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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 60 gallon, moderately planted.

My co2.

I diffuse co2 with my co2 reactor.

My lights 4 Watts per gallon.

On for 5 hours.

My substrate

2 and a half inch of Eco-Complete

This is what I dose. I somewhat go with the tom barr's EI, but just modifying it.

Saturday, 1/4 tsp K2SO4 and Flourish Excel X2.
Monday, 1/4 tsp Plantex CSM+B and Flourish Excel X2
Tuesday, 1/4 tsp K2SO4 and Flourish Excel X2
Wednesday, 1/4 tsp Plantex CSM+B and Flourish Excel X2
Thursday, 1/4 tsp K2SO4 and Flourish Excel X2
Friday, 1/4 tsp Plantex CSM+B and Flourish Excel X2

Saturday, 50-60% water change, K2SO4 and Flourish Excel X2, and then the cycle continues.

I only dose potassium (K2SO4) because my bio-load is high enough to be my KNO3 and phosphate from fish food everyday. So the nitrate and phosphate levels climb slowly together with potassium. Thus having NPK. and the other days I dose 1/4 of Plantex CSM+B. I dose Flourish excel X2 the regular amount to control algae, particularly green spot and diatoms. I get a reading of 10ppm of nitrate at the end of the dosing week. Phosphate is low. Plant growth is good, vigorous.

My Co2 is diffused 100% from my co2 reactor and out through the filter bar. I have my co2 timed to turn on when lights on, and off when the lights go off. According to my Co2 Dual drop checker from Cal aqua labs when my co2 turns on, and after a hour or 2, I get a reading of continuous green(Cal aqua lab's Indicator solution), just green, not light green (I might have to try that).

I have 4 wpg and pushing it a little with the extra 5x4 watts making 20 extra watts.

I do not test for my iron, gH & kH, nor do I test my potassium. So maybe the diatoms/green spot algae problem I am facing is because of my lack of knowledge with these parameters...??? (It's not that bad, like getting algae outbreaks, black beard algae, or hair algae, but I am getting the persistent green spot and brown algae every now and then) Believe it or not, I have just recently begun dosing Excel last month (Since the paintball shop closed for winter break, I had no co2 for about 3 weeks, until last week, I found a way closer location and co2 is way cheaper, So I just got co2, Hooray) So during the weeks of no co2, I started dosing Flourish excel X2 because that is the only thing I have, and it actually worked to battle some brown black algae that was on my Anubias nana and my petites. The algae slowly melting them away. So when i got CO2, I still decided to go with dosing Flourish Excel since it helped control algae. I decided to toned down my lighting period since I decided to propagate some plants in a different tank and took out many extras or bad looking plant stems. With flourish excel, I'd say it's helping out the plants absorb the nutrients faster thus helping to battle algae.

I barely started learning about the pH, kH, co2 relationship and I am getting on it when I get my test kits for kH & gH, and Iron next week.

Some questions.

How am I doing? Any downfalls to what I am doing or anything? So far so good?

Since I have a pH of about 7.6 right from tap, and when I have green reading from my drop checker, would it be safe to assume it will took off .6, making it 7.0 during my photo/co2 period? What IF I up my co2 bubbles per minute, get it down by .5 more, making it 6.5. and then getting up to 7.0 when lights and co2 goes out. Getting a color of light-green from my co2 drop checker. No danger to it, right?

What chemical do I use to get kH, or gH, down? What is recommended? and when I do have high kH and gH, do I dose slowly like a increasing ppm when dosing nutrients but the other way around by decreasing the ppm for a kH and gH, a unbuffer or something?

If my kH and gH is too low, what would be a better option? Buy CaNO3 to get both gH and kH up or Flourish's Equilibrium and Acid buffer? How much would I dose CaCo2 to get my kH from 1 to 4 slowly and what about gH?

Where can I get a potassium test kit?

Should I up my lighting right now or wait until my tank gets from moderately planted to heavily planted? Guess work lol.

Any answers to my questions, and advice, tips, links, or suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Please ask me any questions, I will gladly answer it.

I'll be back 7-9 hours later, I need to catch some ZzZ's.
 

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Since I have a pH of about 7.6 right from tap, and when I have green reading from my drop checker, would it be safe to assume it will took off .6, making it 7.0 during my photo/co2 period? What IF I up my co2 bubbles per minute, get it down by .5 more, making it 6.5. and then getting up to 7.0 when lights and co2 goes out. Getting a color of light-green from my co2 drop checker. No danger to it, right? Best to just watch your fish. When I was first getting really comfortable with pressurized co2, I never adjusted anything unless I knew I was going to be home for 4-5 hours to watch what, if any, effect it had on my fish. All tanks are different...that being said, with 4 dKH in my drop checker, I was able to safely have the drop checker turn kind of a greenish-yellow almost a brown with no visible signs of danger to my fish.

