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Old 10-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
thornomad
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Need some help: is it nutrients? disease? new tank syndrome?


I have a new tank that is my very first (journal). It's about three weeks in to being flooded. I need some advice from you folks to make sure I am still moving in the right direction. (I apologize for not knowing the names of any of the plants; I went shopping with a 1 and 3 year old and just pointed and picked).

In short, I'm dealing with three different things (and i have pictures!):

1) some of my plants seem to be doing okay. Color looks fine, growing, etc. Putting down roots. Yea! That gives me hope I'm not dealing with a catastrophe.



2) Some of my plants appear to be growing but don't look so okay (browned out a bit weak looking) ... maybe they are unhealthy or maybe it is an algae/fungus/issue? But they are putting out roots and growing new leaves. See the plant in the featured in the first of the two pictures as an example:





3) Some of my plants wilted entirely. One of them is because I was dealing with the BGA and used H2O2 on the leaves (at least I think that's why). The other I don't know. After about a week it lost all its leaves.



4) My HC, which I started in a dry start, is looking rather pale/brown ... as if a lot of the leaves are dying (or going to die).



And here is a full tank shot with some more perspective:





So I guess it's a general question: what am I not thinking of? What should I be doing?

My flow is a Eheim 2217 spray bar horizontal pointing about 25% down into the tank. My lights are from buildmyled.com (too bright? not enough light).

Am still doing more than a 50% water change more than once a week - I was trying to cycle the tank but am sort of pausing ... so I haven't dosed the ammonia in a couple days.

Here are some of my recent measurements last night after a 65% water change yesterday during the day:

pH 6.4 (that's with the CO2)
Phosphate at 5ppm (although it creeps up to 10+ before a water change)
Ammonia 0.5ppm (was trying to cycle the tank but I'm sort of holding off)
nitrite 1ppm (was 5+ prior to water change)
nitrate at 80ppm (i've seen it much higher)

GH was at a 10 last i measured it

I am dosing:

1/2 tsp KNO3, 1/8 tsp of K2SO4, KH2PO4 (3x week)
1/8 tsp PLANTEXB, 7ml Flourish Iron (3x week)

I appreciate the expert help and let me know if I am missing anything I should be looking at. Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:28 PM   #2
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Dare I say not enough co2? How are you measuring it? There's no good way to measure it accurately, and usually, when you think you have enough, you still don't have enough.

Okay okay, it may be more complicated. You not only need to get enough co2 but you need to make sure water flow gets to all of the plants and that there's no dead spots in your tank. In addition, if you plan on getting critters in your tank in the future, you'll need to worry about surface agitation to introduce oxygen back into tank.

May want to look into the thread next to you for more info. Your problems sound a little similar. .

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...09#post4565209

or this one last week ..

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=462377
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ipkiss View Post
Dare I say not enough co2? How are you measuring it? There's no good way to measure it accurately, and usually, when you think you have enough, you still don't have enough.

Okay okay, it may be more complicated. You not only need to get enough co2 but you need to make sure water flow gets to all of the plants and that there's no dead spots in your tank. In addition, if you plan on getting critters in your tank in the future, you'll need to worry about surface agitation to introduce oxygen back into tank.
So - I had my bubble counter up to a stream that I couldn't count ... I am using a drop checker which I have been keeping on the yellow side. The water is fizzing. My pH has dropped by at least a point.

Since it's my first tank I could be wrong but it feels like I have a lot of CO2. I can see it pouring out of the spray bar (am using an inline diffuser).

I am worried about the flow but not sure how to measure that either. Since I've moved the spray bar in a downward fashion (rather than creating ripples at the surface) I think I can say that all the plants exhibit some movement (swaying). Some more than others. But I do not have any surface rippling ... Just water movement.

Is a 2217 enough for 40B or do I need a power head?

I do want to introduce some other life and don't want them to suffocate in my sparkling water.

Am going to checkout those threads now. Thanks
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:04 PM   #4
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How is the co2 being diffused?
What fertilizer dosing regime are you following?

For my 45 gallon long tank I have a powerhead running on the opposite side of my canister filter, I'm following EI dosing w/ dry fertilizers, and my co2 right now is a diy system w/ a regular glass diffuser. But I plan to get another canister filter, and using a cerges style reactor for 100% co2 diffusion.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx View Post
How is the co2 being diffused?
What fertilizer dosing regime are you following?
I am doing it inline with an Up Aqua atomizer. I got my dosing regiments based on an EI dosing table and the Iron based on the EI calculator.

I do wonder if a power head will help. Is there a "flow" calculator?

