2 - 2.5 ppm.
I am now your creature, keep on feeding me with sucj infos
I did not know you were in Austria! I have no idea how your location handicaps your ability to lay hands on aquarium products, so please forgive my presumptions going forward. Aquatic gardening has been long practiced on the Continent. You are able to obtain fish, plants, test kits, water conditioners, equipment, and so forth. Are there other hobbyists also shopping for such things in your neighborhood that you can speak with? Potassium sulfate should not be a rare commodity where you are.
You are able to purchase Easy Life Ferro. Easy Life has a complete line of aquarium plant food products. You can get pretty much everything you need, including potassium, from Easy Life. They have a website you can go to and see their offering. The shop where you buy Ferro should be able to get you any of these products.
Yes, 7 ppm chloride is quite a bit. To be sure, there are many plants well-known in the hobby that are native to waters having this much chloride, and some plants are more adaptable than others to salt content. However, in soft acid water typical of tropical streams, chloride should be nearly undetectable. A broad spectrum trace supplement would almost certainly have chloride in it, or you could toss a teaspoon of KCl into the tank monthly. That would be all the chloride your Anubias and other plants will ever need. Chloride is an essential micronutrient. It is easily taken up by the plant and is very mobile within. It is important for osmoregulation and as an enzyme cofactor. It is a metabolic agent and not grossly structural. Structural stuff (like N and C and S) is not intrinsically toxic and you can dose for luxury uptake as a rule with few concerns. Metabolic agents such as enzyme cofactors can be toxic in excess, and most of these are metals such as zinc and copper that are required by plants but can be overdosed (metal toxicity). As a matter of best practice, any ion that is not assimilated structurally should only be provided in just the quantity required and no more. I am not aware of a well-documented toxic hazard of chloride to specific types of plants. But unless I was keeping an estuarine brackish community, I would not think of having anything close to 7 ppm Cl. An unnecessary risk is not justifiable when the stakes are high.
I assume you have been using KCl regularly for some time. Are you also using a nitrate supplement regularly? Is it potassium nitrate, KNO3? Same with phosphate - is it a potassium salt? In fact, let's begin at the beginning. How big is the tank, what do you put into it, how much and when. Test your source water for everything you test your aquarium water for, and let's see what we are working with. We're stumbling in the dark without this info. But I will say this: with all the iron you appear to be putting into your water, the problem is not in the actual amount of iron present. Yellowing and lightening of green color is a problem with chlorophyll production, a syndrome called chlorosis, that can be caused by numerous conditions. One common cause that is very similar to iron deficiency is potassium deficiency.
I use test strips to get fast approximations of certain parameters. They are useful for this purpose only and should not be relied upon to obtain actual data. When you get really wild results like that, you should suspect something is amiss until confirmation arrives. It is difficult to have 100% confidence even in reagent type test kits where better accuracy is an implicit goal. This is due to shelf-life limitations, subjectiveness in color and turbidity valuations, poor lab techniques (I can still hear my chem professor chastising me all these years later when I ask myself "how many drops was that now?"), or just plain pretentious claims for poorly designed tests that some think are good enough for amateur hobbyists. Be careful to get the best result you can from a test, but also bear in mind that that was the best result you COULD get from that test.
Looking forward to hearing back. Leave nothing out.
Iron gluconate cured my Anubias nana petite leaf yellowing. Actually since i started with IG,my Anubias have grown luxuriant new roots and rootlets..some still almost edible looking white.
Anubias seem a little pricey for the size..but over the months or years? They are still going when so many stem plants or other semi aquatic plants tried are gone.
Sorry that I missed giving the most important infos: Here is the set up of my Aquarium
It is 600 liters with discus on it plus amano shrimps, catfishes, and neons. Running on regulated C02 with 2 drops per second and has a light of 3 Solar Stinger EconLux (Night and Day). I was dosing NPK Dunger (means Fertilizer) but I can not control PO4 which is high in my tank because I need to give food twice a day. High P04 means uncontrollable algae. That is why I am using now Easy Life Nitro to have 10ppm and separate Po4 dosing according to my need. K (you already know) is from KCl dosing 100ml per 2 days to have 20ppm K and having 7ppm Chlorine according to Rotalla calculation. I am using droptest for Po4, No3, Potassium, Mg and Ca. I am using JBL Pro scan for my GH. KH, ph, chlorine test. Beside these fertz, i am also dosing Easy Life Pro Fito which is (supposed to be) for all micronutrients for my tank.
