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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-16-2005, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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problem still, and lost

my plants seem to die off on the bottom, and some of the leafs are bent... showing deformity. Those red spot algae is still developing. I'm cranking up my Co2 as high as possible, according to the kh/co2 chart it is 22ppm. My tank is a 50 gallon tank with a 96 power compact and a triple tube with only two 25 bulbs installed. The water sprite turns yellow but the new leafs are green. Some foreground plants seems to have their growth stunned (calcium?) and some plants have tiny holes (maybe snails). My Anacharis (Egeria densa) grows nicely on the top and 3 inches down the needle leafs are short or dying. I'm confused, i've done so much to trouble shoot problems... and my water seem to be ideal....

my water parameters is as follows:

kH: 3 dkH
gH: 6
pH 6.6
nitrate: 15ppm
phosphate: 1.5ppm

my dosing schedule is as follows:

Day 1 after 50% water change
KN03 .25 tsp ---- 4.21ppm
KH2p04 .01 tsp ---- .21ppm
K2S04 1 tsp ---- 18 ppm around
CaCO3 1 tsp ---- 2.5 ppm
Espom salt 1tsp ----- 2.5 ppm
Plantex plus boron + iron .25 tsp ---- .22 iron

Day 2
7 mL of Tropical master growth

Day 3
1/2 of original dosage for KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4 and Plantex

Day 4
same as day 2

Day 5
same as day 3

Day 6 + 7
rest

i feed the fish moderately, 2 times a day

my tap water :
pH: 7.4
gH: 1
kH: 0
PO4: .02ppm
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 12:50 AM
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a couple things I noticed above:

1) you are not dosing much KNO3 at all. you are only adding 8ppm per week. In 50g's with as much as light and co2 as you have I would be dosing a little more than 1t on water change day and 1/2t 2 other days during the week.

2) You are dosing around .5 ppm per week of PO4. Try upping that quite a bit. Again, you have a lot of light and co2 so your plants should (or at least will once they get healthy) be draining that PO4 quickly. Maybe start adding around 2-3ppm per week. Excess won't hurt.

3) You are adding Iron and PO4 at the same time. I forget the science behind it, but those 2 counteract eachother when dosing together. Isn't TMG the same thing as Plantex pretty much? Maybe dose both of those on the same day instead if necessary to do both.

4) you are dosing way too much K. I calculated it out to be 30+ppm per week. If you were to cut your K2SO4 in half then you would be dosing 20ppm per week. If you start dosing more KNO3 then you can even 1/4 your current dosing of K2SO4. No real need for K2SO4 if you dose plenty of KNO3 anyway.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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geez, i've always thought PO4 was bad since i have existing algae already and KNO3 to be a toxin. K to me was the main food source that i thought my plants lacked. Since i've nitrate readings of around 15 and PO4 readings of 1ppm at least, i'd figured i didn't need any as long as i have some. Would you suggest pulling a 25 bulb out? thanks for the advice. i wish i had some fish friends around me

i just added 1/2 tsp of the plantex for some iron after getting a zero reading from a red sea iron test kit
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 01:22 AM
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NO3 is actually the primary food source. Although it is a toxin in theory, it is almost impossible to reach a high enough NO3 level to kill fish.

I have very sensitive fish (Rays) and have had over 100ppm NO3 before. If you were to do 50% water changes weekly, I would bet you couldn't exceed 40ppm if you tried *within reason*. NO2 and NH3/4 are the toxins you should be worried about.

K can be anywhere from 10-30ppm and is so easy to hit with KNO3 that there is really no point in ever worrying about it. I dose KNO3 very heavily to the point where I have 28ppm per week K without any K2SO4 at all.

I would still keep the 25w bulb in there. I have 5.2wpg on my 50g and have no problems.

I PM'ed you about the dosing schedule creator. Let me know if you want it. I think it will help you out quite a bit.

Don't trust Iron testkits. They are frequently faulty. I like the Seachem one because it comes with a stock solution liquid that has a .1ppm/1gallon reading, so that you can test the testkit against a known solution before testing your tank. Dosing 1/2t of Plantex is about 1.75x as much as recommended for a 50g. That isn't bad, but is still excessive and should give you plenty of Iron. With my high light and co2 I still add Flourish Iron every other day. Seems to have helped lately.

edit>> forgot about the PO4. Dosing more PO4 may/will actually help with the algae problem. Once/if PO4 bottoms out you will see tons of algae starting to pop up. I keep mine at 2ppm with no problem. I noticed that my tank got a little funky on me when my PO4 hit 10ppm once, but I think I was begin stupid elsewhere at the time.

edit #2 >> add your location to your profile that people see under your name. I bet you would be surprised by the number of people around you. Where are you from anyway?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 02:07 AM
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What is KH2p04? ANd what is K2S04?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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KH2p04 is potassium phosphate and K2S04 is potassium sulfate.

i guess i'll try that method of dosing extra nitrate and phosphate since i've always been careful about those two. How high do you crank your Co2 system to? my goes about 3-4 bubbles per sec and it still doesn't seem enough. I've been told Co2 will help rid algae because it'll boost the plants growth.

i've just been so frustrated with the stunned growth, and red algae killing my stem plants. I was going to go as far as to buying new bulbs and cleaning my gravel. Btw, when i pull the swords out, is it bad when the roots snap? i tried to dig them out but they were so long. Now the roots are going to ruin my gravel bed isn't it?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-17-2005, 03:07 AM
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the bps's from your co2 system varies from tank to tank based on the level of diffusion and amount of surface agitation.

I have almost 100% diffusion of co2 from my reactor, have very high surface agitation, and have an open top on my paludarium; I run my co2 at 3bps and get 50ppm co2 out of it. I estimate about 40g's of water in there (50g cubic area).

I used to have the same problem with swords where the stems would break off easy. I think my Loaches were eating away at them though, so not sure if it was low calcium, or something else aiding it as well. It may be worth starting a new thread to figure out what makes it brittle.

The increased NO3, PO4, and co2 should help your algae problem quite a bit.

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