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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ADDED SOME MORE terraces in my tank over the weekend :oops: and my plants stopped growing, in fact my L. inclinata, R. Macranda and Wallichi tips have turned white!! My E. Stellata sort of disintegrated and nothing is pearling. :-({|= I thought that my bulbs might have something to do with it, but how fast it happened leads me to believe it is something else.

The tank is 150gal, CO2 supplemented, 65wt x 12 of 10000k and 6700k PCs, temp 80-82F. Supplemented with all Seachem products and water changes of 50% weekly. Why all of a sudden? Any suggestions. Thank God I started up another 40gal breeder and placed some of the "hard to find" plants in there. They are thriving in there by the way.

All I can think of from the readings I have been doing is a possible K deficiency :oops:
 

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Can you tell us what you have been adding for macros and micros, like grams of solids (like KNO3), and how much of the liquids (like mls and ppm)?

Practically speaking, are you able to turn half of your lights off and still get even lighting? I don't know how close the lights are but at 6.3 Watts/per gallon, the plants may be sucking up all the nutrients you put in. Instead of going broke with fertilizers, it would be better to slow things down a little by going to 3 Watts per gallon.

Yes, it could be a deficiency from too much light causing the plants to need too many nutrients! I'm not familar with those plants, but I'd still like to know what you are dosing.

Steve Pituch
 

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jdigiorgio said:
My E. Stellata sort of disintegrated and nothing is pearling. :-({|= I thought that my bulbs might have something to do with it, but how fast it happened leads me to believe it is something else.
I don't think a K deficiency, you have several things going on. We really can do a much better job with more information, I think we need to steal that "problems" sheet from AQ :) Its basically something they ask folks to fill out lighting, ferts, substrate, etc... So this is my intitial guess based on what little I know.

Pearling IME has always been a CO2 issue, especially if nothing is pearling. Fix this first, and keep it 20-30ppm. White growing tips are usually iron deficiency... 65Wx12=780W??? :shock: Cut that in half at least.... old reefer? :D Your iron problem might be due to photo-oxidation, I think its good advise for those using higher light to go to 2 or 3 sources of iron, like Flourish Fe+TMG+Plantex CSM for instance to cover your bases so to speak.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
plant problems

Here is the characteristics of the tank...

150 gallon, 48in x 24inch x 28inches deep, if memory serves me correctly.
Substrate is about 120lbs of 80%Flourite and the rest is regular gravel.
Lights are 6 x 65wt 1000k and 6x 55wt 6700k.
Temp is 80-82
ph - 6.8 with addition of CO2. 7.0 out of tap
Total Hardness is 120ppm
no nitrates or nitrites, ammonia
phosphates are around 1.0

I dose with all of the Seachem products.
Iron = 1ml per 10 gals
K = same
excel = same
flourish 4ml twice a week
phospouros = 3ml twice a week
nitrogen = 4ml 2x a week

water changes 50% weekly
additional iron (clay balls) in substrate

Plants were doing GREAT but all of a sudden they just stopped. I did not change anything except take out a power head. I noticed that now the ph is stable around 6.6 and the CO2 never comes on. I want to lower the CO2/ ph controler down to6.5, but am affraid of a ph crash.

There is a moderate fish load with about 50 neon sized fish 4 six inch discus and various cats and shrimp.

Do not feed the fish heavily. Did nothing different in the tank to cause this, unless the water company did something. HELP!!!
 

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You mentioned total hardness of 120 ppm. Can you check KH and GH? It seems your water is going acid without CO2 injection. I wonder if you are sucking the minerals out of the water. Can you check KH and GH of both the water at pH 6.6 and the tap water? Your buffering may have been removed from the water by the plants. Also what about the light? Can you cut down on the light? Just use the 6700K bulbs. Turn off the 10000K ones.

Meanwhile I will review the nutrients you are adding.