Unfortunately. i can not test my Fe if I am in the allowable margin or not. It will be on my hands on Friday.
First of all, if I am covering things you already know, please bear with me.
You have stated what you know right now about the aquarium water. We need to know also what is in your tap water.
What is the KH and what is the pH? Tap water: 200 or 300 ml sample after agitation and standing for a couple of hours (gas-equilibrated after release from tap). Aquarium water: immediately upon sampling.
About KH (carbonate hardness; alkalinity): Is this a test strip type test or a droptest type kit (titration) using reagents? How much do you trust it?
We return to GH. Same question. You test for Ca and Mg separately with droptest kits (which I take to be titrations, or color changes). If you add these mg/l (ppm) results you then get total earth-alkali. Divide ppm by 17.9 to get German degrees total hardness. A GH droptest kit (which performs a true titration) should be giving you a very similar, if not identical, value. I use an accurate titration kit that tests for both total earth-alkali and calcium, then magnesium = GH (ppm) - Ca ppm. The point is, these should be reasonably close matches. An ordinary GH test kit that gives results in German degrees will have sufficient precision to allow confidence in one degree increments. A noticeable but incomplete color change between drops can be interpreted as a half degree. Multiply German degrees by 17.9 to get ppm. If your total GH ppm is significantly different from Ca ppm + Mg ppm there is something wrong. Of course, due to imprecisions in the test design and execution there are implied error bars, but the accuracy is far better than a test strip.
If you have doubts about the way you are getting your GH and KH numbers, change that.
Test tap water sample for nitrate, phosphate, potassium, calcium, magnesium. Also when you get your iron test, let's test both aquarium and tap.
As I understand this, the Ca and Mg in the aquarium water is contributed 100% by tap water. You are not adding these. Correct?
Does it say on the Easy Life Nitro label exactly what it is? It is "something"-nitrate, probably Potassium Nitrate. Could be some other soluble nitrate salt, but typically an aquarium plant food nitrate source will be a source also of potassium.
Same with phosphate. This would typically be a potassium salt as well. Does it say on the label? Is this Easy Life Fosfo? I agree with dosing NO3 and PO4 separately.
I am again recommending to you to stop dosing chloride. Easy Life Kalium-Potassium will almost certainly be a sulfate.
If you are using Ferro and ProFito according to label directions I think your micro/trace is probably good. If you can get some ferrous gluconate (SeaChem Iron for example) I suggest trying that out.
About chlorine: test strips are great for detecting free chlorine and chloramine because the only thing of interest is whether they are present. It's digital. Do you know what your municipal water supply is using? At my place it's all chloramine. A free chlorine test is not right for this. Although I use RO/DI water, I prefilter against the chloramine and use a test strip specific to chloramine. I assume you have this issue in hand where you are and that your water conditioner additive is right for the job.
I agree about gluconate. It's a very small sugar molecule and it's a much weaker bond than a chelator. It is the express route for reduced-state iron right through the leaf and stem tissue. Being a carbohydrate it is also a carbon source. If iron chlorosis is suspected, ferrous gluconate will reveal that in quicktime.
It is an exercise in patience keeping Anubias, but it's been worth it. I've had to move all those in the 'scape way back because they grew up against the front glass.
Above, these are my reference is adding suplement to my aqauarium. I am adding Ca via Easy life Calcium to have additional 20ppm, also i am adding BitterSaltz (MgS04), also known as Epsom Salt to increase Mg by 20ppm so I still have 2:1 ratio but high in ppm. Other forum, says that I am lacking Magnesium that is why I am supplementing these micros.
I trust more in vial setup (drop test) rather than strip test in JBL Pro Scan which measures my GH and KH.
