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Looking for EI fertilization advice for medium-light tank with high fishload

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by turbowagon, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. turbowagon

    turbowagon Junior Poster

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    Hello Tom, Greg, and the other members of this forum. This is my first post here, but I've been active on the Planted Tank forum for a few months now. I started up my first planted tank a little over a month ago. Everything started out ok with no algae for about 2 weeks. Well, a few noobie mistakes later, and I had to remove many of my plants due to BBA. The remaining ones are still attracting BBA on older growth. I'm using the EI method of dosing, but I would like to arrive at a modified version that is tailored to my specific setup. (medium lighting with high fish load)

    -----------------------

    Some specs on the tank:

    29 gallon glass aquarium
    30" 2X65W Coralife PC (front bulb on for 5 hours, rear bulb on for 5 hours, no overlap)
    6700K Coralife bulbs
    3-4" Ecocomplete w/ a light layer of peat/mulm as a base
    Eheim 2213 w/ inline PVC reactor
    Pressurized CO2 at 2-3 bubbles/sec

    Fairly high fish load:
    1 blue gourami
    1 dwarf gourami
    2 rummynose tetras
    4 cardinal tetras
    1 emerald green cory
    1 albino cory
    1 schwartz's cory
    1 german blue ram
    4 otos

    Water params:
    pH - 6.2-6.4
    kH - 4-5
    gH - 6
    NO3 - 10-40 ppm
    PO4 - 1-4 ppm
    temp - 76°F


    Up until this week, I've been dosing:

    1/4 tsp KNO3 3X/week
    1/16 tsp KH2PO4 3X/week
    1/16 tsp K2SO4 3X/week

    1/2 cap flourish 3X/week
    1/2 cap flourish iron 3X/week


    The tank started out with lots of species of plants:

    [​IMG]


    After picking out the ones that succumbed to algae, I'm left with much fewer species and plant mass:





    Plants that are doing well in spite of my mistakes:

    - Blyxa japonica
    - Nymphaea micrantha
    - Eustralis stellata "narrow"
    - Limnophila aquatica
    - Hygrophila polysperma
    - Aponogeton sp.


    ---------------------------

    A few of the mistakes I've made:

    - bad circulation causing many dead spots. I think this lead to the BBA outbreak and overall decline of the tank. I had my spraybar pointed at a corner to "avoid disturbing the plants." That was a bad idea.
    - early on, I had a battle with ich that I eradicated with 84° temp, malachite green, and aquarium salt. Not sure how this affected the plant health.
    - overfertilizing considering the lighting and fish load led to excessive nitrates and phosphate
    - may have used a little too much peat under the substrate when putting together the tank
    - major uprooting of Blyxa Japonica without an immediate water change has lead to the beginnings of GW

    ----------------------------

    Additional bad symptoms:

    - red plants have been mostly green (e.g., Ludwigia repens)
    - distorted new growth in Ludwigia brevipes (Calcium deficiency, maybe?)

    ----------------------------

    Some new ideas I want to try:

    - come up with a better fertilization scheme for my setup
    - get some new fast-growers to help absorb excess nutrients
    - if current GW situation doesn't go away, get a UV sterilizer, and remember to do water changes after uprootings in the future, and not to uproot too many things at once.
    - reposition spray bar to get better circulation in the tank, if that isn't sufficient, add a small powerhead.
    - try using Seachem Prime to raise gH to address potential deficiencies
    - use CSM+B when the Flourish runs out
    - experiment with overlapping the lighting (130W) for a midday high-light period once algae is gone


    Thanks for any advice!

    - Joe
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    Re: Looking for EI fertilization advice for medium-light tank with high fishload

    BBA=> CO2.

    The fertilization is never going to do much until, you have stable consistent CO2. Your test kits might be off some.

    EI rules out the nutrients out, so all you are left with: CO2.
    Get a SAE, maybe 20 Amano shrimp.

    Add more plants, cheap plants etc, try 2-3x as much plant mass for a while till the other plants grow in. Add 1/4 teaspoon of MgSO4(epsom salt after the water change also).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. turbowagon

    turbowagon Junior Poster

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    Re: Looking for EI fertilization advice for medium-light tank with high fishload

    Thanks for the fast response, Tom! I'll try your suggestions. How about the dosing?

    I was thinking of cutting down the frequency of macros dosing to twice a week due to the high fish load and relatively low lighting. What about micros?

    Is KNO3 dosing unnecessary due to fish poop in a fully stocked tank? Or maybe I should cut it down to 1/8 or 1/16 tsp, instead of the full 1/4 tsp I was doing previously.
     
  4. fosteder

    fosteder Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Looking for EI fertilization advice for medium-light tank with high fishload

    I'm also curious as to why your Ludwigia repens is not red, but green. I have the same problem with mine. It was a beautiful red when I bought it, but now is just green. Maybe it is the NH water haha.
     
  5. turbowagon

    turbowagon Junior Poster

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    Re: Looking for EI fertilization advice for medium-light tank with high fishload

    I was assuming my L. repens is green due to a combination of:
    - excess Nitrates
    - not enough light
    - color temperature too low
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Looking for EI fertilization advice for medium-light tank with high fishload

    It does turn redder in low NO3's but it'll look very nice with higher NO3 also, no nearly as green.

    You have plenty of light and the color temps really don't affect things much.

    Worry about growing the plants,stopping algae... then you can tweak from there. Dosing is fine, run both lights for 10 hours and make sure you have enough CO2.

    That's the real issue, not anything else that I can see.

    Regards,.
    Tom Barr
     
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