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Water Parameter Help?!?!

2327 Views 15 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mistergreen
Hey all, I started a 75 gal about a week and a half ago. Brand new to the hobby and I'm learning as I go along here. I'll try and give you as much information as possible for a proper diagnosis. I am moderately planted with pressurized C02 and 2.88wpg. I have the lights on for about 8.5hrs and shut the C02 off at night and raise the spray bar for o2. I am also performing the standard EI dosing regime for a planted 75 gal. I have about 12 rasboras / danios total, feeding a pinch of flake once a day (4 have perished thus far :( I've performed 3 water changes since startup.

I recently just tested my water with the API kit. The results are as follows.

Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 1.0ppm
Nitrate: 80ppm
ph: 7.2
KH: 107.4 ppm
GH: 17.9ppm
Phosphate 10ppm !

Nothing frightens me more then the phosphate levels :thumbsdow . The plants are growing,not well, but they're showing growth.
I have Peacock moss
Polygonum sp.
Rotala colorata ~(showing the most growth)
E. tenellus micro

If it's at all possible to get me on the right track here, it would be much appreciated. I realize i'll have to do another 50% water change tomorrow but is there anything else i should know? Thanks in advance.
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KH: 107.4 ppm
GH: 17.9ppm
Phosphate 10ppm !

Using a water softener (low GH, high KH)?? Don't worry too much about the phosphate right now - it won't kill the fish. Worry about the nitrite - where is it coming from? My thought is you might not have enough plants in there, so the nitrite is the result of the nitrogen cycle establishing itself - if so, keep up the water changes and wait it out.

Also check your source (tap and/or softened) water - could the phosphate, nitrite, and nitrate come from there?
If your tank is just a week old you are still going through the cycling process.That's why you have nitrite readings. Once you show 0 on your nitrite readings your tank should be through cycling. I am pretty sure this is why you lost 4 of your fish. I personally would do a 10% water change daily till my nitrite reading is less then .25 . When I am cycling a tank with fish in it I do a water change twice a day if my nitrite reading is more then .25.
Your nitrate is pretty high also. I would cut down on the fertilizing till you get more plants and they become established in your tank. When you first put new plants in a tank it takes a while for them to settle and take hold. This is probably one reason you don't see much growth. I woud give it a month before worrying about growth. I would also cut my EI dosing to about 1/4 of what you are doing till you get more plants or the plants you have become established.
I hope this helps.
It's been awhile and it seems my tank is fully established. Yet my phosphates continue to be high at 10ppm. Could someone fill me in on how this affects the plant life since the growth is less than i had expected. I have pressurized Co2 with 3bpm and 2.88wpg. My results are as follows:

Gh: 71.6ppm
KH: 89.5ppm
Ph: 7.0
Nitrate 0ppm
Nitrite: .25ppm
Ammonia: 0ppm

I've also read that the testing kits for phosphate aren't the most accurate (I'm using Aqua. Pharm).

I dosed ferts using the EI guidelines for a heavily planted 75gal tank.

Also, I haven't dosed Fe as of yet. What methods do you guys use in order to dose this?

Thanks in advance!

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Ph: 7.0
Nitrate 0ppm
Nitrite: .25ppm no nitrates .25 nitrites still going thru a cycling it looks like crank up that co2
If you have no nitrates the plants could be limited. Also what are you dosing for traces?

Check your source water for phosphates.
If you are dosing EI for a 75G tank and it hasn't finished the cycling yet, your bio filter is trying to eat up the nitrites. I would stop dosing! Put more plants in there let the cycle finish. Then start off slow with the dosing regime until you get back on track.
don't dose until your tank is established.
do a water change now.. phosphate is bit high.. it should be 1-4ppm. And you'll see your nitrate for up too. And that's good. The plants are using ammonia & nitrite right.
It won't harm the fish but you'll get algae issues.
hey guys thanks for the help. I have some test results for you to maybe help me further in completing the cycle. I will admit, I probably did just start the ferts a bit soon after planting.

These results are after a 50% water change this afternoon and tested 5hrs later....Oh and I have eco-complete.

Phospahte 5.0 / 0.0 tap
Nitrate 10ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
ph 6.6 / 6.0 tap (forgot to turn the co2 back on after the water change :icon_redf )
Ammonia 0.50ppm
kH 2deg.

I have a good amt of plants in there now along with about 10small sized fish (rasporas, danios) and 2 angels and 1 gourami. Humm, I imagine this should affect the cycle and will probably take more time. Thanks again.
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Unless you calibrate your test kits it isn't a good idea to rely on them to determine how to fertilize. Phosphate and nitrate test kits have often been found to be faulty. Remember the idea behind the EI dosing system is not to test, but to add the calculated amount needed every other day or so, then change out half of the water every week to avoid overdosing. When you do that it is simple. When you try to finesse it with testing it gets much more complicated.
I agree, dose EI and weekly WC (50% to 75%). Leave the test kit alone. Watch the plants grow and adjust dosing to what they need.
Don't say test kits are useless. It gives you a ballpark idea to what is going on, especially for us beginners.

Nitrate & phosphate kits might be off but at least it's consistent.
Unless you calibrate your test kits, it is useless. Even then it is a waste of time and effort.
2 days after a major water change / cleaning I have some numbers. I haven't dosed anything since two days ago. My observations are: No more GW. :icon_smil though the hair algae is back. Two of my angels also died. Plants are not growing or looking very great, obviously since I've stopped dosing.

Nitrate 20ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Ph 7.0
Ammonia 0ppm
KH 1 deg
GH 4 deg

I realize I have 4ppm of C02 which isn't good at all. However, there is a steady stream of bubbles coming from the bubble counter and using a red sea 500 reactor. Though for the past two days i've shut off the C02 at night for the first time since i've started the tank. So it appears that by the results that the -ites are being converted and my ammonia is staying at 0. Am I fully cycled and can dose again? Though I'm sure I'll be adjusting my regimen when the time comes.

Thanks for all that you guys/girls do.
just dose potassium, iron & trace.
and pump in the CO2.

i'm guessing your phosphate is 2-4ppm.
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