K Buildup with EI - The Planted Tank Forum
 12Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
qoob's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 44
K Buildup with EI

I've been trying to get my dosage right without success, so I made a "reset" on my tank by stopping macro ferts completely, doing a 50% WC, then 2 days after a 30% WC and restarting macros. What I found is the following, after taking a test right after the 30% WC (drop reagent tests only used):

Tank water after 50% + 30% WC
NH4: 0 ppm,
NO2: 0.05 ppm,
NO3: 1 ppm,
KH: 3 dKH,
GH: 5 dGH,
TDS: 181 ppm,
pH (pen): 6.52,
pH (test): 6.8,
PO4: 0.2 ppm,
K: 15 ppm,
Fe: 0.05 ppm,
SiO2: 3 ppm

I also tested my tap water, this is what comes out:

NH4: 0 ppm,
NO2: 0.05 ppm,
NO3: 1 ppm,
KH: 1.5 dKH,
GH: 3 dGH,
TDS: 86 ppm,
pH (pen): 7.95 ,
pH (test): 7.5 ,
PO4: 0.1 ppm,
K: 0 ppm,
Fe: 0.05 ppm,
SiO2: 3 ppm

So basically almost everything reset to tap, except for K which is still at 15 mg/l after all this!

I have medium/high lights, CO2 (which I increased slightly yesterday), feed conservatively and dose EI with an autodoser every day. According the bottle, I dose the following ferts in a week.

NO3: 20.608,
PO4: 3.808,
K: 15.764,
Mg: 1.12,
Fe: 0.14,
Mn: 0.0665,
Cu: 0.0084,
B: 0.0056,
Zn: 0.0028,
Mo: 0.0056

Am I dosing too many macros? Why is K building up?

I was thinking about changing my dosing a little, to these amounts:

NO3: 15.456,
PO4: 2.856,
K: 11.844,
Mg: 0.98,
Fe: 0.14,
Mn: 0.0665,
Cu: 0.0084,
B: 0.0056,
Zn: 0.0028,
Mo: 0.0056

120 liters, EI & CO2 and medium lights.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
qoob is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 01:23 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,737
What was water change schedule like before the reset?

If anything less than 50% EVERY week K level could easily make sense.

Let's just say you skipped a WC, or changed less than 50%, then dosing K at 15 ppm could get you to 40 ppm in the water column.

Change 50% K goes to 20 pp. Change another 30% K goes to 14 ppm.

Just saying that doesn't seem so unusual.


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.
---
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.
Greggz is online now  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
qoob's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
What was water change schedule like before the reset?

If anything less than 50% EVERY week K level could easily make sense.

Let's just say you skipped a WC, or changed less than 50%, then dosing K at 15 ppm could get you to 40 ppm in the water column.

Change 50% K goes to 20 pp. Change another 30% K goes to 14 ppm.

Just saying that doesn't seem so unusual.
So my normal schedule used to be 15ppm dosed weekly and 50% water changes weekly (roughly for the past 10 weeks), except this time I effectively changed 80% and K was at 15ppm after the huge water change. I've made sure I'm changing 50% by marking the tank and using a tds meter to verify. If K is 15 after a 80% water change then it was 75 ppm before it by my logic, which sounds absurd. As if K is not consumed at all (or very little) and just keeps building up. NO3 and other macros were basically zeroed but K wasn't.

120 liters, EI & CO2 and medium lights.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
qoob is online now  
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 06:37 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,737
Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
If K is 15 after a 80% water change then it was 75 ppm before it by my logic, which sounds absurd.
No a 50% then a 30% water change is not the same as an 80% water change.

Let's say you had 40 ppm K, then changed 50%. Now K is at 20 ppm.

Now change 30% and K is 14 ppm.

But really, in the end probably makes little difference.

If you really want help, you should post as much information as you can about your tank, including pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. The more folks understand what you are doing, the better advice they can provide.

Your problem may or may not be related to ferts. Heck, you haven't even said what the problem is. CO2 levels, light levels, and maintenance are equally important.

Good luck and looking forward to learning more about your tank.


