any negative effects? (ei question) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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any negative effects? (ei question)

so with my dose, and my current state of my tank I am starting to consider my dosing is causing some negative effects on my plant growth.

first off. 75g low tech no co2 or excel
light is planted plus by finnex
8 hours a day
21" above substrate.

current problems:
little bit of gsa (glass and anubias)
brown algae or diatoms (this is recent problem)
anubias seems to be suffering.
ludwigia repens looks absolutely terrible.

i dose 6 tsp of k2so4 a week to satisfy my uptake due to all my hygro species. i am now pinhole free. any chance this much k2so4 is hurting anything?

i dose 3 tsp of kh2po4 too much phosphates an issues? trying to keep gsa from forming. may need to even increase. when i was at 1.5tsp a week i have far more gsa issues.

1.5tsp micros. this seems like a alot to me, any negative effects here?

i don't know what else could be causing the issues with my growth all of a sudden besides the changing (increasing ferts) ferts. light has been set this way for a while now. wcs are on tight sched. healthy fish load.

never had co2 or excel but never had issues with due to them not being there either.

i am really stumped on why i have diatoms all of a sudden. also concerned for my plants. growth in the tank is good mind you.

Bump: would doing some big wcs and stop dosing to reset everything be a really bad idea?

i feel like too much ferts is the issue but can't be sure.

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 05:51 PM
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You definitely don't need to dose more. In fact, you're dose WAY too much.

Code:
Element	Your dose	Full EI		EI Low light/weekly
K	60.7ppm		22.5ppm		10ppm	
PO4	41.3ppm		3.9ppm		1ppm	
Iron	1.5ppm		1.5ppm		0.2ppm
You should be dosing the EI Low Light/Weekly.
K2SO4 1tsp.
KH2PO4 1/16 tsp.
Plantex 1/4 tsp.

I would personally correct these errors first. Maybe a few large water changes to reset the tank and then dose those amounts.

I'm not sure what the PAR level is for that light on your tank. However, I suspect your providing too much light without CO2 or Excel.

I'm assuming your nitrate levels are adequate since you don't dose KNO3?
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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for starters i will not be able to drop k2s04 dose as anything lower i get pinholes.

i have alot of hygro in the tank and its very potassium heavy feeder

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
You definitely don't need to dose more. In fact, you're dose WAY too much.

Code:
Element	Your dose	Full EI		EI Low light/weekly
K	60.7ppm		22.5ppm		10ppm	
PO4	41.3ppm		3.9ppm		1ppm	
Iron	1.5ppm		1.5ppm		0.2ppm
You should be dosing the EI Low Light/Weekly.
K2SO4 1tsp.
KH2PO4 1/16 tsp.
Plantex 1/4 tsp.

I would personally correct these errors first. Maybe a few large water changes to reset the tank and then dose those amounts.

I'm not sure what the PAR level is for that light on your tank. However, I suspect your providing too much light without CO2 or Excel.

I'm assuming your nitrate levels are adequate since you don't dose KNO3?
why do i get still get a tiny bit of gsa if i dose so much po4?

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 09:53 PM
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PO4 isn't the total story of GSA.... It is just one common way that GSA outbreaks as some try to restrict PO4 levels to "prevent" algae. The plants become PO4 limited, get stunted and aren't able to use all the light coming in, and their lack of growth allows GSA to move in.

In your case, the plants aren't PO4 limited, but they're probably carbon limited. Carbon limited with excess light causes GSA problems too. Or flow.

I suggest this resource:

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm


Also, are you sure your pinholes are potassium deficiency? What did the edges of the pinholes look like color-wise? If brown/yellow, then probably potassium. If green, your answer isn't potassium deficiency, something was eating the plants.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Its 100% potassium with yellow around the hole.

Its now gone since I have been dosing a lot of k2so4.

Co2 is for sure my limiting factor but its new to me that it can be the reason for gsa. Maybe I should raise my light a little more or cut an hour off.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 10:01 PM
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Remember that it is not dosing that removes algae but aggressive plant growth, lacking that, even good parameters won't prevent algae. Dosing as much as plants require as to be non-limiting is the goal. If you have issues with any plant with such aggressive dosing, its not the lack of nutrients, but other factors that matter. Adding more of the same nutrients will not help.

One potential downside of over-dosing in extreme scenarios is that you raise your water's salinity. And of course stuff like Fe/traces can be toxic at extreme amounts.

Regards, Dennis
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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So what's my best option at this point. I am fairly certain my potassium uptake is around 50ppm a week. So I am not really willing to reduce that dose but the others I have no clue. I kept bumping up phosphates to try and slow down gsa. But the truth is its been constant as my dosing has gone up. Its very.minimal in the grand scheme of things but I would like to resolve it.

As for micros I could be overdosing as well. Reason I been dosing as much as I have is just to try and keep a general ration between the different ferts.

I figured cuz I needed so much potassium the rest would follow.

I don't dose kno3 as my fish waste is enough. I always have 10ppm ore more even after wcs.

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
You definitely don't need to dose more. In fact, you're dose WAY too much.

Code:
Element	Your dose	Full EI		EI Low light/weekly
K	60.7ppm		22.5ppm		10ppm	
PO4	41.3ppm		3.9ppm		1ppm	
Iron	1.5ppm		1.5ppm		0.2ppm
You should be dosing the EI Low Light/Weekly.
K2SO4 1tsp.
KH2PO4 1/16 tsp.
Plantex 1/4 tsp.

