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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I’ve been a member for a number of years at this point and had a number of successful fully planted tanks. Always been able to nail them down pretty well and rarely have major issues with algae.

This time around I’m trying a new kind of layout. Lots of large stone surfaces and sand. I’m having a lot of green algae and BBA issues. I suspect this is a fertilization issue, and I’d like some input if anyone has any.

Tank info
60u so just under 20gal

Chihiros RGB vivid running for a total of 8 hours, however, there is a 2 hour ramp for sunrise and sunset and additionally…I’m running at 20% of its total power, at peak. I have considered this is too much light, but This is also the point where my DHG is growing decently at the bottom of the tank.

CO2 is pressurized and injected via a 24” reactor.

I use GLA dry ferts mixed according to their recommendations for PPS pro dosing.


However I dose higher than suggested here. Because I’m still not getting hardly any nitrate or phosphate readings.

I dose 3ml of macros and 1.5ml micros every day

nitrates tend to read 1-3ppm at the end of the week

Phosphates 0-0.03

This makes me think that I need to increase the amount I’m adding daily.

Anyone else agree? And If that’s the case, any idea how much I should increase by?

The tank is currently lightly planted, things are growing in nicely, plants are very healthy


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A pic of the tank would help.

But in general, 1-3 ppm NO3 and 0.03 PO4 is a recipe for unhappy starving plants.

I have rarely seen a truly great planted tank running PPS Pro.

But in general, BBA is more likely caused by too many organics in the system, general unclean conditions, too much light in relation to plants/plant mass, and too much flow.
 

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Base dose 16.10 ml for 10 ppm Nitrate, 1.01 ppm Phosphate and 13.30 ppm Potassium. Nitrate and Phosphate are scalable by proportioning them with your target dose then multiplying that percentage by the 16.10 ml base dose to calculate your target dose. You can only target one nutrient at a time since it's an all-in-one fertilizer mix. The other nutrient's ppm will change in proportion with the nutrient you choose to adjust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
A pic of the tank would help.

But in general, 1-3 ppm NO3 and 0.03 PO4 is a recipe for unhappy starving plants.

I have rarely seen a truly great planted tank running PPS Pro.

But in general, BBA is more likely caused by too many organics in the system, general unclean conditions, too much light in relation to plants/plant mass, and too much flow.
I’ll get a pic of the tank tomorrow when the lights are on.

I agree with the concentrations being too low….I have bags of dry fertilizer…I’ll include a pic, maybe they can be put to better use.


I don’t think I’m dealing with high organics. Doing a 50% change every 5 days. Everything seems very clean to me.

Too much light light in relation to plant mass makes sense right now. That could be a part of it and I have no problem turning it down more. I’ll shorten The duration by an hour or two.

Did not know Too much flow contributed. I actually had heard that if you have too little flow it can cause BBA, and I was kinda considering that.


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Base dose 16.10 ml for 10 ppm Nitrate, 1.01 ppm Phosphate and 13.30 ppm Potassium. Nitrate and Phosphate are scalable by proportioning them with your target dose then multiplying that percentage by the 16.10 ml base dose to calculate your target dose. You can only target one nutrient at a time since it's an all-in-one fertilizer mix. The other nutrient's ppm will change in proportion with the nutrient you choose to adjust.
This is hard for me to understand.

Is 16.1ml what I need to dose over the course of a week? Or a day? Or how does that break down?

Also, I have a total of 5 bags, so it’s not all in one. See the pic below


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These are the fertilizers I have to work with.

I have no problem going a completely different direction if they are widely considered not ideal.