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.
---
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.
Greggz is online now  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
qoob's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
If K is 15 after a 80% water change then it was 75 ppm before it by my logic, which sounds absurd.
No a 50% then a 30% water change is not the same as an 80% water change.

Let's say you had 40 ppm K, then changed 50%. Now K is at 20 ppm.

Now change 30% and K is 14 ppm.

But really, in the end probably makes little difference.

If you really want help, you should post as much information as you can about your tank, including pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. The more folks understand what you are doing, the better advice they can provide.

Your problem may or may not be related to ferts. Heck, you haven't even said what the problem is. CO2 levels, light levels, and maintenance are equally important.

Good luck and looking forward to learning more about your tank.
Jesus I feel dumb, thanks for pointing it out 😄 so yes, K would've been less than 75ppm but still stupidly high and out of proportion compared to other ferts.
Here is a picture of the tank http://imgur.com/gallery/UzCIDJU

It's 105 days old. I dose daily with aqua rebell makro basic estimative index for macros and aqua rebell mikro basic eisen for micros, using an ATI autodoser. I've calculated the ppm of each nutrient based on the assumption that my 120l tank minus substrate, hardscape etc is left with 100l water. Co2 is on 8h per day and so are the 2x14w led tubes (distance to substrate is 35-45cm). Co2 turns on and off 1.5h prior of lights. Used to inject 3.15 bps, now 3.5 bps (since yesterday). Aeration is achieved with a surface skimmer that is on 10 times a day for 15mins each time, and one section of my 3-part spray bar is directed to the surface to create a ripple. Fish are fed once a day at the surface in a feeding ring making sure everything gets eaten.

That's all I can think of for now!

Edit and the problem is that my tap water basically has no nutrients, I dose all nutrients and everything else seems proportional to what I've dosed except for K which somehow has remained super high. I mean if I'm adding 20ppm NO3 and only 15ppm K, how can my NO3 be 1ppm after a large wc and K be 15ppm?

120 liters, EI & CO2 and medium lights.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
qoob is online now  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-02-2020, 10:46 PM
Banned
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1,300
Quote:
I mean if I'm adding 20ppm NO3 and only 15ppm K, how can my NO3 be 1ppm after a large wc and K be 15ppm?
There may also be K in your substrate and it might be slowly leaching out. In comparison nitrate may not be present in the substrate if bacteria are converiting it too N2.

In any case K is going to be higher than needed in most tanks due to the wide spread use of KNO3 in fertilizers. KNO3 is a great source of nitrogen but it does have a lot of K in it compared to the amount of N it supplies to plants. So I wouldn't worry about K too much unless your were using urea, ammonia or something else that doesn't doesn't have a second nutrient in it.


Quote:
I was thinking about changing my dosing a little, to these amounts:

NO3: 15.456,
PO4: 2.856,
K: 11.844,
Mg: 0.98,
Fe: 0.14,
Mn: 0.0665,
Cu: 0.0084,
B: 0.0056,
Zn: 0.0028,
Mo: 0.0056
you should be find with N2 at 10ppm if you want to go that low. However there are a couple of other common issues with fertilizers that I think I should mention. Zn is very low. In my RO water tank I make my own micros because I couldn't find one that worked well in my tank. I am now dosing 0.02ppm Zn. Other making there of micros as dose Zn at a higher level. Some have even added it to there CSM+B.

Also Ni is also a necessary nutrient for plants. It is typically needed at a level similar to Mo or lower. The amount needed is low enough that tap water typically provides enough. Nickel is used to process ammonia and and reproduce in plants. Most fertilizers don't have it. You probably don't need to worry about Ni

The rest of the micros are fine except Mg. Mg it not a micro nutrient. It is a macro and typically plants need about as much magnesium a they need in P. With your low GH it is debatable if you have enough. Other commonly overlooked macros are:

Ca (calcium) plants need more of this than Mg.
S (sulfur) Less than P but more than Fe
Cl (chlorine as chloride:Less than P but more than Fe. Chlorine gas is used to kill bacteria in tap water and it is toxic to plants and fish. But a chloride salt such as NaCl or PCl is safe.


These are not in your fertilizer. Cl is typically abundant in tap water as well as Ca and S but your water. But your water parameters are very soft and are not that different than Rain water which will have zeros on everything.