I can't tell if that browning of the leaves featured in these pica is an algae or bacteria or nutrient problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thornomad View Post


I will do some water retesting tonight as well as that shake test.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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Do you have a TDS meter? I'm wondering because you're adding a lot of anions (NO2, SO4, PO4) and cations (K, Ca + Mg(comes from GH), Fe). If your TDS is too high these can combine and make them unavailable to plant growth. I mention this because your EI dosing is as follows compared to my 40b:

2x KNO3
1/3 K2SO4
same PO4
I dose 1/8 ts of cmx + b
1/2 cap seachem flourish

all of this 3x a week.

On water change 1x a week:
1/2 ts CaCl2
1/4 ts MgSO4
tap water is 40 TDS (ppm)

Try adding more Potassium. I think your kno3 might be okay because I have a heavy bioload and get a lot of nitrogen from that. After a water change my TDS is 170-180. By the end of the week its 250-260.



Also what is your substrate? I noticed with eco complete it sucks up a lot of nutrients the first few months and you need to add more trace to counter act it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Positron View Post
Do you have a TDS meter? I'm wondering because you're adding a lot of anions (NO2, SO4, PO4) and cations (K, Ca + Mg(comes from GH), Fe). If your TDS is too high these can combine and make them unavailable to plant growth. I mention this because your EI dosing is as follows compared to my 40b:

2x KNO3
1/3 K2SO4
same PO4
I dose 1/8 ts of cmx + b
1/2 cap seachem flourish

all of this 3x a week.

On water change 1x a week:
1/2 ts CaCl2
1/4 ts MgSO4
tap water is 40 TDS (ppm)

Try adding more Potassium. I think your kno3 might be okay because I have a heavy bioload and get a lot of nitrogen from that. After a water change my TDS is 170-180. By the end of the week its 250-260.



Also what is your substrate? I noticed with eco complete it sucks up a lot of nutrients the first few months and you need to add more trace to counter act it.
I don't have a TDS meter. Wishing I did. Smile. And yes it is MGOCPM capped with eco-complete. I didn't know that about the Eco complete. Trace are the PLANTEX right?

Did you come up with your dosing based on experience or on a nutrient calculator? I wanted to use the "yet another nutrient calculator" but am measuring with teaspoons and didn't take the time to figure out the conversions.

My nitrates and phosphates are always on the high side.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:23 AM   #8
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I use this calculator: http://calc.petalphile.com/

But I have a 100g x 0.001g digital scale I use to measure out the exact amount of each fertilizer, then I make a 500ml solution of each fertilizer and dose 5ml to this schedule...

Mon/Weds/Fri - Macro's N-P-K (kno3/mono potassium phosphate/potassium sulfate)
Tues/Thurs/Sat - Micro's Plantex CSM+B + Iron chelate 13% EDTA
Sun - 50% water change + Barrs GH Booster

But I also add 5ml of Flourish trace on Tues/Thurs/Sat along with the plantex csm+b...
Plus I'm using Osmocote Plus root tabs placed every 6" in the substrate, and the new Amazon Swords I put in my tank (were 50% off because they were almost dead) are showing great new growth in just 3 days, but right now I have diy co2 but I'm about to trade my Evolve 4 w/ upgrades setup for a co2 regulator and pick up a 10lb co2 tank then I'm all set.
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Old 10-29-2013, 06:57 AM   #9
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I'd definitely invest in a scale. It looks like you might have some micro deficiencies if the leaves are falling off. Since it's a new task I don't you can accurately measure what your plants are using because you're nitrates are going to be in the high side. I would up your doses and dim your lights or lower your photo period until you see things stabile. In a new tank I always up the nutrients and lights until I see algae then dial things back. Good luck. Your layout looks great. I can't wait to set what it looks like all grown in.

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Old 10-29-2013, 06:59 AM   #10
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Oops I meant micro and macro. I see holes in the leaves and yellowing. Sorry for the double post. Tapatalk wouldn't let me edit.

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Old 10-29-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
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Thanks everyone for your help. What I am reading, I think I am hearing consensus that I should be increasing my ferts and (maybe) lowering my lighting.

I found this link which is helping me translate the gram measurements into teaspoons.

Here is what I will do:

1/2 tps KNO3 [keep the same - is higher than recommended still]
1/8 tps (282 mg) KH2PO4 [keep the same - more than recommended]
1/2 tps (2.531) g K2SO4 [big increase to slight more than recommend]
1/4 tsp (1.159 g) Plantex CSM+B [ doubling input - was below what is recommended]
7ml Flourish Iron (Because I have it)

Should I continue my every other day schedule (macro then micro) ? Or should I move to dosing all of this daily (morning and night) and then do a water change on the fourth day? what would I be on the lookout for if my ferts were higher than the lighting permitted?

Also - I have been just taking a cup with some aquarium water, stirring the dry ferts in it, then pouring it back in. Is that best practice?

