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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. I know that this should probably be under another topic. But I get more responses here. I haven't tested my tank for a LOOOONG time. But i just got 5 discus finally. And So after they aclimated just fine i wanted to know what to buy and how much to dose my tank. I still use all seachem and recently ran out of nitrogen. So I ordered another 2 liter jug. I have Iron, potassium, phosphate, and florish. So when my order gets here...I'll have all the basics again.
I finally tested my tank water and was VERY surprised. I usually go through Nitrate like it was...well..."water". My tank never seemed to have enough. But not I tesed it and the params were through the roof. Also usually I can not keep the KH low enough...but not it's low. so here are my params:

Tank: 75g
Light: 384 Watts (5.12 watts per gallon)
PH: 6.7
KH: 4 (degrees)
Nitrates: 160+ (very high)

I want to do a fairly large water change...but I'm worried that I'll kill something now. Plus the tank is highly stocked. I have mollies that keep poping out babbies...(I have had a couple hundred at any given time, and still am trying to give away a buch every chance I get). I have 20 or so cardinals, I can't count them all. There are 6 rummy nose tetras. And 6 dwarf puffers.

I used to try to keep the PH lower at at least 6.0 down to 5.5 due to the discus I wanted. But after not getting them for over a year I decided to stop wasting CO2 and bring the PH up. I'm wondering if I should just lower the ph and bring the CO2 up. Will that help to improve the growth and soak up the nitrates faster (along with a water change)? I again bought some glosso and dwarf swords to replant my fore ground. But I have had them less than a week and the tank is again getting covered in Algae. The algae covers the leavs of the plants...and I remember that higher nitrates is what balanced out my tank before and helped to kill the algae.

I haven't measured the other ferts...but I can get the phosphates tested if anyone needs it.

Please helpme get back at the algae again and to lower the nitrates.

Thanks

dave
 

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You definitely want to get those nitrates down - if not for the plants then for your fish, esp. of you have discus in there.

Likely the high stocking of your tank is bringing you out of balance again. I would do several medium water changes (25-50%) every other day for a few cycles to bring the nitrates down.

You can up the CO2 gradually, but don't do it to bring the pH down, rather to increase the CO2 content for your plants. Do it slowly and with close monitoring so you don't overdose and kill your fish. Discus don't _need_ the low pH, unless your trying to breed them. In that case, you shouldn't be putting them in a planted tank to breed anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't really down the wattage...and besides without it I can't get my glosso to grow. I already have my light at like 8 hours a day. and I hate to kill it even more, expecially now that I have the fore ground plants again...and I know they love their light.

Also I don't up the CO2 to drop the PH intetinaly. It's just a give and take...if I increase the CO2 then the PH "will" drop...I have no control over that. A couple of water changes should do the trick to lower the nitrates. But I also hope that a little more CO2 will get the plants to use up more nitrates in order to grow more with the increase of CO2. I really couldn't belie how HIGH they were considdering how normal the fish look...and with Algae growing again in the tank...I could have only assumed that they would be LOW and not HIGH. It's like my tank is completely backwards now compaired to how I was when I started it last year.

Weird.

Thanks for the info guys.

dave
 

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your fish are in danger with that amount of nitrates..try to get it down to 10-20ppm. correct me if im wrong but i thought glosso will thrive under 3 wpg.
 

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With a KH of 4 a pH of 6.3 to 6.5 should be a good amount of CO2 for your tank. With your nitrates reading that high and your fish doing fine, I suspect your Nitrate test kest isn't entirely accurate, although I still bet your Nitrates are still high....
I would suggest doing the water changes and then changing the CO2 gradually. Reassess your dosing regimen and make one change at a time. Remove as much algae as you can and give it a couple of weeks with one change before trying another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
BkD: When I had them under any less light...it only grows up...or not at all. I don't know if it's just how I have the tank set up...but this is the only light fixture that I ever got any good growth out of.

hooha: I also suspect that the test has gone bad. I'm looking into taking some water to get tested by my LFS buddy, just to compaire. Either way I'm due for a WC and that should help a lot. As far as dosing...I haven't been. The tank has not bee dosed (expecially on a schedule) for well over 6 months. I kind of gave up on it and am now starting over. I guess I'll not be needing that seachem nitrogen for a while.

thanks again.

dave
 

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^^^^^
listen to Bill :) , that's a good place to start looking for a deficiency.
 

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I had the same problem when my 125g tank was a few months old. The fish load was creating large amounts of NO3 and PO4 that the potassium in KNO3 and KH2PO4 could not keep up. So I started dosing supplemental potassium via K2SO4 and the hair algae disappeared within a week. It was pretty amazing.

Just make sure you actually have hair/thread algae and not Cladaphora. But since you mention that it covering the plants I'd tend to rule out clado. If you post a picture it'll help.
 

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Yeah, if you can't get your glosso to grow, except under high light, then there's something wrong. I know he's kind of an uber-god in this hobby, but Amano doesn't use much light (1-1.5wpg usually) and his glosso grows nice and compact. Make sure your ferts and Co2 are in order. I'm finding with my 90g that I can up the Co2 a little more than normal without fish stress, since the filtration/circulation is real good. It also puts a damper on the algae. You should try turning up that Co2. At least that's where I would start. And decrease photo period by an hour at least, until the algae goes away.
Just FYI, I have a KH of about 3-4 and I aim for a ph of 6.3-6.5 and it seems to work well. Fish are still happy, plants happy and algae is very low. Bill's idea of increasing K is a good idea too. I would go for that, in addition to bumping up Co2.
 
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