Need Help Please

dazzer1975

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Apr 22, 2006
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Hi guys,

I am new to aquaria and immediately fell in love with planted tanks!

I have a Juwel rio 180 (40 uk gallons) and since frequenting forums and scouring the web for articles relating to plant care I have come across the ei system and of course the legend of tom barr.

Now then, I have recently purchased some pmdd which were magnesium sulphate, iron sulphate, potassium nitrate and trace elements mix, I also purchased some seachem flourish potassium.

The plants I have are riccia, water lettuce, hygrophilia deformis, hygrophilia polysperma, java fern, java moss, amazon sword, cabomba caroliniana, bacopa, and a tiger lotus.

I initially had a problem with hazy water (it was'nt green) and I suspected it to be algae, so I purchased a uv steriliser which cleared the water up beautifully, (Phosphates where very high at 5ppm).

Today I decided to do a 50% water change and dose with the dry ferts, however, I think something has gone wrong as the water is extremely milky since the ferts have been added (1 hour ago) I have put on the uv again, but I dont think it will sort it out as the problem, I think, is the ferts)

I added, 1/4 teaspoon of magnesium sulphate

1/2 teaspoon of kno3

1/8 of iron and 1/8 teaspoon of trace mix and the 5ml of flourish K

The ph is 6.8 with very soft water running at around 3 degrees KH

Please could someone tell me where I have gone wrong and how best to dose my tank?

I have heard that most people make up a stock solution but I am also unsure as to whether people mix all their ferts in one solution or use a different bottle for each dry ingredient?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

forgot to add, I have added some rowaphos to the internal filter (in a womens stocking to keep it together) in an attempt to lower the phosphate level also, I dont know if this has any bearing but I thought I would mention it!

Sorry, I also forgot to mention I have upgraded the lights to 2x 39watt t5's to run alongside the juwel t8's giving me a total of 130 watts

I also have 2 diy hagen co2 units running into the tank and a silica sand substrate
Thanks
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: Need Help Please

dazzer1975 said:
Hi guys,
Now then, I have recently purchased some pmdd which were magnesium sulphate, iron sulphate, potassium nitrate and trace elements mix, I also purchased some seachem flourish potassium.

You will need some source of PO4, phosphate.
KH2PO4 is availabel there in the UK.
Aquaessentials.com carries a full line of this and ADA related products.

He's also on the site here.
That should make getting the items easier and save some $ for you.


Today I decided to do a 50% water change and dose with the dry ferts, however, I think something has gone wrong as the water is extremely milky since the ferts have been added (1 hour ago) I have put on the uv again, but I dont think it will sort it out as the problem, I think, is the ferts)

I added, 1/4 teaspoon of magnesium sulphate
1/2 teaspoon of kno3
1/8 of iron and 1/8 teaspoon of trace mix and the 5ml of flourish K
The ph is 6.8 with very soft water running at around 3 degrees KH

The only thing that might do this is the Fe, the iron.
Tap seems great.
I'd switch to Tropica Master grow if possible.
It'll work better in your case if it's Fe preciptation.

I have heard that most people make up a stock solution but I am also unsure as to whether people mix all their ferts in one solution or use a different bottle for each dry ingredient?

Some folks find this useful, I personally never have but it makes little difference.
You do not want to add PO4, Ca, Mg with Fe.

I also have 2 diy hagen co2 units running into the tank and a silica sand substrate
Thanks

Future upgrades: ADA soil, 2 9 liter bags would do things right for this size tank. Definitely get a gas tank CO2 at some point, this will be your Achillies Heel.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

dazzer1975

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Apr 22, 2006
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Rochdale, sadly
Re: Need Help Please

Hi Tom,

Thanks very much for replying!

Tom Barr said:
You will need some source of PO4, phosphate.
KH2PO4 is availabel there in the UK.
Aquaessentials.com carries a full line of this and ADA related products.

