How do I do better?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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How do I do better??

I'm having a couple issues becoming more noticeable in my tank that I would like to stop. 1st is BBA... it's not bad, but annoying and probably a sign something is off. 2nd is plant health problems, specifically holes/yellowing of old growth.

First, let's get all this out of the way:
75 gallon tank
2 Fluval 406's
2 Current Satellite Plus LED's ( 4 hrs on, 4 off, 4 hrs on again) ~30ish PAR at substrate, probably less
pressurized CO2, in tank diffuser ~ 3bbs

Water Changes 30-50% ~ every 10 days
Temp 74 F
GH 143.2 ppm
KH 71.6 ppm
pH 6.4 - 7
NH3 0
NO2 0
NO3 20-40 ppm
PO4 0.25 - 0.5 ppm

Dosing Seachem Flourish, Iron & potassium.
Lightly stocked ~20 fish, 40 shirmp
Heavily planted

I'm not sure if I should be reducing nutrient dosing to slow the BBA or increasing it to help out some plants that aren't doing as well. The BBA doesn't seem to grow on the faster, healthier plants but, it does grow on my buce, anubias, java fern, braod sag and driftwood. I try to pull out any leaves with BBA on them.

Ludwigia Repens and hygrophila compacta are the two that seem impacted by some sort of plant virus or nutrient deficiency. The new growth is very healthy and looks good but, old leaves will begin to yellow or have holes. Maybe they just cant get enough light so the die off?

Looking for any thoughts and advice, Thanks!

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Last edited by Vinster8108; 01-22-2018 at 07:17 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2017, 11:00 PM
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How do I do better??

How is your water flow? I highly recommend good flow to disperse the co2 as evenly as possible. Co2 fluctuations is algae's best friend. You want to ensure you have that 30ppm by the time the lights come on. Stable co2 in the first 1-3 photoperiod is crucial.

So co2 is most important but also seems you are lacking in some other nutrients.

It seems your calcium and magnesium are good with the gh level you have and also you dosing pottasium is a plus.

If you are doing co2 your light at 30 par if that is most likely not cutting it. Usually browning like you show is a first indication. You most likely need another light as the sat plus are just not meant for high tech. So I will give you a brief of what needs to happen

Make sure you get 30ppm co2. Make sure it's consistent and at this level at lights on

Get a second light. I suggest a beamswork dhl 6500k

Make sure to dose full EI. You are missing some ferts with what you are doing with seachem.

Remember when doing co2 you MUST have the required level of light and ferts or the plants will not keep up and algae will thrive.

Also wanted to add there is no way 3bps with a diffuser is going to give you 30ppm co2 in a 75 gallon tank. You need to really check and adjust your co2. That will be the root cause of your issues.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 03:31 PM
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I believe you have a nutrient deficiency. This is because you are getting algae and holes in your plants at the same time. There is a nutritional imbalance. Try dosing all the nutrients with a product like nilocg Thrive or a similar alternative. I've been dosing for over a month and my tank is basically algae free and super clean. Plants growing like crazy.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2017, 07:00 PM
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Light isnt going to cause lower leaf deterioration, especially in these plants.

I agree your CO2 could be better (higher) but again at this light level with relatively undemanding plants it shouldnt cause these particular issues - as long as the CO2 is stable from one day to the next.

Based on the info given so far, it sounds like a macro nutrient issue to me.

How do you know NO3 is 20-40 ppm? That seems really high considering you arent dosing any.

Quote:
Dosing Seachem Flourish, Iron & potassium.
Does this mean 3 components, Flourish Comprehensive, Iron and K, or just the iron and K?


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 01:58 AM
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My Ludwigia Repens looked like, was not growing, and was stuck at the original 8 inches tall. I believe it was the API root tab that caused it to grow to 25 inches very quickly while sprouting several offshoots. I had no idea they could get that long. In hind-sight, I should have kept them trimmed better. I think I didn't want to trim the tops because the tops were very healthy while the bottom 8 inches were all bare stem. I recently cut the bottom 8 inches off of a couple (including mature roots) and re-planted the tops. Not sure yet what the outcome will be.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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@burr740 Correct, I am dosing flourish comprehensive with Fe and K. I test before and after water changes with an API's masters kit. NO3 is always a good dark orange color.

