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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie Question

Ive been keeping fish for a few years now and dont have problems keeping them alive, the plants I struggle with.

I have a rena 380L calvados with original lighting (2 tubes) which I replace about every 9 months.

I have been using RO water for the last year with minerals added. Ive always struggled with any plants other that vallis and anubis as they always die after a while (even I cant get java fern going !).

I read about Co2 injection so bought a profi2 with solenoid. I did tests and made sure the ph was right and the amount of co2 was ok. I expected a massive improvent in the growth of the plants.

Unfortunately I havent seen this.... vallis still grows but doesnt it always. My big anubis seems to have stopped producing leaves and has black spots on every other leaf (some kind of algae i guess). Smaller anubises doing the same. Other "more tricky plants" never made it.

I change water about 20% every 5 weeks and am lazy in adding fertiliser (pour in a bit of plant liquid fertiliser every few weeks).

Pls can you give me some basic tips to get things right... seems like im no better off having co2 now - if not worse off than before.

Is it really this hard?! Some step by step instructions would be great - what do i do with my anubis's now - will they recover? Any step by step instructions on the most important things i need to do with be great pls

Substrate isnt great (pea gravel) - I bought some fertiliser balls for the non-vallis plants.

Help Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 11:05 PM
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Need to know more about the tank. Size would be a good start and more about lighting.
For one 20% wc every 5 weeks is not helping.I use the EI method as most do here and we change 50% every week.
Your plants need NPK along with that liquid fert you use. The EI method with C02 has been successful for me.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 11:13 PM
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I am unsure of the kind of lighting that comes with the Rena 380. What kind of tubes do you currently have over your aquarium?

I don't think there really is a need to use RO water, unless your water is extremely hard and/or you are trying to breed some soft water specific fish.

CO2 injection, while extremely helpful, is not a magic bullet to solve all your problems. An important aspect to note is that you are injecting enough CO2 into your water. How are you measuring the amount of CO2 in your water? If you are simply using the pH and kH, then it is insufficient, as the relationship is not always reliable (i.e. kH in an aquarium can be affected by other factors, thus skewing the pH/kH/CO2 relationship). A much better method to determine the amount of CO2 in your aquarium is to use a drop checker with a 4 dkH reference solution.

Changing water every 5 weeks is a bit long; I would recommend at least a water change every other week.

As for fertilizers, again, this depends on your lighting. Naturally, with more lighting, you will need CO2 and fertilization. For higher lit tanks, you would be looking at daily fertilizations, not every 3rd or 4th week, as you currently have it.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Lighting
4 * 30W 36" bulbs
2 Power Glo
1 Aqua Glo
1 Flora Glo
Lights are on for 6 hrs a day at the same time

Tank size 380L W20", L47", D23"

Fertiliser LeafZone. Any comments on how I should fertilise (what products and how often) would be gratefully received. Add NPK - what product is that pls?

When I set up my bubble count I used a permanent CO2 kit and checked it properly - havent checked it since though.

Re. my anubis - once a plant has little algae spot over all leaves and isnt producing new ones is it time to get rid of it or can you save it?

Thankyou - I'll start doing water changes every other week now but comments on my lighting setup/ how long to leave lights on for /fertilisers (which makes to use, how often and how much) would be gratefully recieved.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-15-2009, 12:59 PM
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hey kottal. I'm still a newbie to but i have had great luck dosing the estimative index method or E.I. google it. i purchased a basic ferts pack from www.greenleafaquariums.com it's called the green fertilizer pack you will see there adds at the top of most of this forums pages I'm not sure if they will ship over seas though? but it's a good place to research exactly what you need the you can find were to get it in the UK. you might want to use only 2 of the lights for now and purchase a drop check for monitoring co2 levels. also what king of substrate are you using? as for the anubius plant if all the leaves are affected with algae that you cant wipe of you can try dipping it in an h202/water bath or spot treating with flourish excel if it doesn't work i would toss it good luck!


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kottal View Post
Lighting
4 * 30W 36" bulbs
2 Power Glo
1 Aqua Glo
1 Flora Glo
Lights are on for 6 hrs a day at the same time
Are these T8 bulbs? You have perhaps medium lighting in your tank. While CO2 is probably not absolutely required, it does help, regardless of the light you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kottal View Post
Fertiliser LeafZone. Any comments on how I should fertilise (what products and how often) would be gratefully received. Add NPK - what product is that pls?
I believe this is only a trace mix. Plants require both macronutrients and micronutrients. NPK is not any particular product; it stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (kalium). These are the basic macronutrients that we dose for our plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kottal View Post
When I set up my bubble count I used a permanent CO2 kit and checked it properly - havent checked it since though.
As paulrw mentioned, I would also recommend you getting a drop checker. If used in conjunction with a 4 dkH reference solution, it will be able to tell you whether your CO2 levels are sufficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kottal View Post
Re. my anubis - once a plant has little algae spot over all leaves and isnt producing new ones is it time to get rid of it or can you save it?
It really depends on the type of algae, I suppose. In all likelihood though, you can save the plant. Anubias tends to grow very slowly, so don't expect to see new leaves that often, especially under low light conditions.

Anthony


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Are these T8 bulbs?

Yes T8 bulbs


I believe this is only a trace mix. Plants require both macronutrients and micronutrients. NPK is not any particular product; it stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (kalium). These are the basic macronutrients that we dose for our plants.

I still dont have a feeling for how often I should be putting either Leaf Zone in, how much of it and where I get the NPK nutrient from? - is there one bottle of something people use?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 12:24 AM
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There is no hard and fast rule for dosing; for higher light tanks, the EI method is probably the most common regime. You could look at PPS-Pro as you have a slightly lower lit tank.

As for the NPK nutrients, they are available both as a commercial product (i.e. Seachem Potassium, Seachem Phosphorus, Seachem Nitrogen) or as a bulk chemical (i.e. potassium nitrate and potassium dihydrogen phosphate will supply all three). The latter is recommended, as it will be cheaper in the long run.

I would check local hydroponics stores for the bulk chemicals, if you are inclined to go this route.

Anthony


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