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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, i'm starting to get a little aggravated in finding a balance in my tank. I'm at the point that i'm not really sure what i'm doing right and what i'm doing wrong.

Lately algae has become a problem, first it was hair algae growing on a few plants and my driftwood, I think I remedied that by scrubbing the algae off and keeping on top of my fert routine. Then I had GSA which i've tried to remove the most infected leaves and scrubbed the few spots on the glass as well as upping my phosphate dosing a little. Also.. I seem to get no pearling whatsoever, I can't say I've really witnessed much pearling at all from most of the plants during the week, except after a WC and then they go nuts.

I am running pressurized.. my bps is probably in the range of 3-5. Diffusion is through the venturi pump that is supplied with red sea's bio-system. I have a drop checker which is consistently pee yellow throughout the day, turning lime green or so at night. The drop checker is also on the opposite side of the tank as the venturi for those that are curious about placement.

My EI is as follows (tsp):
1/16 t no3
1/16 phosphate
1/8 potassium

i tested today before i dosed and nitrates were about 5 ppm and phosphates were .25 or below, so i upped the nitrates and phosphates to a little more than an 1/8.

other information:
ph 6.4ish
gh: 19 drops.. so what 342 ppm?
kh: 21.. 378 ppm?

lighting is 72 watts T5.. so about 2.5 WPG for 8 hours per day


So what am i doing wrong/right here? Why no pearling.. if my co2 is really as high as my drop checker says.. wouldn't my fish be at the surface. Is there anything i can fix or adjust.. how about the dosing? not enough nutrients? other then my Alternatera Reinecki "roseafolia" which seems to show a possible sign of no3 excess, no other plants show deficiency's that i can tell.. so why the algae thats killing my plants, why the lack of pearling of any kind

i'm confused :frown:
 

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Hey guys, i'm starting to get a little aggravated in finding a balance in my tank. I'm at the point that i'm not really sure what i'm doing right and what i'm doing wrong.

Lately algae has become a problem, first it was hair algae growing on a few plants and my driftwood, I think I remedied that by scrubbing the algae off and keeping on top of my fert routine. Then I had GSA which i've tried to remove the most infected leaves and scrubbed the few spots on the glass as well as upping my phosphate dosing a little. Also.. I seem to get no pearling whatsoever, I can't say I've really witnessed much pearling at all from most of the plants during the week, except after a WC and then they go nuts.

I am running pressurized.. my bps is probably in the range of 3-5. Diffusion is through the venturi pump that is supplied with red sea's bio-system. I have a drop checker which is consistently pee yellow throughout the day, turning lime green or so at night. The drop checker is also on the opposite side of the tank as the venturi for those that are curious about placement.

My EI is as follows (tsp):
1/16 t no3
1/16 phosphate
1/8 potassium

i tested today before i dosed and nitrates were about 5 ppm and phosphates were .25 or below, so i upped the nitrates and phosphates to a little more than an 1/8.

other information:
ph 6.4ish
gh: 19 drops.. so what 342 ppm?
kh: 21.. 378 ppm?

lighting is 72 watts T5.. so about 2.5 WPG for 8 hours per day


So what am i doing wrong/right here? Why no pearling.. if my co2 is really as high as my drop checker says.. wouldn't my fish be at the surface. Is there anything i can fix or adjust.. how about the dosing? not enough nutrients? other then my Alternatera Reinecki "roseafolia" which seems to show a possible sign of no3 excess, no other plants show deficiency's that i can tell.. so why the algae thats killing my plants, why the lack of pearling of any kind

i'm confused :frown:
Red sea Bio system for CO2 supply..............that;s the limiting factor, this has nothing to do with nutrients, you have plenty both in the water column and sediment.

Light has not changed, is fine for the tank.

Some water changes, excel perhaps, and good consistent CO2.
Consider a gas tank and regulator, will make life much easier.
Worth every penny.

If plants suddenly stop pearling, it's virtually always a CO2 issue.
Nutrients take much longer and are slower to reduce pearling.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry if I confused you. I am running pressurized co2, I'm just using the red sea venturi powerhead as a method of diffusion.
 

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how about iron and trace? you dosing that too?
i cant believe how hard your water is. is it a well?

try turning off your power head and filter for a few minutes. sometimes pearling can be hidden in tanks with a lot of current. maybe it is pearling a little but you cant see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, CSM+b. Yeah it's a well and trying to shower and do laundry is near impossible. I hate it.

Tried the filter/powerhead off deal many times. It's either none at all or some really really little. It's just all hard to understand, technically if you were to hold true to the ph/kh scale I'd be at nearly 230 ppm of co2. I'd think my fish would be long dead if that were the case however.
 

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well water sucks. i want to get a r.o. system to filter my water. i have a well and live next to a farm. my nitrates are over 40ppm and my kh is less than 1 degree

what other types of plants do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
L. Repens
Dwarf hairgrass
Java fern
Bacopa

A few others, you can see more info if you click the picture at the bottom of my post in my sig. It'll take you to the journal for my tank.
 

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Then I had GSA which i've tried to remove the most infected leaves and scrubbed the few spots on the glass as well as upping my phosphate dosing a little. Also.. I seem to get no pearling whatsoever, I can't say I've really witnessed much pearling at all from most of the plants during the week, except after a WC and then they go nuts.
If there ever was a poster for poor CO2, this is the case.
Give up the nutrient obsession, that is not it at all.

Why would the plants pearl well after a WC?
But not other times?

What is in well water where there's limestone?

Lots and lots of CO2.............

GSA and good PO4?
CO2

No pearling(except after WC), CO2..........
A reineckii not doing so well, : CO2............

