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I ♥ BBA!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


Notice the leaf that grew in a spiral pattern. I have others that curl together. Could it be chlorine overdose? I ask because you can smell the chlorine when filling up the water and the cories become very lethargic on massive water changes (greater than 25%).

I also see calcium can cause this issue, but it is at 40 ppm, mg at 6.1 ppm, GH 7, Nitrates 40 - 80 (eek!), Phosphates 10+ (double eek!). Ever since I started dosing EI, my nitrates and phosphates are through the roof (they are already high before dosing). I am considering cutting these out of my dosing all together. CO2 - 2.6 bps (any higher and the fish stress), excel everyday. Ignore the hair algae, that's the reason for the excel dosing.
 

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When you say that your nitrates are through the roof, what do you mean? What are the nitrates and phosphates testing at?
 

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Children Boogie
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Which tank is this, the 55?
I wouldn't stop dosing KNO3 & PO4 but I'd cut down the amount. The hair algae is a good indicator too. You probably need more CO2. When my leaves are funny looking, I add Ca, Mg, and CSM+B. Micronutrients deficiency can cause deformed leaves as well. So adding all 3 cover the bases. I don't trust test kits all that much.

Another simple solution is to reduce your lights.

And what's up with the chlorine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When you say that your nitrates are through the roof, what do you mean? What are the nitrates and phosphates testing at?
Nitrates 40 - 80 (ends at 80 right before water change)
Phosphates 10+

These are API test kits, by the way.

Which tank is this, the 55?
I wouldn't stop dosing KNO3 & PO4 but I'd cut down the amount. The hair algae is a good indicator too. You probably need more CO2. When my leaves are funny looking, I add Ca, Mg, and CSM+B. Micronutrients deficiency can cause deformed leaves as well. So adding all 3 cover the bases. I don't trust test kits all that much.

Another simple solution is to reduce your lights.

And what's up with the chlorine?
Yup, the 55. I recently switched to a different co2 diffusion method. I couldn't get enough distribution with the inline reactor and the ecco filter. I hooked up a hagen mini elite. See how much better the new growth is?

Wait.......I just answered my question (and so did you earlier). The new growth is better since getting better co2 distribution. :icon_mrgr

I guess I am impatient. Still the nitrates and phosphates, whew.

The chlorine is another component I was wondering if this could be hurting the plants. Ever since that major water break we had that shut down water to half the city, they've been pumping in the chemicals. You can smell them after running the water for a short while. Smells like a pool.

I think I need to slow down and change one thing at a time. Let's see how the co2 does in another week's time. Then, I'll up the micros and wait at least a week, then.....and so on. I am curious to see if all else stays equal, if this is truly a co2 issue.

I have an experiment! :proud:
 

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The chlorine is another component I was wondering if this could be hurting the plants. Ever since that major water break we had that shut down water to half the city, they've been pumping in the chemicals. You can smell them after running the water for a short while. Smells like a pool.
Stupid question, maybe, but you do age and treat your water before adding it, right? That should get rid of any chlorine/chloramine and the smell.
 

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Always keep in mind that an uncalibrated test kit is little more than a toy, capable of giving a guess, but not capable of giving any absolute value for what it is supposed to test. Calibrating doesn't have to be complicated or hard, but it does have to be done if you intend to rely on the results for anything except amusement.
 

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Since when do API test kits come pre calibrated and 100% accurate?:proud:
Even a 20,000$ spect at a lab does not...........

Calibrate or stop pulling numbers out of a hat, which is about all you are doing for NO3/PO4. We do not bypass the 2-3 point slope for a pH meter using calibration solutions do we? Why would a NO3/PO4 test kit be any different?

Before you can make any conclusions.........you need to 1st know what the ppm's really are.

EI dosing is based on an arbitrary 50% water change, with less, say 25%, now your error can rise 4X over the weekly dosing.

If the ppm's rise really high really fast, then it means the plants are likely not taking it up. Most common reason: CO2.

Stunted funky tips with progressively smaller and smaller growth= poor CO2.
Algae= poor CO2

This is not an excess issue, it's a limiting factor, looks like CO2 to me.

I'm not sure what is wrong with the water change.
Good dechlor should take care of things, even with Altums, Discus, wimpy fish etc. I drain the tanks 80% at time and refill with similar temp water and add prime etc and that's it.

Done this where the tap was rock hard, semi soft, moderate and super soft.
That covers most ranges.

If it's a smaller tank, a little time, say 10-30 min in the bucket/trash bin can see if that is the issue.

I doubt it though.
Try 2x a week 25%

See how that does.
Focus on CO2 more.
Watch, fish/plants/algae over the next 2-3 weeks as you adjust.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I used your test, Hoppy. You know, the Hoppy's calibration for dummies recently and tested these kits. If I am following his method correctly, the test results are showing the kits to be accurate. I actually just bought these to replace ones his method showed to be way, waaaay off. Unfortunately, API is all the lfs had to offer.

