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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone
Have a little problem on my hands maybe someone can help. Started a 55 gal planted tank with pressurised co2 about 10 weeks ago but can't get the plants to grow. I had the same set up in my old house and it worked like a charm, but since I moved to a new location I can't seem to grow anything. I had to install treatment system because well water was full of iron and smelled like rotten eggs. I am not sure if the treatment system has anything to do with the issue of plants but I figure I mention about it anyway. Maybe in the process of removing iron it somehow takes some other nutrients needed for plants. Pump injects mixture of chlorine/water (3gal/25 gal) to kill of the rotten egg bacteria and oxidize the iron in the water. In the next stage membrane removes oxidized iron particles and in the last stage the charcoal removes the chlorine from the water.
SET UP:
55 gallon tank w/2" gravel/Florite(50/50 mixture)
Pressurised co2 w/SMS122 controller
Lights: 4 T12 Fluorescent bulbs
1. 110W VHO 6700K Coralife 96 CRI
2. 40W NO 6700K 96 CRI
3&4. 40W NO 10000 K
All together it is about 4.5 watt per gallon of light
PH 6.7
KH 4
T 80*F
TDS 300
Plants: too many to list, about 30-40
Couple pieces of driftwood
X5 Eheim canister filter

Now little history. Originaly I though the plants were not getting enough light because the lights were kind of old so I got brand new fluerescent bubls but that did not resolve the problem. The only plant that seems to produce any bubbles is anabias nana. All the other plants produce bubbles only when I do partial water change. That led me to believe I have a nutrien deficiency, so I started adding some Flourish Seachem and Flourish Iron. Did not work. I double and 3x dose with no luck. Also tried to remove charcoal from the canister filter to see maybe that was removing nessesary nutrients from the water, but taht did not resolve the issue.
What else can I try. Any ideas?
 

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You're going to need NPK with that tank if you're not dosing it. If you're following the back of the bottle for flourish, odds are it's not going to be enough micros either. Either you're going to be dosing a lot more flourish and/or pick up some other brand-name dosing method if you go commercial with your fertilizers. Or if you go with DIY ferts (for a fraction the cost and the same effect) you'll probably discover the wonders of CSM+B. Looking at your setup you'll probably either want to head with EI or PPS Pro for dosing DIY. In the case of EI I can give you a hand with it all the way along, for PPS Pro I'd recomend someone more experienced in that method.

The controller is going to make your CO2 inconsistent, which means it may be limiting the growth of your plants at times. The fish won't mind the pH swing from CO2; I've got relatively sensitive fish that endure variations of up to .8pH at times. It's the KH alterations that bother them.

Do those T12 have reflectors? If so you may want to consider scaling back to 150w. It'll slow your tank down, but you'll still be able to grow what you want.

Once nutrients are worked out, a lot of getting your tank right is going to be playing with the lighting and CO2.

-Philosophos
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Used to dose macros at the beginning but stoped about two weeks into the process as did not seem to need it. But again I used these old worn out lights and maybe did not need it in the amounts I do now with the new lights. I got it in a LFS in a generic bottle so to be honest I am not sure even on the right dosage amounts. Now that I think about it it is another thing I have not adressed properly.
Thanks for now
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're going to need NPK with that tank if you're not dosing it. If you're following the back of the bottle for flourish, odds are it's not going to be enough micros either. Either you're going to be dosing a lot more flourish and/or pick up some other brand-name dosing method if you go commercial with your fertilizers. Or if you go with DIY ferts (for a fraction the cost and the same effect) you'll probably discover the wonders of CSM+B. Looking at your setup you'll probably either want to head with EI or PPS Pro for dosing DIY. In the case of EI I can give you a hand with it all the way along, for PPS Pro I'd recomend someone more experienced in that method.

The controller is going to make your CO2 inconsistent, which means it may be limiting the growth of your plants at times. The fish won't mind the pH swing from CO2; I've got relatively sensitive fish that endure variations of up to .8pH at times. It's the KH alterations that bother them.

Do those T12 have reflectors? If so you may want to consider scaling back to 150w. It'll slow your tank down, but you'll still be able to grow what you want.

Once nutrients are worked out, a lot of getting your tank right is going to be playing with the lighting and CO2.

-Philosophos
I always run low tech planted tanks. This is the second time I am using pressurised CO2/ferts. As for dry ferts I am new completely. I read it is like 50x cheaper than the commercialy avaliable ones. Going to read up little more on those and will have to see if thats for me. Is it complicated/messy to get the ratio right with the dry ferts?
 

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Most often with high tech you're going to find yourself heading into issues with CO2 levels and distribution more so than nutrient levels. Nutrients are frequently underdosed; I've found once people get on to EI it isn't a problem. Both PPS Pro and EI have basic methods outlined ahead of time for people just starting that include dry dosing instructions.

A lot of the messes I've seen and helped to clean up are from a lack of understanding. A lot of people dose by instructions on the back of the bottle, and usually don't follow the recomendations of the entire line. Combine that with the fact that most fertilizer brands make recomendations based on low light and density, and you'll find a dense tank of almost any light level is notoriously under fertilized.

From my observation, a lot of people who come into this hobby end up DIY dry dosing and are happier for it.

-Philosophos
 
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