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I was looking at the 500 ml GLA recipe above. The dose is for the week. I would mix the macros without the MgSO4. Make a separate micro solution and dose that on alternating days than your macro dosing days. I usually dose everything individually. I mixed my first macro dosing solution a few days ago. I'm looking forward to using it. I think you would appreciate the convenience and precision of using such a solution
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was looking at the 500 ml GLA recipe above. The dose is for the week. I would mix the macros without the MgSO4. Make a separate micro solution and dose that on alternating days than your macro dosing days. I usually dose everything individually. I mixed my first macro dosing solution a few days ago. I'm looking forward to using it. I think you would appreciate the convenience and precision of using such a solution
So you’re saying over the course of a week

Macros (minus mg) would get dosed 4x (every other day) and each dose would be 4ml (the week would end up being 16ml)

Micros would be doses non macro days which would be 3 times a week. How many ml though?

This all sounds fine, but here’s my initial thoughts:
My current schedule is 3ml every day…yet my numbers are all near zero.

Now, I’m not sure how water changes come into play. I’ve been doing one every 5 days…I’d assume this resets things quite a lot. Unless you guys are preparing your change water and bringing up the NKP levels in the actual change water.

Also…curious why leave Mg out?

Last thing. I have enough bottles to do each of my dry ferts into their own bottle. Ideally should I be doing this?


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Yes, 16.10 ml is the total base dose for the week following the above 500 ml macro solution recipe.
Macros (minus mg) would get dosed 4x (every other day) and each dose would be 4ml (the week would end up being 16ml)
Dose macros three times a week starting on water change day after the water change. For example, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. Then dose micros on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. See your micro mix recipe for micro dosing instructions.
This all sounds fine, but here’s my initial thoughts:
My current schedule is 3ml every day…yet my numbers are all near zero.
Your plants might be using it all up. Also your tests or your testing could be off. Increase the base dose of Nitrate 50%. Then test and see what's left at the end of the week. That would be 24.15 ml dosed for that week assuming you use the above macro dosing solution recipe.
Now, I’m not sure how water changes come into play. I’ve been doing one every 5 days…I’d assume this resets things quite a lot. Unless you guys are preparing your change water and bringing up the NKP levels in the actual change water.
Change 50% of the water every seven days if your animals can handle that. Test TDS to make sure 50% is safe. TDS in tank should be within 50 ppm of TDS in replacement water. Otherwise you will have to do a smaller water change and employ a minidosing schedule or adjust your water's TDS by adding salts or diluting it. Follow your dosing schedule through the week.

Leave the Mg out because that's for GH.

I dosed individual dosing solutions for years. I'm all for that. It gives you a lot of flexibility and dosing accuracy. The trade off is you might have to do more micromanaging whereas with an all-in-one dosing solution you can use one of the three nutrients as a proxy for the others to adjust your dosing. There's less micromanaging. It's more convenient. Do both. You can individually dose your way out of any trouble you get into dosing all-in-one.
 

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Stop insulting other users
"I have rarely seen a truly great planted tank running PPS Pro."

This is a bogus statement made by this person.

Back to the BBA question. Back in 2013, me and some other members have ruled this out and found a strong link between CO2 and flow to be the major cause of BBA. This is even worse when co2 is diffused by the diffuser and the spray type flow is spraying the co2 across the tank. I found keeping the gentle flow was the key to combat the BBA. I used 1000 gph pump with huge pvc outlet which will get rid of the spray type flow and give the gentle flow and I have yet to see any BBA since then, even under the presence of higher organics.

The only time organics such as organic fertilizer can increase or fuel the BBA is when high co2 and high spray type water movement is used. Higher organics itself under the presence of gentle flow will not cause BBA, I ruled this out by changing the water every day and bba only got worse.

"If you notice BBA growing on the objects such as heater, wood, rocks, Diffuser itself then you have improper and too much spray type flow going on. Also, High light has nothing to do with the BBA"
 

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Now, I’m not sure how water changes come into play. I’ve been doing one every 5 days…I’d assume this resets things quite a lot. Unless you guys are preparing your change water and bringing up the NKP levels in the actual change water.
Try to start thinking in terms of ppm of each fert (NO3, PO4, K), not ml. It is the language of the planted tank.

And when most people say "weekly" dosing, what they should really be saying is dosing between water changes.

Let's say you perform a 50% water change. You are removing 50% of the nutrients from the tank. While many people will say to dose macros every other day, most would be better off with a large dose right after a water change to bring the macros levels back up.

