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What to do now?

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by aronson, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Hey all,

    Been a long time since my last post... :gw

    (this is part one... part two is coming after I can 'squern', beg and plead some answers out of my fellow enthusiasts). :D

    My tank (stats below in sig) is doing 'fine'... Well, almost 'fine'. It's really just doing 'ok'. I say that my tank is 'ok' beacuse I am getting lots of small bright green 'dots' of algae after the 3rd or 4th day after the H2O change. They're mostly on the glass and the (surprise) slow growing plants. Also, my crypts are healthy but a bit ragged (is that contrdictory?)


    Here's the water low down starting with a run-down of my tap (measured yesterday by a professional water inspector unless noted):

    Tap:
    pH: 7.2
    Fe:
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: What to do now?

    Disconnect the pH controller.
    Use only as a monitor for pH, adjust the CO2 with a needle valve only.
    Run lights for 10-11 hours.

    Cooler water=> slows bacteria and plant growth, biological growth in general, whereas warmer temps do the opposite, waremer water holds less gas(CO2 and O2 etc) at equilibrium, but we add gas, so it's not at equilibrium, but still, it does tend to be easier to run a cooler tank.

    The 3-4th day algae is telling of a CO2 issue.
    There is enough PO4, I'd add about 1/8th teaspoon or so 3x a week, 7 mls of TMG, 1/4 teaspoon KNO3.

    You do not need any GH, so add about 1/4 teaspoon of MgSO4 to be on the safer side. It's not likely it's all Mg, more likely it's all Ca in you tap.

    Extra of either will not hurt.

    See the internal DIY CO2 reactor I have on this site, it works better than the PG thingy.

    Cost 2-3$ and looks better.

    Plug into the light timer.


    Adding a lot more CO2 during the only time you need it, the light peroid is better for the fish also, they only experienece and 1/3 of their day with high CO2 and then it's only when there is high O2 from plant growth also.

    This gives you more wiggle room with higher CO2 and less potential for fish stress.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. neil1973

    neil1973 Prolific Poster

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    Re: What to do now?

    Hi, Adam

    My guess would be that more PO4 may help. If you believe the test kit then there definitly isn't enough. Saying that as far as i can make out you are adding about 10ppm of PO4 per week. When during your weekly routine are you testing?

    Also making sure you have as much CO2 as possible (without killing the fish!) is always good.

    May i also suggest that it will make things easier if you use a single unit - at the moment you have a mixture of oz and ml. Using ml will make life easier for those outside the US.

    cheers
    Neil
     
  4. aronson

    aronson Prolific Poster

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    Re: What to do now?

    Thanks to Tom and Neil for the replies...

    Neil, yes, I should stick to one unit. I only have it figured the way it is because of the difference in the two dosing bottles I got from GW.

    Tom, can you convert the "1/8th teaspoon or so 3x a week" into a liquid measure mixed in distilled water? I find it easier to add the liquid to the tank than to measure the equivalent dry. Same for the KNO3. Also, I don't use TMG... I was until recently using Flourish but now I have 1lb of CSM+B Plantex recently purchased from Greg. Any guidance is appreciated.

    It is Ca (according to the water specialist who measured our water). The advice for me to add the MgSO4 is new. You had previously advised me to add Seachem Eq -- is that something I should consider stopping? Is there a benefit when I have the amount of Ca that I do?

    Thanks for all of your help and advice. I do need to do something about the CO2 reactor.

    Adam
     
  5. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: What to do now?

    A question for Tom: At least twice recently you have said that a zero PO4 level was OK. Is that because the plants are doing OK and you assume that EI will take care of it?

    You've also said that a No3 - PO4 ratio of 8:1 to 10:1 is desireable.

    I am just a little confused, but that's a fairly normal thing for me.

    Bill
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: What to do now?

    Measuring the amount of PO4 in the water is a guessing game. So, if the test kit says you have zero PO4, you may well have plenty. As long as you keep dosing per the EI schedule you should be sure of having enough. The ratio of PO4 and NO3 is not important - having a sufficient amount of each at all times is important.

    No, I'm not Tom but I did sleep in a comfortable bed last night.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Might have been in the context of a test kit, saying to ignore the reading and assume the 1/4 teaspoon you just added after a water change and ppm based on that is a better reliable method perhpas....................

    PO4 of 0.0ppm is not bad, but for how long?
    a day maybe, but you want about 2-3ppm for a range as a rule for CO2 enriched plant tanks.
    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, Vaughn,

    It's good that you have a comfortable bed!

    Those of us who keep low light tanks can't use EI because of the dangers that frequent water changes present. Also, since the nutrient dosing is low to nonexistent, it isn't needed anyway.

    I use test kits and find the results to be close enough to be useful. With the kits I use, NO3 might be 10 or it might be 13, but either is acceptable. At higher levels they are not very accurate, but I use that as a "limit guage" - if I can't read it, the level is too high.

    If I saw a PO4 reading of zero it would be time to run for the enema bottle. (Fleet, that is.)

    Thanks.

    Bill
     
  9. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It isn't the low light that makes EI unusable, it's the lack of CO2 being supplied. That means any water change can jolt the CO2 level up and quickly back down. If you had low light and did provide steady CO2 injection, water changes would not be a problem. Of course you would be dosing much smaller doses and less frequently.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Why would a water change not apply the same to high or a low light tank?
    I don't follow.

    Low light tanks are fine with EI, always have been.
    You can dose about 1/2 the amounts and be fine if you want tom reduce the waste of KNO3, KH2PO4, but these are still fine in terms of fish/algae etc and cheap even if you do waste them.

    For non CO2, that's another matter.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I should have said "low light, non-CO2" environment. I'm sorry for the confusion.

    I understand that in a low light environment, CO2 can make a difference.

    Bill
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, then a low PO4 will not apply, you sound like you are adding way too much for a non CO2 tank, EI is not for this method, you can add a little to top off if the plant biomass is high and the growth is fairly rapid/fish load is low etc.

    Having a little more PO4 will not harm a non CO2 tank either.
    PO4 has the same impact on algae and plants in a non CO2 tank, things just move/grow slower.

    If the tank had been previously limited by PO4 severly, there maybe some adaptation time for things to settle down, but PO4 will not hurt a nobn CO2 tank, I've been adding PO4 once a week or so to non CO2 tanks for a number of years.

    See the article for non CO2 listed here on the site.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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