Help with dosing and water change routine - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2006, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Help with dosing and water change routine

Hi there

We have been battling BGA for a couple of years now. Since finding this forum things have improved but I am not sure where to go now.

I have just completed a BGA blitz. I have carried out 2 x 200L water changes back to back, have cleaned the cannisters, added NO3, done a black-out for 3 days AND treated with erythromycin. Done another 200L water change, turned C02 back on, added more KNO3 and installed new tubes.

Now have 300w of light over a 180 US g tank, pH 6.8 (co2 20ppm) KH 5, GH 5 NO3 20ppm, PO4 2ppm

I uncovered the tank to find all the BGA gone and I want to keep it that way!!

We usually carry out 1x 30% water change per week and add all ferts after the change. I tried to reduce the amount of ferts by 1/3rd of reccomended amount to stop increase in concentraion but KH and GH seem to be creeping up over time. NO3 always seems to be low when I check.

Is there a way to use the Estimated Dosing Index and carry out only 30% water changes or do I have to do 50%? I can't do anymore than 30% at a time and find it difficult to fit in 2x water changes a week.

TIA

Sharon
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 04:27 AM
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Doing 50% water change every week using the EI method is to prevent the buildup of any excess nutrients from accumulating. The less amount of water change you do (or less frequent), the more the accumulation of nutrients will be, therefore making a golden opportunity for algae to take advantage of.

Also, may I suggest adding the ferts in small incriments throughout the week instead of all at once in one day for the rest of the week? With all those nutrients present for an entire week, and with the plants only able to consume a certain amount of it every day, I'd think that was an encouragement to algae growth.

I was wondering why it would be difficult to do a 50% water change over a 30%? Have you heard the python gravel vac? It requires no lifting of heavy buckets.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 02:46 PM
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I find I can do less water changes by testing for NO3 once or twice a month and adjusting my dosing accordingly. This keeps the NO3 from getting too high but keeps me from letting it bottom out which is where I run into problems with BGA. I dose KH2PO4 in ratio to the KNO3 based on how much green dust and green spot algae I have. I use a quarter as much if they are under control and half as much if they are starting to expand. This works well for me but could be a problem if you had nitrates from a high fish load or nitrates in your water supply.

I have liked using the Hach NO3 test kit which costs about $20. I have had bad luck with other test kits. The LaMotte is supposed to be the best but I haven't tried it yet. I find this easier and more enjoyable than 50% water changes.

Bill
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 08:58 PM
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Excess nutrients aren't suppose to cause any algae, maybe low CO2 or not enough nutrients.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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I understand why you need to do 50% water changes using the EI dosing method. I strangely do not get an increase in NO3 (always lower than my target level) but am experiencing an increase in KH and GH over time.

I really need to know if you can reduce the amount of ferts by a ratio if I am doing 1/3rd water changes or if I have to up my water change regime to 2x25% or even 2x30% ?

The tank is BIG and is not heavily stocked so other than keeping ferts in balance there is little need to carry out 2 w/c per week.

I have heard of the python but have you any idea what a 90g water change from the tap would do to my discus?? The water temp is about 5C atm and I would never use straight tap anyway. I collect 200L of water which has gone through a CBR 2 filter in a water butt and heat it to 28C before use.

I realise that adding ferts in one day is not ideal but I don't think I would have the memory or the time to carry out every day.

Thanks for your help

Sharon
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiny
Excess nutrients aren't suppose to cause any algae, maybe low CO2 or not enough nutrients.

Totally agree, BGA has been with me for years due to trying to keep NO3 and PO4 at zero. Tank has improved dramatically since adding nutrients and CO2, just need to keep the horrid stuff at bay this time.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 08:46 PM
csf
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It might make sense to dose twice a week or 3x a week if that would help. The idea setup would probably be constant dosing, but short of that, you want to keep the levels stable throughout the week. If you spike the levels early, all they do is drop until the end of the week.
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