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Stunted macrandra please help

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by sherry, Mar 3, 2006.

  1. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    I've been pouring through the archives for days, but I am still at a loss.

    My macrandra has stunted leaves that start very dark pink and sort of green up and look sick. The plant is more stem than leaf at the moment too.

    my inclinata doesn't look too healthy either.

    Beyond that everything grows easilly. 2 inchs a week on Tonia Fluviatis . Cabomba has to be cut down twice a week, elletine tiandra which grows like mad..rotala rotafunda colorada also growing like mad, . a bunch of others doing great... indeed I've got too many species... oh and some annubias is flowering if that means anything.

    I dose a version of EI.. but without adding N and P04 as I have a heavy fish load and my nitrates tend to stay at 15 ppm and po4 1.5 without dosing.

    I have been adding potassium every other day and csm + b + fe every other day.

    I have pressurized co2 at 30 ppm using a plant guild powerhead reactor, and 96 watts cf light over a 35 gallon cube (I figure 30 gallons of water after substrate) Substrate is EC.

    Oh my water is naturally soft ny city water.. it starts with kh 1.5 and gh 1.5 or 2.. and I added 1 tablespoon of crushed coral to my xp1 which over a week brought both kh and gh up to 3 where it tends to stay. My ph is 6.4 with co2... And iwthout it at night, It goes up to 7.3 (only since the additon of the cc, before that ph was naturally 6.5)... Instead of turning co2 off at night I use a controller on teh assumption that it is better to pump in co2 at night than subject the fish to ph swings (is that true?) ... and I do use an airstone at night to avoid fish gasping in teh am.. tank is maybe too heavilly planted. Nothing else is an issue except the two "hard" plants.

    I would really like to get these right. I have read everything from nitrates must only be 10 to calcium must be added and my head is spinning


    I do 20 percent water changes, but I do them every few days. Somewhere along the line I got the idea that would be better for fish than a big huge change once a week.

    and just because I am afraid of getting algae (whcih I am clear of now) I add a little excel.

    please Help me get this right.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Stunted macrandra please help

    Try placing ther mac under or right in the outflow of the CO2.
    Don't prune it till it's running all over the surface.

    Add some GH maybe 1 degree's worth
    Not crushed coral, that plays with KH and only adds Ca, not Mg.
    You can add somke MgSO4 and likely should, about 1/4 teaspoon 1-2x a week.

    I'd still add some KNO3/PO4.
    Maybe 1/2 a normal dosing.
    Even the highest fish loads appear to help with dosing NO3/PO4.
    1 Adult well fed discus per 10 gal is high loading and even that tank needed 1/2 the NO3 from KNO3, don't assume the test kits are correct, they have errors as much as we do.

    the pH assumption is wrong, use CO2 during the day only, the reactor should be able to handle the size of tank you have responsively.

    I grow mac just fine and my NO3-20-30ppm
    And it is freaky red.

    TMG might also help, I like that more than CMS.

    If you do weekly waters change, that keeps things pretty stable, so you can do 50-80% even water changes, clean and prune first, then refill/dose after.

    You can keep using the airstone at night if you wish. But do not add CO2 at night.

    High fish loads are a risk to the fish themselves. I strongly urge [people to maintain normal stocking levels, you will have a much higher chance at keeping the fish disease feree and without issues over time doing so.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Stunted macrandra please help

    I will do all of this, except move the macrandra because I am concerned about shading it..

    If you ahve a good hint for removing rummys and phantoms without tearing up my tank, my fish load will no longer be high. A friends gorgeous 125 is waiting for them... and I want them gone...

    should I be using cc at all tom? I was doing it to keep my tank from having a ph crash with co2... but that means my soft water loving / acidic loving fish are going to be exposed to ph 7.3 when I turn off the co2 at night.


    is mgso4 epsom salts? and is that all I should add for gh or do you want me to add calcium too. Best source?

    should I raise my co2 levels ... ?
     
  4. colonel

    colonel Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Stunted macrandra please help

    Just though I would add a little trick I picked up along the way some where that has helped out a lot when trying to get fish and not tear up the tank.

    You can make a trap to catch them in so you dont have to chase them around with a net out of a clean empty soda bottle, the type of bottle to use is going to depend on the type of the fish. But for rummys probably a regular 2 liter soda bottle would work well.

    All you do is cut off the top 1/3 of the bottle, (the part where you pour the soda from) turn it around and invert it back inside of the bottle. Then put thier favorite food inside, and put it in the tank filling it with water so it sinks. I have also tried in the past to leave a small air bubble inside of the soda bottle to get it to float at the surface to "target" the fish I am trying to catch with pretty good success. Anyhow make sure you check it every 5-10 minutes because there isnt any water flow in the bottle, and they tend to get a bit stressed getting trapped inside the small container. But it usually works pretty well and is probably a lot less stress than chasing them down with the net.

    For the phantoms you will probably need something with a larger opening so they can fit, could try something like a juice bottle, those one liter pepsi bottles, or maybe like those 3 liter generic soda bottles. Good luck ;)

    Matt
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Stunted macrandra please help

    What are cc's?
    CMS?
    Wait, Crushed coral.

    To get the fish out of a planted tank: water change! Suck them out as you change and drain the tank to 20% water, any fish is easy to catch them:)

    They cannot run if there is no water!!!
    Yes, MgSO4 is epsom salt.
    You could also use the GH builder from Gregwatson.com.
    It has K2SO4, CaSO4 and MgSO4 + some Fe and Mn.

    That would be best I think ansd covers it all, no need for CC then.
    You actually do not need to adjust KH at all.
    But I would add 1.5 degrees worth of GH builder.

    That will help and you can add 1/4 teaspoon of the epsom salt after the water change also.

    That, less fish, good CO2, things should do well.

    You can also move the CO2 if you do not want to move the plant to change the direction etc.

    I seldom have trouble with the plant although I know many have issues.
    You have great tap though, you just need a bit more GH.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Stunted macrandra please help

    I'll order the gh builder tonight. !

    can you give me the 1.5 degrees in actual teaspoon/tablespoon measurements for a 35 gallon tank (figure 30 gallons of water)?

    I am thinking of trying the mist method. which makes the co2 more portable... . I already ahve a powerhead aimed at the macrandra.. would that, a limewoodstone and my pressurized co2 be enough.. or do I need to figure out a fancier set up?

    do you think with gh builder I should take out the bit of Crushed Coral (u were right) from the filter adn not worry about my natural kh of 1.5?
     
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