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Tank running out of phosphates during EI dosing

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by Fissure, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Fissure

    Fissure New Member

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    Hi everyone, currently having a thread up regarding some plant issues I am having in my tank.


    Will post a link to that thread here, hope that is ok and if not remove the link and I will post the info from that thread in here. So you can read what I so far has done and to get an insight into my issues.


    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/1103034-fine-tuning-my-dosing-need-input.html


    To sum it up I noticed that I pretty quickly run out of PO4 in my water column during EI dosing. I dosed 4/5 parts of the normal Macro dose from the start and a premixed liquid trace from Aqua Rebell. I uped the trace dosing quite a bit but could not get any readable FE levels so went back to TNC dry trace mix instead.


    I also upped the macros to full levels when I noticed the lack of PO4.


    So is this normal to run out of PO4, there are really low levels after one light cycle, even the same day as dosing macros. And the next day it is barely traceable.


    Rest of the Macros seem to be present in "correct" amounts according to tests I sent to the LAB they do some kind of plasma thingy testing should hopefully be accurate.


    Some of the trace elements are also missing according to that report and copper levels are a bit on the high side perhaps. That is from my tap most of it, if I could I would doce a trace mix without copper but can't find any. And I have no possibility to setup a RO/DI system.


    As of now I am dosing daily instead to keep the nutrient level more consistent but the PO4 consumption is still higher than what I am adding. Not sure what to do or if to do anything about this.


    Cheers!
     
  2. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    Plant brain told me that in africana the nh4 and po4 are lower than amazonia, i'm not sure if this is the case with these new amazonias. But maybe the first to run out in the soil.


    Have a look at this for now, haven't been able to read your full story on tpt:


    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/aqua-soil-absorbing-phosphates-great-article-from-aqua-journal-online.1090/


    would be an easy fix though just up the dosage of po4 in your mix to get your target ppm. This is all i have for now....
     
  3. Fissure

    Fissure New Member

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    Thanks, just find it kinda strange that all the other macros seem to be right where they should be but just the Po4 dipping low so quickly.
     
  4. Evi1_0ne

    Evi1_0ne Junior Poster

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  5. Fissure

    Fissure New Member

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    Think it varies from test kit to test kit. The JBL PO4 test kits I find pretty easy to read on the chart using their comparing block thingy. The test kits that are based yellow to a red range I find much harder, like the JBL Mg test kit, totally useless.


    I guess the substrate could be the reason why it goes down to zero, but why would it only absorb PO4 and not K and No3 for example?
     
  6. Fissure

    Fissure New Member

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    Just took some test and Po4 is down at around 0.2 ppm and FE has climbed to 0.8 ppm. Not going to skip any more WCs now, question is if I should wait to planned WC day or do one now to get the trace levels back down a bit.


    Just heard my doser dosing the daily macro dose, so waited 15 minutes or so and took another test. The test now says 0.8 and since I should be adding 0.6 every dose that sounds like it could be pretty spot on. Would maybe be interesting to take a reading just before light on tomorrow to see if the substrate has absorbed anything. If not then I think I can safely assume that my plants like phosphates rather much?
     
  7. Evi1_0ne

    Evi1_0ne Junior Poster

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    Saturation? Do certain ions bond easier? How old is the soil, is it still buffering? I know when I start using new soil I see my tds drop, starting would be 150 PPM, and the soil will buffer that down to under 100 ppm, many different variables to take into account. Does it favor some things over others? Mostly Calcium, magnesium and carbonates? I'd love to see an NPK for ADA soil.
     
    #7 Evi1_0ne, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2016
  8. Fissure

    Fissure New Member

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    The soil is fairly new, rescaped 20th of October this year. So if the soil is absorbing the PO4 would it be wise to maintain a decent amount in water column during this time as well or is it enough that it is bound in the substrate?


    Also get the results from the lab today from my samples taken 16-12-05 if anyone wanna take a look. Will have to url the pdf, forum won't accept it. To big apparently (120kb ?!)


    http://mrfisse.com/akvarium/500L-16-12-05.pdf
     
    #8 Fissure, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2016
  9. Jason King

    Jason King barrreport.com
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    Fissure can you test the PDF upload again please, I've looked at the size problem and want to confirm its fixed, no problems at this end.


    Thanks
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Soil does not bind NO3. Only NH4, which is why we have NO3 in well water and tap water.