In my experience if it is not in your fertilizer and might not be in your tap water, there is a good chance it is limiting your plant growth rate and that might help algae to grow.

You might benefit from a small amount of GH booster at each water change. You can buy Gh boosters but they typically contain extra K in them. But a GH booster is easy to make from Epsom Salt MgSO4, Gypsom CaSO4. Mixed in a ratio of 3 parts Ca to 1 Part Mg. The tank looks good but mineral levels in your tap water can change overtime and GH levels may drop after a lot of rain fall. A GH booster will increases your water GH but boosting that by 1 degree shouldn't hurt and may prevent problems if GH levels in your tap drop. It will also insure you have enough S.

In my RO water tank I use a mix of MgSo4 and CaCl2 because did have a Cl deficiency in the past (I was only able to identify it with a lab test).

At this site is a very helpful nutrient dosing calculator that may be helpful to figure out how much Ca/Mg is needed to achieve a 3 to 1 mix ratio:

https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php

Last edited by Surf; 02-02-2020 at 11:08 PM. Reason: spelling
Surf is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 02:26 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,737
Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
Co2 is on 8h per day and so are the 2x14w led tubes (distance to substrate is 35-45cm). Co2 turns on and off 1.5h prior of lights. Used to inject 3.15 bps, now 3.5 bps (since yesterday). Aeration is achieved with a surface skimmer that is on 10 times a day for 15mins each time, and one section of my 3-part spray bar is directed to the surface to create a ripple. Fish are fed once a day at the surface in a feeding ring making sure everything gets eaten.
IMO, you are hyper focused on ferts when you need to be looking at everything else.

CO2 at 3.5 bps means nothing. You need to learn about pH drop from CO2 and learn how to achieve and measure it accurately.

2 x 14w LED tubes means little as well. No one know can tell what actual light you are using. Do you have any estimate on PAR?

What are your goals? What type of plants are you growing? Any pics of the tank?

Just saying that if CO2, light, and maintenance are optimized for your mix of plants you can get away with a wide array of dosing parameters. Offering dosing suggestions based on what you have provided so far makes little sense for anyone. You might need more/less of everything, but that all depends on many other factors.

And in general trying to solve most problems with dosing changes rarely has any impact. Actually makes very little difference and won't solve many problems without getting everything else right first.
gnovince, ipkiss, Deanna and 2 others like this.


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.
---
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.
Greggz is online now  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
qoob's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
There may also be K in your substrate and it might be slowly leaching out. In comparison nitrate may not be present in the substrate if bacteria are converiting it too N2.

In any case K is going to be higher than needed in most tanks due to the wide spread use of KNO3 in fertilizers. KNO3 is a great source of nitrogen but it does have a lot of K in it compared to the amount of N it supplies to plants. So I wouldn't worry about K too much unless your were using urea, ammonia or something else that doesn't doesn't have a second nutrient in it.




you should be find with N2 at 10ppm if you want to go that low. However there are a couple of other common issues with fertilizers that I think I should mention. Zn is very low. In my RO water tank I make my own micros because I couldn't find one that worked well in my tank. I am now dosing 0.02ppm Zn. Other making there of micros as dose Zn at a higher level. Some have even added it to there CSM+B.

Also Ni is also a necessary nutrient for plants. It is typically needed at a level similar to Mo or lower. The amount needed is low enough that tap water typically provides enough. Nickel is used to process ammonia and and reproduce in plants. Most fertilizers don't have it. You probably don't need to worry about Ni

The rest of the micros are fine except Mg. Mg it not a micro nutrient. It is a macro and typically plants need about as much magnesium a they need in P. With your low GH it is debatable if you have enough. Other commonly overlooked macros are:

Ca (calcium) plants need more of this than Mg.
S (sulfur) Less than P but more than Fe
Cl (chlorine as chloride:Less than P but more than Fe. Chlorine gas is used to kill bacteria in tap water and it is toxic to plants and fish. But a chloride salt such as NaCl or PCl is safe.


These are not in your fertilizer. Cl is typically abundant in tap water as well as Ca and S but your water. But your water parameters are very soft and are not that different than Rain water which will have zeros on everything.

