Cloudy water after dosing EI - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudy water after dosing EI

I started EI dosing a little over a week ago and I now have cloudy water. It is my understanding that it could be do to the reaction between the iron in the micros and the phosphate in the macros solution. However, I am dosing on different days, which I thought was supposed to prevent this. Perhaps I am dosing too much of one or the other? Last I measured, my PO4 was around 4pmm if I remember correctly. People say to use a chelated iron to keep this from happening, but the iron in my GLA fertilizer IS chelated. This is what I am using and my dosage for my 20 high tank:


Plantex CSM + B (1/2 tsp per 500mL solution, 30mL dose three times a week)
Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) (2 tsp per 500mL solution, 30mL dose three times a week)
Mono Potassium Phosphate (KpPO4) (1/2 tsp per 500mL solution, 30mL dose three times a week)
Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) (1/2 tsp per 500mL solution, 30mL dose three times a week)

It is worth noting that a few days prior to starting an EI dosing regime, I dosed once with Flourish Iron and my water immediately became cloudy. This was when I was dosing only twice per week with NilocG ThriveC. Not sure what my PO4 was at that time, but safe to say well under what it is now.

I should also mention that until two days ago, my tank was very lightly planted (12 plants with only 3 actually showing any growth), but now it is heavily planted. I'm assuming the new plants will need a week or two before they actually start uptake of all the nutrients I've been adding. Should I cut my dosing in 1/2, 1/3, and decrease CO2 until they get acclimated and start to show new growth?

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Nobody has any input?

I also just read that dosing Mg on micro day may help as well. Not sure what to do. I already decreased my dosage by 50% (while the new plants acclimate). Should I cut back the amount of PO4 and/or dose Mg separate from KNO3 and PO4?

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Here are a couple photos. It's really bad. Looks like a damn forest fire inside my tank it's so "smokey". I cut my EI dosing in half and stopped dosing N and P (because the fish produce enough) and only K on my macro days and half dose of micros on alternating days. There has been no improvement. Guess I'll try dosing fewer days? I don't want my plants to suffer though.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Is there a micro mix on the market without iron? I'd like to try dosing without iron for a while to see if things clear up, but don't want to stop dosing micros altogether.

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:56 PM
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Do you have CO2 running? With all those ferts, without the proper CO2 you might be seeing an algae bloom.
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OCDiscus View Post
Do you have CO2 running? With all those ferts, without the proper CO2 you might be seeing an algae bloom.

Yes, I am dosing CO2, and it's around 30ppm. This doesn't look like algae...it's white.

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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 06:03 PM
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There are two ferts you arent supposed to dose at the same time because they form a precipitate that cloudy's the water. One is iron, my memory is fuzzy but I want to say the other is either phosphate or potassium.

It is recommended you dose one in the AM and one in the PM to avoid this.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 06:09 PM
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I'm wondering if this is coincidence.

Do you have an empty tank you can try an experiment with?

If you do, fill the tank with dechlorinated water and dose it to the PPM equivalent of what you dose your main tank. Do macros one day, and micros 24 hours later, and see if this happens.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossman77 View Post
Here are a couple photos. It's really bad. Looks like a damn forest fire inside my tank it's so "smokey". I cut my EI dosing in half and stopped dosing N and P (because the fish produce enough) and only K on my macro days and half dose of micros on alternating days. There has been no improvement. Guess I'll try dosing fewer days? I don't want my plants to suffer though.


Looks like green water, could also be a bacterial bloom... pour some water in a white bucket and Iím sure it will look green.

If itís green water a UV sterilizer should clear it up in 2-3 days, keep it running just in case for at least a week. Once your plants adjust and start using the ferts, you should be ok. You started EI all at once, your plants need some time to adjust to a change in environment ie nutrient rich, once they adjust and start using the ferts they will outcompete the algae bloom. You can also try cutting down to 1/4 or 1/2 EI.

If itís a bacterial bloom, just keep up with water changes and it should go away on its own.

I dose micros and macros on same day on many occasions and this never happens.



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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
I'm wondering if this is coincidence.

Do you have an empty tank you can try an experiment with?

If you do, fill the tank with dechlorinated water and dose it to the PPM equivalent of what you dose your main tank. Do macros one day, and micros 24 hours later, and see if this happens.

Yes, I do, but do you think I would get the same result with no plants in the water, no filter, no fish, etc?

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nothreat33 View Post
There are two ferts you arent supposed to dose at the same time because they form a precipitate that cloudy's the water. One is iron, my memory is fuzzy but I want to say the other is either phosphate or potassium.

It is recommended you dose one in the AM and one in the PM to avoid this.

