The Planted Tank Forum banner

UNS 120U Build

42385 Views 820 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  ddiomede
One of the very first things I've always wanted to do when I bought a home is getting a big tank. My largest tank so far was a 60 starfire glass reef ready cube. Having lived in apartments most of my adult life, I've always been limited to smaller sized tanks. I bought my first home back in July last year and took down my last reef tank. I had 3 reefs going for about 10 years with only one left up and running until the move last year. My last foray into planted tanks ended in 2012 or so and it was always something I wanted to keep going but couldn't due to lack of space.

I really hemmed and hawed over the decision for this tank. I initially was set on a standard 125 gallon. I began planning the build and created a spreadsheet with all of the equipment and accessories I'd need, and then I saw a 125 in person at Petsmart when I went to get some dog food for my pup. The length was great, but the tank just seemed really long and narrow which limited my options as far as scanning.

I saw the UNS 120U's dimensions and a few YouTube videos to get a sense of what the tank looked like, but I wasn't totally in love with it being only 48" long. I think an ideal tank size is 60X24X24 but there aren't many options out there. I did find one like that from a company SC Aquariums. Pretty nice tank with Starfire glass and an overflow. One of the main reasons I didn't go this route, which would have been less expensive than the UNS tank was that it had an overflow. The overflow opens up the possibility that a year from now I tear down the planted tank and set up another reef tank.

While I loved my reef tanks, they were just obscenely expensive. It was a huge toilet that I flushed money down. You can have a plant melt on you in a planted tank and you can just buy another. But if you buy a $120 acropora colony and it dies on you, that stings a lot more lol.

Anyhow I settled on the UNS. After bring the tank into my basement and waking up this morning to back pain, in hindsight I maybe should have gone with acrylic lol. The back pain will go aways in a couple days though.

This will be a slow build since the tank wasn't inexpensive and the equipment isn't inexpensive either. In the past I'd get inpatient and charge everything on my credit card, but you wind up paying way more for your purchases if you're not paying the balance off right away. So I'll take my time and acquire the equipment a piece at a time until I have everything. The one thing I will do is pick up any hardscape that catches my eye as I stop by all my local shops.

The first project is to build a stand. I'll reserve post #2 for the stand build.

Tank: UNS 120U
Stand: Custom build
Filtration: GLA 15L Infinite Nature Filter. Oase 850 Biomaster Thermo. Stainless lily pipes, one set with build in surface skimmer to be used with the Oase, the second set is without surface skimmer to be used on the GLA
Lighting: Twinstar 1200SP
Heating: Heater included with Oase controlled by Inkbird
UV: Decided against this but it can always be added on later. I'll account for adding one on in the way I plumb the return if I change my mind down the road.
CO2: GLA Pro DS 1 Dual Stage regulator with two 10 lbs tanks along with a NilocG Advanced reactor.
Substrate: Pool filter sand
Hardscape: Two xl pieces of spider wood. About 90 lbs of dragon stone.

I'm 100% open to feedback, ideas, or alterations I should make to my plans.

This week I'll begin acquiring lumber and paints/stains and hardware for the stand.

My plans on stocking are up in the air. There are a whole bunch of different stocking plans I have, but I really need to settle on one. Back in the day I would buy 2 of each fish until I realized it seemed like I was stocking Noah's Ark lol. This tank will have fewer different species and more schools of fish.

I'll get a pic of the tank once the stand is built and it's sitting on it. I'll also do the leak test when I get the tank on the stand. I may as well do that sooner rather than later.

I did want to thank everyone who has provided help thus far. There are so many things I hadn't considered that were a HUGE help so I appreciate it greatly!
721 - 740 of 821 Posts

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #721 ·
I've been promising pics so here they are. If you look closely, in particular at the Pogo Helferi and Rotala, you can see the effects of skipping a water change for a full week while continuing to dose ferts.