In my experience if it is not in your fertilizer and might not be in your tap water, there is a good chance it is limiting your plant growth rate and that might help algae to grow.

You might benefit from a small amount of GH booster at each water change. You can buy Gh boosters but they typically contain extra K in them. But a GH booster is easy to make from Epsom Salt MgSO4, Gypsom CaSO4. Mixed in a ratio of 3 parts Ca to 1 Part Mg. The tank looks good but mineral levels in your tap water can change overtime and GH levels may drop after a lot of rain fall. A GH booster will increases your water GH but boosting that by 1 degree shouldn't hurt and may prevent problems if GH levels in your tap drop. It will also insure you have enough S.

In my RO water tank I use a mix of MgSo4 and CaCl2 because did have a Cl deficiency in the past (I was only able to identify it with a lab test).

At this site is a very helpful nutrient dosing calculator that may be helpful to figure out how much Ca/Mg is needed to achieve a 3 to 1 mix ratio:

https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php
Thanks for the detailed answer! My tap water is not rain water (I live in Finland) and it doesn't have chlorine in it but rather chloramine. The local water station has provided a very detailed report on the subject.

I contacted the company I bought the liquid fertilizers from, and they said they have since changed the recipe (odd they haven't changed it on the website...). They said I should drop the dosing to 2ml and add 2ml of this stuff Aqua Rewbell Advanced GH Boost N which would add the following at my dosage NO:1.50 mg/l Ca: 0.30 mg/l, Mg: 0.11 mg/l

This would have the effect of keeping NO3 higher while K would be lower. This would also require me to buy the stuff, so I don't know if I should. What do you think?

Their recommendation would basically be the following per week:

Nitrate (NO 3 - ) 13.02
Phosphate (PO 4 3- ) 0.84
Potassium (K + ) 3.29
Iron (Fe) 0.5831
Calcium (Ca) 1.75
Magnesium (Mg) 0.84
Molybdenum (Mo) 0.0231
Manganese (Mn) 0.2772
Boron (B) 0.0231
Zinc (Zn) 0.0119
Copper (Cu) 0.035


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
IMO, you are hyper focused on ferts when you need to be looking at everything else.

CO2 at 3.5 bps means nothing. You need to learn about pH drop from CO2 and learn how to achieve and measure it accurately.

2 x 14w LED tubes means little as well. No one know can tell what actual light you are using. Do you have any estimate on PAR?

What are your goals? What type of plants are you growing? Any pics of the tank?

Just saying that if CO2, light, and maintenance are optimized for your mix of plants you can get away with a wide array of dosing parameters. Offering dosing suggestions based on what you have provided so far makes little sense for anyone. You might need more/less of everything, but that all depends on many other factors.

And in general trying to solve most problems with dosing changes rarely has any impact. Actually makes very little difference and won't solve many problems without getting everything else right first.
I'm not, I've just fiddled with the other stuff already and I'm moving on one thing at a time until I find an answer. I'm trying to give as much info as possible Sorry I haven't answered all the questions you might have before you asked them, but honestly your condescending tone isn't really helpful either.

My pH out of the tap is 7.5. Tank water is at 6.6 before CO2 is on. After CO2 is on it drops to about 6.2. Tank is much lower than tap mostly because of ADA aquasoil I think. Drop checker is green when CO2 is off, and limegreen when it is on. CO2 is just about as high as it can be before shrimp start to react to it negatively. At the current level all fauna still act normally. Aeration is taken care of by having a skimmer on 10 times a day for 15 minute period each time, and a section of my spray bar creates a ripple on the surface. The drop checker is positioned at the bottom of the tank in a spot I think flow is lowest/furthest away from the spray bar. CO2 is injected via an inline diffuser (CO2art inline diffuser).

Unfortunately the LED tubes didn't come with a PAR rating and neither did I find anything online, so I asked the customer support. They claimed the lights were "+220 PAR at 20cm". When I asked if they had data at more common depths, they said that is all the info they had. The lights are bright and have no dimming function, so they go at full blast for the whole 8 hours they are on.

My goals are to get my tank to prosper without algae. You'll find pictures in the previous post, along with a gif that shows growth in a recent 10 day period. Plant growth is good and healthy, but unfortunately so is algae growth.

