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Plant growth problems.

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by danielmeyer, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. danielmeyer

    danielmeyer Lifetime Charter Member
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    I've been using the IE method for about a month and half now, I have a 65G and have been dosing as follows:

    1/2 Tsp Potassium Nitrate ( M,W,F )
    2.4mL Monobasic Sodium Phosphate / Dibasic Sodium Phosphate ( M,W,F )
    15mL TMG ( T,T )

    75% Water change + Seachem Prime + gravel vacuum ( Sunday )

    Compressed CO2, pH is 6.9, KH 5.5 - 110W compact florescents.

    On the upside, BBA and hair algae is all but gone and plant growth started off explosive. Various species of crypts have responded extremely well, reaching nearly unbelievable size. Anubias are growing new leaves at a rapid rate.

    To combat the algae problem I was having I filled half the tank with Bacopa monnieri, the initial response when switching to EI was great - I was able to double the number of stems after a few weeks. Over time though, the older leaves and stems became brittle and becan to decay and fall off. New shoots have started growing out of the damaged areas and the internodal spacing is nice and compact. However I basically have a forrest of bare stems about 11" high with bushy growth at the top.

    I also filled the other open part of the tank with Ludwigia repens which initially retained its deep red and green colourings as it sprinted towards the surface. Again, following introduction of EI the internodal spacing was much improved and the new growth was very desnse and bushy. Approximately 3 weeks ago I had plenty of fiberous aerial roots - but now the plants look bleached taking on a more rose and white colouring. The stems are loosing a lot of leaves. New leaves look rippled around the edges and often have small signs of damage.

    I had a sizeable collection of Vallisneria which I've been needing to remove as its rotting.

    The only real testing I have been doing has been for iron, which is consistenly indicating a value of 0 for both toxic and chelated tests ( Nutrafin test kit ).

    Overall I am really happy with the simplification and savings EI has provided, as well as the major improvement in growth. I've learned a lot from the information and experiences the Barr Report has provided - I hope I can get some guidance in diagnosing my apparent defficiency.

    Best regards and thank you!
    Daniel
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Plant growth problems.

    Try doisng the Macro ferts 2x a week and the traces 3x a week
    You do not need that much macros at 110w.

    Did you address the EI article with respect to GH?

    If not, add some Gh booster that Greg Sells, or SeaChem Equilibrium.
    1-2 teaspoons a week will be enough.

    That + what you have been doing will address everything except the CO2............

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. danielmeyer

    danielmeyer Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Plant growth problems.

    Thank you for the advice Tom! I will invert the schedule and see what happens.

    With regards to GH, earlier in the year I had been monitoring using a Nutrafin GH/KH kit, the level was consistently around 180ppm - 200ppm so I hadn't thought of using a product like Equilibrium.

    I've been trying to increase CO2 levels, I'm using a RedSea 200 diffuser and a powerhead functioning like a pseudo-mist setup, but I'm having problems with my fish gasping or racing from top to bottom if I increase the rate any higher.

    I was thinking of picking up another 110W light unit next week, but was thinking it might be easier to sort out the existing issues before changing things too much.

    Best regards,
    Daniel
     
  4. colonel

    colonel Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Plant growth problems.

    Just something that might help your fish out a bit, try getting some decent surface movement by aiming you spray bar towards the surface, or using a power head just under the surface of the water to make a nice rippling effect over the surface. That will help to get a little better O2 exchange and help the fish out.
     
  5. danielmeyer

    danielmeyer Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Plant growth problems.

    That is something I will tackle on the weekend. I've noticed a layer of scum/protein on the surface of the water, which is probably compounding the problem. I'm using a Magnum 350 with the stock return; the spray bar would probably help break that layer up. It would be nice not to have to skim the surface each morning with an empty water bottle!

    Thank you for your suggestion!

    Best regards,
    Daniel
     
  6. colonel

    colonel Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Plant growth problems.

    yes adding surface movemnt with most definantly help to break up that film and keep it from collecting, I am willing to bet after you get that handled you will be able to get a good bit more CO2 into your tank, as that film GREATLY reduces O2 exchange.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Plant growth problems.

    The gH is most likely mostly Ca++, not MgSO4.

    You may forgo the GH builder, and add some MgSO4 => epsom salt.
    Maybe 1/4 teaspoon 1x a week per 20 gal of tank.

    As mentioned, add some surface flow!!!

    Regards,

    Tom Barr
     
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