EI dosing lowing my PH?? Help.....
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:20 PM   #1
TankZen
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Exclamation EI dosing lowing my PH?? Help.....

I recently started dosing dry Mono Potassium Phosphate and
Potassium Nitrate from aquarium fertilizer online shop I am dosing per Tom Barr recommendations for a low tech (non CO2 tank).

My ph has been dropping in my tank from 6.6/7 to 6.4 after I add the Potassium Phosphate. I have even lost a few of my Oto's due to it. Is this normal? Should I stop dosing the Potassium Phosphate? I tested the Potassium Phosphate after I dissolved it in water and it tested ph 6.0. Do you have any recommendations?

My tank set up is 55 Gallon:
2 Sunpaq 65 watt compact florescent-2.3Wpg
Eheim 2215
Dosing once a week Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Nitrate, and flourish (one cap)
water change about every 3 weeks

Nitrite-0
Nitrate- close to 0
Ammonia- 0
KH-2
GH-4
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:09 PM   #2
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you know, that never happened to me but I have high KH. I saw that some pH down products have phosphates as active ingredient. Still they add a lot of phosphates. I think that you have very low KH so any quemical you add can alter the pH easily.
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Old 02-21-2011, 06:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response. My KH is low and I figured this may have something to do with it. I'm just wondering what I should do now? Should I stop dosing it? I know Otto's are very sensitive when you first buy them and I only had these for two weeks so that and the ph drop could be why they didn't make it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:10 PM   #4
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I rallydont know but I think that EI dosing with that low KH not is a good idea dosing it at full strengh once.I think you can dose the fertilizers parcially, dose it every day, just divide the dosing by 7. small doses dont alter things a lot. by the end of the week you will have lower pH but because it downs slowly your fish can aclimate. Still your pH maybe dont change a lot because your plants sucking nutrients will affect pH so it can neutralize the Phos effect. Another thing you can do is mantain the pH low with the ferts. Just when do w/c mix the ferts (Macros) with the new water in a bucket so the pH will be the same as the pH of the aquarium, so mantaining lower pH with Macros.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:47 AM   #5
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Test the KH. This will help know where you are at.
But in general, EI is applied only to CO2 tanks, modifications for CO2 are divided about 10-15 x.

So you'd only dose maybe once every 1-2 weeks and then not much.
the ferts should not do any harm to ottos, I have a bunch, they have lived for 3-5 years. Which might be a long time or a short time depending. When you first get them, they die like flies, but one or two seem to never die.
Likely they get enough diatoms, while the others do not as much.

Still, the pH should not move around that much and the pH should rise during the day, and fall at night and be the lowest at pre dawn. Highest at the end of the light cycle, this can be 2 full units if the KH is low.

But fish are fine in natural systems under these conditions, so do not place too much faith in the pH are some meaningful parameter when plants and CO2 are involved.

Folks add CO2 gas to supply the plants, but even in non CO2 tanks, the plants will use up all the CO2, and that drives the pH up, but this is not the case in CO2 enriched tanks, since folks add more CO2 than the plants require, the pH drops some, but does not rise while it is being added.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:24 AM   #6
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As pH drops under 6.5, biofilter bacteria may start shutting down or dying. That may result in a sudden increase in ammonia production. If there wasn't sufficient plant growth to keep up with it, this could be responsible for the death of your oto's.

I suggest increasing your kH with "Barrs GH Booster" from the same website where you got your dry ferts.

Or you can do it old-school with baking soda and epsom salts.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:11 PM   #7
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Barrs GH Booster ups kH? Because Ca, Mg and Potasium only ups GH for KH only a few teaspoons of baking soda and you have a good up of kH and pH. Still if you like the low kH and GH (for soft water plants) you have the perfect water. Is more difficult to mantain as you see but for me its a privilege, in my house pH dont down from 7.6 - 8.0!!!
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:22 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for responding.... I am new to this to I really appreciate everyone's help. I don't have co2. I was following the guild lines I found http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/...ed-tank-guide/ for non co2 lower light tank.

Yesterday I lost two more fish so I brought my water into the aquarium store and they tested for phosphates after I told them I was adding KNO3 and KH2PO4. They said my phosphates were at the highest their test could read 10. So I added a Phosphate lowering product to my filter to try to lower my levels. I'm not sure what went wrong with my dosing. I dosed once a week and only added a little less than 1/8t KH2PO4 and 1/2t KNO3 following the recommendations on the website. Do you have any ideas why they would have gotten so high? I did see some fish gasping at the top of the water and other fish are light colored. In the past 3 days I've lost a total of 6 fish. 4 0ttos and 2 Rasboras. Every thing else in the tank reads 0.

Nitrate reads close to 0,
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
KH2
GH4.

What are your recommendations for me moving forward? Should I not dose fertilizers since I'm not adding CO2? If I should how much should I add and how often to my 55gallon no co2? I am new to planted tanks and really excited about hopefully getting it right in the near future....

