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Help with Water Parameters!!!

3432 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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Welcome Nick D:)

How well did you clean the tank after the blackout? You should have done at least a 50% wc and then redosed your tank. Did you follow Tom Barr's instructions for hte blackout? If you did not get rid of a lot of hte dead plant and algae matter from the blackout then I am sure that is contributing to your secon outbreak. If your plants are not growing well (and there would be much organic matter from dead and dying leaves and roots. etc) then that will contribute to both the raising P and the algae problems.

What else besides TMG do you dose? NO3? You should have levels of NO3 of around 10ppm(to 15ppm) especially if you have that high of P. Cut back on your Fe dosing for now too.

I would recommend that you start doing 50% wc once a week and at tht time dose to 10ppm NO3 and dose smaller amounts of TMG everyday. Sorry, I can't help with that dosing as I have never used it. Make sure your test kits are accurate. Forget about the Fe test. Make SURE your CO2 levels are good adn don't trust your P kit (Forget the K test and dose 10-15 ppm at the wc).

To my knowledge, carbon will leach P that it has collected once the carbon is "full" which is why your test wiht a new cartridge tested 0. I would recommend doing away with the Carbon entirely. You are using a penguin filter right? If so take and old cartridge, rip off the old foam and carbon so you are left with the plastic frame. Then get your self some Blue filter foam made by Marineland (what I use), cut a piece a little higher(1") and a little over twice as long as the cartridge is high. Wrap it around the plastic frame and secure it with a couple of rubber bands. Stuff it back down into the filter adn change it in 3-4 weeks, or as necessary. You can stick a thin layer of fine filter floss between the layers of foam if you want. If you use the bio-wheel, stop:) saves on CO2.

Hope this is helpful.
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