Looking For An Assessment

aronson

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May 25, 2005
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Hello all! First post here... Looking to get some feedback on my tank's readings/condition and to get some answers about my NO3 readings.

Here's all the relevant stats:

29g, 130W CF @ 6700K for 12 hours/day, CO2 w/SMS122 and Regulator, Eheim 2213 (13 yrs old!)

Temp: 82F
NO3: (see below)
PH: 6.9
KH: 9
GH: 17

WC: 50%+ 1/week

Dosing (started last Sunday):
Sunday: 50% water change, 2.5ml KH2PO4, 7.5 NO3
Monday: Bottle recommmended dosing of Flourish and Flourish Iron
Tuesday: 2.5ml KH2PO4, 7.5 NO3
Wednesday: Bottle recommmended dosing of Flourish and Flourish Iron
Thursday: 2.5ml KH2PO4, 7.5 NO3, 1 tsp K2SO4 dry (started today)

Ok, so here's some history... Two Sundays ago I did a water change (50%+) and then (not having any macros yet) dosed Flourish, Flourish Iron and Flourish Excel. Work carried me over the next day or two so I didn't yet have a chance to read up on my newly acquired GW ferts so I let things go. On the following Friday AM I awoke to seeing my valisneria and crypts almost entirely melted away. The vals was an extra super surprise as they have been so hardy and prolific that it has almost been a problem. That night I did a large WC and Sunday the same. The difference this time was that I didn't put any Excel into the water. I had a feeling that Excel was to blame as I had never used it before. Any ideas why?

Well, now things are getting better. Vals are back to growing again (after some major trimming and vacuuming) and the crypts show some signs of recovery (maybe) though they are still melting.

I think I may be missing a nutrient or two or three or... I do have the problem of holes developing on many of my crypts and anubias and many of the leaves on both are all getting yellow (with the veins remaining green). I think I read about this somewhere as a nutrient deficiency. Where should I begin to look to trace this down?

Otherwise things seem ok. I am seeing strings of bubbles from any 'wound' on the plants and the glosso I recently planted is pearling ever so slightly - but always late in the evening about two hours before lights out. The Red Ludwigia I have is booming as is the red tiger lotus and zosterfolia I added a few weeks ago.

And, (if I can press my luck) one other question... Before my NO3 kit arrived today I called my local water company who told me my NO3 readings should be "1.5mg/l at the tap". Fast forward to today when the kit arrived and I did a test of both my tank water and tap water. Using the Lamotte 3310 kit my reading for the tank is 6. The kit instructions say to multiply the reading by 4.4 for true nitrate reading. Does this mean that my actual nitrate reading is 6 or 27? My tap water reads between 1 and 2 hence the 1.5 my h20 company quoted but are they using a different scale then I am or should be? What are people using here? What reading is Tom using when he suggests "5-30ppm"?

I know... Lots to ask in one posting but I am still relatively a newbie :eek:

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/advice/judgments/criticisms/praise...

Adam
 

reiverix

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Jan 29, 2005
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Re: Looking For An Assessment

First, I'm not sure if this is a point of confusion or not, so I'll just state it upfront: mg/L and ppm are equivalents. (http://www.hach.com/hc/view.knowled...ewLinkLabel=Conversion+from+mg⁄L+to+ppm) 10 mg/L is 10 ppm.

It sounds to me like the Lamotte Nitrate test measures Nitrate-N(itrogen) and you need to multiply the results by a factor of 4.4 to convert it into a Nitrate only reading, but I've never used one of these tests. Some info I've based this assumption on:

http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plants/month.200302/msg00157.html is a posting of a similar question along with an answer. In case the link ever breaks:

Yes, the numbers for each of the eight references in the LaMotte
"comparator" are Nitrate-Nitrogen. Since we in the hobby report "nitrates"
you do multiply by 4.4 when monitoring to keep you nitrates your chosen
target range. I very much like this low-range Nitrate kit -- it's
especially good at the low end of its 0-44 ppm (nitrate) range, with
references for 1, 2, 4, 9, 18, 26, 35 and 44 ppm (nitrate, rounded). So the
kit measures 0-10 ppm Nitrate-Nitrogenthat we can convert to nitrate when
reporting.

If you had appreciably levels of nitrite in your test water, you would need
to perform a set to inhibit the nitrite from being included in the nitrate
test. Of course cycled tanks shouldn't have any nitrite around, and I just
take my readings to be all from nitrate.

Jared


Bob Olesen asks
 

aronson

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May 25, 2005
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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Random,

Thanks for the confirmation of the test kit findings. It makes sense where the numbers for NO3 would be (27ppm) based on my dosing regimen.

So... Any other comments about my setup? Any hints why the Excel blew away my Vals and Crypts? Anything else worth mentioning? :eek:

Adam
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Yes, 27ppm NO3.

That's about right for a higher light tank.
Add K+(likely)?
Add more PO4(perhaps)?
Add more CO2(likely)?
Add more traces(definitely)

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

aronson

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Add K+(likely)?
Add more PO4(perhaps)?
Add more CO2(likely)?
Add more traces(definitely)

Tom,

Thanks so much for your input.

Is the K2SO4 I am adding not supplying enough K?

I've tried pushing my pH to 6.8 and lower but doing so would seem to put me above 30ppm. Is this ok for my fish and shrimp? I am finding that the lower I try to push my CO2 the harder it is to get there. Does this have anything to do with my GH/KH?

