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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
So there's been little bits of algae hanging around in the tank but it never really got too bad. Then this:





Frig! Pretty sure its rhizoclonium. So...



Left a small opening in the top for air exchange. I never use the ceiling fixture in that room so there shouldn't be any light leaking in.



Now that I have three days of twiddling my thumbs, I think I'll get my Rex reactor/heater all glued up.
 

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Oh man, my nitrates are still pretty stupid... roughly 40-80ppm by the API colour chart, but after doing that kit calibration I'm pretty sure I'm in-and-around the 50ppm mark. I had been dosing full EI levels with some premixed solutions (one for NPK and one that was essentially CSM+B for Micros) but I'm unhappy with not being able to adjust the individual levels of ferts, so I've just recently purchased KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, MgSO4, and some GH booster in powder form. I know, GH booster is made up of K2SO4 and MgSO4, but because my nitrates are so high I'm going to try dosing KNO3 at lower levels and use the K2SO4 to make up the K. I just mixed my first batch of the NPK solution this morning. I'm aiming to dose these levels weekly:

NO3 - 10ppm
K - 30ppm
PO4 - 2ppm
Mg - 8ppm
Fe - 0.8ppm

When I test my tank I get somewhere between 2-5ppm of PO4, but it's pretty dark so it looks closer to the 5ppm. So I've purposely under-dosed both NO3 and PO4 and then I'm going to do a few water tests this week to see what happens. I think my K and Mg targets are fairly normal, but I'm a bit confused on the Mg side. I think I have hard water, ~161ppm GH, and looking at my water report I see roughly 3:1 Ca:Mg, so do I need to add any Mg or am I covered by my tap water?
You are right I was thinking the K was Phosphate, so my bad. Those numbers look good to shoot for.

What are you using to test your K,Fe,Mg, and Ca? I can test my NO3,PO4, but currently not the others and want to be able to. Sorry to hear about the algae, wonder if that was caused from high nitrates? Sucks you have to black out. At least you caught it at the start so should be able to take care of with no issues. Might I suggest dosing excel or the like if you are not already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I don't have a test for K, Fe, Mg, or Ca. I'm trying to go by what Mr. Barritto has said in many posts - that EI isn't about testing and specific ppms. But with that said, I would also like to establish a sort of "baseline" for my aquarium so that I can see some cause-and-effect relationships for myself, and not have to rely on all the anecdotal evidence that can be found on the internet.

So along with my 3 day blackout + 1.5x dose of Excel + stopping of ferts/CO2, I did 2 50% WC. I'll do another after my blackout is done. Hopefully that will reset my numbers and then I can go about seeing where I went wrong in the beginning.
 

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Sounds like a good plan. I will probably lessen the ferts a bit. I really feel the full dosing of EI may be a bit much. My GH/KH/PH have really climbed through the week. Am sure is normal though. Just feel between the tabs for my root feeders and fish poo and stuff that the full EI might be an it too much. Will lessen by 1/3 and see how it goes. I have been testing parameters everyday since I just got dialed in with my co2. Gives me a good baseline and will do same tests next week with 1/3 less ferts and see how plants react. After all I did just start with EI anyway.


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55 Gallons of Planted Tank

You know too bad there isn't an all in one programmable sensor for planted tanks and ferts. So it could show all of your fert levels and could tell you exactly how much of what to dose each day on need. So for example you could set your desired Ca level and it would show you how much exactly to dose to get to that level. Basically real time.


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@clownplanted - I'm sure it could be fixed up using an Arduino, and I've got a few of those laying around the house. It would probably be a matter of finding the right probes and how much they cost. Might be a project for this summer...
That would be a game changer for sure. Would make going pps pro easy and preferred.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Well my blackout was a success, more or less. The stem plants that were most seriously algae'd, the H. pinnatifida and N. pedicellata "Golden", saw a drastic reduction. I did a 50% w/c and tried to vacuum off all the remaining bits but a few still lingered. That really annoyed me so I pulled all of the H. pinnatifida and all but 2 of the N. pedicellata "Golden" stems.

I reduced my photoperiod from 10hrs to 8hrs and to get rid of my 36" T5HO and just use my two 48" ones. I have the front one scheduled to come on at 2:00pm and go off at 10:00pm; the back one comes on at 2:30pm and off at 9:30pm.

I also rescaped a bit and added some new plants. I'm told they are:

Hygro thai brown
Linderia roundfolia sp green
Rotala sp green
Althernethea reneckii mini
Ludwigia brevips

But that's only 5 plants, and I'm pretty sure I've got 6 different ones. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what they look like once (if:)) they grow.

Good news! While doing my rescape I saw my pleco that I thought had died and he looked pretty healthy!!

Day 83


Day 84


Day 85


Just some fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
So it's been a little while since I posted on here. I ended up getting busy with work and neglecting my tank. BBA took over. I trimmed all the plants that survived, removed the severely affected driftwood, and dosed heavily with excel/glut. I just recently trimmed away the dead leaves again, replanted the floaters, added new driftwood, and bought a couple new plants. I've also replaced the CO2 (I had just let it run out before), reduced the photoperiod to two 4-hour periods, and reduced the number of bulbs I'm running at once.

