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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you still need to add additional phosphate if your tank is almost at its max fish load capacity? I have a 40g tank with over 40+ Tetra species. 5 Ottos and 1 CAE.

I have some issues with some of my plants. Potassium deficiency with my hygrophila corymbosa "Stricta." Holes on the older leaves. Eventually, the entire leaf would turn yellow and/or melt away. Finally, breaking off from the main stem. Some of these older leaves aren't getting the enough light because the plants have gotten too dense. Root tabs have been added and the situation has been stabilized.

Some older leaves (2 so far since I got them over 1 month ago) turning yellow on my Amazon swords as well as my Melon sword. However, these plants have prolific growth rate.

My Chain Sword Narrow Leafs are mixed. Some of them are doing fine. I have some having somewhat a pale green look on the runners. Some of the younger leaves would look partially brown and transparent.

I believe my fert routine is sufficient. I usually add more than the recommended root tabs to the substrate. I use Seachem Equilibrium for plants for every water change and adding 5ml of liquid fert for very 5 gallons of water change (which is every other day). However, I don't dose phosphate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
do you add co2 , how much light, what liquid ferts

Pressurized CO2 with 3.5 to 4 bps. Don't have a drop checker but according to the CO2 chart by cross-referring the KH degree and pH reading, I am in between 40ppm to 55ppm.

KH 2 to 3
GH 3
pH 6 to 6.5
temp 28c to 29c.

Lighting:
10 hours a day. T5HO (2 bulbs 10000k and 5600k spectrum). 78w. 40g. Light to the substrate is about 17 inches.

Tetra Flora Pride liquid fert.
Aquariumplants.com fert pellets.

Algae:
Some BBA on the edge of couple of leaves. Green hair algae or Green Bush algae on the drift woods and glass and leaves. Diatom is hardly noticeable.

Don't have a phosphate test kit.

If it helps, here is the photo of my tank from last week:

The tank is 1 month and 2 weeks old. The Creepy Jenny and Wisteria are doing fine (growing like weeds), planted them only 2 weeks ago.

I replanted the Melon sword maybe 3 weeks ago, from the back to the middle. The Chain Sword Narrow Leaf is about 2 to 3 weeks ago. I couldn't but to wonder maybe some of the plants are still accumulating the tank condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am ruling out phosphate at this moment since none of the melted or dying leaves, usually the older and lower ones, are turning red or having a purple hue to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Just want to update here. Well, the whole phosphate issue has been bugging me and so I just bought an API phosphate test kid. Not sure how accurate it is or it is so inaccurate that it renders the result useless??? My current tank reading is 10ppm. My tape water is reading 2ppm.

The question is that if none of my fert routine would be involving me adding phosphate purposely, how did I get 10ppm? Fish load and other bio organic waste such as dead leaves and maybe dead fish??? I also purposely added Seachem Neutralizer which has phosphate in it since I thought I would need phosphate but don't have it in a separate solution. I only added enough to fill a 5g of water change. I don't see the amount I added would immediately cause this much increase in my phosphate level. I think the possible cause for my high phosphate level is a combination of fish load and waste, other organic matter in the tank, and from my tap water.

Is it harmful to the plants to have this high level of phosphate? I don't have major algae issue. Just some BBA on the edge of the older Amazon Sword leaves which are at the water surface. BBA on handful of gravels by the front of the tank. Very little diatom algae. I do have GDA and Green hair algae on the side of the tank. Some on the leaves.

Of course, all of my Chain Sword Narrow Leafs do not look too healthy. Some leaves are brownish and transparent without any green to them. They didn't melt at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
More questions than answers...:) Right now I have a 5g of water being conditioned in the hope that I can reduce the phosphate level somewhat. Here is the strange part. I added my usual Seachem Equilibrium, Seachem Alkaline Buffer, and Tetra Forapride liquid fert. Nothing excessive. I just tested the phosphate level on this bucket of water. It is reading 5ppm. Shouldn't it be 2ppm straight out from the tap? None of what I added should contain phosphate. Of course, whatever I added is actually causing incorrect phosphate reading???
 

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I've likewise been showing 10ppm PO4 after not doing phosphate for several weeks. I also use API kits. I've tested my tap (well) and it shows zero. I plan to do some testing with each of my EI additives to see if there is some spoofing going on.

I have a big bioload so that may be a cause.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've likewise been showing 10ppm PO4 after not doing phosphate for several weeks. I also use API kits. I've tested my tap (well) and it shows zero. I plan to do some testing with each of my EI additives to see if there is some spoofing going on.

I have a big bioload so that may be a cause.

Jim

OK. I tested my tap water again straight out from the faucet, few more times. It turns out my the phosphate level is actually 5ppm. Not sure how I got 2ppm. In that case, very unlikely I have low phosphate issue. However, I read that too high of the phosphate level (in relation to the amount of Iron) can lock up Iron in take by the plants???
 

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Unless you calibrate the PO4 test kit, these test are meaningless.

