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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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..
Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey...
Actually I did use Tom Barr's method. All was good for 3-4 weeks then I had green water again.

I did a huge w/c yesterday, and got the P levels down to around 2ppm. I also dosed some Seachem Nitrate to around 5ppm yesterday. I will try and get it up to 10ppm today...dont want to raise it too fast!!

The water is still cloudy however, but much better than it was! My CO2 is around 20ppm, hopefully that is high enough for the meantime.

So...the way I understand is that if I can get my NO3 levels up to 10ppm, and my P levels to around 1ppm, while keeping my CO2 up it shouldn't be long before my green water clears and my plants start growing again!

Is that right??
Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi again everybody...

Just an update..
I finally got my Phosphate under control after some serious water changes! Its holding steady after 3 days now at .75ppm. Nitrates were dosed to ~7.5ppm, and potassium as well. Also dosed iron and trace with TMG. I went away for the weekend after getting everything back on track Friday afternoon. I returned on Sunday night to find more greenwater!!! Man..I cant win with this stuff. A blackout is my last choice cuz of the beating it put on my plants last time, and I can not afford a diatom filter or UV light...

So...given my nutrients are in order, how long should it take to burn off the greenwater?..and what about photosynthesis??.. it wont be optimal because of the cloudy water and minimal light penetration.. is that a factor?

Please help on where to go from here?? How long should I wait it out?? or what can I do in the meantime to help the process??

thx again...
Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the response...

I just came home from work and did another 50% water change to get the clarity happening. I dont think any plant is going to out compete algae if proper light is not reaching the plant?!? Right??

I am also stopping all ferts until things settle down again. I will reduce the NO3 to ~5ppm or less so that algae cant use it to multiply...

Damn, this is like a catch 22!! Add more ferts to get the plants going good, but then the algae kicks in and clouds the water!! Its like 1 step forward, 2 steps back.

We'll see how the low NO3 works out...

ohh.. to answer you question about N uptake. I dosed to ~15ppm on Friday afternoon, and on Sunday night it was around 7.5ppm. So maybe around 2-3ppm a day, I'm guessing..

thx
Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Guys...

I appreciate all the help from both of you! You have really made a difference! Thank you very much!! I have one last question however...

Tom, I read an article posted by you on fins.actwin I believe:
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plants/month.200108/msg00663.html

It talks more about Ammonia control and biological filtration than nutrient control as a way to combat greewater...
So what about going to the LFS and getting a supplement to help convert NH4 into NO3 quicker, in order to help my biowheel handle any spike in NH4?? Would that help clear the water faster/ more? Or am I already passed that stage, and no further biological tampering will fix it now??

~~~~~~~~~~

Jeff, thanks for your help as well! I am really trying to understand the relationship between P and N, and I have read all your messages regarding the subject. As you suggested, I am trying to shift the balance to P being the limiting factor, rather than N. I think that is why my greenwater appeared in the first place (contrary to Tom's opinion).

Right now, I have cut my lights to 6hrs a day, and reduce P to .5ppm, and N to 3-5ppm as suggested. How long do you figure I have to maintain this relationship til the greenwater 'burns itself out'!

I really cant afford the Diatom or UV, and am actually having fun trying to solve the problem the 'long way' as it strengthens my knowledge in fishkeeping, etc.

I hope I am able to beat the GW, then I will be able to help others from my experiences, just as you guys have helped me!!

Thanks again...
Nick
 
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