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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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What Am I Doing Wrong?

Hi,

So, I have a 72 gal bow tank. I have two linked Auquatic Life Dual Lamp T5-HO fixtures (for 4 bulbs total) and a 36 inch current dual LED fixture on the front, curved part. I'm running pressurized CO2 and dose Flourish comprehensive at recommended dose and use Flourish tabs. I use basic aquarium sand.

Yet, I'm still getting brown spots and plants. Am I missing something in my setup?

Thanks for any help
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 08:45 PM
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How long has the tank been running?
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
How long has the tank been running?
About 6 months now. The main filter and wood and some plants came straight from the 55 gal it replaced. The plants seem to grow fine and all, they just aren't very, well, green...heh
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 09:12 PM
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Pictures would help get you more specific advice.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AName View Post
Hi,

So, I have a 72 gal bow tank. I have two linked Auquatic Life Dual Lamp T5-HO fixtures (for 4 bulbs total) and a 36 inch current dual LED fixture on the front, curved part. I'm running pressurized CO2 and dose Flourish comprehensive at recommended dose and use Flourish tabs. I use basic aquarium sand.

Yet, I'm still getting brown spots and plants. Am I missing something in my setup?

Thanks for any help
easy answer, not enough fertz. comprehensive is well... not. it covers your trace fertz, not your macro fertz. read the fertilizer sticky in the fertilizer area and adjust


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
Pictures would help get you more specific advice.
I'll get some pictures up tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
easy answer, not enough fertz. comprehensive is well... not. it covers your trace fertz, not your macro fertz. read the fertilizer sticky in the fertilizer area and adjust
That's what I kinda figured. I did read through it, but got more and more lost the more I read. Part of the sticky says:
Quote:
60~80gal
50% H20 change-weekly
3/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
3/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
1 Tsp-GH booster once a week
15ml 3/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
4-8ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week
But then I read somewhere that some you don't/shouldn't use if you have a good amount of livestock? Is that something I should worry about?

And Fe is optional? I couldn't find information about when to use it?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AName View Post
I'll get some pictures up tomorrow.


That's what I kinda figured. I did read through it, but got more and more lost the more I read. Part of the sticky says:

But then I read somewhere that some you don't/shouldn't use if you have a good amount of livestock? Is that something I should worry about?

And Fe is optional? I couldn't find information about when to use it?
I would not worry about the stock level of your tank. I have kept heavy stock levels in all my tanks for a very long time, and have no adverse effects. To elaborate on what I posted from my tablet (which is why the reply was short lol) Seachem Comprehensive is micro fertz only. You need a very good fertilizer regimen to keep things like this at bay. Light drives the tank, and you have enough light to require more fuel to keep it going. CO2 is one of them, as well as enough fertilizers.

Dry fertz is the easiest way and cheapest way to do so. They can be purchased from several locations on the web. It is very simple as well.
Each is three times a week, with one rest day before your 50% water change.

So my schedule is Sunday = Macros, Monday = Micros, Tuesday = Macros etc. up until Sat. where I dose nothing.

get things balanced by starting with getting your CO2 levels correct, I up it a tiny bit at a time watching my fish. Any slowing in their normal behavior or if they go to the surface I know to cut it back little bit. (if they are at the surface turn off co2, and immediately do a water change and get some surface agitation to off gas any residual co2 until the fish are acting better)

Once you have your co2 at its proper level getting the fertz there is quite easy. Dose the recommended levels and wait a few weeks, if all is going well and you have good growth your set. If your plants suffer in some way, post pictures in the plant section and identify the fertilizer that will correct the problem. Lets take potassium for example. If you end up with pin holes in plants (hygrophilia species show this the quickest) and green spot algae you would increase your Kh2p04 by a little bit at a time until the problem is corrected (generally a couple weeks to see what the new growth is going to do) eventually you will find your tanks sweet spot and you will be golden. As for root tabs, I usually place one under each root feeding plant every 6 mo.

Hope my late night post makes sense lol.


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Dry fertz is the easiest way and cheapest way to do so. They can be purchased from several locations on the web. It is very simple as well.
Thanks for the detailed reply. I ended up ordering the PPS-pro package from GLA (http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquari...r-package.html) Does that have everything I need to get started?


Here are a few pictures of the tank. This is after taking out some of the more worse off plants. But the second 2 pictures show what I'm talking about.

Thanks again for the help!
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 07:55 AM
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The link you showed doesn't list an iron supplement like EDTA Iron or DTPA Iron. I'd recommend getting one of those as well. Depending on your water source you might also want to get some CaCl2 to add calcium.