Plant Leaf Terrestrial plant Grass Grass family

Plant Plant community Botany Branch Natural landscape

Plant Plant community Flower Terrestrial plant Vegetation

Plant Vegetation Terrestrial plant Grass Aquatic plant


The green streak you see in this pic is the algae I'm talking about. I missed it during the water change but will be cutting off the leaves it's tangled in.
Water Plant Botany Leaf Wood

Plant Terrestrial plant Shrub Groundcover Flowering plant

Plant Natural landscape Bedrock Terrestrial plant Watercourse

Plant Plant community Branch Rectangle Grass
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
You would do yourself a big favor by removing some of the hardscape (maybe rocks behind the wood) and make room for more plants (notably stems.) It's far more difficult to manage high light in a big/deep tank with so much hardscape. You want more immediate uptake of waste products and only plants will provide that. There is an issue in the uptake / light equation.

If you look closely, in particular at the Pogo Helferi and Rotala, you can see the effects of skipping a water change for a full week while continuing to dose ferts.
Not sure I follow you here :unsure:
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #723 ·
You would do yourself a big favor by removing some of the hardscape (maybe rocks behind the wood) and make room for more plants (notably stems.) It's far more difficult to manage high light in a big/deep tank with so much hardscape. You want more immediate uptake of waste products and only plants will provide that. There is an issue in the uptake / light equation.



Not sure I follow you here :unsure:
If you look closely at the second to last picture, the very center are the Pogostemon Helferi Downoi. They began looking like that when I missed the water change and haven't recovered. If you go back a bit to previous pics you'll see the shocking difference in that center part of the tank. I thought for sure they were goners but about a week and a half ago I noticed new growth appearing at the bases. This weekend I'll probably cut away the long stems since they haven't even remotely recovered to make room for the new growth. That was honestly one of my favorite parts of the tank filled with bright green ruffled plants and watching them shrivel up was depressing. With the Rotala if you look closely, some of the stems look shriveled up, with leaves to match. This also happened during that missed water change week. My plan with them is to let the healthy growth hit the surface of the tank, trim it, then pull and toss the old rooted stems and replant the healthy growth.

I agree that I need more stem plants. I'll probably start by removing to two rocks behind the wood on the right and that should give me a lot of room on that side, and then I'll probably wait a week and do the other side. The right side is the worst as far as a lack of space for stem plants. The left side has more room between the back glass and the rocks behind the wood. But if it opens a significant amount of space for more stem plants, I'm all for it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
I see the pics, but I'm missing how the lack of a water change cause this. Are you saying the fert level was too high? It would take incredibly high numbers for that to happen and your fish would probably be goners before the plants.

What are your co2, PAR Levels. Does your Rotala pearl? Rotala is a prolific pearlers and should be pearling all the time after lights on if things are dialed in. Looking at the carpeting plant. I think that's MC right? it's tiny and lacking something.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #725 ·
I see the pics, but I'm missing how the lack of a water change cause this. Are you saying the fert level was too high? It would take incredibly high numbers for that to happen and your fish would probably be goners before the plants.

What are your co2, PAR Levels. Does your Rotala pearl? Rotala is a prolific pearlers and should be pearling all the time after lights on if things are dialed in. Looking at the carpeting plant. I think that's MC right? it's tiny and lacking something.
My theory is that missing the water change while continuing to dose the full EI dose caused something to happen to the Rotala and Pogo.

What's funny about pearling is that for a long time I thought my reactor wasn't fully dissolving CO2 but it turned out it was all of the plants pearling that was causing so many fine bubbles in the tank lol. One night I sat really close to the tank and watched as tiny bubbles were getting expelled by almost every plant.

Interesting enough, with the MC, it really only started taking off within the last couple weeks. Since adding it to the tank, it just sort of slowly spread, but recently runners started appearing with much larger leaves.

My CO2 levels have been consistently at 6.4, which is a drop of about 1.2. The drop checker is yellow, but with a hint of lime green...so not full on yellow. When I notice that the drop checker starts going to more lime green than yellow it's a sign to calibrate the PH probe.

As far as EI, I'm definitely dosing more than my tank volume since the closest recipe was for a slightly larger tank.

Some of the issues definitely have me stumped.

The good thing is that the GSA stopped a while back. You can still see it on some of the plants, but it hasn't spread anywhere and is slowly starting to disappear from the leaves it has been on. So at least that problem was solved. I think it was solved by reducing the photoperiod by an hour and raising the fixture by about an inch because as soon as that happened, I noticed it stopped appearing on the glass. The only remaining algae problem is the long thread/string algae infesting the moss and occasional tangling itself in whatever it grabs onto, but most frequently it winds up on H Pin leaves.

