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Kh and nutrient uptake?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by kevinmichael77, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    I've been battling stagnant growth and hair algae lately and was wondering if there could be a correlation between high kh and plant uptake. Everything was going fine for quite a while then plants stopped growing or died and hair algae appeared.

    My ro/di unit went down and my kh went from about 4 to somewhere over 15. Some research I did said that some plants prefer lower kh and at higher levels have a problem taking up nutrients.

    Could this be the cause of my issues? I finally got the ro unit fixed so I'm just trying to get this whole thing figured out.

    Let me know.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Co2, not the nutrients seems much more the issue with higher KH.

    I've grown most species without issues at higher KH, some species just do not like it, more likely the CO2 uptake rather than nutrient blocking etc.
    Could be nutrients, but I do not see any real evidence.

    Hair algae, slower growth, these are more signs of CO2.......
     
  3. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    I'm honestly not sure I can push the co2 any further. My fish aren't gasping at the top but they seem to breathe heavier than normal. I'm not talking bubbles per second here, my bubble counter is a constant flow of co2. I read that some plants just can't handle the high kh and could prevent them from taking up the required nutrients. Thought maybe if that was the case that could explain why the algae was able to spring up. Last test my nitrates were at 10-20ppm and phosphates around 1ppm so I thought those were fine. I don't have a test kit for iron or potassium or anything else though.

    Should I just push the C02 until the fish gasp at the top then back off a bit?

    Kev
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'm not one to suggest gassing fish, but good O2 and water changes, care etc, helps. Then CO2 is not so touchy.
    I see no correlation with harder high KH or low KH as far as algae.

    In most cases the harder water tended to have less, but that's just correlation.
    If you have nothing but some touchier Rotala and Ludwigia species, then you might have growth issues, but if you have other plants and they also are not doing well.........then it's not the nutrients.
    KH/CO2.

    Go slow and adjust it carefully.
     
  5. kevinmichael77

    kevinmichael77 Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Tom

    Will do! Should I push more than 40psi on my regulator if I have the co2 running into a needle wheel pump in my sump?


    Kev
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I use 10 psi as default for my working pressure for a needle wheel/post reactor catchment.
     
  7. Bala de Plata

    Bala de Plata Subscriber

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    Kh and nutrient uptake?

    Could you elaborate on the "post reactor catchment"? Are you adding co2 pre and post reactor at different rates?

    I have always run a higher pressure into a reactor with my tanks with sumps. Never could quite get enough co2 in them otherwise.
     
    #7 Bala de Plata, Sep 28, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2014
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Just removes the mist before the water heads back to the aquarium.
     
  9. Bala de Plata

    Bala de Plata Subscriber

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    Basically a secondary "reactor" of sort?
     
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