Riddle Me This - EI: NO3=0, PO4=10! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Riddle Me This - EI: NO3=0, PO4=10!

I have a 75 Gallon, 3.5 WPG, pressurized CO2, heavily planted tank. I do EI at this rate:

Mon/Wed/Fri
NO3 = 1/2 tsp
PO4= 1/4 tsp
K2SO4 = 1/4 tsp
CSM+B = 10ml
Fe = 5ml
CaCO4 = 2 TSP per week (our water here is so soft that it comes out of the tap at almost 0 gh/kh).

I religiously do 50% water changes once a week.

I started having green spot/dust algae problems on my glass and leaves, so I pulled out the test kit and was shocked.

First off - my nitrates are at zero (plants are pearling so I guess it is getting all used up)

Secondly - my Phosphates were through the roof.

Is this wrong? Should I cut back on Phosphates? Do a water change?

Please help.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 06:39 PM
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Test your nitrate test kit. If the test kit is accurate then bump up your nitrate dosing.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 06:45 PM
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Test your tapwater, if it is naturally very high on phosphate, then you can remove PO4 from your dosing.

And ditto what Rex said, test your kit(s) to make sure this is actually accurate. Mix up a known ppm of nitrate and of phosphate and see if your test gives you an accurate ppm reading. The fertilator is good for figuring out known mixtures: Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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I tested the P04 in the tapwater

and it was 0.

Rex and I live in the same watershed.

I will test the test kit.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 06:59 PM
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GSA is more CO2 related IMO.
Also, I have yet to find a decent PO4 kit. Maybe up the NO3 dosing, lower the PO4 and bump up the CO2 a bit.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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So how does one "bump up the CO2"?

I have the CO2 bubbling into my reactor all day and all night. What else can I do?

Thanks!

Patrick
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 07:19 PM
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How many BPS are you running? What is your KH? What pH is maintained?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Ph / Kh

My PH is maintained around 6.5

I bump up my KH by adding Baking soda and CaCO3.

Out of the tap my water is literally KH = 0. No kidding.

After bumping it up I get it to around KH = 4.

I run CO2 all day and all night.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 08:59 PM
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Before you go changing everything, my question is how is the tanks over all performance? how are the plants doing? is the tank running good and plants growing well?
If it is not broke, don't fix it

Don't base the overall stability of your tank that assuming you have hundreds of dollars invested in, in a $6 dollar test kit, another

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by fresh_newby View Post
GSA is more CO2 related IMO.
Also, I have yet to find a decent PO4 kit. Maybe up the NO3 dosing, lower the PO4 and bump up the CO2 a bit.
Kind of what conclusions I'm working out with similar issues. Plants are growing fine just get GSA at the tops and GDA on the glass and slow growers.

I have been running CO2 only with the lights and airating with a small rio pump at night.

So it's either time to ditch the day night CO2 cycle or just bump up the day delivery... Somday I'll get my act togther to place more timers under the tank to keep the CO2 off the light timer. This way turning on the CO2 an hour before the lights may help a bit...

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-25-2006, 09:19 PM
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I thought the regular dose would be 3:1 of N and P.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 03:38 AM
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I would agree with WfxXx. Make sure you want to start changing things and understand that it could be a bad move. Also, if you do change anything take small steps, change one thing at a time. That way if you don't get good results you can always easily go back.

As I understand it Po4 can come from food and ph adjustment chemicals (if you use them).


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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 04:22 AM
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As I understand it Po4 can come from food and ph adjustment chemicals (if you use them).
It came also come from over dosing it, an bad house cleaning. If you dont vaccum up the dead plant matter, or melting plant matter etc... If you let fish waste, dead plant matter, excess food get sucked up into your filter, it can get the P04 levels up there in a hurry.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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A couple of things:

1. The reason I am concerned about my nutrient levels is because I have a breakout of green dust algae.
2. I rarely ever vacuum my gravel. I just did a big vacuum, but then covered the old substrate with two bags of Eco-complete. Maybe that is why my Phosphate is so high?
3. I am trying to get my CO2 up. I basically have my PH sensor set at 6.0 and I boost my KH to about 4 to keep the Co2 flowing. I cant imagine doing any more to get it up.

Dust algea isnt too terribly bad....but overall the tank just isnt thriving like it used to (growth isnt what is used to be and my new leaves are shriveled - I do dose Calcium and Magnesium). I was hoping the Eco-complete would help - maybe give it time.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 01:25 AM
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3. I am trying to get my CO2 up. I basically have my PH sensor set at 6.0 and I boost my KH to about 4 to keep the Co2 flowing. I cant imagine doing any more to get it up.
If you want more CO2 in the water you have to either improve the efficiency of your reactor or increase the bubble rate of the incoming CO2. The KH and the pH have nothing to do with it. I suggest you buy or make a "drop checker" per DIY Drop Checker - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art, so you can tell just how much CO2 really is in the water. I know from my experience that you can go as high as 40 ppm of CO2 with little chance of harming the fish. But, first you need a way to measure how much is in the water.

Hoppy
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