See the sticky Hoppy put in this sub forum. Then do that, then you will know if the readings are correct, it's not like adding MORE KH2PO4 does ANY harm..........you may not need to add more.......but doign so will cause no known ill effects on livestock, algae or plants. Adding not enough, or assuming the test kit is is correct...........may have some reduced growth, increased algae(mostly GSA)

I have a massive fish load and feed heavily also........I add 15ppm per week of PO4 as KH2PO4.

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Unless you calibrate the PO4 test kit, these test are meaningless.

See the sticky Hoppy put in this sub forum. Then do that, then you will know if the readings are correct, it's not like adding MORE KH2PO4 does ANY harm..........you may not need to add more.......but doign so will cause no known ill effects on livestock, algae or plants. Adding not enough, or assuming the test kit is is correct...........may have some reduced growth, increased algae(mostly GSA)

I have a massive fish load and feed heavily also........I add 15ppm per week of PO4 as KH2PO4.
Thanks. 15ppm isn't much BUT I believe I am over 15ppm... :) The test kit only goes up to 10ppm. I will try to get it down to lower than 10ppm and to let it up build up. From yesterday to this morning, I just did a 15g water change with 5ppm. I have a 40g tank and my phosphate reading is still above 10ppm. Could be more but I won't know. I am not sure but I believe my high level of phosphate caused some plants to grown really fast while my Chain Sword Narrow leaf runners, baby plants, are turning transparent. Almost like they aren't getting enough Iron. Just got some Pura Phoslock and see how it goes.
 

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I used to live in NYC. From what I remember, the waterworks add in a phosphate compound to the water to help with corrosion in the pipes. You probably won't need to add in any extra phosphorous. Not sure how available this phosphate compound is to plants though.
 

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I can't see where you are adding any real Nitrate or Potassium. Whats your Nitrate level?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I can't see where you are adding any real Nitrate or Potassium. Whats your Nitrate level?

I don't believe I have nitrate deficiency. I have no problems with growths. Even my more demanding Chain Sword Narrow Leaf are producing runners and with each runner linking up to 5 to 6 baby plants....still extending though. I have 2 of my Temple Leafs about to reach above the water line of my 17" tall tank. Side shoots are everywhere. My tank is overstocked with fish and bio load. I am sure I am not short of nitrates. For my macro needs, I use Aquariumplants.com Total pellets. I further supplemented Iron and Potassium from Tetra FloraPride liquid fert. I think those are "real" Potassium and Iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The seachem "neutral" buffer will jack phosphate through the roof. Don't use that as your method....

I used them about a month ago. Stopped because of my phosphate concern. Only added a tea spoon when I thought I need phosphate, that was couple of days ago.
 

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I don't believe I have nitrate deficiency. I have no problems with growths. Even my more demanding Chain Sword Narrow Leaf are producing runners and with each runner linking up to 5 to 6 baby plants....still extending though. I have 2 of my Temple Leafs about to reach above the water line of my 17" tall tank. Side shoots are everywhere. My tank is overstocked with fish and bio load. I am sure I am not short of nitrates. For my macro needs, I use Aquariumplants.com Total pellets. I further supplemented Iron and Potassium from Tetra FloraPride liquid fert. I think those are "real" Potassium and Iron.
When I used the term "real", I was referring to a usable amount. I've seen other people using substrate tabs to provide all their nutrients and they also had trouble. You have a high light co2 injected tank, NPK levels are way more important than they would be in a low light tank. I would make sure of my Nitrate level, and dose some potassium also. I know that the Tetra Flora Pride has some potassium but I don't know how much that puts in your tank.
 

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And then again, I'm certainly no expert.
 

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Thanks. 15ppm isn't much BUT I believe I am over 15ppm... :) The test kit only goes up to 10ppm. I will try to get it down to lower than 10ppm and to let it up build up. From yesterday to this morning, I just did a 15g water change with 5ppm. I have a 40g tank and my phosphate reading is still above 10ppm. Could be more but I won't know. I am not sure but I believe my high level of phosphate caused some plants to grown really fast while my Chain Sword Narrow leaf runners, baby plants, are turning transparent. Almost like they aren't getting enough Iron. Just got some Pura Phoslock and see how it goes.
Belief versus knowing are two VERY different things. Confirm your suspicions.

Make a standard reference solution as I suggested. Otherwise put the test kits down and do not use them at all. You do to get to have the cake and eat it too.

If you are over say 1-2 ppm, your plants are NOt limited by PO4, so if you add 5-10-50ppm of PO4, this will NOT make your plants grow faster, more efficiently etc.

I would suggest you focus more on light and CO2, read this article and pay attention to Liebig's law of the minimum.

http://www.tropica.com/advising/technical-articles/biology-of-aquatic-plants/co2-and-light.aspx

After that, then if you are gung ho about testing still......... make the standards to make sure you know what you are measuring and that it is correct, do not assume your 10$ cheapo test kit is some accurate thing.
They ain't. But you can check them to see and make sure either way.

EI dosing is based on the dosing enough not to limit anything, then water changes to remove things from ever building up much. You do not need test kits for that, it's very simple, then you can focus on things like CO2, light........feeding fish, gardening etc.

Testing is NOT a necessary evil.
 
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