I might be at the point where it makes sense to add in some amanos since from what I've been reading seem to love hair algae and other more filamentous algae. Unfortunately recently I've had some expenses that wiped out my hobby fund. Some of the expenses were a root canal because my dental insurance isn't very good, some home upgrades/repairs, and I bought a pellet grill about a month ago. The money that would have gone to more fish, plants, etc. went towards prime briskets lol.

ETA: regarding the MC, if you zoom in the darker greens are the original tissue cultures. The brighter green is the new growth from those TC's.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
Well, the missed water change shouldn't cause that much of an issue. Did you ever measure the PAR in different parts of the tank? Something to consider, some algae is obvious but other algae is not. Once leaves have any hint of algae it will interfere with their growth, plant tissue will die and in turn will continue to feed the algae. It doesn't matter if you have for example no3 at 10,20 or 50ppm (assuming no3 is from dosing and not naturally occurring waste) What causes algae is decomposing waste, light accelerates it's growth. Decomposing waste includes dying plant tissue under algae (that you might not even notice)

I would figure out the PAR, increase water changes if you have too and add more plants. Adding more easy stem plants is the best way to purify the water and keep algae away.
OR
Lower light and go with mostly ferns, buces, mosses, etc.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #727 ·
Well, the missed water change shouldn't cause that much of an issue. Did you ever measure the PAR in different parts of the tank? Something to consider, some algae is obvious but other algae is not. Once leaves have any hint of algae it will interfere with their growth, plant tissue will die and in turn will continue to feed the algae. It doesn't matter if you have for example no3 at 10,20 or 50ppm (assuming no3 is from dosing and not naturally occurring waste) What causes algae is decomposing waste, light accelerates it's growth. Decomposing waste includes dying plant tissue under algae (that you might not even notice)

I would figure out the PAR, increase water changes if you have too and add more plants. Adding more easy stem plants is the best way to purify the water and keep algae away.
OR
Lower light and go with mostly ferns, buces, mosses, etc.
Unfortunately I still haven't had a chance to get a PAR meter. I intend on borrowing the local club's this winter since I'll also be rebooting my nano tank and would like to make sure I'm not blasting everything with too much PAR.

I'm definitely going to add more stem plants. There are a few that I think would do well in the tank and with removing the four large rocks in the back, it'll open up enough space to really thicken that area up nicely.

But going back to the issues I had the week I didn't do the water change...

Prior to that happening, if I trimmed the Rotala, by the following week you could already see new growth and one week after that I'd be wondering if I should trim because they're approaching the surface. I trimmed just before I caught covid and missed that weekly water change. So with a week of time to put on new growth, almost nothing happened and by the end of that week the Pogo and Rotala all looked contorted, and the growth all but stopped. It took about a week after doing the water change until I started seeing new growth appearing on the Rotala. The Pogo never recovered but look like they're putting out new growth at the bases of the stems.

I'm kind of at a loss as far as what caused that because the only change was skipping a water change but continuing to dose. There are no other variables since the tank was humming along pretty steady. Could one of the nutrients have reached a stage where it became toxic to those particular plant species but not the fish? I honestly don't know but can only go with Occam's Razor on this one.

Hopefully on Friday after I drive back from Indianapolis I'll get back early enough to hit the LFS and ask him to order a couple specific stem plants, provided he can get them. The one I have in mind as a "for sure" is Limnophila Hippuridoides. I currently have 3 species of Rotala, Bacopa Salzmannii SG, Ludwigia Arcuata, and some others that just haven't faired well so I'll be removing them to make room for one or two new stem plants. If anyone has a recommendation for one more fast growing stem plant with a nice thick, sturdy stem that would be awesome.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #728 ·
@Asteroid I'm not sure why I forgot this until now, but I have had bladder snails for a while, but always in low numbers.

The week after the skipped water change I noticed a significant number of empty snail shells as I was lightly vacuuming the mulm/poop off the surface of the sand. They weren't there the previous week when I did the water change.

Could the continued dosing have led to some nutrients building up to so toxic a level that if effected the plants and killed some snails, while not at all affecting the fish? The fish the entire time seemed to be acting perfectly normal.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
@Asteroid I'm not sure why I forgot this until now, but I have had bladder snails for a while, but always in low numbers.