Wrt Easy Life Nitro, it says weekly addition after measurement 10 ml per 500 l increases the concentration NO3 with 2.0 ppm and the K concentration with 1.3 ppm.
I am NOT adding Easy Life Fospo since when I test (droptest) my tap water, it has already 2-2.5 ppm. Do you think, it is not enough? When I used NPK before, my algae problem is uncontrollable, (maybe) due to increase of P04.
Ok, I did not added KCl yesterday since I am dosing it MWF.
Yes, I am still dosing Easy Life Fe and Profito. I will try to find Ferrous Gluconate in amazon.de
I do not know about Chloramine but there is chloride stated in water paramater posted above.
sorry, i have a lot of questions? I already have 10+ years of aquatic experience but i was in African- Malawi tank before which are only rocks and slates as my background. now, I am having discus tank and I want to go for planted aquarium.
Chloride, the anion in NaCl and KCl etc, is not the same thing as the chlorine that is used as a disinfectant in our water supply. Free elemental chlorine gas forced into solution at the treatment plant is an effective oxidizing agent. Monochloramine gas is a compound of chlorine and ammonia. It is not as powerful a germicide as chlorine, but it is more stable. Once released from the tap, water will gas-equilibrate with the air (dissolved gases will evaporate and disperse according to the classic gas laws). Monochloramine takes much longer to leave because of its improved solubility in water. Many municipal water supplies are now using chloramine for its better stability. Now widely available in the hobby are dechlorinating water conditioners that will separate the chlorine from the ammonia, then neutralize both the chlorine and the ammonia. These are more expensive than plain dechlorinators which will not deal with chloramine. It is essential that you use the do-all product if you don't know what you have. If you're curious, your water supplier should be able to tell you what they are currently using. Chloride is a single ion bound to a water molecule in an inorganic salt solution and does not spontaneously leave, as would chlorine which is a free gas. In a vessel of solution left to stand so the water evaporates, the cations and the anions recombine and the salt crystallizes. The chloride seen on the list is this type of chlorine, ultimately derived from solution of inorganic substances. Chloride refers to this ionic form and this is what is of interest to us.
The list is helpful. Your original question is whether the Ca and Mg in the tapwater are enough for aquarium plants. The answer is that these numbers are good for aquarium water. Once you put the tapwater into the tank and the plants start using it, all that counts is what those numbers are consistently in the aquarium. It is good to know that your tapwater supplies a significant portion of these minerals, and I don't think the Mg is lacking. But what you really care about is the aquarium water - not the tapwater. Let's say you have tested the tapwater and have confirmed the numbers on the chart. Are they the same as the aquarium water today, tomorrow, next week? You say you are adding 20 ppm more of both Ca and Mg. Why are you doing this? What numbers are you trying to get in the aquarium? Are you dosing these minerals to keep those numbers where they are today, tomorrow, next week. If you test, and if you believe in your tests, you can keep 53 ppm Ca and 23 ppm Mg, which are great numbers for aquarium plants, without unnecessarily increasing the general hardness. As the plants grow you will probably boost the amount of supplement to keep the same numbers, the point being that you always know where you are, even if the tapwater composition changes.
The list does not have PO4 but you say it tests at 2 - 2.5 ppm. We don't know if that's enough because we don't know how fast it is being used up. What is the PO4 in the aquarium? Phosphorus is a macronutrient. Do not let fear of algae starve the plants of P. I think PO4 should be, at minimum, a solid 3 ppm today, tomorrow, and next week. There is a lot more to be said about this phosphate/algae thing but it will wait.
Fe and Mn on the list are very good. Continue with the Ferro and ProFito according to label directions and you'll be okay with micros.