Steve Pituch
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
plant problems

mY GH, according to a cheap test kit is 4 and my KH is less than one. (Color changes on first drop added) Suggestions? I bought some crushed coral that I was going to add to the filter to try to raise the buffering capacity? Is this a good idea? If not what is reccomended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
plant problems

That last post of mine was for the tank water. I did the water from the tap but can not remember what it was will post it tomorrow. What is the best addative to raise the harness in the tank without killing the plants and how is this done?. I change about 60-75 gallons a week.

Would this low total hardness have any effect on fish? I recently lost three of my big discus to unknown reasons. They are fine and then they die after 5 days a week in the tank?

Dying fish, dying plants and I can't find anything wrong with the water other than a low KH?
 

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From the Internet I just read that one teaspoon (about 6 grams) of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) per 50 liters of water will increase KH by 4 degrees.... So you would need about 10 teaspoons of baking soda since you have 500 liters.

I would also add Epsom salt to raise the Mg and GH. I would add at least 50 ppm Mg = 50 mg/L, so you need 50 x 500 Liter tank = 25000 mg Mg. Since Epsom salt is 9.8 % Mg you need 25/.098 = 255 grams of Epsom salts. This is about 9 ounces of Epsom Salts.

You also need calcium. Put the coral in the filter.

Then check the pH. It should go up. You need a lot of CO2 for that tank. If the controller is off you are not putting any co2 into the tank. Just make sure that you don't put more than about 30 mg/L of co2 into the tank.

Do you know how to check for co2 using KH and pH?

Steve Pituch
 

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Re: plant problems

jdigiorgio said:
mY GH, according to a cheap test kit is 4 and my KH is less than one. (Color changes on first drop added) Suggestions? I bought some crushed coral that I was going to add to the filter to try to raise the buffering capacity? Is this a good idea? If not what is reccomended.
If you're in the DC area, I would really really think about joiining GWAPA, the Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Assoc, its a great club, see www.gwapa.org. Did you turn off half of your lighting? I use a lot of light, you have so much light it makes me look like a wuss.

There is no way, no how, with lighting levels like that you're going to be able to keep up using Flourish Product line, unless you have lots of money and want to order by the case...

You need to get some potassium nitrate in powder form, I would ask around on the GWAPA forums, someone locally can sure help you out, but you really need to meet with a member, you have a lot of ground to cover especially involving proper nutrient levels, you can learn so much from a face-to-face meeting... if you can, have someone come over and see the problem... We try to ask the right questions online but its not an ideal medium for troubling shooting like this, especially when you have nearby experts...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
plant problems

I really appreciate all of the help. But with a tank that deep (28inches) Its not neccessary to have that much light. I always thought that there could never be TOO MUCH LIGHT, especially for red plants. My Rotala Macranda, really was never RED, but rather a brownish red color. So I thought it was poor lighting and added more lights. The plants grew like weeds for about a month and now this.

Will any of the dry ferts hurt the fish? Is it neccessary to mix with water first or just add it to the tank?
 

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One thing besides decreasing the lighting by half and raising the hardness of your water is to increase the amount of ferts you're adding.

You really aren't doing much by adding adding 8mL weekly of Flourish Nitrogen into a 150 gallon tank. I would get dry ferts like KNO3 (can be found in Home Depot as stump remover) for nitrate and KH2PO4 for phosphate. You should be keeping your nitrate at the 5-20 ppm level. Personally, I mix my macro nutrients with a fixed amount of water. Every day I feed the fish, I also feed the plants with a squirt of each nutrient mix. I use Chuck Gadd's calculator to help me figure out how much I am adding with each mL (I set mine so each mL raises my NO3 by 1 ppm in a 20g, for example). I test once a week to double check to see if levels are fine.

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_dosage_calc.htm

In your case, the extra nitrates will be more helpful since you have so much light. Phosphates look good at 1 ppm. You can actually raise that even more to around 2 ppm. You can make a nutrient mix out of this, too. :)

Finally, your traces are super low. If that were my tank, I would start off with dosing 15mL of Flourish daily and 15 mL of Flourish Iron daily, too. I would increase this amount every week until you no longer see any improvement in the health of your plants. High iron and traces are the key for maintaining high octane tanks like yours.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
plant problems

I tried to do the calculations but was never that good t chemistry. If I am starting from scratch, how do I proceed? I know I have a 150 gal, assuming it is about 135-140gal of water. Now What??