Thank you so much for the advice.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian3 View Post
Barrs GH Booster ups kH? Because Ca, Mg and Potasium only ups GH for KH only a few teaspoons of baking soda and you have a good up of kH and pH. Still if you like the low kH and GH (for soft water plants) you have the perfect water. Is more difficult to mantain as you see but for me its a privilege, in my house pH dont down from 7.6 - 8.0!!!
Baking soda(adds KH)
GH booster adds obviously GH(Ca and Mg) and some K+

Just to clarify.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
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wow, fish gasping for air and you have cero ammonia and nitrite. humm. What you use or the store use to test the parameters? You can dose ferts, still, low light and no CO2, there maybe not need to dose macros, maybe veryyy low quantities not are bad. Macros and micros are the food for the plants, if the plants not eats them fast enought mainly the macros will go up overtime. Do you make w/c?

I have a 55G el natural (NO CO2, Sun light, still good canister), with lots of plants (swords, valls, egerias, anubias), few fish, substrate, and I dont dose anything, only KNO3 to kill cyano algae. So you see it not needed to fert a lot.

When you use CO2 the plants grows 3-5 times faster (providing good light) so they eats 3X - 5X nutrients.

If you dont have test kit, really buy one (liquid not strip) if you will continue to dose dry ferts. I always have my test kit at hand, check Nitrates and Phosphates when something go wrong.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:09 PM   #11
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The store used the standard drop test kits. I have a test kit for Nitrite, Nitrate, Ammonia, Ph, KH/GH, I will definitely pick up one for Phosphates. I think I'll stop adding dry fert. for a while and let the tank get back to normal... then may be try very small amounts and test often. My algae is getting out of hand I think this may have to do with high Phosphates. Also I want to get my fish back to good health. They are still light colored and have cloudy eyes. I've done 2 water changes last week so hopefully that and getting the Phosphates lower will help. On the good side the plants are growing great!
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:25 PM   #12
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Ok, thats good. make a Reset (w/c) to down these phosphates levels then adds micros, you know I think you need to adds KNO3 to mantain Nitrates 10-20 ppm. you can make a solution of KH2PO4 to dose it lightly.

One more question, what filter you use?
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:31 PM   #13
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Eheim 2215

I have never replaced any of the EhfiSubstrat I know I am suppose to replace 1/3 periodically because the pores get clogged with bacteria and then it doesn't catch as much. I heard some people boil part of the EhfiSubstrat to remove the trapped bacteria in stead of buying new. But I have never tried that. I've cleaned out the whole thing before but will need to do get some new EhfiSubstrat soon.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankZen View Post
Eheim 2215

I have never replaced any of the EhfiSubstrat I know I am suppose to replace 1/3 periodically because the pores get clogged with bacteria and then it doesn't catch as much. I heard some people boil part of the EhfiSubstrat to remove the trapped bacteria in stead of buying new. But I have never tried that. I've cleaned out the whole thing before but will need to do get some new EhfiSubstrat soon.
I'd use 2x this amount of filter.
Good current etc.

Here's my non CO2:



I use a Rena 3(350 gph) and a rio powerhead for current.

Safety backup if anything clogs etc.
Plenty of O2 and adds new CO2(even if limiting and low).

This is better for fish no matter how you slice it.

When we add all this structure and plant biomass, this reduces the circulation a GREAT deal.

Plants are doing good, so that is plus.
But........fish always come first, we can fix plant probleme without losing them or the fish.....but cannot bring fish back from the dead.

So always error of the fish side of things.
Without CO2, there's no good reason not to have good current.
Even with CO2........

Fish like it.

Yes, clean the filter maybe once every 2-3 months, I use a sponge prefilter slipped over the intake,this reduces muck and I clean that weekly.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:38 PM   #15
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Hi Tom,

Figure I should post the questions I asked you in e-mail in here so others can benefit:

From the post you just made...I thought people say to reduce current and surface agitation so Co2 isn't gassed off especially on non Co2 tank. Just want to make sure I'm understanding..... So I should have an additional filter and more circulation? Right now I don't have water agitation and very little water moving only what the one eheim makes and I have the spray bar 3in bellow the water surface so the top is still.

Questions I emailed....I have a couple questions. What is the ideal level ppm I want my Nitrates and Phosphates at? I have been adding a little under 1/2t KNO3 once a week for two weeks and my level is still at 0. I add 1 cap full flourish once a week.

So after my phosphates are back in normal range should I continue with 1 cap full flourish small pinch of PO4 and 1/4t KNO3. Also is a KH2- GH4 good do I need to change anything here? I just put in some water spike last weekend after reading some post suggesting it. It covers half the tank. I have like 20 fish Rasboras, tetras and 2 African glass catfish, Chinese algae eater and Cory Cat. One more quick question no one at the fish store can answer will African glass catfish or my Chinese algae eater eat/bother shrimp. I want to get some but not sure if these fish will eat them.

Thanks for the info!! Such a big help.
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