This brings us back to potassium. Not on the list, but your tapwater almost certainly has some K in it. You are also adding some with your nitrate dose. You are maintaining 20 ppm K, which is sufficient, by adding KCl. Potassium is, strictly speaking, not a structural component. It is a metabolic agent, but plants store it in great quantities in cell protoplasm and chloroplasts. It is absolutely essential, can be supplied in luxury, and has zero toxicity. It is consumed in plant growth. It is assumed that you will be wanting to see robust growth and increased plant density as the aquarium matures. So here we have a situation wherein the provision of a non-toxic vital element, ideally supplied in luxury amount, is inextricably linked to simultaneous dosing of an element that is required only in traces and risks toxicity in an open-ended time frame. I recommend you dose K as sulfate and not as chloride, and I will leave it at that.
Your real concern was the apparent onset of chlorosis. Could be iron, could be manganese, could be potassium. Given what we think we know so far, my immediate reaction would be to get the K to 30+ ppm (NOT using KCl) and keep it there permanently, and liberally dose ferrous gluconate for a few days. Condition might improve very soon, certainly not worsen.
I would like to know what is the pH and the KH of the aquarium water. Tell me more about the lighting.
Hi Paul, sorry for the late reply. I was out of town for the whole weekend
Indeed, i am targeting Mg and Ca to reach that 53 and 23 pmm (minimum) respectively. Also, targeting N03 and Potassium not below 20pmm and 2.0pmm respectively.
My last checked was on Friday, N03= 15ppm, Po4=1.5ppm, K=15ppm, Mg=40ppm Ca=80ppm
This parameter test was done after i dosed in the mornng Easy Life No3 by 30ml (K is already included in the mixture), and Easy Life Calcium by 20ml and Easy Life Fe (30ml). I stopped using KCl as you recommend.
AS you probably noticed, I stopped dosing Epsom Salt for additional Magnesium because I realized it is not diminishing because of the food (DIY) that I am giving to my discus. I have DIY beef heart, vegies and vitamins with high in Magnesium.
I am looking here the KNO3 but unfortunately this chemical is prohibited in Austria
The problem of increasing K is (i am using Easy Life Nitro) I am also increasing nitrates in the aquarium which is also dangerous for the occupants. unless i can get KNo3 in the future.
Ph is 7.1 and i do not know KH since I do not trust anymore the JBL Pro scan.
My lighting is 3 LED stripes Solar Stinger Econlux 6500K.
Your Ca and Mg would be okay at 40 and 20, or 30 and 15, or anything in between. And the exact values aren't really important. I think the softer water is more in keeping with rain forest stream type environment and is better suited to the fish you and I are keeping, so I favor the lower end of this scale. But Ca : Mg = 30 ppm : 15 ppm is satisfactory for the plants so long as this condition is maintained consistently. These have been the numbers in my aquarium for a very long time now and the plants are doing just fine.
Either 'Easy Life Kalium-Potassium' or 'Aqua Rebell Basic Makro Kalium' will almost certainly be K2SO4. Neither company specifically states this in their product literature, but it is a very good bet this is so, because both also have NO3 and PO4 macro products intended to be used separately. Thus, with these potassium supplements, you can increase your potassium without also changing nitrate or phosphate or adding large amounts of chloride.
It would be useful to have a drop-test for carbonate hardness, KH. This would be an inexpensive titration type test kit, very easy to use and more accurate than a test strip. It is highly desirable to know the carbonate hardness, or alkalinity, in conjunction with the pH because knowing both these things will reveal how much CO2 is actually dissolved in the water. This would be a gauge of the effectiveness of the CO2 injection.
Depending on the light, too little dissolved CO2 may represent a carbon limitation which would be an imbalance of the nutrient parameters. The utilization rates of other essential substances is geared to the rate of carbon fixation. If your pH is 7.1, I suspect you could increase CO2, but we don't know without a reliable number for KH of the aquarium water. But we really should have a handle on this because the dosing of the plant foods actually depends on it, and it, in turn, depends on the light.
I am familiar with the Econlux Solar Stingers. What is the length and how arranged? How would you describe the overall brightness compared to other aquariums you have observed? How long are they turned ON in the day?
Also, about water changes. How frequent and how much?
Yes, for the past 3 weeks, my Ca:Mg is 2:1 ratio. So, we settle with this range.