Apparently, photobucket have gone for a big dirty moneygrab, so I'll post a few progression pics and then one of how it is currently.
















Most current:
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I've also started EI dosing again. I'm starting off with only 2 days NPK and 2 days of Micros, we'll see how the plants respond. Here's some pics of the scrappy individuals who were able to survive my neglect. Most of them are severely stunted but I'm hoping a little TLC will help turn them around :)









The bulb of this lily got buried in my sand and I forgot about it. A few months later I noticed it wedged into this spot with the tiniest leaf sprouting from it! Life finds a way...


The last bit of BBA to get rid of.


 

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Glad to see you back. Was wondering where you had went. Was a pleasant surprise to see you post in my thread so welcome back :)

Yeah I also had a bad algae outbreak and just finished the cleanup. If you ever get it again try the one two punch method. It worked great at killing the algae that I had gotten. Of course though you would want to find the root cause or it will just come back. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/23-algae/203684-one-two-punch-whole-tank-algae-treatment.html

Careful with the heavy excel/glut dosing because plants can gain a tolerance for it. In fact I just do half dose now and really do not notice any different to be honest.

For the ones still infected I would do h202 spot dosing. That will kill what is left.

So what are your plans for this tank now. You going to go back to high tech or leave it low tech?
 

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I've also started EI dosing again. I'm starting off with only 2 days NPK and 2 days of Micros, we'll see how the plants respond. Here's some pics of the scrappy individuals who were able to survive my neglect. Most of them are severely stunted but I'm hoping a little TLC will help turn them around :)
You might try adding Seachem Equilibrium to your EI regime. It has all the micros that EI lacks. I ran out a couple weeks ago and noticed a decline in plant health, and increase in algae.

I operate under the assumption that if there is any deficiency, that means more fertz will go unused, plant growth will be slower, and algae can gain a foothold.

Also, any reason you didn't dirt the entire tank when you were cleaning it out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Careful with the heavy excel/glut dosing because plants can gain a tolerance for it. In fact I just do half dose now and really do not notice any different to be honest.

For the ones still infected I would do h202 spot dosing. That will kill what is left.

So what are your plans for this tank now. You going to go back to high tech or leave it low tech?
- I was dosing excel/glut heavily when the BBA was bad but I've stopped since most of it has gone away. I was also pretty sure that at those elevated levels it was melting my vals something fierce. Do you dose excel/glut regularly? Regardless of algae?

- For the h202 dosing do you just use a few ml in syringe and apply directly to the plant/BBA?

- My plans are to try and keep it high tech but medium maintenance haha. I'm going with CO2, T5HO lights, ferts, and weekly WCs, but just scaling everything back a bit so that I don't have huge growth that needs to be trimmed a lot. We'll see if the algae gods like my plan or not :)

Bump:
You might try adding Seachem Equilibrium to your EI regime. It has all the micros that EI lacks. I ran out a couple weeks ago and noticed a decline in plant health, and increase in algae.

I operate under the assumption that if there is any deficiency, that means more fertz will go unused, plant growth will be slower, and algae can gain a foothold.

Also, any reason you didn't dirt the entire tank when you were cleaning it out?
That's an interesting take on Equilibrium. I was under the impression it was mainly used to adjust GH. I see it is "Derived from: potassium sulfate, calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, ferric sulfate, manganese sulfate." My GH booster is potassium sulfate, calcium sulfate, and magnesium sulfate, and my CSM+B mix contains both Fe and Mn.

I'm afraid to use dirt because I like to uproot and rearrange things too much. I don't think I'd be able to keep the substrate looking clean haha.
 

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- I was dosing excel/glut heavily when the BBA was bad but I've stopped since most of it has gone away. I was also pretty sure that at those elevated levels it was melting my vals something fierce. Do you dose excel/glut regularly? Regardless of algae?

- For the h202 dosing do you just use a few ml in syringe and apply directly to the plant/BBA?

- My plans are to try and keep it high tech but medium maintenance haha. I'm going with CO2, T5HO lights, ferts, and weekly WCs, but just scaling everything back a bit so that I don't have huge growth that needs to be trimmed a lot. We'll see if the algae gods like my plan or not :)

Bump:

That's an interesting take on Equilibrium. I was under the impression it was mainly used to adjust GH. I see it is "Derived from: potassium sulfate, calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, ferric sulfate, manganese sulfate." My GH booster is potassium sulfate, calcium sulfate, and magnesium sulfate, and my CSM+B mix contains both Fe and Mn.

I'm afraid to use dirt because I like to uproot and rearrange things too much. I don't think I'd be able to keep the substrate looking clean haha.
If you only need to treat a few plants and are not needing to treat the entire tank then yes. I had to treat the entire tank due to an algae outbreak. What I did was remove all media from filters(h202 is bad for BB) but keep the filters running because you need maximum flow to ensure the h202 hits all areas of the tank and flows faster through the gills of the fish so is less toxic to them. I did not lose any livestock during the process. Here is a link that better explains it. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/23-algae/203684-one-two-punch-whole-tank-algae-treatment.html

If you are needing to only spot treat a few plants then yes spot dosing works great.
 
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