Need dosing advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-14-2016, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Need dosing advice

So I've had this planted setup for about 6 months now, and just about went through a whole 10lb tanks of co2. I was hoping to have a balance by now with my dosing regime, but I still have a few plants that are battling some serious bba (see attached pics). Here's the specs I have going so far:

  • Current Satellite Pro lighting (8 hour photo period).
  • 2 BBS CO2 on a PH controller set to no lower than 6.2 (shut it off at night since plants don't use it then)
  • 30% Water change every Sunday.
  • Dose 1 capful of Seachem Flourish after water change + 1 cap of excel
  • Monday - 1 Cap of potassium + 1 cap excel
  • Tuesday - 1 Cap of Iron + 1 cap excel
  • Wedensday - 1 cap of trace, 1 cap of potassium, 1 cap of excel, and 1 cap of phosphorous.
  • Thursday- 1 cap of Iron, + 1 cap of excel
  • Friday - 1 cap of Potassium + cap of excel
  • Saturday - 1 cap of Iron + cap of excel
I use all seachem products, but will most likely be transitioning to dry ferts later down the road once they are all gone. Got a good deal on buying a box each of their products. I don't dose Nitrate because it seems to stay in the tank around 20-30ppm with the amount of fish I have in there. I use excel to keep the bba to a minimum. I attached a few pics of my setup, let me know what you think!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone have any advice to tweeking my dosing schedule? Trying to keep this BBA at bay.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 04:54 PM
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I have a low tech tank and do not dose and I battled bba. You didnt mention what you use for filtration. I used excel to kill the bba, double dose. I slimmed back on my excel and the bba did not come back. What I think solved the issue for me was removing organics from the water with purigen.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Using the fluval 406 at the moment. A majority of the plants are doing well, but this bba is growing on the slower growing ones. So annoying. .
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 07:58 PM
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May I ask how often you clean your filter?

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Just recently moved to a canister filter coming from 2 empress biowheel filters to help retain co2. I was changing the filter pads every 2-3 months or so. Haven't really got a maintenance routine down for my fluval yet, but I would imagine it would be as simple as changing out the prefilter every couple months?
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 10:33 PM
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If you have good light and co2 it's very unlikely that fish and food is giving you enough N&P. If the plants are growing well they aren't going to get saddled down with BBA like that. I would dose all those things and cut back on the FE your already getting some in the Flourish Comp.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
If you have good light and co2 it's very unlikely that fish and food is giving you enough N&P. If the plants are growing well they aren't going to get saddled down with BBA like that. I would dose all those things and cut back on the FE your already getting some in the Flourish Comp.
BBA seems to be a weird 'critter'. I had the exact opposite issue you describe, low light, plants growing well enough to need trimmed every few weeks, and the good growing plants were the ones that were attacked with bba, namely my amazon swords and bacopa caroliana. In my case the swords had bba on their tips which was closer to the light and the stems had it on the lower leaves that were partially shaded and the leaves closer to the light were unaffected.

I'm going to subscribe to this thread and hope the op keeps us up to date on how it goes.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
If you have good light and co2 it's very unlikely that fish and food is giving you enough N&P. If the plants are growing well they aren't going to get saddled down with BBA like that. I would dose all those things and cut back on the FE your already getting some in the Flourish Comp.
So how would you go about working this into my dosing routine? Dose nitrogen in place of iron half way through the week or something? I've tested Nitrate end of week several times, and it's usually around 20ppm. Don't mind dosing more of it if you think it's worth a shot. Is the amount of phosphorous I am dosing sufficient enough you think?

Kind of why I attached pictures, I don't think I'm technically heavily planted yet to be taking on larger amounts of dosing, or am I?
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 12:08 AM
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How long on the fluval and are you running carbon in it? I clean my prefilters every water change and I do 20 to 30% every week to 10 days, I just squeeze them out in old tank water. I'm not saying that there isnt adjustments to be made on your dosing regiment (I am not dosing at this time so I dont claim qualified) but I think going to the fluval and ditching the bio-wheel is going to help you, the bio-wheel is a good filter but not for a planted tank. If I may make another suggestion, if you are running carbon ditch that as well and substitute it for a proper amount of purigen, I wasnt a believer until I broke down and bought it for my 75g and now I am getting it for all of my tanks. From what I have read if the plants are nutrient deficient then it should show up in the leaves which is why I asked the questions I did. Beautiful tank by the way.

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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I've been running the Fluval for about 1 month now, 2 months if you count the time I ran it with my bio-wheels to allow it to seed with enough bacteria to run solo. I filled most of it with the bio balls, and left the top compartments half purigen and half carbon. I tried moving my power head around to blow on the plants that have BBA growing on them, hopefully that will help?
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-16-2016, 11:15 PM
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Personally if it was me, I would do bigger water changes 50-60% and dose NPK via EI to make sure there's no shortage. I didn't realize you were dosing P (didn't see it the 1st time). The dry stuff (as you mentioned) is really dirt cheap and it last forever. There's a difference relying on Nitrate from fish as opposed to dosing it. The nitrate from your tank came from Ammonia so there's more waste in your tank to get to that 20-30. It's better to dose, bigger water change, dose, water change then rely on waste.

I don't test my water anymore I just make sure I dose within EI guidelines and keep up with water changes. There's alot of wiggle room with dosing, but with waste in the tank I don't believe there is as much.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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So how would I add nitrogen to the dosing routine I have now? Would once a week suffice?
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 09:26 PM
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So how would I add nitrogen to the dosing routine I have now? Would once a week suffice?
I would just go with the dry ferts and follow the EI Guidelines which is usually 3 times per week along with P&K The N in the dry ferts is KNO3 so it also contains Potassium so some don't even dose K separately but I also throw some in. The EI dry ferts are usually bought as a group with all the necessary macro and micro ferts. You'll also save a ton. This way you can be pretty certain there's enough and not just rely on the test kits.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Not ready to go to dry ferts just yet as I still have a couple full bottles of nitrogen and phosphorous still. I'll try working some more nitrogen in my dosing through out the week and see what happens. I'm starting to wonder if a UV sterilizer might help?
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