Had an oops with ferts need advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Had an oops with ferts need advice

I'm doing my first high tech tank with co2 and I had an accident with fertilizers. Everything was going fine the past month until the accident. I was tired and I mixed up KNO3 with KH2PO4. I double dosed KH2PO4. I caught the mistake right a way and did a 50% water change. I waited 3 days and did another 50% water change. I still got an algae outbreak. My foreground of crypt parva is covered in brown fuzzy algae. It's growing on the substrate too.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. Should I pull the parva and clean out most of what I can. The algae pulls off the plants fairly easily. I also had a bunch of rotala stems that were infestest. At this point I just tossed it. It didn't look save able. I have a bunch of other plants that seem fine.

After the two water changes I performed should I just continue on EI dosing? more water changes? Clean out as much as possible?

I don't know what to do. I don't want to throw the tank any more out of whack then it already is.

I'm wondering if I leave the tank alone and continue with ferts that it might clear up on it's own.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 07:26 PM
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This double dose of phosphates put (how many) ppm in your (how many gallon) tank?

I would be hesitant to blame a double dose of PO4 causing an algae bloom.

Do you have a pic of this algae?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 07:41 PM
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Agree with MG above, highly doubt double dose of PO4 has anything to do with it. Have never seen a correlation between high P and algae.

However, there are loads of other causes. Usually too much light and not enough of something else (CO2/Ferts), or poor tank maintenance with high organics.

Detailed description of your tank and pics will help folks try to help you.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 05:12 AM
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Algae does best when nutrient levels are low. Plants do bast with higher nutrients levels. You 2 back to back water changes can greatly reduce nutrient levels. And if you didn't fertile right after each water change your nutrient levels may now be too low. Which could fuel a algae outbreak. I would continue doing your regular water changes and continue your regular dosing schedule. Also remove as much algae as possible. Hopefully you will get back to where you were.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. I don't know what the P levels are I haven't tested. I'm dosing Macros and Micros every other day and on the 7th day I do a water change. I don't add any ferts on the 7 day. I'm just following the EI chart for dosing my size tank. I'm using dry ferts NPK and for micros I'm dosing CSMB. I probably do have a high amount of organic waste. Most of my plants were emersed and they're shedding old leaves. Am I doing something wrong with my ferts?

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 12:53 PM
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Transitioning plants to submerged growth can have it's drawbacks.
Some plants are very difficult to transition.
The dropped leaves and decomposing stem remnants don't help.

Possible to get submerged growth in the tank and then add emersed but 1 species @ a time.

You could post a WTB thread for submerged growth only?


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 02:30 PM
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There may be some wizard types who run with no algae but I tend to think of it as a major natural item that WILL be there! So, I work to hold it off but accept that there will normally be some type in some amount. So in your situation, I would suggest starting the fight by reducing the old debris, continue to dose as required and look at things like light and time, CO2 and water flow, while also trying a few tricks to treat the areas where it is starting. Fighting small patches is easier than waiting to fight massive patches?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Yesterday I did a 50% water change and didn't dose anything. Today I dosed macros when the co2 came on an hour before lights. I dosed according to the EI charts for my size tank. I did a test on nitrate and phosphate. Phosphate read 2.0 nitrate read 20 ppm.

Any sugestions?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wantsome99 View Post
I did a test on nitrate and phosphate. Phosphate read 2.0 nitrate read 20 ppm.
Any sugestions?
We know that macro ferts are fine!
Does something seem wrong with those readings?


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
We know that macro ferts are fine!
Does something seem wrong with those readings?
Readings seem accurate. I have no idea what the perimeters should be. It's just the first time I've tested this tank. It's been up and running for over a month. No algae issues until now. Yesterday I bumped the co2 up from 3 bps to 5 bps. Now that the plants are growing in I think the front area where the pava is isn't getting as much flow. I'm gonna add some power heads. My substrate sucks too. I don't like it It's called aquasolum it's suppose to be nutrient rich or similar to aquasoil. I'm gonna switch it over to black flourite. Right now I'm using a greenleaf inline diffuser I'm gonna switch that over to a reactor and hopefully get better co2 diffusion. Hopefully the changes I make will improve things.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 06:50 PM
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A picture of the algae?


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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My camera skills suck but this is about as good as I could get.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-26-2018, 01:33 PM
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In a new hi-tech tank where your dosing an EI type routine with good light and co2 plus it looks like your using a loaded substrate, but either way its more likely a light / organics issue than a fert one.

The main problem i find is most people worry about growing plants which of course is good, but they don't put enough attention to controlling algae. That should be the number one focus when the tank first starts since it's here that the algae starts to develop. Before you see it, the spores are everywhere and they are becoming full-blown algae by the release of ammonia from the organics. Ammonia you won't really see in a testing kit.

An very short light cycle and/or peak period of light plus many water changes and the use of organic removal media like carbon (yes carbon) a myth that one shouldn't use it, especially at startup. The plants don't do much in the first week or so, but at this time the spores are becoming algae so the water must be kept exceptionally clean.

Once you have the algae like you do its needs are similar to plants so the plants need to out compete by adding more plants, keep up with water changes, manual removal, reduce light duration and use organic removal media. Unfortunately preventive measures are far more effective before the algae develops, but in time you will beat back the algae.
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