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Problems with low light, no C02 tank

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by Ghostie, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Ghostie

    Ghostie Prolific Poster

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    I have had a 20 gallon going for 8 years now. I had given up on plants but decided to try again a month ago. I decided to try the low tech, no c02 method discussed here,

    My light is 2x14w t5 and I have an Ehiem Ecco filter. I have very soft water here in NYC. I am dosing 1/4 equilibrium weekly, 1/8 kno3 weekly, 1/32 KH2PO4 weekly and one cap full of Flourish trace weekly.

    My java fern is dying, even though all my other plants seem to be doing ok. They are getting brown spots that spread and take over the whole leaf. I assume it is a nutrient deficiency of some sort. Could it be a low KH, as I haven't added any baking soda. Or could the light be too bright?

    I also noticed the new growth of green temple is very yellow. The new growth of the crypts seems odd with very small yellow spots. I thought the low tech method was supposed to be easier!
    Here are some pictures: View attachment 860

    View attachment 861

    View attachment 862
     
  2. xuwhisk

    xuwhisk Junior Poster

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    I think you should add some Fe (iron).
     
  3. Ghostie

    Ghostie Prolific Poster

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  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Fish? the health appears okay of the plants, but I know the symptoms.
    Sounds more like as the plants have grown in some, the competition for CO2 has increased.

    Then you get holes in some species.
    This is also quite well lit. If you can use less light, that would be better, T5 lighting is a fair amount more intense than you need here.

    Try removing a bulb or running one only part of the light cycle(2-3 hours tops).

    The other option is the use Excel etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Ghostie

    Ghostie Prolific Poster

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    Thanks for the reply Tom. It's true, I am getting a couple of holes here and there. The fish seem pretty happy. I got 8 silvertip tetras last week, they are very territorial! I just put two sheets of tracing paper over the glass to block out a bit if the light, so that should help. I assume my dosing is ok. Maybe I will try some Excel, although I do have some moss and vals... I am particularly interested in working on the aquascaping since low light tanks always seem so unaesthetic (although with no CO2 it will be a slow process.)
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Moss will be okay, Vals not so much, they will take a little beating, but do eventually build up tolerance. You can add less than the suggested amounts of Excel also;)

    Just enough to stave off the issue, but not fry the other plants.
    Try 1/4 daily dosing, then 1/2 and then full (going from one to the next each week)

    Note, you can now do water changes after 1/2-full Excel if you chose.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Ghostie

    Ghostie Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom. I will try the lower lights for a few weeks and see how that goes. Then perhaps I will start trying some excel if I am still having issues. I will post an update then!
     
  8. Ghostie

    Ghostie Prolific Poster

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    I have lowered the light. Today I just noticed that some of the leaved of the green temple have turned glassy also the growing point of the chain sword appears to have died (the part that sends off new plantlets.) I read somewhere that I shouldn't be dosing iron (in equilibrium) and ks2po4 at the same time (I think it was Rex Grigg's site.) Is this true?
     
  9. Ghostie

    Ghostie Prolific Poster

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    Things seemed to have evened out a bit. Still having some issues with GSA but not too bad. The java fern is even sending out some new leaves. I also started dosing the equilibrium and KS2PO4 on separate days. I guess it is best to not fuss too much sometimes... I'll update with a picture when things look nicer! I also started dosing the equilibrium and KS2PO4 on separate days.
     
  10. Ghostie

    Ghostie Prolific Poster

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    So I ordered some API test kits.
    Results are:
    pH 6.0
    KH 1 (or less!)
    Gh 10

    Tap Water:
    kH 1.5
    Gh 3

    I obviously need more KH, and GH is high. Should I just add some baking soda to slowly bring up the KH? Should I do a water change to lower the GH?

    Most of the crypts and anubias are doing ok. The chain sword is losing its new leaves though. Since this is a low tech tank I haven't done any water changes yet, should start doing bi-monthly water changes. I have been following the low-tech method dosing as in the first post for the last 6 weeks.
     
  11. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    KH is over rated. If the fish are happy at 6.0pH, and your water changes are regular, then you're doing fine. 10 GH is higher than normal, but I don't think it'll hurt anything; osmotic pressure shouldn't be a problem if all the nutrients are balanced.

    Adding baking soda will introduce sodium. I'm not sure at what point sodium begins to stunt plant growth, but it's a concern worth looking at. If my memory serves me right, a little under 1 gram in 65L (my 20g's total volume of water) will increase the KH by 1.

    -Philosophos
     
  12. Ghostie

    Ghostie Prolific Poster

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    Do the plants use the kH (from sodium bicarbonate) for carbon since there is no CO2 gas added directly?
     
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