I don't know what you mean by optimizing maintenance, but I get my sleeves wet once a week and have done so since setting the aquarium up. I've tried optimizing CO2 and I think it is as high as I can have it without dangering livestock. Light cannot be controlled and getting a dimmable light is a 500€ investment so I am looking at other options first (changing parameters I can affect). If there are no alternatives, I'll have to save up and buy the dimmable light.

120 liters, EI & CO2 and medium lights.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
qoob is online now  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 09:48 PM
Suspended
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1,561
Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
..
I'm not, I've just fiddled with the other stuff already and I'm moving on one thing at a time until I find an answer. I'm trying to give as much info as possible Sorry I haven't answered all the questions you might have before you asked them, but honestly your condescending tone isn't really helpful either.
I really don't think @Greggz tone is condecending at all. He's trying to tell you from his deep experience with planted tanks that it's impossible from the information provided that this is a fert issue. There are so many more likely reasons for the issue so to receive a detailed fert solution doesn't make sense.

I personally, don't think your issue is fert related. Light and organics are the reasons people have algae issues 95% of the time. The forums are open with everyone giving advice. You need to decide who is walking the walk (look at the tanks and what they have accomplished) and who is just talking chemistry and hasn't applied it to planted aquaria.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Asteroid is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-03-2020, 10:46 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,737
Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
I'm not, I've just fiddled with the other stuff already and I'm moving on one thing at a time until I find an answer. I'm trying to give as much info as possible Sorry I haven't answered all the questions you might have before you asked them, but honestly your condescending tone isn't really helpful either.
I apologize if you felt that way. I certainly had no intention of being condescending. There is something in the hobby called "nutrient tunnel vision". It's basically that many think that fert dosing is the cause of and the solution to all problems. It's not. IMO, a holistic approach is much better. That is looking at the tank in it's entirely. Takes more effort, but in the end usually provides much better results and solutions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
My pH out of the tap is 7.5. Tank water is at 6.6 before CO2 is on. After CO2 is on it drops to about 6.2. Tank is much lower than tap mostly because of ADA aquasoil I think. Drop checker is green when CO2 is off, and limegreen when it is on. CO2 is just about as high as it can be before shrimp start to react to it negatively.
Now there is some good information. You have got fresh Aquasoil. And yes, it will lower KH and also suck up PO4. Now this is not meant to be condescending either, but how are you measuring pH drop? Liquid test/strips/calibrated pH probe? Your drop from 6.6 to 6.2 doesn't seem like much, but if the drop checker is being used properly and shows lime green then I agree CO2 should be fine. But again, I had to ask above as BPS is not a reliable or accurate measure of CO2 injection, and that's all the information you had provided at the time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
Unfortunately the LED tubes didn't come with a PAR rating and neither did I find anything online, so I asked the customer support. They claimed the lights were "+220 PAR at 20cm". When I asked if they had data at more common depths, they said that is all the info they had. The lights are bright and have no dimming function, so they go at full blast for the whole 8 hours they are on.
What exact brand of LED's are they? Maybe someone has experience with them and can offer help. The reason I asked is that both too little and too much light can be a problem. Too much as it promotes algae, and too little as plants may not be getting enough to be in peak health.

And light needs to matched to your plants. I didn't notice you had a link to pics before, but had chance to see the tank now. In the future, it's better to learn how to include the pics in the post.

I see you have a mix of high and low light plants. Anubias, Swords, Mosses, what looks like a Buce or crypt, and then some ground cover and stems. Somewhat tricky combination as some would like very low light, and then some would like much higher light. And all in all, IMO the tank looks pretty darn good for only being a little over 3 months old. A lot more going right there than wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
My goals are to get my tank to prosper without algae. You'll find pictures in the previous post, along with a gif that shows growth in a recent 10 day period. Plant growth is good and healthy, but unfortunately so is algae growth.

