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Help with Water Parameters!!!

3429 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  plantbrain
Hey all...

My readings are:
Nitrates: 0ppm
Phosphate: 4ppm
Potassium: 0ppm??
Iron: 2ppm
Dose 5ml TMG every week at waterchange. (15%, 1x week)
PH: 7
GH: 11deg
KH: 7deg
DIY C02 running approx 25ppm
Seachem Root Tabs in plain gravel
3.29 wpg on 29gal
Heavily planted tank
4months old.

Right now I am trying to establish a fert routine, but I'm experiencing some major troubles! I have a serious green water problem as well. This is round 2 with the GW. I had it about 3 weeks ago, then got rid of it temporaliy with a 4 day blackout, which put a serious beating on my plants.
I cant figure out why it came back?? Another Blackout is not an option!

Also, I cant figure why Phosphates are so high when my Tap water is only 1ppm. Something is making it rise up over time. Somebody told me that it is the activated carbon in my Penguin filter cartridge that is leaking phosphates into the water column. So I did an experiment where I left a brand new carbon cartridge in a bucket of tap water. The phosphate readings did not change over a 48hr period. So is it true or not that activated carbon leaches phosphates back into the water?

I feed minimal amounts of food to a moderately stocked
tank (1x-2x/ week). And have no dead fish..

So..What are the possible causes of rising phosphates? I though I had the problem solved when I did the Carbon Filter experiment. But the results were negative!? What else is driving the Phosphates up in a tank where there is no water column fertilization???

Thanks for the advice..
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Those Hagen quick filter are 5 micron in size, the GW cells are 2-5 microns across depending on age.

These can be used to remove the GW, filtration, UV and copper have works along with Daphnia but fish will eat those.

The good news is that there are many methods to get rid of it and it does no harm to the plants.

Bad news is that you will not beat it by fertilization, Blackout generally don't work except in milder cases or with lower light and only if you do them for a long time.

CO2 addition also helps to grow green water, high light also.

It's induce by adding NH4, this can come from fert's like Jobes sticks etc or from fish waste if something increases the loading of NH4 or disrupts the NH4 from being assimilated into the plants or bacterial conversion to NO3.

Basically anything that backs up enough NH4 to cause the algae to bloom. Once they bloom they are going to be very tough to get rid of.
While it might look like a lot of algae, in terms od biomass, it's very small and they just don't need much to live on.

Adding some more biofilter can help if you have only a small biosection to prevent reoccurances. If you use a UV for a while, this can help it from ever coming back.

I've induced GW many times over the years using NH4/Jobe stick etc, but it's been impossible for me to get it to occur without too much fish/critter loading, NH4 etc.

You can add all the NO3 and PO4 you want, it's not going to induce the GW, only NH4 can do that, but once there, it'll hang on for dear life.

Tom Barr
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Nick is not using my so called method, I suggest 50% weekly water changes to reduce any build up like PO4. He's doing 15%.
Few utilities will use more than 1ppm of PO4.
Low NO3 is bad.

Yep, I think I hate algae talk also but someone always ask why and it does tell me a fair amount about what nutrient issues are occuring. But it's off topic some here.

Nick, the trouble is not so muchy what you are doing now with gw, it's the fact you have it. Kill it and keep the tank in good shape.

Easy to control level by doing large weekly water changes, very simple.
The water changes prevent anything from building up, the regular dosing keeps every thing well fed. You can try reducing the water changes etc later or other changes after you get comfortable.

Most folks that have been doing plants for many years will tell you, 2 w/gal is fine for most any plant I've ever grown. More light is not better and with folks buying PC lighting, this creates a huge problem for most.

For this 29 gal tank, I'd add

1/4 teaspoon of KNO3 3x a week
A few drops of Fleet enema 3x a week
5mls of TMG 3x a week
50-60% water change weekly
Really watch the heck out of the CO2, make sure it's 20-30ppm the entire the time the lights are ON and make sure the levels don't dip below that later in ther week after the brew is slowing down more.
I changed my brew weekly when I did the DIY. It's a PITA.
I also designed a few CO2 diffusers to help equilibrate the CO2 levels which helped immensely.

CO2 is going to cause a lot of issues for you then NO3.
The above routine will get you through all this but you need to understand why you are doing this and I'll defer you to Jeff on that one.

Tom Barr
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