Problematic Tank


Prolific Poster
Sep 6, 2005
Hello all,

I have been having problems with my 30 gallon tank for the last 4 or 5 months. I have had some stunting ect... not a lot of algae problems other than being brought on by my playing with co2 and nutrients. One thing I have learned in my 18 months of keeping a planted tank is how to beat back algae. I have no problem there. My problem is bringing everything together at once so I can do what I want to do. Trim, scape and enjoy.

I have been playing with my nutrients. Problem is I have been chasing my tail for a few months and not really keeping track of what I have been doing. Voodoo E.I. I call it. :D hmmm a little more this hmmmmm pinch of that ......hmmm whats this stuff .....dunno dash of it. lol.

Anyway I now have a little time (thats a lie but I am gonna make some) to take a better approach to getting things right again.

Below are my tank specs and new dosing regime.

Tank : 30gallon
Substrate : Eco
co2: pressurized
diffusion: glass diffuser mist blown throughout tank
Lighting : 96 watt dual daylight bulb (6700-10000)
Filtration: ehiem 2126

My tap water.
po4 non existent
no3 maybe 1 ppm
gh I think 12 last time I tested. I have never seen it below 10
kh usually between 2 and 5
I have tested for calcium before and came up with 60ppm and mg of 15 or so.

Co2: I have a drop checker with kh referenced solution and am green or yellow during lighting hours. Also have a pinpoint monitor and track it .

New dosing

Sun: 50%-70% w/c
Equilibrium: 1/2 tsp.
Mgso4: 5/16 tsp.
Excel: 10ml
kno3: 5/16
po4: 1.65ppm via mixed solution
K: 1/16 tsp.
Fe: 2ml using flourish fe

Mon: Micros: 7ml flouish
Fe: 2ml iron

Tue: Mgso4: 5/16 tsp.
kno3: 5/16 tsp.
po4: 1.65ppm
K:1/16 tsp.
Fe: 2ml

Wed: see Mon.
Thur: see Tue.
Fri: see Mon.
Sat: off

I realize that the extra iron may not be needed but I didn't think it would hurt. Some of my stems look iron deficient. I recently took out a couple anubias nana that were doing fine even put out flowers but the new leaves would come in yellowish and later turn green. Other plants look like possibly iron deficient also.

I am going to run this new dosing schedule in order to rule out everything but co2and my tap water. I think this would cover anything nutrient wise and wanted to run it past everyone else to see if I have missed anything?

Input ....suggestions? ...... a pat on the back and a kick in the pants to send me off to keep it steady for a few weeks?



Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
Sacramento, CA
Since you are using CO2 mist, I assume you have good water circulation throughout the tank. Other than that I can't see any reason to expect you to have problems growing plants very well. Oh, and of course weekly tank maintenance is also assumed - my achilles heel!

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
You could make up a 2-4 week supply of EI dosing in a bottle with 500mls of DI water, then divide the dosing mls by 14 or 28 days, so dose 35mls for the 14 day supply daily or 17.5 for the 4 week amount etc.

Very easy to do if you wish and no math at all.
Just add the dry ferts to a given amount of liquid DI water.

Take 1-2-3-4 week supply etc of what you'd normally dose. Add it to the water, dose till all that water is gone(divide the supply / days).

Say you add 1/4 teaspoon of KNO3 and 1/16th tsp KH2PO4 3x a week.

1/4 x 3= 3/4 ts NO3 and 3/16th for PO4.
4 weeks x 3/4 teaspoon= 12/4 tsp or 3 tsp which is 1 table spoon KNO3.
4 weeks x 3/16th = 12/16th or 3/4 teaspoon of KH2PO4.

Then add whatever amount of water(enough to dissolve the salts) and divide by the days.

No chemistry involved.
Some find that easier, some find dose every other day easier, some dose 2-3 x a week just fine.

It's not the dosing, it you and your ability to be consistent that's the issue.
CO2 is still an issue no matter what.
Whatch it carefully.

Tom Barr


Prolific Poster
Sep 6, 2005
Thanks for the replies. Yes consistency has been an issue over the last several months. I have been trying to chase a deficiency and can not put my finger on it.

I have been sticking to the above fert regime for the last two weeks. I have also been working on my co2. It is hard sometimes to check it daily at start up because I am off to work well before co2 or lights come on. I have tried to have co2 drop the ph to 6.1 or close at lights on and the ph ends the day around 5.8 to 5.9. This should be plenty of co2. I have a pinpoint monitor. I also have a drop checker with a 4kh solution in it. It is yellow during the day. My fish have not flipped out yet but I have been paying special attention to having very good surface movement. No splashing but good ripples.

The plants over the two weeks have been doing okay. My rotala green grows well but its a weed. Rotala colorata is doing better but I am still fighting a little stunting on it. Micranthemum umbrosum is doing well as is riccia and vals. My Pogostemon broadleaf is during okay but one out of 4 has stunted.

Overall it still seems that I am iron deficient. Plants look a little pale with green nerves. I would assume this is iron or magnesium. So for the next couple of weeks I will be upping my mgo4 dose to .5Tsp 3 times a week while still working on my co2.