I don't know what you mean by optimizing maintenance, but I get my sleeves wet once a week and have done so since setting the aquarium up. I've tried optimizing CO2 and I think it is as high as I can have it without dangering livestock. Light cannot be controlled and getting a dimmable light is a 500€ investment so I am looking at other options first (changing parameters I can affect). If there are no alternatives, I'll have to save up and buy the dimmable light.
Well you are not alone there, it's everyone's goal to have a tank prosper without algae. Takes some time and trial and error to make that happen. Your tank is still young and some algae like I see there is to be expected. When I first got started in the hobby, somebody told me it may take a year to get a tank truly in balance. I laughed....but turns out I was naive.

Maintenance includes large regular water changes, removal of any dead/decaying/algae infest leaves. Plant mass management with regular pruning/trimming. Also includes keeping filters clean, substrate vacuumed, limiting fish feeding, and in general keeping uber clean conditions and low dissolved organics in the system.

And keep in mind my point about focusing on ferts is that very few algae problems are fert related, unless you don't have enough. Most is the result of too high of light in relation to plant selection and too many dissolved organics in the system.

The biggest thing that struck me with your post is that you have a young tank with ADA Aquasoil. If I were you, I would seek out tanks that use Aquasoil, and learn more about how they managed the start up of the tank. You may not need to be dosing hardly any ferts at all right now with an active substrate.

I have no personal experience with it, so can't be of much help. @Asteroid above has experience with starting up tanks with Aquasoil and may be able to offer some insight.

And my apologies, I certainly did not mean to be offensive at all. Good luck and look forward to seeing how things go from here.
Quagulator likes this.


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.
---
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.

Last edited by Greggz; 02-03-2020 at 11:30 PM. Reason: typo
Greggz is online now  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
qoob's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
I really don't think @Greggz tone is condecending at all. He's trying to tell you from his deep experience with planted tanks that it's impossible from the information provided that this is a fert issue. There are so many more likely reasons for the issue so to receive a detailed fert solution doesn't make sense.

I personally, don't think your issue is fert related. Light and organics are the reasons people have algae issues 95% of the time. The forums are open with everyone giving advice. You need to decide who is walking the walk (look at the tanks and what they have accomplished) and who is just talking chemistry and hasn't applied it to planted aquaria.
That is fair to say - but my issue is fert related. The question was why would only one macronutrient build up when others were added at the same level. I am not stating this is the issue behind my algae, rather something I want to learn more about. If I add ~20mg/l No3 (+ whatever the fish poop brings) and 15mg/l K, how is it possible that after a large WC my tank water has close to 0 NO3 and off the scale K? That was the question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
I apologize if you felt that way. I certainly had no intention of being condescending. There is something in the hobby called "nutrient tunnel vision". It's basically that many think that fert dosing is the cause of and the solution to all problems. It's not. IMO, a holistic approach is much better. That is looking at the tank in it's entirely. Takes more effort, but in the end usually provides much better results and solutions.


Now there is some good information. You have got fresh Aquasoil. And yes, it will lower KH and also suck up PO4. Now this is not meant to be condescending either, but how are you measuring pH drop? Liquid test/strips/calibrated pH probe? Your drop from 6.6 to 6.2 doesn't seem like much, but if the drop checker is being used properly and shows lime green then I agree CO2 should be fine. But again, I had to ask above as BPS is not a reliable or accurate measure of CO2 injection, and that's all the information you had provided at the time.



What exact brand of LED's are they? Maybe someone has experience with them and can offer help. The reason I asked is that both too little and too much light can be a problem. Too much as it promotes algae, and too little as plants may not be getting enough to be in peak health.

And light needs to matched to your plants. I didn't notice you had a link to pics before, but had chance to see the tank now. In the future, it's better to learn how to include the pics in the post.

I see you have a mix of high and low light plants. Anubias, Swords, Mosses, what looks like a Buce or crypt, and then some ground cover and stems. Somewhat tricky combination as some would like very low light, and then some would like much higher light. And all in all, IMO the tank looks pretty darn good for only being a little over 3 months old. A lot more going right there than wrong.


Well you are not alone there, it's everyone's goal to have a tank prosper without algae. Takes some time and trial and error to make that happen. Your tank is still young and some algae like I see there is to be expected. When I first got started in the hobby, somebody told me it may take a year to get a tank truly in balance. I laughed....but turns out I was naive.

