Looking for Fert Advice - The Planted Tank Forum
 26Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 119
Looking for Fert Advice

So I've had some GSA and some BGA issues lately and I'm thinking I'm missing something with my ferts. I currently dose the plant guys dry ferts in the EI method in the Following amounts and schedule:

40-60 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week (M,W,F)
+/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week (M,W,F)
+/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week (Tues, Thurs, Sat)
50% weekly water change + 1 tbl spoon of Equilibrium on water change day.

My measurements today (just prior to water change)

PH - 6.9
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 5-10 Mg/l
Phosphate - > 5 mg/l (the test is dark blue)
Ammonia - 0 mg/l
GH - 11 Drops (220 ppm)
KH - 4 Drops (40 PPM)
CA - 2 Drops (40 ppm)
Iron (non-chelated) - Test is reading 0
Iron (Chelated) - Test looks 0

So I obviously need to supplement with some more Iron. I have both Seachem Iron and the Plant Guys Iron powder. I've been reading a number of people add Iron with their micros so I'm going to start doing that as well. I use the Plant Guys root tabs that I replace every 2 months as well.

If there is anything that jumps out that needs to be changed I'm open to suggestions!
rstewart8 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 12:48 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 2,289
You'll never get rid of BGA without chemicals.

2 x doses of Chemiclean and a couple big water changes will clear it right up.

By the looks of it you should be dosing some more K. Use K2SO4.

Dose all macros for the week directly after a water change. This will ensure that the macro concentration is at a higher levels throughout the entire week.
Target 0.1ppm Fe and dose to that level daily.

Increase your water changes to 60-70%.

How are you testing for Ca? Are you using all tap water? Could be missing come Ca and Mg. Might be worth picking up some ferrous gluconate (Seachem Flourish) or some DTPA Fe at your pH. Is that pH degassed water or CO2 injected water? How are you measuring pH?
Greggz likes this.

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

My 30g (25g after learning how a tape measure works) Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is online now  
post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
You'll never get rid of BGA without chemicals.

2 x doses of Chemiclean and a couple big water changes will clear it right up.

By the looks of it you should be dosing some more K. Use K2SO4.

Dose all macros for the week directly after a water change. This will ensure that the macro concentration is at a higher levels throughout the entire week.
Target 0.1ppm Fe and dose to that level daily.

Increase your water changes to 60-70%.

How are you testing for Ca? Are you using all tap water? Could be missing come Ca and Mg. Might be worth picking up some ferrous gluconate (Seachem Flourish) or some DTPA Fe at your pH. Is that pH degassed water or CO2 injected water? How are you measuring pH?

Hey,

Thanks for the reply!

-My Ca test is in the master test kit that came with my API Master freshwater test kit.
-The Ph is measured by my Milwaukee 122 Ph controller (and I have a back up Ph pen that I use as well). That is not my degassed Ph, the degassed ph is 7.9. My controller is on 24/7 and it holds the 1 ph drop constant throughout the day.
-I also do use all tap water, with the addition of 1 tbs of Equilibrium and I usually add a table spoon of epsom salts as well.
rstewart8 is offline  
 
post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 01:29 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 2,289
Okay, so certainly DTPA Fe or Gluconate Fe should be used daily, may as well dose all micros daily then.

The freshwater master test kit does not have a Ca test that I'm aware of, only ammonia, nitrite, nitrate high range pH and low range pH. But you're adding equilibrium + tapwater so Ca levels are likely more than adequate.

Keep water changes 60-70%.

Chemiclean for the BGA.... no other option in my opinion.
Greggz likes this.

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

My 30g (25g after learning how a tape measure works) Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is online now  
post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Okay, so certainly DTPA Fe or Gluconate Fe should be used daily, may as well dose all micros daily then.

The freshwater master test kit does not have a Ca test that I'm aware of, only ammonia, nitrite, nitrate high range pH and low range pH. But you're adding equilibrium + tapwater so Ca levels are likely more than adequate.

Keep water changes 60-70%.

Chemiclean for the BGA.... no other option in my opinion.
My apologies I wrote API but it is actually the Nurtifin one.....Its in a big blue breifcase.

I have the Seachem Iron that I can use up and I'll grab some of the ones you listed above, as well as some Chemi-clean

Thanks for the help!
Quagulator likes this.
rstewart8 is offline  
post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 01:35 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 2,289
Toss an airstone or increase surface agitation + shut off CO2 for the chemiclean dosing. It uses up a bunch of O2 killing off the bacteria. Turn lights down to avoid algae without the CO2 running.
Greggz likes this.

