Maintaining the planted tank parameters and controlling algae
I have a 60 gallon, moderately planted.
I diffuse co2 with my co2 reactor.
My lights 4 Watts per gallon.
On for 5 hours.
2 and a half inch of Eco-Complete
This is what I dose. I somewhat go with the tom barr's EI, but just modifying it.
Saturday, 1/4 tsp K2SO4 and Flourish Excel X2.
Monday, 1/4 tsp Plantex CSM+B and Flourish Excel X2
Tuesday, 1/4 tsp K2SO4 and Flourish Excel X2
Wednesday, 1/4 tsp Plantex CSM+B and Flourish Excel X2
Thursday, 1/4 tsp K2SO4 and Flourish Excel X2
Friday, 1/4 tsp Plantex CSM+B and Flourish Excel X2
Saturday, 50-60% water change, K2SO4 and Flourish Excel X2, and then the cycle continues.
I only dose potassium (K2SO4) because my bio-load is high enough to be my KNO3 and phosphate from fish food everyday. So the nitrate and phosphate levels climb slowly together with potassium. Thus having NPK. and the other days I dose 1/4 of Plantex CSM+B. I dose Flourish excel X2 the regular amount to control algae, particularly green spot and diatoms. I get a reading of 10ppm of nitrate at the end of the dosing week. Phosphate is low. Plant growth is good, vigorous.
My Co2 is diffused 100% from my co2 reactor and out through the filter bar. I have my co2 timed to turn on when lights on, and off when the lights go off. According to my Co2 Dual drop checker from Cal aqua labs when my co2 turns on, and after a hour or 2, I get a reading of continuous green(Cal aqua lab's Indicator solution), just green, not light green (I might have to try that).
I have 4 wpg and pushing it a little with the extra 5x4 watts making 20 extra watts.
I do not test for my iron, gH & kH, nor do I test my potassium. So maybe the diatoms/green spot algae problem I am facing is because of my lack of knowledge with these parameters...??? (It's not that bad, like getting algae outbreaks, black beard algae, or hair algae, but I am getting the persistent green spot and brown algae every now and then) Believe it or not, I have just recently begun dosing Excel last month (Since the paintball shop closed for winter break, I had no co2 for about 3 weeks, until last week, I found a way closer location and co2 is way cheaper, So I just got co2, Hooray) So during the weeks of no co2, I started dosing Flourish excel X2 because that is the only thing I have, and it actually worked to battle some brown black algae that was on my Anubias nana and my petites. The algae slowly melting them away. So when i got CO2, I still decided to go with dosing Flourish Excel since it helped control algae. I decided to toned down my lighting period since I decided to propagate some plants in a different tank and took out many extras or bad looking plant stems. With flourish excel, I'd say it's helping out the plants absorb the nutrients faster thus helping to battle algae.
I barely started learning about the pH, kH, co2 relationship and I am getting on it when I get my test kits for kH & gH, and Iron next week.
How am I doing? Any downfalls to what I am doing or anything? So far so good?
Since I have a pH of about 7.6 right from tap, and when I have green reading from my drop checker, would it be safe to assume it will took off .6, making it 7.0 during my photo/co2 period? What IF I up my co2 bubbles per minute, get it down by .5 more, making it 6.5. and then getting up to 7.0 when lights and co2 goes out. Getting a color of light-green from my co2 drop checker. No danger to it, right?
What chemical do I use to get kH, or gH, down? What is recommended? and when I do have high kH and gH, do I dose slowly like a increasing ppm when dosing nutrients but the other way around by decreasing the ppm for a kH and gH, a unbuffer or something?
If my kH and gH is too low, what would be a better option? Buy CaNO3 to get both gH and kH up or Flourish's Equilibrium and Acid buffer? How much would I dose CaCo2 to get my kH from 1 to 4 slowly and what about gH?
Where can I get a potassium test kit?
Should I up my lighting right now or wait until my tank gets from moderately planted to heavily planted? Guess work lol.
Any answers to my questions, and advice, tips, links, or suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
Please ask me any questions, I will gladly answer it.
I'll be back 7-9 hours later, I need to catch some ZzZ's.