Yeah, thats where I bought the ferts from, very good site for the u.k. (apparently certain ferts are hard to get hold of over here)

As for the po4, I didnt buy any as my water had 5ppm of phosphates (which of course is too high) so I didnt want to add any on top of that? I have just added the rowaphos today so havent tested yet, but this is something I will look into. Thanks

The only thing that might do this is the Fe, the iron.
Tap seems great.
I'd switch to Tropica Master grow if possible.
It'll work better in your case if it's Fe preciptation.

tap? do you mean the tap water, with ph and kh values? or does tap refer to something else?
Use the tmg to replace the iron, or all the dry fertilisers?

Is the only way now to get rid of the cloudiness, either water changes without the iron, or simply waiting for the plants to utilise the iron and thus reduce the cloudyness?



Some folks find this useful, I personally never have but it makes little difference.
You do not want to add PO4, Ca, Mg with Fe.

Ok thanks, Ill stick to seperate mixtures for each component


Future upgrades: ADA soil, 2 9 liter bags would do things right for this size tank. Definitely get a gas tank CO2 at some point, this will be your Achillies Heel.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Thanks a lot Tom, I really appreciate the help you've given me.

Sorry for asking what must be really basic and obvious questions but I have difficulty with anything remotely scientific :rolleyes:
 

dazzer1975

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Apr 22, 2006
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Rochdale, sadly
Re: Need Help Please

Just thought id include a pic to show you what the tank looked prior to the water change and pruning.

I will post a pic of the tank once my camera batteries have charged to show the milkyness etc


th_DSC00040.jpg


Thanks
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: Need Help Please

So far so good.

I'd do this:

Add 3x a week:

KNO3 1/3 teaspoon
KH2PO4 1/16th
TMG 10mls(on off days you dose the other ferts)
MgSO4 about 1/2 teaspoon after the water change.
you may need more Calicum, consider some CaSO4 and KH2PO4 for the next order.

That will take care of most things, 50% weekly water change.
Even if the PO4 is high, it's not an issue.
You might not need the extra PO4 as the tap can add it each week.
If the plants use up all the PO4 in ther tank, then adding 2.5ppm per week(50% water change) will be just about right, but often you'll need a bit more late in the week, 3-4 days in.

Do not use PO4 removers, that's what the plants do.
They are quite good at it.

If the CO2 is good and well maintained, then the ppm of PO4 should drioop near zero to 1ppm after 2 weeks w/o a water change.

But..........this all assumes your test kit is accurate and correct.
Call the tap water company up.
Check to see if things are the same.

Be very careful in assuming test kits are accurate.
That is often not the case with PO4/NO4/CO2.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

quenton

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Mar 14, 2006
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Re: Need Help Please

Tom Barr said:
...
You do not want to add PO4, Ca, Mg with Fe.
...

This line, extracted from one of your replies above, seems kind of critical to me. Lots of your posts suggest dosing the macros one day and the micros on alternate days -- I had assumed this was just a convenience. I gather from this line that its more than just a convenience. If that is true, might be worthwhile to mention it in the EI-Light aritcle which is a good reference for setting up your amounts and schedule.
 

dazzer1975

Prolific Poster
Apr 22, 2006
41
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Rochdale, sadly
Re: Need Help Please

Thanks a lot for the reply and suggestions for dosing etc. I will include a pic from last night showing the cloudyness, it has cleared up now thankfully!

th_DSC00123.jpg



I think the calcium and phosphate are going to be added to the next order, the calcium is very low and I also need to raise the kh.

Thanks again Tom much appreciated
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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Re: Need Help Please

quenton said:
This line, extracted from one of your replies above, seems kind of critical to me. Lots of your posts suggest dosing the macros one day and the micros on alternate days -- I had assumed this was just a convenience. I gather from this line that its more than just a convenience. If that is true, might be worthwhile to mention it in the EI-Light aritcle which is a good reference for setting up your amounts and schedule.

I'm not so sure it's particularly critical.
I use TMG like this without issue.
But some find every other day fine.........some don't.
More a routine for your habits.

Just do not mix these items together in a liquid soution that you dose to the tank.

Many seem to like to do that, but that makes little difference in doing so.

Regards,
Tom Barr