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

My 30g (25g after learning how a tape measure works) Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is online now  
post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 02:25 PM
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
Nitrate/phospate need to be 19:1
So you have tooo much phosphate and they are blocking using of calcium, magnezium


Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk
planted11 is offline  
post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 02:53 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 2,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by planted11 View Post
Nitrate/phospate need to be 19:1
So you have tooo much phosphate and they are blocking using of calcium, magnezium


Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk
There is no specific ratio of fertilizers to use in growing aquarium plants.

Not enough studies are dedicated towards growing plants in a fish tank.

Every plant has different needs, we can't supply a ratio that will suit all species' demands both concentration and timing throughout the plant's growth stage.

I personally run a 4.1:1 ratio NO3 : PO4 without issue
64D-1701 likes this.

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

My 30g (25g after learning how a tape measure works) Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is online now  
post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 03:18 PM
Algae Grower
 
64D-1701's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by rstewart8 View Post
40-60 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week (M,W,F)
+/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week (M,W,F)
+/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week (Tues, Thurs, Sat)
50% weekly water change + 1 tbl spoon of Equilibrium on water change day.

PH - 6.9
Nitrate - 5-10 Mg/l
Phosphate - > 5 mg/l (the test is dark blue)
GH - 11 Drops (220 ppm)
KH - 4 Drops (40 PPM)
Iron (non-chelated) - Test is reading 0
Iron (Chelated) - Test looks 0
My 55 gal tank parameters are very similar to yours (exact same KH/GH, my PH is 6.2 with CO2 saturation). I noticed some minor deficiencies in my plants and made some fert adjustments about two months ago with great success. The biggest changes were adding more K & micros and different types of Fe. Here's my advice, for what it's worth:

I think your dosing schedule is fine and shouldn't be changed. I also think your 50% weekly water change is good. Your phosphate level looks good, too.

Your nitrate is a little low. The test kits aren't super accurate, so if the true value is lower than your test, you may have very little NO3. That will definitely create problems. I would dose enough NO3 to keep your water in the 20-30 ppm range. I prefer the Salifert NO3 test kit. It seems to be fairly accurate and has a good color range that's easy to decipher.

Your K might be low, too. I would add some K2SO4. I don't need to dose much NO3 due to bioload, so I'm currently dosing 1 tsp K2SO4 on my macro days. I know it's more than enough, and excess won't hurt anything.

I did a lot of research on iron and determined I was likely deficient, so hopefully this brief explanation will save you some time. I looked up your Plant Guy's trace mix, and it seems to be CSM+B, which is what I use (Plantex CSM+B). You mentioned Seachem iron, which is ferrous iron gluconate. Plants will slurp that up because it's the easiest for them to absorb based on its chemical composition. However, it doesn't last long in the water and will probably be unavailable after a few hours. It's a good fert, but needs to be supplemented with other types of iron (it's also way cheaper to buy dry iron gluconate instead of paying for Seachem's water mix). There are different chelates for iron ferts. CSM+B is a really good micro mix, but its iron is EDTA chelate. EDTA chelated iron becomes less available to plants as PH increases above 6.0, but it lasts longer in the water than iron gluconate. DTPA is another chelate. The plants work harder to get the iron from DTPA, but it remains available at high PH values and lasts for days in the water. I increased my CSM+B dose to 1/4 tsp on my micro days, and now also dose 1/8 tsp DTPA Fe. I don't add iron gluconate because my UV sterilizer makes it precipitate and cloud the water. Otherwise, I would add it. I don't test for iron, but I use this calculator (https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php) to target roughly 0.5-0.6 ppm total Fe. It's not exact, but if you dose all three types, you get the best of all three regarding ease of absorption and availability to plants.

I've noticed big improvements in my plants, both in new growth and in growth I now consider old since increasing my ferts. Hope this helps you. The only other thing I can think of to help with your algae situation would be to decrease light intensity or photo period. I do a 9-hour ramp up/down schedule with about 6-7 hours of bright light.
Greggz likes this.

Last edited by 64D-1701; 10-30-2018 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Updated
64D-1701 is offline  
post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 03:23 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 2,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64D-1701 View Post
My 55 gal tank parameters are very similar to yours (exact same KH/GH, my PH is 6.2 with CO2 saturation). I noticed some minor deficiencies in my plants and made some fert adjustments about two months ago with great success. The biggest changes were adding more K & micros and different types of Fe. Here's my advice, for what it's worth:

I think your dosing schedule is fine and shouldn't be changed. I also think your 50% weekly water change is good. Your phosphate level looks good, too.