In my case I dose front end load ALL macros right after a water change. In my tank that keeps levels very stable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, 16.10 ml is the total base dose for the week following the above 500 ml macro solution recipe.

Dose macros three times a week starting on water change day after the water change. For example, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. Then dose micros on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. See your micro mix recipe for micro dosing instructions.

Your plants might be using it all up. Also your tests or your testing could be off. Increase the base dose of Nitrate 50%. Then test and see what's left at the end of the week. That would be 24.15 ml dosed for that week assuming you use the above macro dosing solution recipe.

Change 50% of the water every seven days if your animals can handle that. Test TDS to make sure 50% is safe. TDS in tank should be within 50 ppm of TDS in replacement water. Otherwise you will have to do a smaller water change and employ a minidosing schedule or adjust your water's TDS by adding salts or diluting it. Follow your dosing schedule through the week.

Leave the Mg out because that's for GH.

I dosed individual dosing solutions for years. I'm all for that. It gives you a lot of flexibility and dosing accuracy. The trade off is you might have to do more micromanaging whereas with an all-in-one dosing solution you can use one of the three nutrients as a proxy for the others to adjust your dosing. There's less micromanaging. It's more convenient. Do both. You can individually dose your way out of any trouble you get into dosing all-in-one.
Ok I’ll give it a shot

50% increase and change up the schedule.

I use RO water which I bring up to the same GH as the tank, so that shouldn’t be an issue


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"I have rarely seen a truly great planted tank running PPS Pro."

This is a bogus statement made by this person.
How do you know what I have seen? I am in contact with 100's of people from around the world in the hobby on a regular basis. I have not personally seen a truly spectacular tank running PPS Pro. But I will say that is in the context of a high light tank full of fast growing flowery stems and difficult plants.

In fact, many times I help people stop dosing PPS Pro when they come to me for help as their tank is doing so poorly. It happens on quite a regular basis that is for sure.

As to BBA, I disagree with you on organics, as does most of the planted community. But I do completely agree with your comments on flow. People hear that they need good flow, and they add all kinds of powerheads and have plants waving around. In most cases their BBA is strongest right in the direct path of the flow. As you mentioned, the best flow is a gentle wide laminar flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
How do you know what I have seen? I am in contact with 100's of people from around the world in the hobby on a regular basis. I have not personally seen a truly spectacular tank running PPS Pro. But I will say that is in the context of a high light tank full of fast growing flowery stems and difficult plants.

In fact, many times I help people stop dosing PPS Pro when they come to me for help as their tank is doing so poorly. It happens on quite a regular basis that is for sure.

As to BBA, I disagree with you on organics, as does most of the planted community. But I do completely agree with your comments on flow. People hear that they need good flow, and they add all kinds of powerheads and have plants waving around. In most cases their BBA is strongest right in the direct path of the flow. As you mentioned, the best flow is a gentle wide laminar flow.
@Greggz, I’d be interested to hear your input as to what I should consider in terms of increasing or changing my fertilization.

The first suggestion here Is basically to change up my schedule and increasing the weekly dose by approx 50%. It’s explained in more detail above. Does this seem like something you’d suggest also?

I do have multiple dosing bottles and can mix each separately. Would you suggest that? And if so, any suggestions on how much of each dry component I need to mix into it’s bottle? And furthermore, once that concentration is set, how much to dose and how often?

Better yet, how are people even determining these numbers?

On the BBA, I’ve had small issues with it in the past, and always been able to get it taken care of. Currently the presence of algae isn’t my main concern, just because I’m thinking it’s most likely due to improper fertilization. I do appreciate the input on it, but I don’t want the topic to get totally derailed to a BBA thread


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Better yet, how are people even determining these numbers?
Mainly trial and error.
Just set random arbitrary number or ratio and then see what happens.
Something goes wrong then WC and trim will fix it.
Something goes right then you have nice tank.



