Fertilizer problems - Plant Deficiencies - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 11-10-2013, 06:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fertilizer problems

I think I am having an issue with EI dosing.
My plants have not been growing for a long time. Some step plants that I should be trimming to keep from taking over have not grown more than 6 inches tall. I have been dosing with liquid fertilizers but the plants did not grow well. One that was sold to me as L. aromatica (which I am not sure its a ludwigia of some kind) seems to have K deficiency, even though I was dosing k. I tested the water and it was stripped of NO3. I decided to do EI dosing with dry fertilizers
It seems the BBA loves it more than the plants do. One week into dosing and it seems BBA which I thought I had eradicated has made a come back and may take over my tank. I figured the plants would suck the nutrients up faster than the BBA, that does not appear to be the case.

Should I wait it out and hope the plants start sucking up the nutrients soon or should I be looking at changing routines?

Parameters
NO3 ~10 ppm
KH ~9 dkH (I know its high, but Im trying to get it done. Not sure why it is so high.)
GH ~8 dkH (same as KH)
PH 7.2
pressurized CO2 (KH 9/ PH 7.2 CP2 should be ~17-20 ppm)
PO4, I do not have a test kit for that. I have to order it. Hope to get it soon
Just did the first weekly water change since starting the EI dosing. hope things improve.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

Post some good close-as-you-can-get macro photos of each plant showing issues.

BBA is pretty common and you just need to spot treat with flourish excel or gluteraldehyde if you can find the stuff. Suck up the recommended dose in a baby formula syringe (from the pharmacy) and then apply it directly to BBA slow as you can. It will take a few days to treat the entire tank, but it works well.

How much of each fertilizer are you adding and how often?
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

Is the NO3 test from right AFTER the water change? That is good.
Is the NO3 test from BEFORE the water change? When it should be high because of the EI dosing? If so, the plants are grabbing a whole lot of the fertilizer!
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

The lack of NO3 was before I started dosing dry ferts. The 10 ppm NO3 was sustained after dosing. Any tests were taken ~1 hour after any dosing or water changes. ANything before I have a possibility of testing the water before equilibrium is achieved.
As for photos, I will get some posted later. I can say its not bad yet, but the BBA is starting to rear its ugly head, which worries me. My first attempt at plants ended badly with a massive BBA soup with ~$30 (with shipping) worth of dead plants
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Old 11-13-2013, 05:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

Unfortunately many / most people have BBA in their tanks no matter what type of setup they have. You just need to dose with excel (or gluteraldehyde) to get rid of it.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

I am dosing with excel. Unfortunately the LFS around here do not carry it and running low.
I looked up that gluteraldehyde. What is the concentration of it in excel? I was wondering if I bought straight gluteraldehyde and dosed that, would it save money and number of online orders of 250ml excel? By the way it seems, excel is a very diluted form of gluteraldehyde.
Nevermind, Found my answer. Excel is 1.5% gluteraldehyde and you can purchase at 25%, though it comes with serious health warnings on the MSDS

Last edited by sonvar; 11-14-2013 at 03:37 PM.. Reason: answered
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

also, I thought having KH kept pH stable. My CO2 throttle valve stuck shut last night. When I tested the pH it was 7.8. a swing of .6 pH in a 24 hour period it does not seem much it is a fact of 4 change. should I be worried by this change and should I just buy a new throttle valve?
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

I can't remember what the concentration of Excel is. There is a huge thread on APC discussing that kind of thing if you are really interested you should browse through it. Thread: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...id-all-my.html

I don't think you really need to though, it has already been determined that dosing gluteraldehyde is cheaper than excel (much cheaper). Wet made a calculator program for it that you can find here: http://rota.la/glut/ Gluteraldehyde is more concentrated and easier to over dose with than excel but it will do the same job.

Don't worry about the pH changing. It regularly fluctuates up to a full 1 degree per day in planted tanks, sometimes more. It does not cause issues. What happened with your valve? If you can still control the bubble rate then I don't think it needs to be replaced.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

Attached is photos of the BBA comeback. It does not look like much, but after loosing all my plants before, Im a little jumpy.
The dwarf grass is also turning black at the ends and some have little tuffs of BBA at the tips.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fertilizer problems

I don't see any limno plants in the tank. The java ferns with black holes in them are pretty normal looking. They just get this way with age it is part of their reproductive life cycle. Just cut off the old messy looking leaves.

It would be helpful if you sent a water sample from your tank (water from the day before before you do your next water change - not after your water change) and also a tap water sample (or whatever water you usually add to fill the tank up) to JeffyFunk. Click http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...jeffyfunk.html, then go to the Contact info tab and send him a message asking for his address.

He is collecting data on water conditions and how they relate to BBA. Have a look at the thread he started here:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...-analysis.html
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