Your nitrate is a little low. The test kits aren't super accurate, so if the true value is lower than your test, you may have very little NO3. That will definitely create problems. I would dose enough NO3 to keep your water in the 20-30 ppm range. I prefer the Salifert NO3 test kit. It seems to be fairly accurate and has a good color range that's easy to decipher.

Your K might be low, too. I would add some K2SO4. I don't need to dose much NO3 due to bioload, so I'm currently dosing 1 tsp K2SO4 on my macro days. I know it's more than enough, and excess won't hurt anything.

I did a lot of research on iron and determined I was likely deficient, so hopefully this brief explanation will save you some time. I'm not sure what trace mix you're using, but it may not have the type of iron, or enough of it, that you need. You mentioned Seachem iron, which is ferrous iron gluconate. Plants will slurp that up because it's the easiest for them to absorb based on its chemical composition. However, it doesn't last long in the water and will probably be unavailable after a few hours. I recommend dry dosing Plantex CSM+B, DTPA Fe 11%, and iron gluconate. There are different chelates for iron ferts. CSM+B is a really good micro mix, but its iron is EDTA chelate. EDTA chelated iron becomes less available to plants as PH increases above 6.0, but it lasts longer in the water than iron gluconate. DTPA is another chelate. The plants work harder to get the iron from DTPA, but it remains available at high PH values and lasts for days in the water. I briefly dosed dry iron gluconate, but my UV sterilizer caused it to precipitate and cloud my water, so now I just dose CSM+B and DTPA Fe. If the UV sterilizer cloudiness is not an issue for you, I recommend dosing all three. Like any of the other ferts, it's way cheaper to buy dry iron gluconate instead of paying for Seachem's water mix. I increased my CSM+B dose to 1/4 tsp on my micro days, and now also dose 1/8 tsp DTPA Fe. I don't test for iron, but I use this calculator (https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php) to target roughly 0.5-0.6 ppm total Fe. It's not exact, but if you dose all three types, you get the best of all three regarding ease of absorption and availability to plants.

I bought my dry ferrous iron gluconate here: https://aquariumfertilizer.com/.

I buy my CSM+B and DTPA 11% iron chelate here: Aquarium Plant Fertilizer | Green Leaf Aquariums

I've noticed big improvements in my plants, both in new growth and in growth I now consider old since increasing my ferts. Hope this helps you.
Good advise, but OP is from Canada and does not have access to the websites you posted

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

My 30g (25g after learning how a tape measure works) Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is online now  
post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 03:30 PM
Algae Grower
 
64D-1701's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Good advise, but OP is from Canada and does not have access to the websites you posted
Thanks, I just edited my post. I looked up his Plant Guys brand of ferts, and it turns out he has the right iron ferts already.
Quagulator likes this.
64D-1701 is offline  
post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64D-1701 View Post
My 55 gal tank parameters are very similar to yours (exact same KH/GH, my PH is 6.2 with CO2 saturation). I noticed some minor deficiencies in my plants and made some fert adjustments about two months ago with great success. The biggest changes were adding more K & micros and different types of Fe. Here's my advice, for what it's worth:

I think your dosing schedule is fine and shouldn't be changed. I also think your 50% weekly water change is good. Your phosphate level looks good, too.

Your nitrate is a little low. The test kits aren't super accurate, so if the true value is lower than your test, you may have very little NO3. That will definitely create problems. I would dose enough NO3 to keep your water in the 20-30 ppm range. I prefer the Salifert NO3 test kit. It seems to be fairly accurate and has a good color range that's easy to decipher.

Your K might be low, too. I would add some K2SO4. I don't need to dose much NO3 due to bioload, so I'm currently dosing 1 tsp K2SO4 on my macro days. I know it's more than enough, and excess won't hurt anything.