Maintenance includes large regular water changes, removal of any dead/decaying/algae infest leaves. Plant mass management with regular pruning/trimming. Also includes keeping filters clean, substrate vacuumed, limiting fish feeding, and in general keeping uber clean conditions and low dissolved organics in the system.

And keep in mind my point about focusing on ferts is that very few algae problems are fert related, unless you don't have enough. Most is the result of too high of light in relation to plant selection and too many dissolved organics in the system.

The biggest thing that struck me with your post is that you have a young tank with ADA Aquasoil. If I were you, I would seek out tanks that use Aquasoil, and learn more about how they managed the start up of the tank. You may not need to be dosing hardly any ferts at all right now with an active substrate.

I have no personal experience with it, so can't be of much help. @Asteroid above has experience with starting up tanks with Aquasoil and may be able to offer some insight.

And my apologies, I certainly did not mean to be offensive at all. Good luck and look forward to seeing how things go from here.
I appreciate the sentiment, and I've been looking at different forums about ferts - you are definitely correct in your assesment about people chasing numbers. In this particular post I am not blaming the high buildup of K of anything, rather just asking what it may cause. If I cant find the cause for the buildup I may eventually end up killing my caridina species shrimp from overloading more nutrients than what they can take.


Aquasoil was added fresh, but I've read it stop being "fresh" in a few months, with many variables affecting the depletion rate. I don't know if this is the case with my AS, but it is 3½ months old. I have used JBL brand liquid test kits to measure PH. I have a cheap ph pen, but according to it my tap water is 7.95 and pH at 6.01 after injecting CO2, which sounds like it isn't really good for accurate measurement, because I know for a fact my tap water is and has always been exactly 7.5.


The brand is Juwel - the tubes are Juwel LED DAY and Juwel LED COLOR. I've been trying to find info on these for months without success. The aquarium these go with is a super beginner oriented tank where I think people rarely put anything other than a few fish and plastic decor. Also this tank is most common in Germany I think, which prevents me from finding info on them from Google (wrong search language). I've encountered some threads, but none about PAR values.

Indeed the plants have quite different needs. On the one end I have advanced plants like Hemianthus Cuba and on the other very beginner friendly stuff like Echinodorus Grisebachii Amazonicus and Anubias. All plants have grown, which would lead me to believe that "basic" conditions are okay. However there still is algae that seems to be doing well also. I've got green beard algae mostly on driftwood and at the very top of the tank close to the light on the Amazon swords. Green spot algae on glass and some old anubias leaves (though this seems to be going away slowly). BBA however is what I hate with a passion, and it is appearing pretty much all over. It is found on hardscape, on roots of plants, on leaves of buce/anubias, on the tip of echinodorus plants, on the leaves of the crypts and even on some old leaves of the Bacopa compact stem plant (oddly enough nothing on Bacopa Caroliniana). Also on the riccardia chamedryfolia moss on top of the driftwood, where it is especially annoying dosing H2O2 or gluteraldehyde kills the moss also.

When I do get my sleeves wet it usually means removing some BBA mechanically, vacuuming the substrate/tops of plants in addition to changing the 50 % water. Once every few weeks I have to cut down the stem plants and replant some of the tops. I think I've removed over half the amazon sword growth I had in my tank, because some leaves were infested with BBA and whenever I tried scraping any off, I ended up ripping the leaves. The anubias in the front used to be a lush bush, and I've cut it down so that basically only the rhizome is left.

120 liters, EI & CO2 and medium lights.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
qoob is online now  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 07:28 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
SingAlongWithTsing's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: SoCal - IE
Posts: 656
what are you using to test your parameters?


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.
SingAlongWithTsing is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
qoob's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by SingAlongWithTsing View Post
what are you using to test your parameters?
JBL brand liquid test kits mostly, some Sera brand liquid test kits.

120 liters, EI & CO2 and medium lights.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
qoob is online now  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2020, 09:31 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 4,737
Quote:
Originally Posted by qoob View Post
The question was why would only one macronutrient build up when others were added at the same level. I am not stating this is the issue behind my algae, rather something I want to learn more about. If I add ~20mg/l No3 (+ whatever the fish poop brings) and 15mg/l K, how is it possible that after a large WC my tank water has close to 0 NO3 and off the scale K? That was the question.
Why do you think this is off the scale K?

