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Nutrients and carpet plants

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by JadeButterfly, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. JadeButterfly

    JadeButterfly Guru Class Expert

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    Hey Tom,

    I am wondering if carpet plants such as glossos and dwarf hairgrass both go for nutrients in the water column first or substrate...

    I've been dosing according to your EI with:

    1/4 tsp KNO3 and 1/8 KH2PO4 4x a week
    10ml traces in between (2tbsp/500ml)

    on a 45G with 192W and 30ppm CO2

    I've notice that fuzz algae on my glossos decreased but haven't notice any increase in growth...instead...my glossos are starting to die...turning brownish/yellowish...

    my tank is mainly made up with glossos and dwarf hairgrass and maybe just 2 bunches of rotala rotundifolia.
    my rotala is also starting to turn white (the new leaves)

    I was curious and measured my NO3, PO4 and Fe this morning and found that I have nearly 100ppm NO3 (PO4 and Fe shows high level...but test kit aren't accurate)

    So are my glossos, dwarf hairgrass, and rotala even absorbing the nutrients I dose...? and would the dying glosso and white rotala be signs of excess nutrients?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    Try using Floruish instead for awhile.

    Your plants sound more limited than excessed. The conditions sound like NO3 problems, deficicency, not excess but that is unlikely unless you are adding K2SO4 and think it's KNO3, if you are sure of the KNO3, KH2PO4, then you assume that's fine, the CO2......make sure that's fine(again).

    If you are doing the large water changes, then the NO3 is not going to be that higher. You asre only adding about 20ppm per week, try adding 2x this amount, 1/2 teaspoon, the day of the water change and right before the water change.

    Gloss gets yellow and ratty when it's not getting enough NO3.

    I grow it just fine in plain sand, so do others.

    If this does not work, try turning off one of those nuke PC lights and deal with 2.1 w/gal, I think you can do that and it will dramatically improve everything and make your life much easier. Gloss is much easier to manage at that level of light.

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  3. JadeButterfly

    JadeButterfly Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    Hello Tom,

    I want to note that before my plants were doing amazing before adjusting the CO2 to proper level (30ppm)...I am now readjusting the CO2 back to where it was, and going to reset my dosage plan.

    My main question is, after testing the water the other day and noticing high level of NO3, PO4, and Fe....do I need to change my dosage plan? Does carpet plants like glosso/dwarf hairgrass uptake from their water column? My tank is more like heavily carpeted than heavily planted, should I readjust my dosage plan from 1/2 tsp KNO3, 1/8 tsp PO4 4x a week and 10ml traces in between?

    Thanks again.!
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    Yes, they will remove nutrients from the water column. You can likely get away with 1/2 the dosing with a layout like that.

    Less light would be prudent for that type of tank, it'll slow the uptake down, help the CO2 demand be reduced, slow the growth. You could get away with less.

    Gloss will respond before Hairgrass.

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  5. m lemay

    m lemay Prolific Poster

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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    Have you been doing 50% water changes weekly?
     
  6. JadeButterfly

    JadeButterfly Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    yes I have done 50% w/c weekly...

    I read the post from Tom about test kits and CO2.....

    I have pressurized CO2 that I first bubbled at 2BPS and measured 80ppm using Hagen test kits...

    Last Sunday when I W/C, I lowered it to 1BPS to get 34ppm since that is the suggested level....could my test kits be wrong?

    my apistos, shrimps, otos were all doing fine under '80 ppm'
     
  7. m lemay

    m lemay Prolific Poster

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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    Somethings not adding up here.

    I personally use a Lamottes CO2 test kit because of the inherent margin of errors in ph/gh kits that can make an accurate CO2 level impossible to figure out, then compound that with tannins and other things that can alter your ph, plus ones interpretation of the ph color chart ,and you can see why I don't have much faith in the kh/ph charts. The charts themselves are accurate its the error in kh/ph measuement that screws it all up. What brand of nitrate kit are you using?
     
  8. JadeButterfly

    JadeButterfly Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    I am using Hagen test kits.

    Okay I think it is inaccurate to use bubbles/sec so let me post my pH and KH

    I had my pH at 6.6 and KH at 180ppm. CO2 = 76.11ppm

    then I readjusted and now I have pH 6.8 and KH at 130ppm. CO2 is 34.79

    i don't have anything that would affect the ph/KH level drastically.
     
  9. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    You have loads of light and nutrients (via EI method)...so, what is left then? CO2. If something is toxic in the water column, the critters would be the first to suffer rather than the plants in my opinion. Do not trust the kits too much if something does not seem right. KH kits are pretty much stable enough to trust except for pH kits which can be affected by loads of other acids or peat. Increase the rate of delivery for the CO2 slowly day by day and eyeball the critter behaviour while doing the EI method without fail till you get nice pearling towards the end of the day (a small piece of riccia rock is excellent as Tom as pointed out...its easier to see pearling from riccia.). As long as you don't do CO2 24/7 and have a consistent rate of delivery (a good needle valve/regulator), you should be able to hit the sweet spot. O2 production equals to growth...:)

    Regards

    Peter Gwee
     
  10. Bill

    Bill Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    Hi Peter,

    >>>As long as you don't do CO2 24/7 and have a consistent rate of delivery (a good needle valve/regulator), you should be able to hit the sweet spot. O2 production equals to growth...:)
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    Sweet spot of CO2, O2 is the by product of H2O splitting.

    O2 when in good ranges in a well run tank will exceed 100% saturation using CO2.

    The CO2 at high levels is safer and less of a problem if you go too much if you only dose 10n hours a day vs leaving it on all the time. Then it can build up at night sice the plants do not use it then.

    Getting the CO2 to work right form the start is not always easy.

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
  12. m lemay

    m lemay Prolific Poster

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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    How bout the dwarf hairgrass, hows it growing in? What are your GH parameters, and are you adding any Mg. I'm leaning towards an iron deficiency. Need more info.
     
  13. JadeButterfly

    JadeButterfly Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    I've pruned most of the dead leaves.
    Did about 50% W/C

    I'm going to cut down my dosage by a half.
    so 1/4 KNO3, 1/16 KH2PO4 3x a week and 10ml traces 3x a week

    Instead of using Flourish as suggested, I'm going to use TMG (since I have it lying around) and see if it will make any changes.

    Let me know what you think Tom.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Nutrients and carpet plants

    2-3 w/gal is fine, this routine should be fine and you might want to give it a few days /weeks before the plants respond well.
    TMG should be fine, it'll grow both plants very well.

    Hagen kits are mighty junky.

    Try the eyeball approach to CO2.
    Most do this anyway at some point.
    You need to be careful till it's set and running good, then things are fine till the gas tank runs out etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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