Expecting the Dc to tell you the Correct reading: CO2..........clearly at 230ppm according to the test method, all the fish would be dead, yet they are not and the tank still does not pearling(yet curiously does after a WC............)


not enough nutrients? other then my Alternatera Reinecki "roseafolia" which seems to show a possible sign of no3 excess, no other plants show deficiency's that i can tell.. so why the algae thats killing my plants, why the lack of pearling of any kind

i'm confused :frown:
Seems fairly straight forward to me.
If the gas tank is used for CO2, simply add more, make sure there's decent current and enough surface movement and slowly adjust the CO2 up.

Do not rush that, you should see about 1/2 the pearling you see after a water change. I'd suggest you buy some DTPA Fe and add that to the CMS+B as well.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tom,
so then basically ill be attempting to up my co2 even further? Ill certainly attempt it. Why the high reading on my drop checker though? At this point it nearly sounds like I have an instrument that is completely useless at the moment.

Let's hypothetically say I increase co2 even further (personally I thought it was high to begin with) and that isn't the remedy to my problem. What could the next step be?

What could be causing the lack of co2 in my tank? It's only a 29 gallon, running nearly 5 bps. Ph to kh scale is off the charts, drop checker is off the charts yet I apparently have no co2 in the water. Whats the problem here, is there a lack of absorbtion somewhere. Could my diffusion method be the culprit? My tank is completely misted during the day when the co2 is running. If nutrients and lighting and other variables are ok and co2 increase doesn't work am I just completely screwed?
 

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You said:
"My EI is as follows (tsp):
1/16 t no3
1/16 phosphate
1/8 potassium

i tested today before i dosed and nitrates were about 5 ppm and phosphates were .25 or below, so i upped the nitrates and phosphates to a little more than an 1/8."

Is that a 29 gallon tank? If so, you are underfertilizing with nitrates. And, you have high light intensity, so the plants will be trying to grow rapidly, but will not be able to do so because of the lack of sufficient nutrients.

You say you tested the water, but did you first calibrate your test kits so you could tell what the readings meant? If not, you really can't say how much nitrates or phosphates you have in the water.

When I had a 29 gallon tank I recall that I dosed 1/4 tsp of KNO3, and 1/16 to 1/8 tsp of KH2PO4, 3 times a week. It won't do any harm to try those amounts and see if that helps. Also, I didn't see where you mentioned a trace element mix being dosed. That should be dosed at about the same amount as the KH2PO4, if it is CSM+B.

If you are dosing Seachem's NPK solutions you need to dose considerably more than they recommend, to match the light intensity you have.

Do your fish ever cluster at the water surface, like they are all trying to stick their snouts out of the water? That would tell you that you have too much CO2 in the water, and you want to be using less than that, but not much less, again to match the light intensity you have. If you never see fish behavior like that you may want to increase the CO2 bubble rate a little bit every few hours, watching carefully and often to be sure the fish don't get too distressed. Then back off a little on the bubble rate if it is bothering the fish.

Just some suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hoppy,
Yes it's a 29 gallon. All dry ferts and yes I use CSM+b at 1/8th tsp. No fish clustering except new fish that have trouble acclimating, but that only lasts about an hour. I do a drip acclimation as well.
 

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Not everyone has the same experiences, but I have always found that the difference between "good" CO2, that keeps algae relatively a non-problem, and "hey, the fish are dieing" CO2, isn't very great. So, if you haven't yet seen the fish clustering at the surface obviously yelling for a life guard, I suspect you are still low on CO2. It reads like you are doing a CO2 mist approach, spraying tiny CO2 bubbles all over the tank. When I was doing that, I had the least algae problems, especially considering that I also had high light intensity too. But, I found it very difficult to determine how much I had from my drop checker. My explanation to myself was that much of the CO2 was still in those tiny bubbles, and not dissolved in the water, so I could run much higher bubble rates and still not get a yellow drop checker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not everyone has the same experiences, but I have always found that the difference between "good" CO2, that keeps algae relatively a non-problem, and "hey, the fish are dieing" CO2, isn't very great. So, if you haven't yet seen the fish clustering at the surface obviously yelling for a life guard, I suspect you are still low on CO2. It reads like you are doing a CO2 mist approach, spraying tiny CO2 bubbles all over the tank. When I was doing that, I had the least algae problems, especially considering that I also had high light intensity too. But, I found it very difficult to determine how much I had from my drop checker. My explanation to myself was that much of the CO2 was still in those tiny bubbles, and not dissolved in the water, so I could run much higher bubble rates and still not get a yellow drop checker.
Yeah I understand where your coming from. That's where I'm mostly confused. My drop checker is consistently yellow through out the day. I'm not talking just barely yellow. I'm talking dark lemon yellow.
 

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I have a similar situation where I can get my drop checker to be completely and utterly yellow and the plants do not pearl. I slowly increase and everything starts bubbling. I use the DC primarily as a starting point. Fine adjustments from there.
 

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A drop checker really does only one thing, it encourages you to increase the CO2 bubble rate well beyond what you thought was plenty, getting you at least into the 20+ ppm ballpark of CO2 concentration. After that everyone has to fine tune the bubble rate by watching for pearling and for fish distress. Once you get it right a few times, you don't really need a drop checker, because now you know about what bubble rate will work for you and what good CO2 looks like. And, that good bubble rate will change as the plants increase in size and density, or when you do a major pruning. I don't think it will ever be a set it and forget it thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That makes sense. At first everythig came together fairly well with this tank. It's just recently that I've had problems. Anyway, I've bumped the co2 up a bit and ill keep checking it, should I continue increasing every 30 mins or play it safe and go every hour?

One other question. Is there something, perhaps my water hardness, that prevents efficient co2 absorbtion or some other factor?
 
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