The week after the skipped water change I noticed a significant number of empty snail shells as I was lightly vacuuming the mulm/poop off the surface of the sand. They weren't there the previous week when I did the water change.

Could the continued dosing have led to some nutrients building up to so toxic a level that if effected the plants and killed some snails, while not at all affecting the fish? The fish the entire time seemed to be acting perfectly normal.
Well, your certainly taking the value of water changes to a whole new level. :D

Of course no one knows for sure, but EI is pretty forgiving. I mean the dosing is estimative and you could see the dosing guidelines are usually tank size ranges, not exact size. Also the amount of ferts between used between WCs will vary depending on growth and mass. Many in hi-tech front load all their macros for the week in one dose, essentially tripling it without issue. There as been discussion about micros being overdosed that can cause issues.

Plants generally need four things. Light, ferts, co2 and clean leaf surfaces. You have the first three, but not the fourth. Algae even a little bit, will cause deficient looking leaves. You shouldn't be getting algae on moss or other leaf surfaces. Some on hardscape is OK, but when you have it on the leaves something is off.

Removing hardscape and adding easy stems is the way to go. You can always remove some of the them after things balance out better. Get easy fast growers. Water wisteria, Rotala rotundifolia Cabomba caroliniana. The cabomba is good because it's easy to tell by the spacing of the nodes how much light you have. Also regular rotala r will get some color if the light is strong.

As far as the snails, the only thing I've seen kill them is high co2 levels, not ferts,but it would be interesting to see what your levels of NPK are.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #730 · (Edited)
Well, your certainly taking the value of water changes to a whole new level. :D

Of course no one knows for sure, but EI is pretty forgiving. I mean the dosing is estimative and you could see the dosing guidelines are usually tank size ranges, not exact size. Also the amount of ferts between used between WCs will vary depending on growth and mass. Many in hi-tech front load all their macros for the week in one dose, essentially tripling it without issue. There as been discussion about micros being overdosed that can cause issues.

Plants generally need four things. Light, ferts, co2 and clean leaf surfaces. You have the first three, but not the fourth. Algae even a little bit, will cause deficient looking leaves. You shouldn't be getting algae on moss or other leaf surfaces. Some on hardscape is OK, but when you have it on the leaves something is off.

Removing hardscape and adding easy stems is the way to go. You can always remove some of the them after things balance out better. Get easy fast growers. Water wisteria, Rotala rotundifolia Cabomba caroliniana. The cabomba is good because it's easy to tell by the spacing of the nodes how much light you have. Also regular rotala r will get some color if the light is strong.

As far as the snails, the only thing I've seen kill them is high co2 levels, not ferts,but it would be interesting to see what your levels of NPK are.
Back in the day one of my favorite plants was a Cabomba that was an orange color. If I can find that again I'll probably get it.

Regarding NPK levels, I can only go by readings for nitrates and phosphates, but I just ran all tests for the heck of it.

PH: 6.6 (.2 higher than it should be, but it's likely to only be .1 higher since I took the sample after the CO2 controller kicked CO2 on)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: either well over 100ppm according to the API test kit, or 50ppm according to the Salifert test kit. The attached images are the same water sample tested with API and Salifert. Honestly I'm going to Salifert because if you were a reef keeper and told anyone you used API test kits, they'd laugh at you because of how unreliable they are, which is why I'm going to switch to Salifert across the board going forward.
Phosphate: crazy high, well over the 10ppm max. It was a far darker blue than the max on the chart.
GH: 9
KH: 7
TDS: 250

Aside from the high phosphates, I'm not quite sure what the problem could be. Are they the cause of the issues? The TDS of my tap water is about 110 so the tank's is a little over twice as high, but based on some of the TDS readings other members have shared on here, my tank water is lower.

I know that Salifert used to have a FW potassium test kit but haven't been able to track it down on Amazon, except for the reef version which I'm not sure is usable for FW.

The phosphate of my tap water is .5ppm so somewhere in between the tap and the tank I'm getting crazy high phosphates. So this seems to be the only thing that stands out as a potential problem.