Regardless of the test results, the co2 is definitely improving things. I was using an inline diffuser, but the flow is way too weak. I switched over to the Hagen Elite

I'll try the 25% water change twice a week idea. Is Prime a good dechlor? From what I read, I believe it is.

I think it is working based on this, though:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
With the Hagen elite, I had to drop the bubble counter back down to 1 BPS for the fish's sake. I also made the decision to go back to PPS-Pro. Here is an updated picture of the plant. Notice how the curled leaf has straightened back out somewhat. You can also see the hair algae is almost all gone. :bounce:


I've decided to go back to the basics of where I started: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/pps-analysis-feedback/39491-newbie-guide-pps-pro.html

What's great is the fish are happy, no longer gasping at the end of the day and I am once again enjoying the hobby. :icon_cool
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Experiment continues!

Other than co2, Co2, CO2 what else could effect plant health and cause algae?

I am 10 days into switching over to PPS-Pro, lights on 8.5 hours and 1bps with a yellowish green drop checker. Here are the stats and results....

Was at:
co2 2.6 bps
Nitrates varied between 40 - 80
Phosphates 10+
Water changes 50% - 70% a week.

Now:
co2 1 bps
Nitrates 10
Phosphates somewhere between 6 - 7 (I can't read the color well...)
Water changes 25% once a week.

Positive:
The new growth is virtually algae free. The rotala macranda is bunching up again without being smothered by hair algae. Lots of new sprouts between the nodes on most stem plants. BBA is gone! :tongue: Fish are estatic. The cories are more active than ever and the fish aren't hanging up at the top of the tank.

Negative:
There are pinholes in some of the leaves. I am not sure if this is a potassium deficiency. If you look closely, you can see the algae and pinholes on the lower leaves. Therefore, I am not sure if this is from the old method or if there is a deficiency. GSA is still present on the glass.

Plans: I am going to add Potassium Sulfate once a week at 1/8 teaspoon and see how that helps while keeping all variables consistent.

Picture:
 

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Children Boogie
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yup it's the K.. with PPS, extra K is needed.

I've switched to your route too. I was tired of seeing my fish not having fun in the 75G and almost killing them. So, the lights went up higher and lowered CO2 to 3bps. The loaches are out playing and eating in the daytime more frequently now.
 

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But............neither you notited much effect about the light/CO2.......:icon_roll

Has nothing to do with the ppm's of N or P.

I have far more fish than likely either you do in your aquariums, perhaps 2X as much, and no such issues.

How can it be due to dosing ferts, when you changed such large variables like CO2 and lighting?

Those two control algae and reducing light "cures" a great many things, neither of which have to do with a ppm of 10 for NO3 and 2-3ppm for PO4.

I can go very very wide with the ppm's and never have any such issues as either of you, but then again, I can test lighting and experience with light/CO2 balance is far more useful than playing with junk for test kits.

Sorry, you spend way too much time worrying about ppm's with junk test kits, not enough with light/CO2. I've moved the ppm's all over the place, with and without enriched sediments, makes dang little difference as far as plants, algae etc.

Something I've stated and said for decades I guess at this point.

Correlation of ppm's mean little when you have changed the other larger factors.

If you honestly did do EI, then there's no way the ppm's got that high, you did not do the water changes or the test reading is off, extremely high fish load, etc, something is amiss and it's pretty big. This why folks spend too much time with micromangement of the little things like ppm's and test kits, instead of the light/CO2, water changes and general care. Also, something I nag about.

If you think it's high, then cut in 1/2, pretty simple to do.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Children Boogie
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I think you're missing the point or most likely have not read any of the posts. :icon_roll

For me personally, some fish are more sensitive to CO2 like loaches. I bet you don't have loaches. I lowered the CO2 for their sake and I'll repeat again, I raised my lights up further and since the lighting situation is lowered, the EI method is overdoing it.

And it seems Sewingalot also lowered her lighting conditions and lowered everything else in accordance.
 

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I think you're missing the point or most likely have not read any of the posts. :icon_roll

For me personally, some fish are more sensitive to CO2 like loaches. I bet you don't have loaches. I lowered the CO2 for their sake and I'll repeat again, I raised my lights up further and since the lighting situation is lowered, the EI method is overdoing it.

And it seems Sewingalot also lowered her lighting conditions and lowered everything else in accordance.
I have a large school of very fat and happy Botia sidmunkthi(30 of them), you lose the bet:biggrin: I also have much more sensitive wild plecos that are more sensitive than Discus. Bird beak elephant nose, various other high rate metabolism fish that are extremely active.

I also have bred cories, CRS, RCS, Congo's, as well as Discus and have some rather prime examples of fish health that everyone in the local clubs has seen. Altums etc

The point I make has to do with changing several things at once, but then attributing it to lower ppms of NO3 and PO4 which you, nor Sewingalot can say.

You changed the light and CO2, well duh!
You should see less usage of N and P in doing so.

Riddle me this, why don't other folks who dose EI also not have the same issues? Are you or she really testing the light and CO2 like the NO3 or PO4?

No, I see no such evidence.