I do have multiple dosing bottles and can mix each separately. Would you suggest that? And if so, any suggestions on how much of each dry component I need to mix into it’s bottle? And furthermore, once that concentration is set, how much to dose and how often?
Use Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator
Look into this: Just getting started looking for Fertilizer tips and tricks
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mainly trial and error.
Just set random arbitrary number or ratio and then see what happens.
Something goes wrong then WC and trim will fix it.
Something goes right then you have nice tank.





Use Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Nutrient Dosing Calculator
Look into this: Just getting started looking for Fertilizer tips and tricks
I guess specifically I meant…how exactly did savetheplants get 16.1ml. That’s not a trial and error type suggestion. That’s a specifically calculated number.


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Greggz, I’d be interested to hear your input as to what I should consider in terms of increasing or changing my fertilization.

The first suggestion here Is basically to change up my schedule and increasing the weekly dose by approx 50%. It’s explained in more detail above. Does this seem like something you’d suggest also?

I do have multiple dosing bottles and can mix each separately. Would you suggest that? And if so, any suggestions on how much of each dry component I need to mix into it’s bottle? And furthermore, once that concentration is set, how much to dose and how often?

Better yet, how are people even determining these numbers?

On the BBA, I’ve had small issues with it in the past, and always been able to get it taken care of. Currently the presence of algae isn’t my main concern, just because I’m thinking it’s most likely due to improper fertilization. I do appreciate the input on it, but I don’t want the topic to get totally derailed to a BBA thread


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It's hard to say without seeing your tank and knowing what plants you are growing.

A planted tank is a combination of light, CO2, nutrients, horticulture, and maintenance. And while there are some who focus only on nutrients (nutrient tunnel vision), the truth is you need to balance each to your particular plants and set up.

Making solutions is easy once you know how. You can use either the Rotalabutterfly or Zorfox planted tank calculators. If you need help let me know. For a tank your size, you can make a solution with all of your macros. Like I said, one you do it once you will understand how easy it is.

As to how much of each, like I said that depends. I have found that blindly following some protocol is rarely successful. Each tank is a unique eco system, so there is always some trial and error to see what works best in your tank.

Here is an example of the things that I track and try to fine tune. But keep in mind this is in relation to my tank, which is very high light and full of fast growing stems. Filling out a sheet like this really helpful. Not only to you, but when you want to share details of your tank with others.

Greggz Tank Info Version 4.0 2021-3-6.jpg


For reference, here is a pic of my tank.

20210313_173105.jpg


If anyone wants this spreadsheet, they can download it here. I share it freely and anyone can change/modify it to suit their needs.

GreggZ Shared Files
 

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Stop insulting other users
How do you know what I have seen? I am in contact with 100's of people from around the world in the hobby on a regular basis. I have not personally seen a truly spectacular tank running PPS Pro. But I will say that is in the context of a high light tank full of fast growing flowery stems and difficult plants.

In fact, many times I help people stop dosing PPS Pro when they come to me for help as their tank is doing so poorly. It happens on quite a regular basis that is for sure.

As to BBA, I disagree with you on organics, as does most of the planted community. But I do completely agree with your comments on flow. People hear that they need good flow, and they add all kinds of powerheads and have plants waving around. In most cases their BBA is strongest right in the direct path of the flow. As you mentioned, the best flow is a gentle wide laminar flow.
Didn't you make the similar statement regarding Tropica in one of the previous thread? And failed to explain anything? As always I found no merit in any of your statements, weather it's about Tropica or PPS, or anything else in general.

So far let me take a guess on what you are trying to promote, you want to promote Burr recipe all over the world, which was made based on the several changes to the ratio, which I find to be interesting because these are the same people who claimed ratio didn't matter. Furthermore it's interesting that burr recipe ended up looking something similar to PPS pro modified version of CSM.

Here is what I recommend to anyone out there who wants to make their own fertilizer, you really don't need to make the exact recipe weather it's Burr's recipe or anyone else's. You can make your own and based on your needs, it is extremely easy to make.