You suggest more traces... I am adding the recommended amounts according to the bottles. What could I be doing differently or in addition to the Flourish and Flourish Iron?

Thanks!
Adam
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

aronson said:
Tom,

Is the K2SO4 I am adding not supplying enough K?

There is plenty of K+ if you add KNO3 for NO3.
If not, adding say 1/4 teaspoon of K2SO4 per 20 gal of tank once a week will address K+ needs.

I've tried pushing my pH to 6.8 and lower but doing so would seem to put me above 30ppm. Is this ok for my fish and shrimp? I am finding that the lower I try to push my CO2 the harder it is to get there. Does this have anything to do with my GH/KH?
No, you simply need to add more.
Do this slowly and watch the critters.
Make suere you have some surface moevment, shut CO2 off at night(thuis allow the CO2 to escape when you do not need it) and adds it only when the O2 is also very high from plant growth.

You suggest more traces... I am adding the recommended amounts according to the bottles. What could I be doing differently or in addition to the Flourish and Flourish Iron?

Thanks!
Adam

Oh no, those recommendations are super conservative abnd based on non CO2 plant tanks.
You need to add at least 3-4x more than that.

I suggest 5mls per 20 gal tank, 3x a week with CO2 dosing.

That will cover your bases there.
Flourish or TMG are good products for that.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

aronson

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Tom Barr said:
Oh no, those recommendations are super conservative abnd based on non CO2 plant tanks.
You need to add at least 3-4x more than that.

I suggest 5mls per 20 gal tank, 3x a week with CO2 dosing.

That will cover your bases there.
Flourish or TMG are good products for that.
Tom,

I upped the dosing of Flourish and Flourish Iron according to your recommendations a few days ago. One thing I see (and actually have seen even before I boosted the dosing levels) is that the water clouds up the day that I add the Flourish and Flourish Fe. Any idea why this is happening?

Thanks again and Happy 4th!
Adam
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Don't add the Floruish Fe, just plain Flourish.
Do not dose the KH2PO4/Fleet enema at the same time.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

aronson

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Tom Barr said:
Don't add the Floruish Fe, just plain Flourish.
Do not dose the KH2PO4/Fleet enema at the same time.

Tom,

Are you saying that I don't need to add Flourish Fe at all? I was under the impression that my red plants need it. I noticed that ne wleaves on my red Ludwigia were especially red a day or so following the initial does of Fe.

I'm not adding the KH2PO4 at the same time as the Flourish & Flourish Fe; I am adding the Flourish and Fe on alternating days from the KNO3, KH2PO4 and K2SO4. Are you implying that there may be some sort of reaction between the KH2PO4 and the Fe?

Please forgive my 'newbieness'... I appreciate your taking the time to help me out.

Adam
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

No, you do not need Flourish Fe at all.

Add more flourish, it has everything, not just Fe.
If you use more Fe, then you'll also need more Mn, Co, Mo, Cu, Zn etc.

Red plants need the same things green plants need.
Flourish ands PO4 preciptate out, I'm not sure how much, but some does occur, I just want to maximize the use is all.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

aronson

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May 25, 2005
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Re: Looking For An Assessment

An update...

Everything has improved over the past week or two. I am now adding (roughly) the following:

50% - 75% H2O change per week
Odd days: 1.5ml KH2PO4, 7.5ml KNO3, .75 tsp (dry) K2SO4
Even Days: 3/8 oz. Flourish

Everything is growing a bit faster but I am seeing a few tell tale signs of something not being 100%:

- Anubias leaves are yellowish between the veins (which are dark green)
- Glosso is growing rapidly but the leaves seem 'weak' -- a good number of them are showing holes or ragged edges and a number of leaves are breaking away from the runners :(
- L. Hupperoides which was bright purple underneath it's leaves when I planted it is now losing the purple very soon after the leaf appears
- C. walkeri ("red") is melting (but not nearly as bad as when I wasn't dosing at all :D )
- a number of leaves of my C. crispatula var. balansae are melting

Do all of these 'symptoms' point to a partilcular lack/overabundance of any particular macro/micro?

Thanks in advance to all who reply,
Adam
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

CO2 and add a little SeaChem EQ.

That will cover the rest of the bases.

The other thing: reserve judgement unless things are going really bad after 2-4 weeks. It takes time for the plants to get adjusted and things to get cooking.

Once there, it's relatively easy.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

aronson

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Tom Barr said:
CO2 and add a little SeaChem EQ.

That will cover the rest of the bases.

Thanks for the reply, Tom!

I am curious... With the KH/GH values I get out of my tap (9 and 17 respectively) wouldn't adding Seachem EQ raise these values even further?

Adam
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Yep, as well as the Fe/Mn/K+ and Mg.

More Ca will not hurt.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

aronson

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Tom Barr said:
Yep, as well as the Fe/Mn/K+ and Mg.

More Ca will not hurt.

Tom,

Interesting... I thought that the idea was not to increase the GH. Can you explain why doing so would not be detrimental?

Ok, I am game. What dosage would you recommend? What would/should my target GH be with the EQ?

Adam
 

Tom Barr

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Re: Looking For An Assessment

Reverse this: Why would higher GH be a problem?

Adding about 1/4 teaspoon once a week per 80 liters after a water change will address anything there.

Regards,
Tom Barr