Nitrogen/Phosphate deficiency help? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Nitrogen/Phosphate deficiency help?

Howdi everyone, I have had some experience with freshwater fish but am relatively new to planted aquariums.

I currently have a 20 gallon long aquarium which I believe the plants are suffering from lack of macro nutrients. The edges of older leaves of certain plants in my tank are turning yellow and clearish.

I've got the following plants in my tank:
3x banana plants
1 Java fern lace variety
1 Java fern regular variety
1 chain sword
2 pieces of medium driftwood, tied to java moss
2 marimo moss balls
water wisteria
broad leaf ludwigia
amazon sword
Bacopa carolina

These are my tank specs:
2 WPG combination of 6700K/10,000K, on about 9-10 hours a day
Dose Flourish comprehensive daily
Dose Flourish root tabs every 3 months
Dose API CO2 booster daily (no DIY CO2 or pressurized CO2)
Temp is usually around 75-77F
Filter is Whisper power filter 40

Currently there are 14 white cloud minnows, 1 male betta, and 5 red nose shrimp living in my tank. I have not been able to measure any traces of nitrate in my tank for a while, presumably because the plants suck them up right away. What would be the best thing to do in my case? Reduce the light? Add more fish to up the bioload? Or start dosing macro fertilizers such as KNO3?

Any input is appreciated, thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 03:11 AM
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If it is phosphate deficiency, that's easy: Just add some 7.0 PH buffer. That'll shoot your phosphate off the chart. You can verify your levels: the test is readily available over the internet. Same with nitrate, test for that and if needed add some dry ferts (try to hit at least 5ppm, 10-20 would be better).

I'd add those ferts and test the chemistry; Then wait a few days and see if everyone perks up.

Welcome to the forum BTW!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 05:05 AM
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It is far better to start by dosing enough of all of the nutrients and not by trying to guess which ones are in short supply. See https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-regimes_.html for details, and follow the recommendations there.

I don't recognize the lighting you have. 2 watts per gallon on a 20 gallon tank would be 40 watts, and you have two bulbs, so they must be 20 watt bulbs. But, I don't know what bulbs you can get with that wattage. Is this a T5 light? Which one?

If it is T5, you have way too much light for such a low tank, and you will have a hard time avoiding lots of algae problems, whatever you dose.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
It is far better to start by dosing enough of all of the nutrients and not by trying to guess which ones are in short supply. See https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-regimes_.html for details, and follow the recommendations there.

I don't recognize the lighting you have. 2 watts per gallon on a 20 gallon tank would be 40 watts, and you have two bulbs, so they must be 20 watt bulbs. But, I don't know what bulbs you can get with that wattage. Is this a T5 light? Which one?

If it is T5, you have way too much light for such a low tank, and you will have a hard time avoiding lots of algae problems, whatever you dose.


Spot on. This is why supplying non limiting nutrients is good. No guess work on whats lacking and having more then enough is not harmful.

I 2nd exactly what hoppy says here though.

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