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Looking For An Assessment

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by aronson, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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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
     
  2. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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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.knowledge.base.detail.invoker/PackagingCode=GENERAL-TEST_17/NewLinkLabel=Conversion+from+mg&frasl%3BL+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:

     
  3. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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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
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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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
     
  5. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Re: Looking For An Assessment

    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
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Looking For An Assessment

    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.

     
  7. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Re: Looking For An Assessment

    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
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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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
     
  9. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Re: Looking For An Assessment

    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
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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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
     
  11. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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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
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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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
     
  13. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Re: Looking For An Assessment

    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
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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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
     
  15. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Re: Looking For An Assessment

    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
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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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
     
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