From what I understand, it is Phosphate and Iron that cause cloudiness. I dose these on alternate days, but it's possible there is still enough phosphate remaining the next day that it reacts with the iron. This is why I figured I'd experiment with dosing only K on macro days to see if it clears up.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvDO View Post
Looks like green water, could also be a bacterial bloom... pour some water in a white bucket and Iím sure it will look green.

If itís green water a UV sterilizer should clear it up in 2-3 days, keep it running just in case for at least a week. Once your plants adjust and start using the ferts, you should be ok. You started EI all at once, your plants need some time to adjust to a change in environment ie nutrient rich, once they adjust and start using the ferts they will outcompete the algae bloom. You can also try cutting down to 1/4 or 1/2 EI.

If itís a bacterial bloom, just keep up with water changes and it should go away on its own.

I dose micros and macros on same day on many occasions and this never happens.



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It looks green because the light was low when I took that picture and the reflection off the plants. It is a milky/smokey white. I've already cut my dosing to 1/2 EI with no improvement, so I'll cut back even more. I thought LESS water changes was better for a bacteria bloom???


Some don't have issues, others do. Not sure what to say about that. I do know plenty of people do have cloudiness issues when starting EI. What size tank do you have? I think 20 gallons is just a little too small to keep things stable. I've been dosing my 60 gallon every few days with the same mix, but no nearly as much as my 20 gallon, and there is no cloudiness whatsoever.

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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mossman77 View Post
Yes, I do, but do you think I would get the same result with no plants in the water, no filter, no fish, etc?

Bump:


From what I understand, it is Phosphate and Iron that cause cloudiness. I dose these on alternate days, but it's possible there is still enough phosphate remaining the next day that it reacts with the iron. This is why I figured I'd experiment with dosing only K on macro days to see if it clears up.

Bump:


It looks green because the light was low when I took that picture and the reflection off the plants. It is a milky/smokey white. I've already cut my dosing to 1/2 EI with no improvement, so I'll cut back even more. I thought LESS water changes was better for a bacteria bloom???


Some don't have issues, others do. Not sure what to say about that. I do know plenty of people do have cloudiness issues when starting EI. What size tank do you have? I think 20 gallons is just a little too small to keep things stable. I've been dosing my 60 gallon every few days with the same mix, but no nearly as much as my 20 gallon, and there is no cloudiness whatsoever.
Yes, it should give you the same result IF the cause is with the fertilizers.


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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, it should give you the same result IF the cause is with the fertilizers.

The tank has been crystal clear for two years leading up to EI dosing, then the cloudiness started, so I am confident this is the cause. How to eliminate it is the tricky part. I'll naturally start with dosing even less. The recipe I'm using is for 10 to 20 gallons, so I'm surprised I'm having issues with half the dose.

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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 07:28 PM
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It's not the ferts being dosed on the same day. I front load all macros right after a water change and then dose micros daily. I think that is a myth that started long ago and really has no basis in fact.

What type of light and how long do you have it on? Like others have said, might be algae bloom.

Either way, don't panic. Adjusting ferts up and down isn't going to help anything. Plant may suffer some, as they will be light deprived until you get it cleared up.

If it's an algae bloom, UV light or Algaefix will do the trick. If it's bacterial bloom, then something happened to your bio field. How old is this tank? Cycled? Any livestock in it? I would check ammonia level. If you are showing any at all, I would bet on bacterial bloom. If so, not much you can do but wait it out.


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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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It's not the ferts being dosed on the same day. I front load all macros right after a water change and then dose micros daily. I think that is a myth that started long ago and really has no basis in fact.

What type of light and how long do you have it on? Like others have said, might be algae bloom.

Either way, don't panic. Adjusting ferts up and down isn't going to help anything. Plant may suffer some, as they will be light deprived until you get it cleared up.

If it's an algae bloom, UV light or Algaefix will do the trick. If it's bacterial bloom, then something happened to your bio field. How old is this tank? Cycled? Any livestock in it? I would check ammonia level. If you are showing any at all, I would bet on bacterial bloom. If so, not much you can do but wait it out.

I'm using a Finnex Planted 24/7 light in the 24/7 mode, and was using this light prior to EI dosing with no cloudiness. The tank is mature and there is no detectable ammonia. Three Congo Tetra and three SAEs and filled with plants. Haven't made any changes to the filtration. I'm using an Aqueon Quietflow 200, which is rated up to 55 gallons. Only added a bunch of new plants and started EI. Just a day or two prior to starting EI, I dosed the tank with Flourish Iron and that was the first time I've had cloudy water, and it has only gotten worse since dosing EI.

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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 10:00 PM
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Flourish iron uses ferrous gluconate. Could precipitate especially in hard water.

What is your degassed pH and KH??

If they are the higher side, CSM+B with EDTA will be better, and a mix with DTPA will be better still.

That being said, it still looks like a bacterial bloom to me.

Either way, I wouldn't panic. You will probably wake up one of these days and it will be cleared up.
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