Plus people now days are more focused on selling their products rather than coming to the forums to help others.

@jaz419 once you have all the needed chemicals, rest is easy to calculate. If you don't find the chemicals listed on any of the calculator, feel free to use the how to calculate formula which is based on mathematics posted by me.

It's under my 2nd signature but don't show up for some reason. But here is the link


Use the calculation formula if you need it, no need to make the recipe posted in that thread, because you will be making your own.
 

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So far let me take a guess on what you are trying to promote, you want to promote Burr recipe all over the world, which was made based on the several changes to the ratio, which I find to be interesting because these are the same people who claimed ratio didn't matter. Furthermore it's interesting that burr recipe ended up looking something similar to PPS pro modified version of CSM.
I have no idea what you are talking about.

What is the Burr recipe? Are you talking about custom micros? If so, it's a very small subset of what makes a planted tank successful, and I don't recall micros being brought up at all in this thread.

And promoting? I've been accused of a lot of things but promoting and selling is not one of them.

The truth is if you get everything else right, you can get by on a wide range of dosing. This laser focus on dosing doesn't help people. There is no secret ratio that makes every planted tank a dream come true.

Sadly most people play whack-a-mole with ferts, while getting light, CO2, horticulture, and maintenance right will have far more impact. Just talk to any of the very most successful people in the hobby and they will tell you the same thing.

And to the OP, sorry to get off track and I will stop responding this poster in your thread. There is a long history here and I should not have taken the bait.
 

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Stop insulting other users & stirring the pot
See here is the problem, first you said Tropica is no good in the previous thread and here you said PPS is no good and then claim the following:


"The truth is if you get everything else right, you can get by on a wide range of dosing. This laser focus on dosing doesn't help people. There is no secret ratio that makes every planted tank a dream come true."


I usually don't quote or respond unless I see a information that is misleading others without any merit to it.

I am going offline for some time now, people can always contact me if they need my help.

Somone was right that most of the knowledgeable people no longer post on the forums and they are disappearing. I usually come here if I notice some bogus claims being made to mislead others, especially to promote their own agenda.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, this tank has only been set up for a month or two. This is my first time trying something with a lot of rocks and a large sand area. My past tanks have either been fully carpeted or with a small area of sand. This tank just has so much surface area that’s not covered in plants…. Obviously it’s not heavily planted yet either….I didn’t buy a ton of new plants, I just planed on cutting and replanting as they grew. I do know this is kinda starting at a disadvantage.

Any way, I’m guessing the drastic change in style of tank with a large amount of uncovered surface area is a big part of what is necessitating a change up in my fertilization routine.

I do understand that a balance between light/co2/nutrients is necessary, and I’ll include a pic of a past tank that looked pretty nice so you can at least see that I’m not a complete novice.

Pics to follow. I’ll try to add info to each pic beneath it. Sorry everything looks purple…it’s definitely not in person…these are iPhone pics, done quickly.


Full tank so you can see where I have things. My hope is to get the back center carpeted with DHG. The right walls to be covered in moss to some extent. Also as I can trim plants in the tank, I’ll begin lining the edge where the rocks meet the sand with small foreground or mid ground plants.





Right side. Can see the green algae on the rocks. Might be able to see some BBA on rock edges. Moss coming out from between rocks, spreading well. Various eriocaulon growing well. Buce flowering but you can’t see it. Couple other things I can’t remember are visible.



Left side. Trying to get this Pygmy chain sword to come down the left side and spill into the front sand in the corner. It’s spreading slowly. Have some Anubias and Buce tucked into the rocks.



DHG center back, trying to carpet the area with aquasoil. DHG is algae free and spreading. New leaves are bright green. AR mini back there too…doing fine.




Just so you can see the sand area that accumulates green algae.




Tried to get BBA clearly here on rock edges. As you can see, not tons of it, but it’s spreading around for sure. Blyxa and rotala visible in the back ground.


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just for reference here are 2 Past tanks. I have had good growth and minimal algae in the past.





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