@marks_01 I've got Osmocote DIY root tabs in my BDBS substrate. I used to chop the bottoms off and replant the tops but, i'm trying to do less planting and more trimming, letting each plant really establish in the substrate.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinster8108 View Post
@burr740 Correct, I am dosing flourish comprehensive with Fe and K. I test before and after water changes with an API's masters kit. NO3 is always a good dark orange color.
OK you cant trust those test kits unless you compare with a known solution. The nitrate test specifically, is notorious for reading high.

Are you using Columbus Ohio municipal tap water? Google the water quality report for your area. That should give you an idea how much N might be in there, seriously doubt its 20-40 ppm

I'd start adding the other two macros - N and P. All you're really dosing now is K and micros. Even if you have some nitrates already, adding more isnt going to hurt anything.

Even though Flourish comp lists N and P in the ingredients, the amounts are negligible. Might as well be zero
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Started dosing EI with KNO3 and KH2PO4. I could definitely read a difference on the API NO3 test, my numbers before were probably 5-10 ppm before, now at 20ppm. PO4 is around 2ppm. Because my lights don't provide a whole lot of par over my tank, I'll be dosing in the 40-60 gallon range to start. LEt me know if you think I shouldn't dial the dosing down like this.

Cleaned out as much of the bba as I could, hopefully I don't see much new growth from it. Also rescaped a bit in the front. Cleared out a lot of the dwarf sag and made room for the MC and DHG to fill in more.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 01:05 PM
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Sounds like you're on the right path. Keep us posted!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-07-2017, 06:06 PM
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You know everyone likes to stress that you *must have* a CO2 level of at least 30 ppm. I believe it's Hoppy who has proven that you can do a CO2 injection that just mildly bumps your CO2 to at most 10~13 ppm, and you'll still have healthy plants at moderate light levels.

I'm here to say that I grew some pretty demanding plants on marginally sized 24/7 DIY injection using bell jars and other less efficient CO2 fertilization schemes. Mature and healthy substrates do not get the credit they are due for their part in a planted tank. Not to say that 30 ppm isn't a good level to shoot for, but depending on your own water's level of KH and general hardness 30 ppm isn't a given.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 02:36 AM
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I agree with @GrampsGrunge. In my experience, having the co2 at exactly 30ppm isn't really a requirement, just a guideline. I have ~1.5 bps through a cheap chinese glass diffuser and my plants are going crazy. (Yes, my HC too.) I think the water chemistry and nutrients combines with controlled photoperiod is most important. Co2 is secondary but is still important nonetheless.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
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I did bump my CO2 up to ~5 bps along with keeping it on through my afternoon break to reduce fluctuations.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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No new BBA so far! In fact, I added a couple SAE and all the old BBA (that I couldn't trim out) is gone now too. Thanks everyone!

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 03:45 AM
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Good to hear for sure. Glad it's all working out.

Wanted to third the notion what @GrampsGrunge said in regards to not having to have 30ppm co2. He is right and in fact I have a 20 gallon shrimp tank that is running just 10ppm of co2 that is just enough to help the plants and at the same time keep the CRS happy. I got a dimmer for my beamswork light as by default was too strong for a low co2 setup. By doing this I dimmed the light to 50% and also dose half level EI so in return by having lower light and lower ferts and low co2 it's in balance to keep algae away.


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-24-2017, 12:55 AM Thread Starter
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Bump: Bit of an update/bump here. So, I've been dosing EI dry ferts (NO3 5.18, PO4 1.08, K 5.71 PPM) every other day (florush K as well). Tank parameters are about 40 ppm NO3, 5 ppm PO4, K 28-45 ppm ( est. https://rotalabutterfly.com/accumulation-calculator.php)
CO2 has been constant pH 6.4-6.8, KH 71.6.

I also added another Current Satellite plus 48" to help carpet some MC and DHG.
Stocking has increased to about 48 fish, everyone's doing great!

However, my issues I am having now are similar to before. BBA went down/away after making the changes, but my Hygrophila Compacta still acts like it has a K deficiency. Yellow/brown, ringed pin holes on the lower leaves that eventually just fall off. It was probably time for more root tabs, so I added them through out. Hoping to see some improvement soon. Could they really be K limited still??

After adding the 3rd LED light, I am seeing some more BBA again. Nothing too concerning right now, but noticeable. I'm pretty sure I need the extra PAR boost, as my carpet and AR mini wasn't really progressing well. Any thoughts on this? From my research, I really don't think having 3 current satellites puts me at a high/too high PAR value fore a 20" depth to the substrate.

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