A real nutrient dilemma here. Help would be great! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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ok well here's my story.

I have a 33 gallon planted tank, moderately planted I guess. I have a 24 inch 130 watt pc light fixture, and a two T 12 flourescent shoplight inthe front. ( I bought this so that I could have good lighting from one side of teh tank to the other)

ok well I have been with pressurized for 2 weeks now... everything was great, plants are responding really well. I've been dosing traces, and additional iron every three days, and potassium after water change, and three days after. ok, so the past two weeks I've been monitoring my nitrate and phosphate levels to try and find a happy medium.

It seems as though my nitrates don't go down, and my phosphates were at like .25 ppm. So I bought some mono potassium phosphate and dosed a little bit ( I think like .2 ppm in the morning) then I came home at night and tested phosphates again, and noticed it was still not up at 1 ppm (because my nitrates were steady at 10ppm) so I dosed another ml (.2 ml in my case via chuck's calculator)

the next day I notice a lot of cloudy water to the point where I can't see the back of my tank very well, which is sad because my tank really isn't that wide lol

anyways I have determined that it is a green water algae bloom, because my nitrites are zero, and so is ammonia.

So I decided to do a water change, thinking that I dosed too much phosphates and therfore I should get some of them out. IT was clear for a bit, then got cloudy again.

At this point, do I wait things out? or do I get phosphates back to 1 (which I think woul dbe stupid considering my outcome before)

are my only options to do a black out, or get a diatom filter or something??

or is it possible that this will go away.... because it seems like the water is not getting any more cloudy.

what do you guys think??
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 09:07 PM
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I would hold off with the PO4 dosing, and wait things out. The 10:1 recommendation is only an estimate, and I think 0.25 of PO4 is alright. Unless it is much lower or zero, it shouldn't be the bottleneck.

If plants are growing nicely, they should be able to take up excessive nutrients, and things should clear up by themselves in a few days.

Do you have a pic of your tank? If it is moderately (sparsely) planted, that might be the reason why the NO3 levels don't go down.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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yeah here's a pic... some plants but you probably can't see most of them lol damn it looks ugly .... :lol:



this is what it used to look like a few weeks before

[/img]

this stuff isn't going to harm my fish is it??
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-22-2004, 10:51 PM
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First thing I would do it get your nitrate levels checked with a different test kit. It's very possible that your test kit is giving you a false positive reading. Or dose a bucket to 5 or 20 ppm of nitrate and see what reading you get from the test kit. It's been my experience that when nitrate test kits go bad they fail high.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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well I don't know... it's not really giving me a high number it never goes higher than 20 the day before water change time. and I have a bunch of fish in there. I suspected it too, but I know that when I do a water change it goes down to like 5 -10 ppm.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 04:51 AM
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Judging by your photo, I would say that your tank is "sparsely" planted (maybe 25%?), as well as having a "moderate" fish load, and so using Chuck Gadd's calculator or dosing to "optimal" levels of nutrients is really hard to apply here. I would suggest doing water changes and hold the ferts until your water clears up and then start watching your plants to see what they need and dose accordingly. You might consider adding lots more plants, especially with the wattage you have and the investment in ferts and test kits you've already made. Your plants look great, so I'm sure you could have a beautiful tankful in no time.... HTH.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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thanks csfish, I never really considered that my tank was so sparsely planted... not much room to work with a 33 gallon I guess

I appreciate your comments guys...

although I was under the impression that water changes will only bring about more GW.... is that not true??
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 03:30 PM
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IF the green water was caused by your phosphate dosing, water changes could be helpful.

What happened to your Wisteria and Ambulia? Those are great Nitrate reducers.


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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wisteria's still there, and I don't have ambulia, it's cabomba.
Both are doing really well, despite the new conditions.

however, the water is getting worse and worse every day.

I guess I should go the blackout route than, and see if that does it, because when I test for phosphates, they are back down to below 1ppm (.25 ppm I believe)
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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question... co2 should be shutoff when doing a blackout right??
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 06:14 PM
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Yes, Shut off CO2. The plants will be producing CO2 for several days during the blackout so you don't want to kill your fish!

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-23-2004, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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thanks GCA, it's going to be hard not being able to see my tank for four days.... it's become such a big part of my life, like an addiction almost lol

I hope I don't cheat...
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2004, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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ok guys, here's an update:

covered for four days, uncovered it, algae was pretty much all gone, water was clearer than ever before. awesome.

a week and half later, starts to get cloudy again.

I put in some nitrates to get it to 10, then I put in about .22 phosphate to see if doing so would promote the plants to take in more nitrates, but nothing happened., then a week later the cloudy water comes back.

what is inhibiting the uptake of nitrates??? I've got my traces, i've got my phosphates, and co2 and light, and potassium. What else could it be?... I added a bunch more plants so I'm at least moderately planted now.

could it be magnesium?? I only add .25 ml of my plantex and magnesium sulfate mixture, so maybe that's not providing enough?? or could it be calcium???

thanks guys, it's just frustrating because with allt he plants growing in there, the nitrates should be going down some, if not more... but I test everyday and the nitrates won't go down. I'm pretty sure it's not the test kit(it's an AP nitrate kit), but I ordered the red sea nitrate and phosphate kit from big al's so I should have it by next week.

anyways, do you have any ideas?

thanks
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2004, 04:24 PM
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What is the gH of your water. Normally one would only see magnesium and calcium problems in very soft water that is not changed often. But if you do have soft water it could be high levels of potassium causing problems with the uptake of calcium.

Take a bucket of water and dose it with your nitrate to say 10 ppm. Then test it with your test kit. I'm to the point I really start suspecting test kits when I see things like this. I had a AP nitrate test kit that went bad. And once it was bad it would give consistent 20 ppm readings.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2004, 04:35 PM
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And that AP nitrate test kit is really adamant about shaking #2 for 30 seconds, then adding the drops, adn shakign the tube a full 60 seconds...that tells me its a finicky test...so I only use it to confirm my Hagen nitrate kit (and soon I'll have a red sea kit)
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