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Tank issue - deficiencies?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Carissa, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Here's the scoop. In my 30g tank I have this hygrophila polysperma that usually grows like mad. The past two months something went wrong.

    I was doing strict EI originally. However I would have mysterious fish deaths following my water changes, every week or at least every two weeks. So I started cutting back on dosing and reducing my changes to 25% instead and all seemed very well for a couple of months.

    Then, due to fluctuating co2, I started having bba issues. Fixing co2 and doing bleach dips resolved 90% of it.

    Around the same time, I added some new reflectors (60w of light).

    A short time after that, I added carbon to the filter since my driftwood was leaching lots of tannins and I was tired of the yellow water.

    Immediately after that, my hygrophila started having funny growth, new growth looked like something had eaten a piece out of the leaves. Then green spot algae started on the leaves. I started dosing more regularly and added more Plantex CSM+B.

    Now, a month later, the problem has not resolved. I removed the reflectors a few days ago to slow down the algae growth. As fast as it grows and I prune it, the algae reappears actually on the plant leaves (not on anything else).

    CO2 has not been consistently high, but hasn't been any lower than usual. ~10-20ppm usually. This is not co2 deficiency though, I've seen that before on this plant and this is not the same thing.

    So I'm starting very strict EI again, hoping that my fish stay healthy. Did my first 50% water change two days ago and no fish deaths yet.

    My tap water has 1.0ppm of copper out of the tap. A possible cause for my fish deaths after water changes.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Carissa,

    I think you have two separate issues:

    1. Fish mortality post WC.

    I know that copper in even smaller amounts is not good for fish and deadly as well to fish and inverts in higher amounts......

    Perhaps you have more than your test kit suggests? Or it was worse at the time? Copper leaches from pipes. Is your house or apt older? Did you run the larger WC slower through the pipes so there was more contact somehow???

    You say that all was well in the tank plant wise, but that you would have fish deaths right after a WC.

    You reduced the amount of WC % and dosing and you said there was an improvement or reduction (elimination) of fish mortality, correct.

    I would say that the deaths were more water quality/chemistry related, especially as since you reduced the volume of water changed, there was an improvement. I doubt that the EI dosing was the culprit.

    2. Poor growth on Hygro.

    How much increase was the new lights in wpg? Is it possible that with your fluctuating c02 levels AND increased lighting, and reduced EI (now back to normal) you had poor growth?

    Did you do dips on this plant as well? Could it have been weakened by the dip and then the less than ideal nutes worsened it?

    Just some thoughts. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    My water has 0 KH and GH, very soft. Therefore it sucks copper in like crazy whenever it comes in contact. Definitely it was the water chemistry causing the deaths, not dosing, I didn't mean to imply that. Since my water is so soft, I have to reconstitute the GH every water change, and KH fluctuates, which is what I originally blamed for the deaths. The problem was that without the 50% water changes I could not fully dose EI without chance of buildup.

    I didn't change the lights at all, just the reflectors. I didn't dip those plants at all, they were too healthy to even grow bba at the time. It seems that the reduced dosing and increased available light, and especially the carbon since the timing was so close, may have contributed to a deficiency, just can't figure out what, and it's not resolving yet. I would like to know what it is, since I don't want to do 50% water changes. I may start switching to RO instead of tap water, but that's going to cost me money, another reason to get away from 50% water changes.
     
  4. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Well three days have gone by and no visible change in the plants as of yet although I have been dosing EI. Interestingly, my copper level out of the tap is 1.0ppm, but the tank water has very close to 0ppm. The copper must be either being used up by the plants, or reacting with something in the tank to take it out of solution (I'm thinking this is more likely). Either way, I'm glad my copper levels aren't as high in the tank as I had feared.
     
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