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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, can you help me figure out what deficiency these swords have? I have fluval 3.0 lights running 9 hours at 90% intensity. No co2 injection (Yet). Fluval 407 filter, no phosphate pads, recently added fluval nitrite pads. I use root tabs, dose flourish potassium and phosphate (bieeekly) and iron (weekly). I also have a diatom problem that I cannot seem to fix. Tank is 55 gal and established. I do weekly water changes about 30%. Phosphate tests 0, nitrates around 10-20 right before wAter change. No ammonia or nitrites. I have 8 cardinals, 7 Odessa barbs, 3 pearl gouramis, 2 balloon molies, 4 juli corys and 4 green corys (tank is slightly overstocked). The plants are not new but I cannot seem to get them to look like the pictures I see online. New growth happens but leAves deteriorate as they grow. I will start injecting co2 soon. I have some Java ferns that do not seem to thrive either. Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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I'll give this a swing but it might be a miss. I looked up your lights and they look like good lights to me. They should be turned down because the plants don't have enough CO2 to use that much light. It's okay to turn them down. It will help. Turn them back up when you get your CO2.

There is Phosphate going into your tank from the fish and organics. However, your Phosphate tests at 0 ppm so the plants must be using it up. You should make up for the shortage of Phosphate by dosing 507 mg KH2PO4 a week to add 2 ppm PO4. You can just use Seachem Phosphorus to do this if you want. You can get KH2PO4 powder from Green Leaf Aquariums and use LaMotte 0700 soil test spoons from Amazon or a good scale to dose the powder.

There is some yellow on the leaves in the pictures that I think might be an indication of a Manganese deficiency. You didn't mention dosing micronutrients. If I'm not mistaken, dosing micronutrients should correct this. I dose Seachem Flourish but there are a lot of micro mixes out there.

I think doing the things I mentioned above will help with the diatoms. Silica might be contributing to your diatom problem. Check your water quality report to see if there is very much silica. I'm not sure how much is too much.

EDIT: Rereading I see that you are dosing Seachem Phosphorus. You should increase the dose on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much. I read somewhere that diatoms could be due to not enough light therefore I increased light duration but you might be right. It might be too much light. I just got my co2 regulator. I’ll see if it helps. Thank you again.

I'll give this a swing but it might be a miss. I looked up your lights and they look like good lights to me. They should be turned down because the plants don't have enough CO2 to use that much light. It's okay to turn them down. It will help. Turn them back up when you get your CO2.

There is Phosphate going into your tank from the fish and organics. However, your Phosphate tests at 0 ppm so the plants must be using it up. You should make up for the shortage of Phosphate by dosing 507 mg KH2PO4 a week to add 2 ppm PO4. You can just use Seachem Phosphorus to do this if you want. You can get KH2PO4 powder from Green Leaf Aquariums and use LaMotte 0700 soil test spoons from Amazon or a good scale to dose the powder.

There is some yellow on the leaves in the pictures that I think might be an indication of a Manganese deficiency. You didn't mention dosing micronutrients. If I'm not mistaken, dosing micronutrients should correct this. I dose Seachem Flourish but there are a lot of micro mixes out there.

I think doing the things I mentioned above will help with the diatoms. Silica might be contributing to your diatom problem. Check your water quality report to see if there is very much silica. I'm not sure how much is too much.

EDIT: Rereading I see that you are dosing Seachem Phosphorus. You should increase the dose on that.
 

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30g long, low tech, Finnex CRV, medium planted easy plants, rosy tetras, RCS, sterbai corys...
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By deficiency, are you referring to the yellow and poor growth or all the dark on them? I think the dark is just algea, no? Are you using excel or glutaraldehyde in the meantime before co2? That should help accompany all those ferts to keep the algea down. That or add a handful of snails...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
By deficiency, are you referring to the yellow and poor growth or all the dark on them? I think the dark is just algea, no? Are you using excel or glutaraldehyde in the meantime before co2? That should help accompany all those ferts to keep the algea down. That or add a handful of snails...
Thank you. I wasn’t sure whether the black stuff was just algae or phosphorus deficiency so I kept dosing phosphorus. Since then, I started injecting CO2 and the diatom problem is gone in a snap. I guess this is indicative of the limiting factor phenomenon. If one thing is missing (e.g. light, co2 or nutrients) adding other stuff won’t do anything other than triggering algae blooms. Plants seem to be growing nicely now. My nitrates used to run around 10-20, now they are at about 5. I have spotted a few green spot algae but I am guessing that is because my phosphate runs around zero. I keep dosing more. I may have to add some nitrogen just to bring my nitrates to 10-20. Tank seems to be balanced, fingers crossed. I thought about getting a few nerite snails but apparently females lay unsightly eggs all over the place that are hard to clean and sexing them is realy hard. So maybe some Amano shrimp...
 
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