Finger Thumb Nail Font Magenta

Rectangle Purple Wood Violet Line


ETA: when I measure out the ferts for next week, rather than 1.5 teaspoons of KNO3 on the macro days, I'm going to go down to 1 teaspoon and then test again a week from today and see what that does to the phosphates. It should hypothetically also reduce nitrates, which would be perfectly fine since they're a hair over what I'd want them to be at after only two macro doses.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
That's one of the reasons I went with an EI dosing system, I don't like testing and rarely do, unless there's a big problem. I agree the API test kits are not the greatest and difficult to read and hard to trust. The salifert is better.

I would agree that the 10ppm of phosphate is obviously high. Is it the source of the problem, i don't know. If you only missed the one water change and are dosing EI why is it so high? Is it or is the test just wrong. Your nitrate numbers are fine, I've had much higher numbers without any issue.



I mean think of EI dosing. If someone has a dutch-like setup or a thinly planted iwagumi, technically the dosing is the same, although one might just go on the heavy or light side based on this. There is a lot of slack in it and it's not about coming close to a bullseye.

I think the big issue with your setup is again the amount of hardscape. It is far more difficult to manage light, co2, everything. The best thing you can do is get some nice thickets of stems going. See how they grow that will also help determine your light intensity if you can't get an accurate measure.

BTW: if you take your ph of 6.6 and your KH of 7 you should have over 50ppm of co2. So don't trust the ph/kh co2 chart either.

One other thing, if your temp is like 76-78, lower it to like 72-73. Everything is easier at lower temps, including algae control. Algae will ruin everything and you need to get it to stop. You need clean leaves.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #732 ·
That's one of the reasons I went with an EI dosing system, I don't like testing and rarely do, unless there's a big problem. I agree the API test kits are not the greatest and difficult to read and hard to trust. The salifert is better.

I would agree that the 10ppm of phosphate is obviously high. Is it the source of the problem, i don't know. If you only missed the one water change and are dosing EI why is it so high? Is it or is the test just wrong. Your nitrate numbers are fine, I've had much higher numbers without any issue.



I mean think of EI dosing. If someone has a dutch-like setup or a thinly planted iwagumi, technically the dosing is the same, although one might just go on the heavy or light side based on this. There is a lot of slack in it and it's not about coming close to a bullseye.

I think the big issue with your setup is again the amount of hardscape. It is far more difficult to manage light, co2, everything. The best thing you can do is get some nice thickets of stems going. See how they grow that will also help determine your light intensity if you can't get an accurate measure.

BTW: if you take your ph of 6.6 and your KH of 7 you should have over 50ppm of co2. So don't trust the ph/kh co2 chart either.

One other thing, if your temp is like 76-78, lower it to like 72-73. Everything is easier at lower temps, including algae control. Algae will ruin everything and you need to get it to stop. You need clean leaves.
I mainly used the CO2 chart as a guide and then just continued increasing the CO2 levels until the drop checker was between lime green and yellow.

My temp holds within 1 degree of 72.4, although now that the heat is on, it's at 74.2 degrees this morning. That will fall as the day goes by because I tend to open windows up when the temp is above 70 down where the tank and my office are. The thermostat is upstairs in my house so the temp gets controlled by that. If it's cold upstairs it'll continue to heat until the thermostat senses it hits 70, but in the meantime my basement becomes extra warm. In the summer the exact opposite happens....it's probably 5 degrees colder in my basement than upstairs so the air runs longer to cool it, but the basement gets even colder.

I'm kind of at a loss as to why phosphates are so high. 3 times a week I'm dosing 1.5 teaspoons of KNO3 and from what I understand phosphates are in proportion to nitrates, so higher phosphates is puzzling. I feed the fish every other day and not a whole lot so it can't be from that. It's definitely perplexing.

The only thing I can think of is that the GLA filter is filthy already. The last time I cleaned it out completely was a month ago, can it really be that dirty already? This Saturday was supposed to be the full Oase maintenance, perhaps I should flip it and clean the GLA out instead and see how dirty it is. Originally my plan was to have about a two month period between fully maintaining each of the canisters, but if the GLA gets to where it needs it done every month then I'll need to do that.