I did a lot of research on iron and determined I was likely deficient, so hopefully this brief explanation will save you some time. I looked up your Plant Guy's trace mix, and it seems to be CSM+B, which is what I use (Plantex CSM+B). You mentioned Seachem iron, which is ferrous iron gluconate. Plants will slurp that up because it's the easiest for them to absorb based on its chemical composition. However, it doesn't last long in the water and will probably be unavailable after a few hours. Your iron dosing plan is the way to go. There are different chelates for iron ferts. CSM+B is a really good micro mix, but its iron is EDTA chelate. EDTA chelated iron becomes less available to plants as PH increases above 6.0, but it lasts longer in the water than iron gluconate. DTPA is another chelate, and it's what your Plant Guy's iron mix uses, according to its amazon description. The plants work harder to get the iron from DTPA, but it remains available at high PH values and lasts for days in the water. Like any of the other ferts, it's way cheaper to buy dry iron gluconate instead of paying for Seachem's water mix. I increased my CSM+B dose to 1/4 tsp on my micro days, and now also dose 1/8 tsp DTPA Fe. I don't add iron gluconate because my UV sterilizer makes it precipitate and cloud the water. Otherwise, I would add it. I don't test for iron, but I use this calculator (https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php) to target roughly 0.5-0.6 ppm total Fe. It's not exact, but if you dose all three types, you get the best of all three regarding ease of absorption and availability to plants.

I've noticed big improvements in my plants, both in new growth and in growth I now consider old since increasing my ferts. Hope this helps you. The only other thing I can think of to help with your algae situation would be to decrease light intensity or photo period. I do a 9-hour ramp up/down schedule with about 6-7 hours of bright light.
This was an awesome read thanks!

I can purchase similar fertilizers from here: https://theplantguy.ca/collections/dry (available in Canada!)

Right now I have his EI dosing package that includes the CSM B micros. I does these 3 times a week. I also purchased his 13% EDTA Iron but haven't utilized it much. I have the 500 ml dosing bottles and should figure out how to make a liquid that I can dose daily.

I also have a left over bottle of the Flourish Iron that I'm going to use up.

Your the second person that has recommended the K2SO4 so I'm going to give that a go as well!.

I'll post a pic of the tank tonight when I get home

I really appreciate the advice!
Quagulator and 64D-1701 like this.
rstewart8 is offline  
post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 03:50 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Quagulator's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Posts: 2,289
I would personally use DTPA iron.... it's stable at a little higher pH than EDTA (> 6.5 it will become unavailable)

pH up up to 6.5 = EDTA
pH from 6.5-7.5 = DTPA or Gluconate or both.
64D-1701 likes this.

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"

My 30g (25g after learning how a tape measure works) Journal:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Quagulator is online now  
post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 03:59 PM
Algae Grower
 
64D-1701's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
I would personally use DTPA iron.... it's stable at a little higher pH than EDTA (> 6.5 it will become unavailable)

pH up up to 6.5 = EDTA
pH from 6.5-7.5 = DTPA or Gluconate or both.
I agree 100%. You already have EDTA in your CSM+B, so you don't need more, especially at your PH level. Get the Planted Guys DTPA 11% Fe. And either keep dosing the Seachem Iron or get your own dry iron gluconate. Then you'll definitely have your iron needs covered.
Quagulator likes this.
64D-1701 is offline  
post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 08:27 PM
Banned
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1,300
Looking at the plant guy's site and what you are dosing I see 3 missing nutrients. Cl (your tap water probably has enough of this), Sulfur and magnesium. Magnesium is in CSM+B but the micros you are using appears to be formulated differently and doesn't not list magnesium. Plants need as much sulfur as phosphate. Potassium sulfate can be added to increase sulfur or you can use magnesium sulfate. If you dose 10ppm nitrate and 1ppm sulfates your potassium levels should be sufficient but a small amount of additional potassium wouldn't hurt.

The plant guy's micro mix does list EDTA and DTPA on the web site but doesn't say which one is used for iron. So I would recommend getting a iron test kit to determine what your levels are and then adjust as needded. My tank does fine with Fe DTPA dosed at 0.15 ppm. but how long it lasts in the aquarium will dpend on PH and and overall water chemistry. Some people need more while others less.
64D-1701 likes this.
Surf is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need some advice on painting a MDF stand Indignation DIY 15 09-07-2012 07:15 AM
Iwagumi scope advice Justin><(((> General Planted Tank Discussion 0 07-24-2011 07:26 PM
Moving soon, advice needed bpb Low Tech Forum 4 03-20-2011 12:30 PM
New 29g tank Journal (need advice as well) esab Tank Journals 20 05-19-2010 12:21 AM
Nano Plumbing Advice Plz mhhauser321 Planted Nano Tanks 2 01-17-2007 02:45 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome