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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have had this 40b running for a few years and have struggled with. I didn't realize how scratched the tank was when I bought it used. So the changes being made other then the tank swap is I'm going to %50 RODI and adding O+ under the substrate.

Here it is
40B
4xT5HO 2x6500K 2x5000k Zoo Meds (Individual reflector)
Light is 22in about substrate
Added 20grams O+ under substrate
Flora Max/Fluorite
CO2 reactor runs 24/7 and keeps 4dKH solution yellow
Ehem 2217
EI dosing

So I'm not adding any fish until I get happy with plant growth so I can keep CO2 up. Figure that eliminates that as a possible issue. I'm not certain what these plants are but I believe Ludwigia-Cabomba-Moneywort-Didiplis Diandra?

This is supposed to be my tap
pH 7.0-7.6
Alkalinity: 72-85
Phosphate as P: 0.8-1.3
Hardness: 114-118
Chloride: 18 (rises in winter from road salt) Total dissolved solids: 175
Calcium: 30.5
Magnesium: 8.8

Any and all advice comments are welcome. First picture is what it looked like before I tore it down. All the swords-crypts-anubius are being traded in at the LFS for new plants.







Bump: Seeing these pictures reminded me, I thought having 3 bags of black Flora Max and adding 1 bag of brown Fluorite wouldn't be that obvious. My god was I wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok so got a few more plants. I decided to try something new before I go for the RODI experiment. Dosing MgSO4 from epsom salt thinking maaaaaybe thats the missing link to all this. GH and KH are only 3ish so perhaps it's all calcium. Updated pics and the ludwigia I'm focusing on was done in the same tank before the MgSO4 dosing so should be a good indicator if it changes. Also the didiplis diandra was real bad looking from the LFS and the new growth is obvious. It was in the tank for 3 weeks so not exactly a lot of growth.









 

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Nice tank! The blood star grass is looking good. Once you get 3-4 inches of nice growth you should cut the tops and replant it. Blood star grass is a very aggressive plant. It will put out side shoots like crazy and I would keep it trimmed down.

Something in the water is causing an issue for the AR. Could be the O+ leeching too much of something.

What is your PH with the constant CO2 injection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice tank! The blood star grass is looking good. Once you get 3-4 inches of nice growth you should cut the tops and replant it. Blood star grass is a very aggressive plant. It will put out side shoots like crazy and I would keep it trimmed down.

Something in the water is causing an issue for the AR. Could be the O+ leeching too much of something.

What is your PH with the constant CO2 injection?
What exactly is AR? PH is low 6s with the CO2. It's a solid 7.2 or so out of tap. I'm really just wanting a tank that requires trimming weekly from massive growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The local LFS guy tends to order random stuff for his store and gives them to me since I bring them clippings. He said it was some sort of ludwigia but who knows lol. But I certainly agree it doesn't look good at all. This picture is of when I got it. Just right of center in the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well apparently swapping everything over to a new tank and cleaning things by hand did NOTHING for my GDA problem either. 4 days after dosing the magnesium and no obvious improvements. Roommates new girlfriend has a reef tank and had me real close to giving up and going salty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok 2 week update. First off I only dosed my Macros and Micros once this week. 1/4 KNO3, 1/16 K2SO4, etc along EI method. Also dosed enough Equilibrium to add about 3d of GH. Now I have NEVER seen nitrates go down like they should in my tank. This week I thought to test after I dose and then keep the tube and test again before water change. I understand how off these kits can be but the left is my tap water, middle is water change day, right is after dosing. I see no difference at all between the middle and right. Some plants are growing. Didiplis Diandra, Cabomba, Anubius (I kept one piece lol), and what looks like Rotala Macandra. The ludwigia's and others aren't doing anything really. I'm fighting algae like mike tyson. Before I get a lecture I have zero fish in the tank. I'm dosing excels usual daily dose and Algae fix. Does anyone have suggestions on what dosing to try this week?



 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just took my Cabomba clippings up to the LFS and they told me they sold the giant piece of Anubis I gave them for $60! They basically give me everything free cause I always give them my clippings but holy smokes
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Although I don't have a control around to compare too, when I did my test kit was fairly accurate. I always dosed ei throughout the week so of course my nitrates went up. This is the first time I only dosed once. If it hasn't dropped again by this weekend i am going to try 50% rodi
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wasn't able to see any drop in my nitrates so I went ahead and got 20 gallons of RODI from my LFS. I haven't lugged buckets in years and I gotta say it ruins the hobby for me. If this works a RODI system is getting installed in my basement.

Haven't tested but I did a %75 water change with adding 20 gallons of RODI.
1/4 KNO3
1/8 KH2PO4
1/8 K2SO4

1/8 CSM+B
1 tbsp Equilibrium

I plan to test the nitrates and once again see if I get any real drop. Although I am concerned about my KH and ph levels with adding the RODI water I'm going to wait and see how things go before I start playing with those parameters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
After a few days the only noticeable difference (if any) is the leaves beginning to sprout on my ludwigia look much much healthier. Wait and see what it looks like after is really opens.

Also it's possible my plants have always done this and I never noticed but a few seem to close up by the end of the photo period. Like they don't want anymore light. I might let this go 2 weeks in case the plants need a week to adjust.
 

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Typical EI levels are too rich for this tank. Not enough plant mass yet. I'd try to hit N 5-10ppm, K 10-15ppm, P 1ppm, Fe 0.2ppm. That should be plenty of nutrients for now.

The algae is loving the excess of nutrients while the plants aren't grown in and stealing them all.

Cut out KNO3 dosing until nitrates drop right back, then when you're happy with the level start adding in KNO3 again in slight excess of plant needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
After a week of having %50 RODI my nitrates actually went up from the day I dosed it. I'm thinking this must be the osmocote leaching into the water column. Which explains why it hasn't been dropping at all. I have however seen some new/different growth in a few plants. Both are said to be Ludwigias and the other Rotala Macandra. The new leaves actually look closer to what I would think they should look like. The Macandra's change isn't as drastic but it certainly seems to be growing better. Going to do a lot of trimming today and dose all but nitrates throughout the week in small doses.

 
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