Today I checked some measurements again before the lights came on:

KH 7h
GH 8dh
Phosphates 10+

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx View Post
But I have a 100g x 0.001g digital scale I use to measure out the exact amount of each fertilizer, then I make a 500ml solution of each fertilizer and dose 5ml to this schedule...
Wow - that's a pretty accurate scale. From what I can see also pretty expensive. I have a scale for packages but I don't think it is nearly accurate enough. I would guess you would need 0.01g accuracy at least to make it worth your while. Does that sound right? Or is 0.1g enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalopy View Post
I'd definitely invest in a scale. It looks like you might have some micro deficiencies if the leaves are falling off. Since it's a new task I don't you can accurately measure what your plants are using because you're nitrates are going to be in the high side. I would up your doses and dim your lights or lower your photo period until you see things stabile. In a new tank I always up the nutrients and lights until I see algae then dial things back. Good luck. Your layout looks great. I can't wait to set what it looks like all grown in.
All right - going to do some scale hunting. Maybe TDS meter hunting.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:20 PM   #12
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I actually have 2 digital scales - 100g x 0.01g and 100g x 0.001g

I got them for around $15 each from e-b-a-y, I actually got them because I do gold panning as a hobby in the summer, and they let me accurately weigh the fine gold I find. But they also come in handy for my aquarium fertilizers lol...
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thornomad View Post
Thanks everyone for your help. What I am reading, I think I am hearing consensus that I should be increasing my ferts and (maybe) lowering my lighting.

I found this link which is helping me translate the gram measurements into teaspoons.

Here is what I will do:

1/2 tps KNO3 [keep the same - is higher than recommended still]
1/8 tps (282 mg) KH2PO4 [keep the same - more than recommended]
1/2 tps (2.531) g K2SO4 [big increase to slight more than recommend]
1/4 tsp (1.159 g) Plantex CSM+B [ doubling input - was below what is recommended]
7ml Flourish Iron (Because I have it)

Should I continue my every other day schedule (macro then micro) ? Or should I move to dosing all of this daily (morning and night) and then do a water change on the fourth day? what would I be on the lookout for if my ferts were higher than the lighting permitted?

Also - I have been just taking a cup with some aquarium water, stirring the dry ferts in it, then pouring it back in. Is that best practice?

Today I checked some measurements again before the lights came on:

KH 7h
GH 8dh
Phosphates 10+



Wow - that's a pretty accurate scale. From what I can see also pretty expensive. I have a scale for packages but I don't think it is nearly accurate enough. I would guess you would need 0.01g accuracy at least to make it worth your while. Does that sound right? Or is 0.1g enough?



All right - going to do some scale hunting. Maybe TDS meter hunting.
That plan is exactly what I would do, just keep your same schedule and load on the trace and a bit more K like you are doing. If this doesn't work in two week on fast growing stems, co2 must be the issue or your adding chlorinated water or something to the aquarium.
One more thing, and people have different opinions on this, but test your NO2. Don't let it go above 80ppm. That's just me though.

Last edited by Positron; 10-30-2013 at 03:04 AM.. Reason: asf
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:06 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Positron View Post
That plan is exactly what I would do, just keep your same schedule and load on the trace and a bit more K like you are doing. If this doesn't work in two week on fast growing stems, co2 must be the issue or your adding chlorinated water or something to the aquarium.
One more thing, and people have different opinions on this, but test your NO2. Don't let it go above 80ppm. That's just me though.
So here is a summary of the changes I have made - I will post progress.

1) changed dosing (see previous post)
2) set light period to eight hours (it was closer to nine)
3) dialed back my LED brightness slightly (I don't know exactly how much but it is a little less bright)

Tonight I did a 50% water change and then immediately dosed Prime and the macro nutrients. Tomorrow morning I will do micro and iron before the lights come on.

Funny you mention the chlorinated water. I did do one water change a little over a week back and forgot to add Prime. I wonder if that made things go a little off kilter.

Today I noticed a little more green coming out of the fading plants in the back right (the ones I pointed out earlier). A bit of re-growth.

I also saw a snail.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:45 AM   #15
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So it hasn't been a full two weeks yet but I wanted to comment on one thing I have noticed (there are so many things happening it might help to focus on one item at a time): for the plants that had completely lost all their leaves I am seeing progress with rejuvenation. Even though they were down to, basically, bare stems and wilted leaves, new leaves have started (and continue to grow).

However: these new leaves, after they have come in and started to gain size, have begun to brown, curl, and wilt again.

Disappointing.

Is that a sign that my balance of light:nutrients is too high on the light side of the equation?

I have the CO2 cranked 24/7 (passed green and into yellow on the drop checker) and have been dosing according to schedule and doing a 50% water change every fifth day.

When I checked my nitrates before the water change they were high still (80+ppm I would wager). Nitrites were zero. Ammonia was at 1ppm (I have paused cycling chemically, so I assume that's from the rotting leaves/plants). Phosphates still at 10ppm as well.

Thanks for your input.
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