Dosing & Nutrients... straight dope? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Dosing & Nutrients... straight dope?

I have a 175 gallon tank with a high bio-load (about 75 various fish). pH about 6.8 in the morning, down to about 6.2 at night. I run CO2 and a UV sterilizer. I use two canister (API XL) filters with physical and biofiltration only. NH4, NO2 and NO3 are all 0. I'm having a mixed problem with my plants. Some of them flourish and routinely have to prune. Others, especially taller ones eventually turn brown and die. I'm running two 3' Finnex 24x7 planted lights. I have zero algae.

I feel like I missing some nutrients of some sort and I can't really find some straight dope on what to add. I don't believe I need to add any nitrogen for sure given the bio load of this tank.
Here's a video of the tank if you want to see it, before the plants got sick, https://youtu.be/e8RhnW_4lTg. This was taken just after I planted the plants in the middle. One of them has turned deep red and the others are turning brown and had to trim the leaves. I don't want to throw random stuff in the tank and see what happens.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 02:56 PM
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Nice tank. Your anubias look fantastic. However those are plants that don't need a ton of nutrients. The taller ones though, probably do. If you have zero N03, the plants are using everything up and then feel the lack. I think at the very least you should dose the macros- nitrate, potassium, phosphate. Maybe you won't need to dose micros because of the fish load (nutrients pass to the plants from the fish food via waste as far as I understand).

That however, never worked for me. I have to dose the full range- but I don't have nearly as many fish as you do.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 05:53 PM
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nice huge thing of anubias. even got a flower on there!

i am basically not seeing any brown / dying plants in that video though (?)

but I agree with JJ...

you are definitely contradicting yourself when you say your nitrates read 0 but you also feel you have enough N... 0 nitrates = you do not have enough N. start dosing some dry ferts - at least NPK. I would do like 1/4 - 1/3 EI levels based on what plants you have going on there. as long as nutrients aren't bottoming out at 0 (which they might be) you should be fine given your plant selection.

without looking it up for you I believe nitrate deficiency symptoms include yellowing of older leaves getting 'absorbed' and eventually dying. if this is what you are seeing then you are very likely seeing deficiencies


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