The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - EI doesn't work and is killing my plants
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
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EI doesn't work and is killing my plants

Click-bait title but it may be true. I've posted a lot on this forum over the past few months and I've repeating dosing with I'll effect. I've read and watched guides for AGES it feels. It's time to get to the bottom of this. Following EI has done nothing but ruin my plants and I need help to figure out what is causing this. Either I'm missing something stupid or I have a variable that is messing with a common and trusted fertilization method. PLEASE HELP!!

My current tank and close ups of all of the issues: What you see is basically what I saw when I started down my quest of fertilizing correctly over four months ago. I went through MANY issues and am now starting back at square one with pictures and logging because it didn't work. I'll probably copy this to a log and keep that going. For now, I ask the community: do you know for certain if I'm missing anything weird right now?

As you can see, there are issues all over the place:
- My plants in the front left have their bottom leaves constantly dying. This is the most common shared issue between all of the plants.
- My plants in the back left have holes and lightening (see-through) of the leaves.
- My red plants in the back middle show the common sign of old leaves dying as new ones arise. Same for the baby rotala to their left. The older leaves turn yellow too.
- My java moss seems to attract hair algae unless I have a powerhead on right side of the tank (opposite lilly pipes)
- If I don't overdose phosphate by about 3-5x I get green spot algae on the glass.
- My carpet grows slow as hell or simply shrinks.
- I have BBA everywhere, even after I destroyed its presence via hydrogen peroxide two months ago.

Dosing (3x a week each):
- Nitrate - KNO3 - 7.5ppm
- Phosphate - KH2PO4 - 1.3ppm
- Potassium - K2SO4 - I don't dose this due to the two above
- CSM + B - 1/64 tsp or 0.1ppm Fe
- Fe - Flourish Iron - 0.15ppm
- Magnesium - MgSO4 7H2O - 5ppm once per week after water change
- Calcium - From Seiryu rocks - Don't need to dose and hovers around 50ppm as long as I keep up with water changes

Parameters as of 4 days ago when I reset with water changes:
- Nitrate - 10ppm~
- Phosphate - 1ppm~
- Potassium - Likely greater than 30ppm, possibly 50ppm (read Unique Things below)
- Ph - 6.6 with Co2 is on, 7 or 7.1 when it's off
- Kh - 5
- Co2 - Around or slightly above 30ppm via drop checker and ph/kh readings
- Gh - 8
- Calcium - 50ppm
- Magnesium - 12.5 ppm
- Fe - 0.05ppm
- TDS - 257

Parameters today, as of dosing twice since hard reset: (COMING)

Tank setup:
- 22 gal long tank
- RO water
- Permanent temperature monitor connect to heater, heating at a constant 78 degrees Farenheit
- Permanent milwaukee Ph probe.
- 12 neon tetras, 4 scarlet badis, 1 pea puffer, 12 amanos
- Current LED Plus Pro light at 100% (60-70 par at bottom measured with par meter)
- Lights on 8 hours a day
- Injecting Co2. At max level before lights come on for the day. Turned off when lights go off
- Eheim pro 4 canister filter. No carbon pad
- Lilly pipes
- Vortech MP10 powerhead for opposite side of tank
- Rocks are Seiryu and bleed calcium
- Amazonian aquasoil substrate

Unique things:
- Seiryu rocks had my GH at 16 at some point and calcium at 100 ppm. It was probably like this for months but I did 5 water changes over a few days to get it down to 8gh and 50 ppm for calcium.
- For some reason I need to overdose phosphate by about 3x to get it to constantly measure above 1ppm and not get green spot algae
- I've been seeing the pinholes and lower leaves dying for months and I haven't been able to figure out the issue. Adding extra potassium directly related to more bubbles appearing but that meant my tank had over 50ppm of potassium in it. I've stopped doing that but the tank is worse now.
- Almost all of the original plants have been removed and replanted due to the point above.
- Hair algae will grow on the big rock with java moss if I don't have a powerhead on the other side, but this also means plants right under the powerhead do not grow much
- I murdered the BBA with back to back mass dosings of hydrogen peroxide over two days but it also killed a few shrimp and both of my snails. This was two months ago. The BBA is still coming back.
- Co2 is always light green and I measure the Ph and Kh every once in a while, especially after I got my calcium ppm down.

Lots of discussion. The key points that some people can agree on are:
- Lights and ferts are simply too strong and high for the lower plant mass
- Flow may not be strong enough, especially with the rock on the right. (I have a powerhead on the right pushing water back but it may not be getting down in the middle)
- High calcium may have been messing with the other ferts before I got it under control
- Substrate is too deep in some areas without something like powersand under it

Tank in the state it was in before I removed most of the plants: If you look closely, you can see holes in the leaves of the red plants in the middle right once the camera pans down. This was happening on ALL plants but was most obvious on those. This was taken AFTER my initial issues of older leaves having pinholes, yellowing and algae appeared. The plants you see here were recently trimmed and stayed stunted. It's bubbling so much because I just added the daily dose of 1/8tsp of K (because that's what I thought my deficiency had been). Again though, they were still growing slow.

My plan forward is to simply reset as best as I can with water changes and peroxide doses to kill the algae, while going back to 4 hour light periods or less until the new plants I get grow out. This time I'll be better prepared to deal with unforseen issues.

Last edited by Ddrizzle; 06-13-2019 at 04:12 AM. Reason: update
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