Please help me pinpoint my growth issue. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Please help me pinpoint my growth issue.

I'm getting very little growth in my plants and they are showing signs of deficiencies, but I don't know whats going on.

75 gallon tank
2.5 wpg 10 hours a day
Ph 6.9
phos +2ppm
Nitrate 20ppm
gh 11 degrees
kh 8 degrees
Calculated co2 at 35ppm
I've been dosing
3/4 tsp N
1/8 tsp P
1/4 tsp K
On Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday
And dosing per label, trace (15ml) & flourish (5ml) Monday and Wednesday.
Excel per label daily (5ml)

Water change on Sunday (aprox 50%)

Other than very little growth,
-on a few of my plants, new growth is very yellow.
-a few cases of pin holes on leaves.
-green spot algae and bba or slow growth.
-few old leaves have lost their green, turned clear/milky white.
-One plant has a large amount o roots growing from the exposed stem.

I'm wondering if I'm not doing something right.

I tested my N&P today before I dosed and it seems high. The plants should have used most of it correct? The co2 is coming on every 3-4 hours and only for about a half hour, at about 1bps and I'm prob only dissolving 1/2.

Whats going on! How do I fix this!

Thanks for your help
Jim
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 12:04 PM
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Increase the P to 1/4Tsp, the NPK may seem high because the plants aren't using it like they should be which is evident by the discoloration of the plants.
Light and C02 are the tricky elements that need to be adjusted, You are dosing enough nutrients at this point, so focus on the these two.
What kind of fixture do you have? is it in fact enough light? if so then C02 is not efficient enough, needs to be increased.
The plants are your test kit.

BBA and green spot says poor P and C02.

Dosing NPK and trace rules out a dificiency in that area, so what is left? light and C02. and C02 is usually the hardest nutrient to get right.
Keep at it. your getting better

Which substrate are you using?

Craig

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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I use a controller to measure/add co2. How would I go about getting more CO2?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 08:21 PM
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Steppin, my probe comes uncalibrated fairly often. What I normally do is just turn down the desired pH level until I hear it click on. It just takes a slight adjustment, but that will add more CO2 to your setup. Haha, I'll most likely get flamed for giving bad advice, but if your plants are growing well and your fish are happy then that's all that matters, right?

EDIT: Another thing I thought of, a more efficient way of dissolving it in the water may help. Have you checked out Venturi reactors? They are fairly simple to DIY and are very efficient. There are lots of other options as well.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenThePlantGeek View Post
EDIT: Another thing I thought of, a more efficient way of dissolving it in the water may help. Have you checked out Venturi reactors? They are fairly simple to DIY and are very efficient. There are lots of other options as well.
I am trying to make up a reactor myself, but I'm having issues with the pumps that will be running it.

If you have a link for a good diy Venturi ill take a look, but I'll do some searching either way.

But here is what I'm stuck on. If I was only getting 1% disolved CO2 the pH controller would just take longer to turn off. Yes I'd be wasting co2, but if its not getting disolved, then its not affecting the ph, correct? If I was getting 0% co2 to dissolve then the controller wouldn't move at all, so I feel as though, other than wasting co2 whats does it matter if I'm not dissolving 100% PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG. because this is what I'm basing my co2 levels on. I just recailbrated my probe last week, it was only off a degree or so. I will check it again though.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 08:51 PM
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https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...2-reactor.html

^^ That's one of the better links I've found.

And you're right about your pH controller just turning off quicker, but the thing is you may not have as much CO2 as you assume you do. There's a chart, but it can be skewed by a great many things. Your plants are telling you "not enough CO2", so turn down the desired pH level a bit and give them just a little bit more. Do this a bit at a time so you don't stress your fish and you'll see a big difference - I'll betcha!


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 11:29 PM
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How are you calculating your CO2? Drop checkers are more accurate.

And are you dosing iron? The leaf yellowing reminds me of that. And seems like you're missing magnesium & sulfur too. THese are of course trace elements.

You seem to be sticking to a good schedule unlike me. And also, if your plants are new (just bought), a lot of the plants are grown emersed, and so when you put them in your tank, the emersed leaves will start to die off and new submerged leaves will grow in.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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How are you calculating your CO2? Drop checkers are more accurate.