I think what I'm going to do is reduce KNO3 to 1 tsp and then clean out the GLA filter on Saturday. Then on Wednesday next week I'll test nitrates and phosphates again and see where everything is at. I may just order the Salifert phosphate test kit if only to rule out the API test kit accuracy. Or maybe rather than doing two things at the same time I can maintain the Oase as planned, and reduce KNO3 and see where I'm at on Wednesday, and if there's little to no change in phosphates I'll maintain the GLA next Saturday and then test again the following Wednesday. At least that'll tell me if the problem was too high a dose of KNO3, or the GLA.

I'll also swing by the LFS and either pick up some stem plants, or put an order in for some. I'll also remove the four large rocks behind the wood this weekend.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
I mainly used the CO2 chart as a guide and then just continued increasing the CO2 levels until the drop checker was between lime green and yellow.

My temp holds within 1 degree of 72.4, although now that the heat is on, it's at 74.2 degrees this morning. That will fall as the day goes by because I tend to open windows up when the temp is above 70 down where the tank and my office are. The thermostat is upstairs in my house so the temp gets controlled by that. If it's cold upstairs it'll continue to heat until the thermostat senses it hits 70, but in the meantime my basement becomes extra warm. In the summer the exact opposite happens....it's probably 5 degrees colder in my basement than upstairs so the air runs longer to cool it, but the basement gets even colder.

I'm kind of at a loss as to why phosphates are so high. 3 times a week I'm dosing 1.5 teaspoons of KNO3 and from what I understand phosphates are in proportion to nitrates, so higher phosphates is puzzling. I feed the fish every other day and not a whole lot so it can't be from that. It's definitely perplexing.

The only thing I can think of is that the GLA filter is filthy already. The last time I cleaned it out completely was a month ago, can it really be that dirty already? This Saturday was supposed to be the full Oase maintenance, perhaps I should flip it and clean the GLA out instead and see how dirty it is. Originally my plan was to have about a two month period between fully maintaining each of the canisters, but if the GLA gets to where it needs it done every month then I'll need to do that.

I think what I'm going to do is reduce KNO3 to 1 tsp and then clean out the GLA filter on Saturday. Then on Wednesday next week I'll test nitrates and phosphates again and see where everything is at. I may just order the Salifert phosphate test kit if only to rule out the API test kit accuracy. Or maybe rather than doing two things at the same time I can maintain the Oase as planned, and reduce KNO3 and see where I'm at on Wednesday, and if there's little to no change in phosphates I'll maintain the GLA next Saturday and then test again the following Wednesday. At least that'll tell me if the problem was too high a dose of KNO3, or the GLA.

I'll also swing by the LFS and either pick up some stem plants, or put an order in for some. I'll also remove the four large rocks behind the wood this weekend.
I would go with the 60-80G dosing range for your tank. Considering the hardscape, displacement and lack of heavy plant mass or use the rotalabutterfly calculator. What have you been dosing for po4.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #734 · (Edited)
I would go with the 60-80G dosing range for your tank. Considering the hardscape, displacement and lack of heavy plant mass or use the rotalabutterfly calculator. What have you been dosing for po4.
Whatever phosphate gets added to the tank comes in the form of KH2PO4. I'm dosing 1/2 tsp of that currently, 3 times per week.

The one thing I'm a little wary of is when I tried using the 60-80 gallon recipe, that's when I started seeing GSA a few weeks after.

I wonder if I should half the dose of KH2PO4 and see where that puts me next week?

ETA: from all that I've been reading since yesterday, the target I want to shoot for is 1ppm of phosphates to 10ppm of nitrates. So right now at most I should be at 5ppm of phosphates. There must be a phosphate reservoir somewhere in my tank because with the amount I'm dosing, I shouldn't be anywhere near what I am. Looking at Rotala Butterfly it looks like I'm dosing way more than I should be. They're recommending 1/8 tsp + 1/64th tsp and I'm dosing half a tsp. With their dose 3X a week I should be at 3.9 PO4 by the end of the week. It would be amazing if it was as simple a fix as reducing my current dose to 1/4 tsp lol.

I just dumped out what I was going to dose today since it's macro day and filled my little container of dry ferts up with this:

KNO3 - 1 tablespoon
KH2PO4 - 1/4 tsp
K2SO4 - 1/2 tsp

So I'm effectively reducing KNO3 by 1/3rd, and KH2PO4 by half.

