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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have just set-up tank 10 days ago and am now getting the onset of the first bunch of algae. It is the dirty looking brown slimy fuzzy kind... My question is, should I add more P? (or should I do something else) Here are the details:

Tank: net vol 26.4 US gal/100 litres (gross 120 l/31 gal)
lighting: 4 x 24w T5 with reflectors, 11hrs/day
wpg: 3.7 wpg (based on net vol)
pressurised CO2, ~30 mg/l given:
pH 6.8
KH 5
Nitrite and ammonia: 0 mg/l
NO3: 15-20 ppm
PO4: basically less than .25 - difficult to tell 2 different shades of very light blue apart!!

Ferts: currently using Flourish line (not excel) and have calculated using equations from steve pituch's website, what I'm adding:
Fe: 2.5 ml/day = ~.25ppm/day
K: adding ~20 ppm over week: 25ml old F. Potassium x 2
P: added 22.5 ml over 2 days: ~0.68 ppm.

Also using F. Traces, Flourish as directed. Have got the Nitrogen but don't feel I currently need it given NO3 concentration (~15ppm) even after water change (~30%). Basically am using the Seachem schedule, but trying to modify it for desired concentrations.

Substrate: 100% Flourite
Fish: just added 10 juvenile Harlequin Rasboras and 12 Amano shrimp

Plants: Glosso, Microsorum petropus (narrow) Crypt X Willissii, Rotala rotundifolia, L.inclinata var. verticillata (cuba), micranthemum umbrosum, Lobelia cardinalis and a couple of stems of Eusterallis stellata.

Reason I'm asking about P is that from what else I read, my test kit isn't really registering, despite my P dosing. On my planted discus set-up I get a healthy reading of P, >1ppm, and a nice dark blue on the test card-and no algae to speak of. Discus seem to do a great job of dosing P for me!

Look forward to your suggestions,
Thanks,
Nick
 

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If in fact you're test kit is somewhat accurate, by all means add some KH2P04 :)
get that up to around 1ppm, the rest of you're param's look good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
o.k.-am going to 'go for broke' and whack up the P to see If I get 1 ppm. Am going to be using Flourish P.

Thanks,
Nick
 

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Bear in mind the following things:

- It's a new aquarium set up and has, as yet, a poorly developed substrate system until bacteria colonize it. Flourite is not a fertile off-the-shelf substrate unless you added mulm, peat etc during the set up.

- Check the PO4 test kit against the Flourish Phosphate to make sure the test kit is functioning as expected.

- If it was me, I would leave out the Fe / Trace for the next two weeks or so. There is some debate about how much fertilizer to provide during the set up time.

- During the next few weeks I would also reduce lighting time to 9-10 hours daily.

Where are you located?

Drive the system and you will possibly get algae, at least in the initial period as plants develop root systems and bacteria colonizes etc. Let it grow in a more natural way and you might well avoid problems.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips. I'll reduce light period by an hour or so. You think I should cut-out the Fe and traces? I guess I'm trying to mainly focus on the macros to start of with. Seems to me with a light fish load P is something that is potentially deficient early on-what do you think about my K dosing-aiming for 20-30 ppm over the week.

As for the substrate, I did seed it with some mulm and also took a sponge from planted discus set-up and used that in the filter to kick things off.

Pineapple-I'm in Berkshire.

Thanks,
Nick
 

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Nice place Berkshire. Is that not where the new "Beckingham Palace" is located? Seems like you're having as cold a winter as we are in NYC.... hope it warms up soon.

So you seeded the substrate. That bodes well.

As for the K aspect, I have read that it promotes root growth. It's hard to verify that without plucking ones plants out now and again to check. I haven't done that so cannot say for sure. K does seem to promote growth though and seems to have no effect on promoting algae.

As you say, focus on the Macros and as you test now and again you will see how fast they are being used up. From that you can judge when it is time to start adding Micros. Reducing the lighting by an hour might help a little - cannot harm.

Andrew Cribb
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Andrew,

I think the Beckhams are in Hertfordshire-I'm not sure I'll check OK magazine next time i'm in the barbers! You're right about the cold-been a bit worried about my plan deliveries for this new set-up. Nice and fresh from Tropica, they seem to have fared pretty well.

Have cut back on the Fe, and am keeping an eye on the macros-particularly Phosphate, which seems to be depleting faster the NO3 at the moment. My tapwater has ~40ppm NO3, so am replenishing that via water change at 50/50 tw/ro, giving me about 20ppm in the tank. Am aiming for 1ppm PO4, and sticking with a cumulative weekly dose of ~30ppm K. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks,
Nick
 
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