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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys I am have some problems with my water parameters. Maybe some of you guys can give me some suggestions. My tank is a 55gal heavely planted with fish,snails and shrimp. I use PPS Pro system for ferts, DIY co2 and 130watts of compact flourescents for lighting. I been doing 20% water changes every other week.
Ammonia 0
Nitrites 0
Nitrate 40 PPM no matter what I do I can't keep this number lower
Tap water Nitrates 10 PPM
PH 6.8
Phosphates somewhere between 0.5 and 1.0
Iron 1.00 PPM+
GH 19 deg 200-400 PPM
KH 10 deg 100-200 PPM
Calcium not sure if I figured these numbers are right
5 mg/l (100PPM) CA2+
12.5 mg/l CACO2

At first when I started the PPS Pro system I was not doing water changes and I might of slacked on my DIY co2 and started to get some beard algae and started to do 20% water changes. Also my snails and shrimp don't seem to like these parameters. Plants do not seem to be growing as fast as when I first start with the PPS Pro system. I also dose excel a couple times a week. So any suggetions would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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Do you calibrate your test kits for NO3/PO4?
If not, do not use them.

It's that simple, it's like not calibrating the pH meter with a 4.00 and 7.00 or 10.00 pH references.

Do that first.
See here:
http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquat...my-kit.html?highlight=LeftC+PO4+NO3+reference

Next this is much more an issue of CO2, than nutrients.

DIY on a 55 gallon tank, this is more than likely the issue.
Get a gas tank.

You want to reduce labor and make it more stable, nutrients is not the way to do this, it's the tail wagging the dog.

All growth starts with light, so less light = less CO2 demand= less nutrient demand.

You cannot do much there with your lighting, and it's not that bad/bright either, so the next step is CO2.

Once that is non limiting, now you can focus on nutrients.

And the plants will be good for light and a carbon supply, thus can make use of the nutrients. Algae are never CO2 limited or nutrient limited in aquariums.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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You didn't mention the substrate. If you use a substrate containing nutrients you don't have to be quite as rigorous about dosing fertilizers. But, nothing is going to eliminate the need for adequate CO2 other than less light. DIY, unless you use several bottles with staggered start times, will not be adequate for a 55 gallon tank, and the amount of light you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Tom and Hoppy I kind of thought that co2 might be and issue. I am trying to save up for a system but thought maybe I would save up for a cannister filter and get rid of my HOB filter first. What do you guys think co2 first then filter. I did calibrate my NO3 but not my PO4 but I will. This tank has been set up for a little over a year adding as I go (just added a korilia pump for circulation). Substrate is a mix of flourite and gravel.(year old). Does it matter that my lights are on legs that raise it above the tank 2" over a glaass top. Also what do you think about my GH and KH.
 

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Hang on the back filter + DIY CO2 on 55 gal?
There's the issue, I keep 20-30ppm of NO3, 5ppm of PO4, Fe to 1.0ppm etc............can go from 5.5 W/gal of T5 to 1.6w without issue.

And I have ADA AS............

So CO2 is central to all of this, degassing rates and injection rates are two box models, so you have to balance both. Work on that if you want success and reduce lighting in most cases.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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