The two close up pics of the java fern and the thin leaf stem plant aren't the most useful pictures because they are both of plants which do not show deficiencies well. Also, the pattern of damage on the leaves you cut off are what would have told us what was wrong. Can't tell much from healthy looking leaves :/

Are the other stem plants (on the right behind the sword) showing any issues?
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, thanks for the help.

Now, this might be a dumb question, but when I start using the new ferts, will I only see improvement in new growth? Or will the old leafs turn greener too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
The link you showed doesn't list an iron supplement like EDTA Iron or DTPA Iron. I'd recommend getting one of those as well. Depending on your water source you might also want to get some CaCl2 to add calcium
Would Calcium Sulfate [CaSO4] work in place of CaCl2? I don't see CaCl2 listed in that store.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-19-2014 at 09:08 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 07:37 PM
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Mostly the improvement will be in the new growth, especially if the old leaves had holes in them (Potassium deficiency commonly does this).

In the pictures you posted I think the thin leafed plant in the middle picture has an algae growing on it. Perhaps black brush algae, it starts as black spots and zones before it gets brushy.
I can see behind the mostly pretty good leaves of the 3rd picture (Java Fern) a leaf with black spots. This looks like potassium deficiency. The black spots will fall out, leaving a pitted leaf.
Since neither picture is clear enough to see for sure both of these are guesses.

A high stocking level implies lots of fish food.
Fish food has reasonable amounts of most nutrients for a low tech tank. It is low in potassium, iron and calcium. It does not have enough nutrients for a high tech tank.
High light and pressurized CO2 mean that the plants will use up nutrients from the fish food very quickly and need more.
If the water you are using has a GH of over about 3 German degrees of hardness then there is probably sufficient Ca and Mg. If you suspect there is not you might want to get into testing the Ca separately to see if one or the other is lacking, or if you need to supplement both.

With a high tech tank I would definitely use a specific fertilizing program and stick with it until the plants showed which modifications might be needed. Any fert program can be modified to suit the individual conditions.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 07:45 PM
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The second image looks like algae. Is it? Hard to tell from that image. Dosing can cause some old leaves to become greener. It depends on the plants, age and what problems you had before fertilizing.

@zapins. csm + B has iron. I do think a lighter hand with traces is better than larding plantex just to increase iron. So an additional iron source would be better in that respect.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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In the pictures you posted I think the thin leafed plant in the middle picture has an algae growing on it. Perhaps black brush algae, it starts as black spots and zones before it gets brushy.
I can see behind the mostly pretty good leaves of the 3rd picture (Java Fern) a leaf with black spots. This looks like potassium deficiency. The black spots will fall out, leaving a pitted leaf.
I'll try to get a better picture of it tomorrow. How would I go about getting rid of the algae, if that's what it is?
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 08:40 PM
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Now, this might be a dumb question, but when I start using the new ferts, will I only see improvement in new growth? Or will the old leafs turn greener too?
Improvement will only be in new growth. Plants generally do not have the capability to repair already formed tissue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AName View Post
Would Calcium Sulfate [CaSO4] work in place of CaCl2? I don't see CaCl2 listed in that store.
You can use CaSO4, but it is not as soluble as CaCl2, not by a lot. So it takes a while to dissolve in your tank water and can cause a white cloudy haze for half a day after you dose. Other than that it is perfectly usable.

Depending on your water source you may not need to dose Ca or Mg at all. If your GH is around 6 or higher then you likely won't need to add either of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
@zapins. csm + B has iron. I do think a lighter hand with traces is better than larding plantex just to increase iron. So an additional iron source would be better in that respect.
Yep CSM+B does have iron, though sometimes it runs out when dosed at low doses. If you dose high amounts of CSM+B you run the risk of some of the other micro nutrients causing a toxicity. It is best to dose low amounts of CSM+B just so you add all the micros, and then buy a separate iron fertilizer and dose that for iron. Do not rely on CSM+B for 100% of your iron needs it isn't good practice.

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I'll try to get a better picture of it tomorrow. How would I go about getting rid of the algae, if that's what it is?
It looks like damaged leaves to me (on the java fern). But if it was algae, the two ways you could kill it are with peroxide or flourish excel. Suck each up in a syringe and then squirt it on the algae slowly. Within a day or so the algae should start to die. Though not all species of algae are sensitive to both of these chemicals. Cladophora, hair algae and spot algae dies when you spot treat with peroxide, while Excel kills black beard algae. Excel will kill val plants though so take them out if you use it.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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The link you showed doesn't list an iron supplement like EDTA Iron or DTPA Iron.
Okay, I got (from GLA) Iron Chelate 11% DPTA. However, they don't have guidelines on how to dose it in addition to their PPS method.

How should I go about using the extra Iron?
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