And are you dosing iron? The leaf yellowing reminds me of that. And seems like you're missing magnesium & sulfur too. THese are of course trace elements.
I understand that a drop checker is more accurate, but i'm colorblind, so i'm worried it wouldn't work for me.

As far as trace goes I just dose flourish and trace per label, think I need more? any recommendations?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 03:45 AM
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you can still use a drop checker if you're color blind.
The colors change from blue to yellow but the value changes too.. from medium gray to light grey in your case. Or shoot a picture and post it on this forum, and we'll tell you what color it is


I have a bottle of flourish trace here... You need to get flourish or seachem iron.. and dissolve a 1/4 teaspoon of epson salt (MgSO4, i think) and put that in your tank...maybe once or twice a week.. That'll raise your Gh a little. I'm horrible with schedules.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 03:53 AM
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Just a warning, be careful of dumping in a whole bunch of chemicals that you can't measure for (or can't measure accurately for). You'll give yourself a headache, and it can be more trouble than its worth.

To me your dosing sounds sufficient, but CO2 and light are the big limiting factors. Your light sounds fine (assuming it is in the right spectrum?), so my next best guess is CO2. The plants can't use the nutrients you give them if there isn't enought light/CO2 to go with it!

You can try tweeking your dosing, but my advice would be to wait until a couple weeks of increased CO2 and see if that doesn't fix your problem first. The PPM isn't as important as what your plants tell you.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Well I like the sounds of not dumping a bunch of stuff in the tank right away. Lets see what the increased co2 will yield. I think I will take a better look at what I have for lighting.
Jen since you have been such a help so far, could you help in that dept. too?
I have a Coralife Freshwater Aqualight- 48" Power Compact Light-2 x 65W. Which I assume is fine.
Than I have a standard 48" Two regular bulb fluorescent. The bulbs are getting rather old, so if I was going to replace them, what brand/ spectrum would you recommend?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 07:17 PM
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I agree with Craig to increase the amount of P you are dosing into your tank.

However, even more than P, I think you are underdosing iron. Seachem's Trace is not a source of iron, it has very, very minute amounts of some trace elements, but not iron. Seachem's Florish has some iron (0.32%). Are you really dosing more Trace (15m) and less of the Florish (5m), and just two times per week (Mondays and Wednesdays)??? I think this is far too little and it may actually be iron deficency which is limiting your tank's growth.

If you would use the E.I. dosing guide for tanks 60g-80g and dose 1/4 teaspoon of CSM+B, three times per week, you would be adding 0.45 ppm iron into a 75 gallon tank weekly. If you're only dosing 10ml of Flourish weekly you're only adding 0.11 ppm of iron into your 75 gallon tank. From my experience, really not enough with strong lighting and good CO2.

I've gradually tweaked the dosing on my 75 gallon tank using the E.I. rates as a starting point. I now dose both Macros and Micros daily at the same time (morning, before lights on). I've increased the recommended amounts of P until I get no more GSA, and I've reduced the amounts of K because of what I get in the (KH2P04) P.

More importantly I dose around 1.5x the amounts of traces outlined in E.I, and I have no trouble with my fish. I've got Neon tetras, Congo tetras, and probably the most sensitive of the bunch: Checkerboard Cichlids (Dicrossus filamentosus), all looking absolutely gorgeous and I presume doing well. The only unfortunate thing is I've seven male checkerboards, and no girls .
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 07:24 PM
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I have seen people use a combination of soft white and daylight 48" bulbs. Don't worry about buying the fancy plant-grow bulbs, just find something that is listed in the 5,000-10,000 Kelvin color temperature and that should do just fine. Your Compact Fluorescent lights do sound just fine too, and I think giving your CO2 and light a boost first - before adding any other chemicals - will really help!

That's not to say that you might not have a deficiency (though I've given my plants less than you are and they've done just fine), but do the easy stuff first - new bulbs and turn up the gas


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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I have up-ed the CO2, no floaters, and the plants are recovering, and turning green again. I haven't replaced the lights yet, so it was either uping the co2 or increasing my flourish to 15ml. Could have been the pinch more P I gave it too. But either way, thanks!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 06:14 PM
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I'm really glad to hear it!


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