I'll maintain the Oase as planned on Saturday, then I'll test again next Wednesday. If PO4 comes down to 4-5ppm then I'll know this was a problem created by me and NilocG's recipe I'd been using. If it's still sky high, then next Saturday the GLA filter will get full maintenance done a month ahead of schedule and I'll retest the following Wednesday. This is why I'm glad I went to dry dosing. Making a change is as easy as dumping the ferts I've added to the little container and adding new amounts to it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
Well, definitely no need for po4 to be that high, yeah so I would definitely reduce it. There is also an accumulation calculator on that site you should check out. it will show you how things build up even with water changes. Now if you have good uptake this will be minimized but there will be excess so things will go up. If your tank isn't full of plants and/or algae is interfering with uptake then the accumulation will be much greater. You are also getting some P from food/waste, etc.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #738 ·
Well, definitely no need for po4 to be that high, yeah so I would definitely reduce it. There is also an accumulation calculator on that site you should check out. it will show you how things build up even with water changes. Now if you have good uptake this will be minimized but there will be excess so things will go up. If your tank isn't full of plants and/or algae is interfering with uptake then the accumulation will be much greater. You are also getting some P from food/waste, etc.
I have a feeling that eventually I'll be doing PPS-pro lol. The way I dosed in a reef tank was knowing how much the corals were using, and then dosing enough to make sure that every nutrient was available in enough quantity that there was never a shortage, but never too much which is what it seems like I've been doing with EI. I think the biggest mistake I've been making, and this only occurred to me today is that ever since coming back to planted tanks I've more or less abandoned my reef mindset, when it likely would have helped a great deal when it came to figuring out dosing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,305 Posts
Well you have to do what your comfortable with, PPS you'll be testing more, EI usually no need to. Heavy plant mass makes everything easier in terms of wiggle room with lights/ferts.

For your setup you don't need to dose K separately, your getting plenty from the Kno3 AND K2hpo4. I don't even dose K separately even in my very high light setup. Many have removed it from EI dosing. And you don't need to dose FE separately either if your dosing the typical micro mix.

Pogo Erectus is another good stem (don't know if you had this) Grows wide and thick under good light/ferts, thinner under less light so again a good indicator.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
957 Posts
Discussion Starter · #740 ·
Well you have to do what your comfortable with, PPS you'll be testing more, EI usually no need to. Heavy plant mass makes everything easier in terms of wiggle room with lights/ferts.

For your setup you don't need to dose K separately, your getting plenty from the Kno3 AND K2hpo4. I don't even dose K separately even in my very high light setup. Many have removed it from EI dosing. And you don't need to dose FE separately either if your dosing the typical micro mix.

Pogo Erectus is another good stem (don't know if you had this) Grows wide and thick under good light/ferts, thinner under less light so again a good indicator.
Perfect. I think between the stems I already have, plus adding the Limnophila that I want, a Cabomba, and the Pogo Erectus I should have a sufficient plant mass to take up the extra nutrients.

I ordered the potassium test kit so I'll at least understand where I'm at with regard to that.

One thing I haven't yet mentioned because I really didn't notice it until today was that one of the terrestrial plants (monstera), a few of the leaves have yellow spots where the very center is a bit brown. I've been planning on removing the pothocarry and planting all of those plants in planters but haven't had a chance to run by HD for potting soil. I'm not sure if it's another data point for the problems I'm having, but figured I'd mention it. When I googled the spots the only thing I could find that described the problem was leaf fungus. I'm not sure it's that as it seems more like a deficiency rather than the images of fungal infections, but the only deficiencies I saw were magnesium and iron that were somewhat related to what I'm seeing there. The thing is that the issues with the aquatic plants don't seem like mag or iron deficiencies.

I'll start with redoing the ferts, moving onto maintain of the GLA next week if I don't see a change in phosphate levels. Then once the K kit arrives I'll test that. I'll remove the 4 large rocks and add more stem plants, and hopefully my LFS will be putting an order in soon so that I can add a couple bunches of what I want onto his order. If he doesn't have an order going soon I'll just order what I want online.

I think this plan makes sense and if things change it's easy to pivot.
 
721 - 740 of 821 Posts
Top