I will keep on watch on Po4 to be always in 3 ppm, my last test was in 1.5ppm
haha funny i am, i avoided the seawater aquarium because i do not want to test a lot of parameters , but here I am, could not dodge all these test kits . Much better to buy a suitcase test kit.
For now, i do not use CO2 test kit for quantative measurement. What I have now is the drop checker test and it is already dark green. I can still make it pale green to have more CO2.
I have 3 Econlux LED strip with 900 mm in dimension arranged staggeredly, wherein 2 are farmost on the right side and 1 is on left. I have extra 600mm LED strip from Amazon (sorry forgot the brand). The lights are open at max 6 hrs per day.
WC is only 2x a month with max 50% replacement.
Well, I think once you have settled into a scheme that is working for you, you will be able to trust that conditions are suitable based on how your plants are doing. Then you would not be inclined to test so much. It is easy to get hung up on numbers. Sometimes getting a grip on a quantitative aspect is important, and the numbers can help us keep our objectivity. But all that really counts in the end is the health of the plants and animals. In freshwater work, we see a lot of adaptability of organisms to conditions that may be less than ideal for them, but saltwater is much less forgiving of errors.
I am a bit of a control freak and I actually like testing because I want to know precisely what is happening. This begins with using RO/DI water because it is a "clean slate". I have a scheme for dosing that is unique, but works for me. I do not do large, frequent water changes, but I do test every relevant parameter weekly. By comparison, you are doing large frequent water changes. Our approaches to this endeavor are very different, and it is inevitable that our aquariums will have certain differences.
On this website especially, you will encounter a successful technique of nutrient provision called EI, for 'estimative index'. Many aquarists using EI do little or no testing. It is in the nature of the method that it is not needed, but success depends on large and frequent water changes. The basis of the method is to provide nutrient in high quantity, and then perform a major refresh, and then do all again on a regular schedule. This is in line with the way you do water changes. You can find out all about it by investigating these forums.
The EI method will require you to provide substantial amounts of nutrient material, and being able to buy in dry bulk for mixing your own is far more economical than off-the-shelf pre-made formulae. This can be a big consideration if you have a large tank, as you do. So you will want to investigate more thoroughly sources for these things, especially K2SO4.
I do not practice EI, but I have no problem recommending it to you. Inasmuch as I am not a user, I am not your best go-to guy on information regarding the fine points of the method. But there is a lot of material on this site you will find helpful. Search "estimative index".
I am glad that you are here in the forum to help us beginner in planted aquarium. Also, I got my JBL Fe Drop Test and my FE parameter is just enough (.5ppm).
You did'nt comment about my lighting, are they enough? or do we need to strengthen the brightness of the tank.
I want last time the RO/DI system but I realize that my wife will kill me installing this to our basement. (actually, she is just jealous to my fish )
Ok, i will dig in more to this EI (estimated index), I hope this is not end of the line for us
You certainly do not need an RO/DI system. Your tap water has favorable specifications for use in a freshwater aquarium. The concentrations of the various substances found in your tap water may fluctuate seasonally, or even change over time, and you would do well to test the tap occasionally and to consult the supplier's reports when new ones are issued. But I suspect your water is consistent and stable. The Ca, Mg, Fe, and Mn values of your tap water are perfectly acceptable for plants, and will do no harm at all to discus and your other soft-water fish.
Given that you have good water, your 200 + liter water change every couple of weeks is an excellent scheme for keeping the tank water clean and healthy. It is a good regimen for the fish. But large, frequent water changes can also result in plant nutrient depletion. If you can keep your Ca and Mg values anywhere close to the ones you have now, and if you continue with the iron and micro supplementation, that is progress. I don't insist on 3 ppm PO4 necessarily. That's what I regard as minimum for a dense jungle such as mine, but if you keep it at 2 to 2.5 ppm CONSISTENTLY that would be fine. Below that number, a scarce PO4 may be limiting. As for nitrate, I regard 5 ppm to 10 ppm to be perfectly adequate for the jungle, higher amounts causing no particular harm. If you keep NO3 at numbers like this CONSISTENTLY that would be fine. With all the fish food going into the system, it should be easy to provide the desired supplementation.