What chemical do I use to get kH, or gH, down? What is recommended? and when I do have high kH and gH, do I dose slowly like a increasing ppm when dosing nutrients but the other way around by decreasing the ppm for a kH and gH, a unbuffer or something?For raising GH, use a GH booster from Aquariumfertilizer.com. For raising KH, I use baking soda, but a lot of people prefer calcium carbonate.The only way to "unbuffer" in tank is to use peat. I have soft water, so I don't know a whole lot about that. The only other option is an RO unit for softening the water before going into the tank. If you are even thinking about upping GH/KH, get a GH/KH test kit first.....always know what you are doing.

If my kH and gH is too low, what would be a better option? Buy CaNO3 to get both gH and kH up or Flourish's Equilibrium and Acid buffer? How much would I dose CaCo2 to get my kH from 1 to 4 slowly and what about gH?CaNO3 does not raise GH and KH. See my above answer for what to use for GH and KH. A quick google search will tell you how to dose these

Where can I get a potassium test kit?There are no affordable potassium test kits

Should I up my lighting right now or wait until my tank gets from moderately planted to heavily planted? Guess work lol.You have changed almost everything about your tank in the last few months, now it's time to just grow. Stop changing. Your lights and co2 are in good shape, and your dosing looks good but may need tweaking depending on your tank.

Any answers to my questions, and advice, tips, links, or suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Please ask me any questions, I will gladly answer it.

I'll be back 7-9 hours later, I need to catch some ZzZ's.
See blue above for the questions I answered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
See blue above for the questions I answered.
Ah thanks jmhart, I am doing so far so good with my lights, co2, and dosing then. I will soon get the test kits and will post results here. Thanks again, for always helping me out buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lol I guess this thread is just too much to answer... My wall of text is for nada
 

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unless you are moderately planted with like an H. ploysperma or H. difformis or someother super fast grower you trim all the time, 4wpg over 60 gallons needs a heavily planted tank, even with a limited photoperiod.

regardless, it is hard to believe such a tank would have P and N available from bioload and feeding alone. what everyone should notice is every single succesfull method or comercial product has N addition when there is CO2 addition, including PMDD and older school methods, and the best (modern) methods meet all macros and traces are available. unless you are using mineralized soil or new (leeching) aquasoil, I call bs on the test and think you are clearly P and N limited, despite what you describe as currently good plant health.

fwiw, of course.
 

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I also agree with wet and think that you need to dose N and P. I've read many threads that have stated they can't even keep the N present for the end of the day much less all week. You have high light. I bet you are getting the algae issues because your plants need more N and P. ... unless you have mineralized soil....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How is it that I have 10 ppm of nitrate at the end of the week then? The test kit was opened and arrived new from the factory. If i continue to dose more nitrate, it's more likely to cause more problems, right? There was a time when I was dosing nitrate and I experienced a super high reading of nitrate super red. I feed every day too =\ The plant growth is fine. I am experiencing the typical green spot algae and maybe some brown algae a little here and there but it's not that bad.
 

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Have you calibrated your test kit to be sure it is functioning properly? Easiest way of doing this is take a sample of pure distilled water and a sample with a known 10ppm of NO3. Run the test on each and make sure the colors match the chart for the tested levels.
 

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Don't get too wrapped up in ppm values specifically, test kits even when properly calibrated are estimations at best. Keep an eye on plants, fish and algae, they are the real indicators. Most algae issues are due to CO2 probs, whether just not enough or inefficient circulation. I think a small amount of GSA is probably normal and virtually unavoidable, I clean a little off my glass every 3-4 weeks, just kinda part of the deal. GSA on leaves, however is indicative of less than healthy growth, so watch for that. Sounds like you're on the right track though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No more Flourish excel now. I just introduced riccia. I am going to try upping the co2 to the point it's close to yellow. I'll try my best!
 

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As far as CO2 goes, i would increase it SLOWLY until you see the slightest sign of fish gasping at the surface, then back it a little.
 

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not to be a stick in the mud, but high light and c injection without n and p addition is neither ei nor pps, the two most succesfull general guidelines in the hobby.


barr and others revert to everything being c because it is the largest macro. this is smart. but n is your second biggest. berts advice and Edward/pps guides are excellent for calibrating when depending on a kit.

if your n is in your opinion too high at the end of the week, you could lower the n dose, but if doing ei, this is what the water change is for. typical ei maintains around 20ppm n. keep in mind dosing n without p and k is as silly as injecting c without n, of course.

but as said if your plants are pimp your dosing is too. without pics and with this thread I am just willing to bet that's not true <3
 
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