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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First thing is first... this is a 15 gal, recently planted tank (started on 1-12-07). I have (2) 1 liter bottles running for DIY CO2 into the tank. I put 1.5 ml of Flourish Excel in everyday. I have a Model 20 Whisper power filter and the temp is at 77 deg F. I am using eco-complete for substrate.
OK... things have been going along pretty good but for some reason I can not get my KH to come down. I test using the strips and my PH shows somewhere around 7.2 and my KH is off the charts at around 300 ppm+! The fish show no signs of stress and all the plants seem good except for my Cobomba, which the stems are turning yellow and the leaves are dropping off. I have 45 watts of lighting with (2) bulbs at I believe 9400K and (1) bulb which I bought special a Life-Glo2 which is 6700K.
Also, I want to ask because I am not sure but when I do a water change, should I add stress coat and some aquarium salt to my water like I do with my none planted aquariums?
I hope someone can give me some idea what I need to do before I loss my cobomba and possible other plants.
 

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Last things first: when you change water, use a dechlorinator, such as Seachem Prime to avoid problems with tapwater chlorine and chloramine. Don't add aquarium salt - it does nothing good for the plants.

You have enough light to need to be adding a complete course of plant nutrients. That means you need nitrates, phosphates, potasium, trace elements and a source of carbon. All you mentioned was the carbon. Read up on the estimative index (EI) method for fertilizing.

Some batches of Eco Complete have been known to contain some carbonates, which increase the KH for a few weeks. Doing weekly 50% water changes will take care of that.

If you want to test the water, don't use those test strips. Get titration test kits, the ones that use a test tube of tank water and a reagent, for pH, KH and GH. Testing other parameters is optional, but unnecessary if you use the EI fertilizer dosing method.

Lastly: read Rex's Guide to Planted Tanks to get up to speed on how to grow aquatic plants well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the tips! I did forget to mention that I do dose also 1.5 ml of Flourish 2x a wk and 5ml of Flourish Trace 2x a wk. We have a filter system in our house that takes out any chlorine or chemicals from the water but it uses softener salt to do a rinse of the system after every 800 gals we use. I am all the time looking for good articles to read on planted tanks and will read up on that article you referenced. Thank you!
 

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With diy c02, you shouldn't be overdosing your tank with excel? I would stop with the excel and maybe just dose 1 ml every other day.

Raise the temp to 79-80 an see how things go with the cabomba with added nutrients as Hoppy mentioned.
 

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With diy c02, you shouldn't be overdosing your tank with excel? I would stop with the excel and maybe just dose 1 ml every other day.

Raise the temp to 79-80 an see how things go with the cabomba with added nutrients as Hoppy mentioned.
I wouldn't use excel.. It made my rummy nose tetra sick... I've stopped using it and the rummy nose is better now after a month.
 
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