Perhaps it is that issue(light/CO2), nothing to do with excess ppm of N or P?
You nor she has demonstrated that.

Does one need a lot of NO3 or PO4 at lower light? No, does it hurt/harm fish in any way?

No.

Does higher ppms of PO4 or NO3 encourage or induce algae?

Again, no.

Why do some folks have issues and algae with both high and low ppms and why do others not?

CO2/light............:proud:

I've seen those same algae, the same stunted tips with CO2 adjustments alone. Or lowering the light or both. Many have trouble with light/CO2 because they do not test them, bit of irony there I'd say.

When they do,m they soon find there's a strong relationship between them, and nutrients can vary widely.

Less be realistic about ppm of NO3/PO4 also, 10ppm NO3 and 2ppm of PO4
is excess relative to low light. I do not preach high light, never have in 13-14 years of posting and being involved with helping folks with planted tanks.

Lower light is easier to manage for adding CO2, and for dosing any ppm set point, whether high as you want or lower and leaner. Less light will = less uptake of N and P.

Ever seen a single person show that excess P or N causes algae or has anyone killed their fish, or stressed them with NO3 or PO4?

Now how about CO2?
Dang near daily/weekly.

Which is harder to dial in for the less experienced?
Nutrients, by and large are pretty forgiving and easy.
We realized that at least a decade ago now.

Seems like the focus should be more on CO2/light, not ppm's and testing nutrients, rather, test and manipulate CO2/light more carefully.

Then you do not stress your fish, the nutrients play a very minor role in all of this.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
yup it's the K.. with PPS, extra K is needed.

I've switched to your route too. I was tired of seeing my fish not having fun in the 75G and almost killing them. So, the lights went up higher and lowered CO2 to 3bps. The loaches are out playing and eating in the daytime more frequently now.
That is great mistergreen! I am glad that you have seen positive results as well. With the PPS, how much extra K did you dose? I am excited by my results and cannot wait to see what happens with the next change (all things else staying consistent).

But............neither you notited much effect about the light/CO2.......

Has nothing to do with the ppm's of N or P.

I have far more fish than likely either you do in your aquariums, perhaps 2X as much, and no such issues.

How can it be due to dosing ferts, when you changed such large variables like CO2 and lighting?

Those two control algae and reducing light "cures" a great many things, neither of which have to do with a ppm of 10 for NO3 and 2-3ppm for PO4.

I can go very very wide with the ppm's and never have any such issues as either of you, but then again, I can test lighting and experience with light/CO2 balance is far more useful than playing with junk for test kits.

Sorry, you spend way too much time worrying about ppm's with junk test kits, not enough with light/CO2. I've moved the ppm's all over the place, with and without enriched sediments, makes dang little difference as far as plants, algae etc.

Something I've stated and said for decades I guess at this point.

Correlation of ppm's mean little when you have changed the other larger factors.

If you honestly did do EI, then there's no way the ppm's got that high, you did not do the water changes or the test reading is off, extremely high fish load, etc, something is amiss and it's pretty big. This why folks spend too much time with micromangement of the little things like ppm's and test kits, instead of the light/CO2, water changes and general care. Also, something I nag about.

If you think it's high, then cut in 1/2, pretty simple to do.

Regards,
Tom Barr
I am generally considered to be a nice person and typically would rather walk away from a situation than comment. However; with that being said, You are not reading my posts thoroughly.

I did mention co2 and its improvements and keeping the light levels the same throughout this experiment. I’ll provide excerpts below.

. . . Wait.......I just answered my question (and so did you earlier). The new growth is better since getting better co2 distribution. . . .

. . . I think I need to slow down and change one thing at a time. Let's see how the co2 does in another week's time. Then, I'll up the micros and wait at least a week, then.....and so on. I am curious to see if all else stays equal, if this is truly a co2 issue.

I have an experiment! . . .

. . . Regardless of the test results, the co2 is definitely improving things. I was using an inline diffuser, but the flow is way too weak. I switched over to the Hagen Elite

With the Hagen elite, I had to drop the bubble counter back down to 1 BPS for the fish's sake. . . .
Just because I want to experiment on my own tank and give myself some opportunity to learn without taking everyone’s word for it, doesn’t mean that I am knocking EI, PPS-Pro or any person.

I do have a high fish load. Everyone that knows my tank can see that. I have never hidden that fact with anyone. If I don’t need to worry about parts per million, or degrees and I am using junk test kits, why does it matter? So basically, I’ll throw away all my testing equipment and next time I start up a tank, I’ll just throw in a load of fish and walk away. After all, the ammonia test kit is junk and I don’t have to worry if it shows 2 ppm, right? And how would I know if my high fish load was also effecting the nitrates if I didn’t test?

I am sorry you do not like my experiment and you think I am ‘one of those folks’ but there are a lot of people in the world that won’t agree with EI, Amano’s method or PPS Pro. Hence the reason for many methods out there and I suspect there will be more in the future. The great thing is, it doesn’t matter which route I take if I am happy with the end results.
 
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