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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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I tell you this has been the hardest hoby yet one of the most enjoyable! I have a 55 gallon tank with a coralife 260 watt light(currently only running 130 watts) magnum canister for my external co2 regulator,co2 with ph meter, medium gravel with laterite, a emperor 400 with a phosphate removing pad as my discus eats ALOT , and I still grow some mean algea. My ph unareated out of the tap is around 8.2 with CO2 around 7.2. My water is so hard I quit counting drops on the tetra test and I dose Nitrates to 10 ppm and with water changes keep phosphates down to 2ppm. I also dose potasium sulfate( 1 tablespoon a week) and 5ml of flourish every other day or so. Plants are Moneywort, some strain of red rotalla,a dwarf sag clump, a couple of sprites of some sort, Some hairgrass, an anubius and a couple of swords. I have yet to learn all of the plants by their true name and am certain I am misidentifying some as I go. The problem is that after 3 months of co2 and trial and error I still see really stunted growth. The area I am in sells little in the way of plant supplies and sometimes the more I read the more confused I am. What am I missing? Should I try the pmdd and does that aleviate the many different fertilizings or should I continue what I am doing? I guess I just need a mentor lol. Can someone also explain simply the pmdd as I see there are variations,some with traces and some without, some use different doses. Thanks for the ear and I look forward to the advice Rich.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 12:50 AM
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I don't see anything obvious... Perhaps if you could post a pic something would come to mind.

You say you have incredibly hard water, and keep Discus... correct? Do you throw anything into the water apart from what you have listed?

Often when starting a planted tank, one starts out with way to few plants. The more the better! If you just have a few plants, they might have a hard time with algae, and the best lighting, CO2, and fertilizer regimen doesn't help.

A tablespoon of potassium is way too much for a 55 gal tank.

I'd say don't try the PMDD, the chance that something goes wrong is much greater when you are still trying to get a grasp on the basics. Flourish is good and easy to dose.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 12:52 AM
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I think you may have hit the nail on the head WP... too much potassium!

I was dosing 1/4 a week in my 75G and started having problems. I now dose K through KNO3 and seem to be doing fine.

Mike

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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I use nothing to buffer the water, I just slowly acclimated them and they are doing fine. I will try to post pics but I get little to no plant growth and plenty of a blue green algea that almost grows in clumps although cutting to 130 watts of light has helped some.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 01:00 AM
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If you run 260 watts for 4-5 hours of your photoperiod your growth should skyrocket.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 05:58 AM
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I think increase your lighting period to 6-8 hours with 260 watts of light. Dose less of the potassium and keep feeding your Discus, bear in mind they cannot go to the fridge themselves, so you should feed them (?) two to three times a day with what they will eat in 5 minutes. This will give you a NO3 of around 5-10ppm on average and phosphate level in the acceptable range. In other words, I am saying up the anti. Your plants may be starving and hence the stunted growth. Green algae is simply an imbalance in my eyes, so you either have too much or not enough fertilisation, If you go up then you may get an algal bloom but it may be the answer.
You might want to increase your level of CO2. Do your plants have white edges to them? This is hard to see but if you look closely and see little white traces increase CO2, your discus wont mind and your plants should grow better.

Paul
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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No I don't see any white edges.I have also eliminated my potassium for now and have done a %50 water change to try and reset that. I will dose with potassium nitrate instead to keep nitrates and potassium levels optimum. Any other suggestions? How much co2 do you suggest adding (in relavance to ph)? thanks for the suggestions and keep em coming!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 04:21 AM
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one thing with using flourish....i kept getting low iron level. Because their iron is in the form of iron gluconat not iron chelate. so i changed to pmdd now my plant starts growing like crazy, sometimes I can't even see my fish.

Anyone can explain to me how pottasium overdose lead to stunted growth?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 11:56 AM
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High potassium blocks the absorption or Ca and Mg.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqarit
"pmdd"
pmdd?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 02:35 PM
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PMDD= Poor Mans Daily Drops (or Dupla Drops)
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 02:59 PM
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what is dupla? I thought it was some kind of fertilizer brand.

I did a daily droppnings of the poor man's drop and my iron level sky rocketed to 0.48ppm (lab grade test kit). I guess my tank are just not "dense" enough. But i am more than glad to know that the chelated iron in PMDD formula stays unoxidized longer than I thought.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 05:06 PM
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Dupla is a German company...

http://www.dupla.com/start_e.htm


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 10:29 PM
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rich9521, unless I missed it, you didn't mention how much CO2 you're currently injecting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rich9521
My water is so hard I quit counting drops on the tetra test...
In principle, you should be able to dilute your test sample one-to-one with DI or distilled water and then double the test result. Consult your test kit's instructions.

But in any case, you'd need to arrive at a number for carbonate hardness (KH) in order to calculate and monitor your CO2 concentration.

I agree with the comments regarding initial planting density for new tanks. Some people suggest an initial stocking level of around 75% of the tank's footprint.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2004, 05:22 PM
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Or...

PMDD = Poor Man's Dosing Drops(see links below).

http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertilizer/pmdd-tim.html

http://www.gregwatson.com/PMDDStoreInfo.htm

Earnest Steve
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