If you are dosing K: 15.764, then it would be reasonable to assume your K could accumulate to 40 ppm. Just a small variation with dosing measurement or water change percentage could easily get you there.

Then change 50% gets you to 20 ppm, another 30% gets you very close to the 15 K you measured. And that assumes you can discern between 10 or 15 ppm with a test kit. In general these are not exact measurements.

Just saying K doesn't seem out of line, at least to me. Well within what you might expect with your dosing.

Bigger question is NO3 being near zero. If you are dosing NO3: 20.608, the accumulation could easily get to 40ppm or even more with fish load plus Aquasoil creating NO3. After a 50% then 30% water change, would expect to see a similar number to K, with aquasoil maybe even higher. Would not expect to see near zero, which makes me wonder about the testing kit.

Have you ever made a calibrated NO3 solution to test your kit. Very easy to make a 10, 20, and 40 ppm solution and make sure your kit is reading correctly. At least you would know if you should spend more time on this.

You mentioned you have BBA everywhere. Are you expecting that getting K sorted out will fix the BBA problem?


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.
---
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.
Greggz is online now  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
qoob's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
Why do you think this is off the scale K?

If you are dosing K: 15.764, then it would be reasonable to assume your K could accumulate to 40 ppm. Just a small variation with dosing measurement or water change percentage could easily get you there.

Then change 50% gets you to 20 ppm, another 30% gets you very close to the 15 K you measured. And that assumes you can discern between 10 or 15 ppm with a test kit. In general these are not exact measurements.

Just saying K doesn't seem out of line, at least to me. Well within what you might expect with your dosing.

Bigger question is NO3 being near zero. If you are dosing NO3: 20.608, the accumulation could easily get to 40ppm or even more with fish load plus Aquasoil creating NO3. After a 50% then 30% water change, would expect to see a similar number to K, with aquasoil maybe even higher. Would not expect to see near zero, which makes me wonder about the testing kit.

Have you ever made a calibrated NO3 solution to test your kit. Very easy to make a 10, 20, and 40 ppm solution and make sure your kit is reading correctly. At least you would know if you should spend more time on this.

You mentioned you have BBA everywhere. Are you expecting that getting K sorted out will fix the BBA problem?
Yeah, you can tackle it either way - why is K so high or NO3 so low. Since I affected the parameters by doing a large water change, the higher K stood out for me, as I expected everything to go down to tap water levels. But yeah, if NO3 was only 1ppm after those water changes, it couldn't have been more than a few ppm before them. This week I have dosed with a weekly rate of 20ppm NO3, so saturday before WC I will check the values once again.

I haven't calibrated NO3 test kits but I already bought a new one that supposedly is a little more accurate. I've tested NO3 with 2 kits, both giving the same result (1mg/l and <10 mg/l).

I'm not expecting the K to solve the issue by itself, but I am assuming that by "fixing K" I will finally be able to find a long term dosing schedule I can rely on and stop testing to concentrate on the algae alone. Some sources say that high K can deplete some micronutrients, which theoretically could cause a deficiency in those nutrients and help algae regardless of EI. I've absolutely no idea whether this is the case, but be as it may I want a stable dosing schedule so that I don't have to worry about my shrimp, even after the buildup.

For BBA I've received good advice already - the current theory is that since plant growth is good, there may be either too much light, too many dissolved organics or both. The latter is fixed by adding a big bag of purigen in the filter (since I already vacuum over everything when doing the 50% WC). The former is a hefty investment, and I just want to see if getting CO2 as high as I can (which I've changed recently) combined with good dosing would already be enough for the current light levels. If so, algae should diminish if I keep killing it in spots with H2O2 and removing mechanically what my hillstream loaches, amano shrimp, otos and siamese algae eater don't eat. In the end if the cheap option is to switch lights off at e.g. 6 hours instead of current 8 or buying the dimmable system, I will opt for the dimmable system.
Greggz likes this.

120 liters, EI & CO2 and medium lights.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by qoob; 02-05-2020 at 06:33 AM. Reason: .
qoob is online now  
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



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