    PO4 binds okay, but new ADA AS should have a lot of PO4, and any you might add would fill those spots as it is used and released.


    After a while, you'd expect those CEC sites to fill up and they do.............


    Or are pretty full to begin with.


    The PO4 is added for the plants, not to maintain some specific water column PPM. With plain sand, the drop was about 0.2ppm a day to 0.4ppm.


    Clay soils may alter that, but the plants will not take up that much more than daily. In otherwords, the goal is not a water column ppm, it's to provide plenty for the plants so you do not get deficiency.


    For NO3, you tend to want to have a higher range, say 10-15 ppm as target on average.


    K+ is pretty much always taken from the water column by plant leaves. If not, then those plants are rarely found in submersed conditions.


    There might be a few exceptions with K+, but this is a pretty safe generalization.


    5+ ppm or more is good. Many use to lard it on. 50-100ppm ranges.


    I tended to keep it lower, about 20-30ppm.


    Make sure you use a known stock standard to check/calibrate your test kit.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Also, the PO4 seems okay according to the test, but there's NO3 and NH4 missing.


    No clue why they'd test for W and and a dozen others.


    Most plants can handle a nice heavy dose once every 2-3 days, you could even do a 90% water change after a day adding the ferts, and the 3rd day they'd be okay.


    There's many ways to flush and add ferts to ask how much is enough and what frequency.


    Not all tanks will behave the same either, soils make a big difference since they provide backup. Light intensity, good CO2 management, filter etc.
     
  12. Fissure

    Fissure New Member

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    Jason: Attaching works fine now, attached the pdf again to test, thanks!


    T.Barr: Thanks for replying. So the reason I focused on the phosphates was that the growth in the tank halted so I started to look as to why. Looked through my dosing and if I misscalculated or if the pumps was dosing incorrectly. Everything was as it was supposed to be on the technical front. So I grabbed what test kits I had at home at started to look there. No3 was looking fine (not calibrated though, guess I will have to get a mg scale and try to make some reference solution or something).


    Fe was not measurable so increased the dose from the aqua rebell stuff I was using. Still did not get a good reading so I switched back to the TNC traces, got the Fe levels back up after that.


    After this I did the PO4 test and noticed it was just blank, no readout at all, thought this was weird since I used these tests before and always got a high reading on them. Turns out after a while that the test is correct and Po4 was "out" (or in the substrate, no idea). Kinda surprised at that since Ive read several times that with Aquasoil you pretty much don't have to add any ferts at all for the first months or so?


    So either the soil is absorbing it all or the plants are. Not sure if its bad for them to be pretty much out of Po4 every second day?


    Also find it hard to pinpoint eventual deficiencies, so many seem to be guessing or you find contradictory answers on the interwebs.


    It is starting to get a bit better but there still are issues, like healthy but not growing HC, looks like its hiding in the substrate looks overly compacted... Except for the HC growing at at the mosswall (unintentional).


    And these goddamn pinholes/dead spots in older leaves I have been struggling with for two years now, K def it is surely not...


    Anyway I suspected PO4 deficiency mainly because I saw a bunch of GSA on some plants, not had that before. And I found on the webs that low PO4 could cause this? It is gone from the affected plants now but I really have not upped the dosage of KH2Po4 just dosing half of it every day now.


    What par would you suggest at the substrate for my tank, I am guessing I am using to much light. Though my last rescape did really well when my diy led ramp was maxxed for 6 months or so, this was before I got a PAR meter. Turns out at max I have around 350 par at the substrate. Running it at 150 now...


    Today I also noticed I have gotten Cyano for the first time! How fun very fun :(
     

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  13. Evi1_0ne

    Evi1_0ne Junior Poster

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    If soil only binds NH4 and PO4 then what is being pulled from my water? Chicago(Lake Michigan water) does a comprehensive chemical analysis every quarter. What I pay attention to concentrations(mg/L) in my water aside from the micros and misc is calcium 35, magnesium 12 , NH4 <.03, NO3 .3, PO4 .97, SO4 30, CaCO3 107. These numbers are from the chemical analysis the city performs.
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, soil is not binding to the NO3, so there's only a few ways that is exiting: N2, via denitrification, or plant/algae uptake or water changes. PO4 can bind, but in reductive clay soils, it will also release and enter back into the water again, but as it hits the aerobic zones, often it gets precipitated or bound once again. Or taken up by plant roots/algae.
     
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