Fertilizers/Nutrients - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Fertilizers/Nutrients

About a month ago, I broke down my 75g planted aquarium and made a few changes to it. I painted the back glass black, put in plexiglass terraces in the bottom and did the entire substrate in flourite.

I had algae in the previous setup, but I thought it was normal and not out of control like right now! I use Tropica Master Grow for my liquid fertilizer. I use a pressured CO2 system to control my PH and 3 watts of lights per gallon. From my understanding, if one nutrient is lacking, then the plants will not grow properly and algae will result from the available nutrients.

Here are the numbers on my setup:
11 hours of light
PH 6.7-6.8
KH 4(raised with baking soda)it is usually lower
GH .5
Too many (30-40) diamond tetras, 6 otos & 6 amano shrimp currently

I am trying to observe the plant leaves and stalks to see what they are lacking. But, I am not doing a very good job from the amount and different types of algae in the aquarium.

I need some good help and fast!
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 10:30 PM
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I see a couple of things which may be part of the problem.

At 3 WPG, 11 hours of light is too much. Try cutting it down to 8 - 10 hours. Are you dosing Macros? What are your nitrate and phosphate measurements? If you are only doing TMG, which is a trace, as I understand, with CO2 and 3 WPG, you're running out of macros.

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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 10:41 PM
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The lighting period is fine.

But TMG is not going to cut it nutrient wise. I would suggest that you take a few minutes and read my Guide and then order some nutrients.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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Rex, thanks for the information. I have my work cut out for me on learning to dose correctly. I will try going bulk!
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 02:48 AM
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You also want to do something to raise your waterhardness- GH - If it is indeed that low (0.5) Greg Watson sells "Bars booster" if I recall and it will do the job for you.

Raising the KH to at least 3 degrees is commonly recommend as well; however that is now that is being challenged and some are claiming good results with KH close to 0 and very acidic PH's, which is fine depending on the type of fish you chose to keep.

Rex's guide is very good

Here are some others that I like too

http://www.sfbaaps.com/articles/barr_02.html
http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles.html
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 09:21 AM
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For the record, I do not "boost".


Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 05:42 AM
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HA HA! Are you Sure? whatever it's called it raises the GH like Seachem Equalibrium does.

Here we go... for the record it's called "Bar's GH Booster"

http://www.gregwatson.com/proddetail.asp?prod=GHBooster

Another alternative is Magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) and Calcium Chloride (driveway de-icer/ reef calcium)
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Guys, do I need to increase my GH or just add calcium and magnesium to the fertilizer list?:
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 12:48 PM
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Adding calcium and magnesium will raise the gH.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 01:01 PM
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The GH Booster product from Greg Watson works very well. Highly recommend.

I think Tom just cuts his RO with tap water.

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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 04:07 PM
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I just add Epsom salts to boost my GH.

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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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So, do I need to raise my GH for my plants to do their best?
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 05:45 PM
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To be safe keep your GH around 5 dGH. So, yes.

Also unless the water you add to already has enough calcium (yours doesn't) then simply adding epsom salts (magnesium) will result in a calcium deficiency.

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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banderbe
To be safe keep your GH around 5 dGH. So, yes.

Also unless the water you add to already has enough calcium (yours doesn't) then simply adding epsom salts (magnesium) will result in a calcium deficiency.
Yeah, that's probably true, since his water is almost like RO.

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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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So, if I fertilize with the calcium sulfate and magnesium sulfate products from Greg Watson's website to the correct levels, then my GH will go up anyways. Is that correct?
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