I would personally correct these errors first. Maybe a few large water changes to reset the tank and then dose those amounts.

I'm not sure what the PAR level is for that light on your tank. However, I suspect your providing too much light without CO2 or Excel.

I'm assuming your nitrate levels are adequate since you don't dose KNO3?
these low tech values comes from where?

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-24-2014, 11:51 PM
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Sometimes there is a catch-22, impossible combination. As in some plants don't grow well within the parameters you are willing to tweak. (as in using CO2 or asking you to change the substrate) If so, the practical solution is to switch out the plants for stuff that grow well within the parameters you can control, that the tank provides. Sometimes pruning or moving plants from one spot to another could work; some plants require more flow, or light etc.

Another experiment you can do is drop your ferts slowly and see whether your hypothesis is correct; If dropping phosphates/potassium to lower levels doesn't increase the amount of GSA/pinholes, then perhaps the actual levels required aren't as high as we think. Especially for low tech tanks, there can be a lag effect between action and reaction, not to mention other variables that have changed in the time period that we don't/can't test for (flow?light?redox balance?oxygen?intra-species competition?substrate compaction or deterioration?), so doing some reverse testing is useful. Tanks are constantly evolving, living things. Anyway if you can confirm the cause and effect this way, then just apply it there-after with peace of mind, the process won't crash the tank.

I believe the values above come from the EI guide on application towards low tech tanks. Can you post pics of the suffering anubias/repens ? Its an interesting scenario because one is a slow growing species that take nutrients from the water, whereas the other is a rooted fast growing stem plant. If they're both not doing well, its probably a tank-wide parameter that is amiss.

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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 12:08 AM
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I think the mistake you are making is that you are relying on a nitrate test kit to tell you whether you need to dose nitrates. If you have calibrated the test kit, you can do that, but if not, you are probably making a mistake. Nitrate test kits are not noted for their accuracy and consistency, especially if you are not following the directions exactly.

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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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i have calibrated and tested. with multiple kits as well. i know what nitrate deficiency is and with my fish load and feeding schedule i know the amount of nitrates are accurate. test are consistent each time as well.

as for the suffering ludwigia, I have removed it. I have another grow out plant only tank with snails that i have it in now. i had some already smaller ludwigia in there growing fine.

my plan for the 75g is to rain my fixture a few more inches to reduce light intensity as i don't want to drop below 8 hours a day. I am going to add more water sprite plantlets to the tank, drop my ferts to more recommended levels and feed every other day instead of once a day.

my thought is that my overcompensating of ferts due to problems being cause by not enough co2 and too much light was only making things worse.

months ago when i had my light at 17" gsa was at its worse. now at 21" its 99% better. i am thinking another 3 inches should be good. one plant mass is super dense i might be able to drop it back down a bit.

i will first drop micros and kh2po4 but keep my potassium where it is. once i feel good about the reduced amount of the others i will slowly bring down potassium and watch.

As a test i am attempted to severally overdose my 15g grow out. i am trying to see if i can reproduce similar symptoms like in my 75g. i know they are both 2 very different environments but worth trying.


any thoughts on the diatom / brown algae thats starting to appear magically?

i was using purigen for a bit in my filter and now it has been removed for about 1 month. at the same time i did increase my feeding a bit to bulk up my fish. any chance the little spike in increased organics plus exccess ferts are to blame for the brown algae / diatoms showing up?

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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 05:18 PM
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The values I listed came from a calculator I wrote. However, this popular online calculator will give you the same numbers.

I think youíre putting too much emphasis on nutrients. A tank cannot be managed by tweaking nutrients alone despite how many people try. Your tunnel vision is getting the best of you.

You can safely reduce your dosing. If you want to start on the VERY high end for your tank then dose full EI levels and do weekly water changes. Those amounts are non-limiting for high light, densely planted, CO2 injected tanks. The uptake ratios in those tanks are much higher than you will ever see.

If you dose full EI (including KNO3) with weekly water changes and still see algae, pinholes, twisted leaves, gremlins or mutated zombies you can safely say itís NOT a nutrient problem and you can focus on other things, i.e. CO2, light, maintenance, flow etc.

Yes, increased organics can lead to issues with diatoms and brown algae as well as most other algae.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 12:39 PM
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Overdosing potassium isn't really an issue. Hygro species are known potassium PIGS. I personally would leave the potassium as is. Especially if you got rid of the annoying pinhole problem..

Phosphates are actually really high. drop them down to about 6 ppm and wait and see...

Iron is probably a bit much for no CO2/Excel. I'd cut at least in half and keep an eye on everything for a couple weeks.

Pics would probably help everybody help you too...

My .002 pents..

There's plants growing on my algae!
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Last edited by IiScaPeJuNkiEiI; 10-26-2014 at 12:43 PM. Reason: Inabality to read dosage correctly..
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah so that's pretty much my plan. Doing some big wcs to reset. Dosing potassium as normal because like I said this is the first time in 7 months I have been pin hole free in my tank (4 different hygro species). I been debating getting rid of the hygro plants but we will see.

My new target for phosphates are around 3ppm per week which I am going to due just on the first day of the week.

Target for iron is going to be just around .75ppm

Hopefully these changes plus raising my light and feeding less wi result in a better healthier ecosystem.

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