What am I doing wrong? Fertilizer question. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2006, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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What am I doing wrong? Fertilizer question.

Need some help here. Thought I was doing everything 'right' when I bought ferts from Greg and got on a schedule using them. I got a pound of potassium nitrate and a pound of mono potassium nitrate. Also got a bottle of micro nutrients from the local fish shop...the stuff Greg recommends.

I was dosing it at what I thought was the PMDD plan, at 3/4 tsp of KN03 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday...and a little less than a quarter tsp of the KH2PO4 on the same days. The micro nutrients (can't remember the name right off the top of my head) I dosed on the alternate days at a capfull. Oh, yeah...the tank is 75 gallons and is moderately stocked and 'was' pretty well planted with 'discus tank' tolerant plants.

Well, I had just about every kind of algae I think grows, and it eventually killed most of the plants and the rest looked pretty bad. My lighting is about 2.5 or so, and the temp is in the mid-eighties with CO2 added, keeping the pH at about 6.4.

Any thoughts? I'm going today to buy all new plants, as I just set the tank up again in a new house I moved to, and I don't want to kill them all if I can help it. I will appreciate any feedback, and will, of course, be browsing past threads hoping to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks!

Newt
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2006, 04:21 PM
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Newt,
I also have a 75 gal discus tank and dose same amount of macros, but I dose 15 ml of micros every other day. You may need to up your CO2.

75 Gal Discus,Crypts,Bacopa,Vals,Ludwigia,Java Fern,Hygro+2 Swords,Alternanthera,java moss ,anubias,P.stellata,lotus
12 Gal Nano, Shrimp,Pygmy Corys,Riccia, Ludwigia,, crypts, HC,nana petite
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2006, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
got a pound of potassium nitrate and a pound of mono potassium nitrate
ARE YOU SURE?? typically people want to dose phosphorus, so I'm guessing that by "mono potassium nitrate" you really mean mono potassium phosphate (KH2PO4...which I now see you mentioned )

According to the Fertilator, 1/4 teaspoon of KH2PO4 would give 3.44 ppm in the 75g tank. This seems like maybe a lot of phosphate to dose 4 times a week? My guess is you have too much phosphate.

Try only dosing the nitrate/phosphate 3 days a week: SAT(W.C.), MON, & WED.

Are you doing 50% weekly water changes on Saturdays (day 1 of dosing)?

What is your pH out of the tap, sitting for 24 hours?
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2006, 04:56 PM
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My guess is Newton's following Greg's guide here. An easy to read EI forumla:
EI in 21 Days

I'm dosing the same ferts on my 10gal (reduced volume, obviously) and have very little algae. Nothing that my RCS and ottos can't keep up with. I agree that you probably need to up your CO2. Sounds like the plants don't have enough to out-compete the algae.

What kind of lights are you running?

Sol
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-22-2006, 05:17 PM
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In my opinion the single best thing you can do different is to add a "drop checker" to make sure you have adequate CO2 in the water. Lack of CO2 can start up a lot of algae issues. See: DIY Drop Checker - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art for information.

Hoppy
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, everyone...some good ideas.

Snake, I do the micros every other day, but I'll have to see how much is in a 'cap' and adjust for more and try that.

Esarkipato, yeah, ...phosphate. Oops. You figured it out, though. I usually only use about 1/8 tsp of the phosphate, but probably have been using too much. I'll cut it way back. I've been dosing 4 days a week...will try the 3 days. I change out half the water...use an RO unit with a little tap added...on Sundays, and then have put ferts in that day and then every other day. I'll do it Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and see if that's enough...with micros on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Will skip Saturday. Does this sound about right? I haven't tested the pH is out of the tap at my new house...will test it tomorrow, but I know it's high, probably mid-8s...Florida water is usually that, and is very hard (that's why I use RO water). I have the auto CO2 set at 6.4, and it holds there very well.

Solstice, yeah, Greg's plan. I 'think' I have plenty of CO2...actually, it seems to run damn near all the time...I have the Milwaukee SMS-122 (with the 'ultimate' system from AquariumPlant.com). I have a CoralLife light (will have to dig for the size) and a 'hardware store' unit with daylight bulbs. I figured it out to be about 2.5...could probably use a bit more when I can afford it.

Hoppy, I'll check out that link and test for CO2...but like I said, I'd bet I have plenty.

Thanks again...here's a link to the newly setup tank...went and got a new load of plants from an outfit in Tampa...Everglades Exotic Plants. Good plants at great prices, but they didn't have a huge selection this time of the year. I got a pretty good variety, though, for the 'off' season.

http://www.newtcity.com/copyrighted/secondaquarium.jpg

Newt
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 04:30 AM
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Lights? Check
Nutrients? Check
Water changes? Check?
Have enough plant biomass?

Then it's all CO2 from there on.
You need more.
I've said this 10000x, add more CO2.
the other items are relatively safely ruled out, leaving just CO2.
If you have multiple species of algae, often bad CO2 issues........

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Tom...for the reply.

Not sure how to add more CO2, though...like I said, it's pumping it in almost constantly. How do I get more into it?

Newt
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 01:57 PM
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What method are you using for diffusing the CO2?
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, Rex...it's one of those clear tubes with the little pump on top and a sponge at the bottom of the tube. They come with the system from AquariumPlant.com.

Is there a better way to diffuse it?

Newt
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 02:00 PM
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I think so. I never had good luck with that type of CO2 reactor.

Do you have a canister filter?
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I do use a cannister filter...the Marineland Magnum 350.

Newt
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 02:34 PM
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A large glass diffuser in the path of flow is the best way to date to diffuse C02 into the tank. That powered reactor you have is a POS for anything above a 20g tank and 2wpg.
The easiest most efficient way is glass/ceramic diffusor. The only drawback about them is they are glass, so get more than one.
The one pictured is a Rhino 5k that has a 2" disc which is what you need for your size tank.
Your dosing regime is fine, fix the C02 and you will see a big difference in the plant growth.


Craig

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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks...who carries those?

I do have another small pump putting flow near the diffuser to spread the fine bubbles further into the tank...though I have just started doing this and don't know if it would have helped before or not.

Newt
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 03:04 PM
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I am resisting the glass diffuser craze. I am sure they work well. However, I am using a homemade PVC in line reactor. It works extremely well, is virtually maintenance free, and is not in my tank. I am in the space If Its Not Broke Don't Fix it. My plants are growing and are healthy.

I suggest you take a look at both types before you choose one. You can find easy plans on Rex's sight for an inline PVC one.

Rick
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