Can you guys help and break it down for a person who THOGHT he knew what was doing, but now want to spend less on Seachem products?

What do I need to add to the tank on a regular basis?
I have a phosphate test kit along with Iron, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia gh and kh test kits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
plant problems

According to Chuck's aquarium page...

There is on case I've seen where the addition of CO2 resulted in an increase in KH. This can happen when you have something in the tank that dissolves carbonate into the water. Seashells, crushed coral, and many gravels and rocks will do this. With the addition of CO2, the water turns more acidic, which will increase the dissolving of the minerals. It appears that increasing CO2 raises the KH, which isn't really the case. The dissolving minerals raise the KH, and the increase in KH results in an increase in pH. In a system using a pH probe and controller to regulate CO2 levels, this can have fatal consequences, since the pH controller will keep trying to lower the pH, but as more CO2 is dissolved, it lowers the pH, which raises the KH, which raises the pH. So you now have more CO2, but the same pH. So the controller adds even MORE co2. And it will keep going. So it's important to know your KH whenever using pH to judge CO2 levels

So what do I add to increase KH without this problem? Baking Soda as was stated earlier in the post. I take it I SHOULD NOT add the crushed coral to my filter? The more I read the more confusing it becomes!!

I know there is no cure all as everyones tank is different, si just say that I am starting from almost scratch..with the same problems...

A kh of less than 1 out of the tap, what do I do to raise it to say 2?
 

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Re: plant problems

HARDNESS
If your tap water's KH is <1 degree, then your GH will most likely be <1 degree as well. Test for these parameters to be sure. If they are indeed both <1 degree, then I propose that you use CaCO3 to raise both GH and KH as follows:

Since you change about 50% (70 gallon) of the total volume weekly, you should add back 8 teaspoon CaCO3 and 2.5 teaspoon MgSO4.7H2O w/ each water change -- an approximate Ca:Mg molar ratio of 3:1. 8 teaspoon CaCO3 will raise the tank's GH and KH by 3 degrees. I don't know by how many degrees of GH 2.5 teaspoon MgSO4.7H2O will raise. Baking soda is unecessary if you are using CaCO3. Given our soft water, the extra Na in baking soda should be avoided, especially if your tap water is already high in it.

If you only want to increase KH, then add 5.3 teaspoon NaHCO3 (baking soda) at each 50% water change. That would raise the tank's KH by 4 degree. 2.65 teaspoon NaHCO3 would then raise the KH by 2 degree. Etc.

The KH/GH of a planted tank should be >= 3 degrees. In any case, adjust the pH controller accordingly with the new KH. There's no need for Seachem's Excel since you're already adding pressurized CO2.

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NITROGEN/POTASSIUM (via KNO3)
For a 140G tank, add 1/2 teaspoon KNO3 twice per week (~7 ppm NO3/week & ~4.5 ppm K/week). The other fauna, especially discus, will add additional nitrogen.

PHOSPHATE (via KH2PO4)
I personally would not add any more PO4 because your tap water already contains 1 ppm PO4. The discus and other fauna will add additional phosphate.

MICRONUTRIENTS (via Flourish, Plantex CSM+B, TMG, etc.)
Continue using Flourish and dose as recommended in the previous posts. Alternatively, you can use Plantex CSM, a dry trace mix. Plantex CSM does not contain Boron, so you'd have to add it via Boric acid; thus Plantex CSM+B. Mix 2 tablespoon Plantex CSM and 1/2 teaspoon Boric acid with enough water to make a 500 ml solution. Dose it just like Flourish.

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SOURCES
CaCO3 can be obtained at any home brewery store (look in the Yellow Pages). MgSO4.7H2O can be purchased as Epsom Salt at any garden/grocery center. Some Epsom Salt brand(s) add Nitrogen to the mix so be sure to avoid these. KNO3, KH2PO4, Plantex CSM, and Epsom Salt, are available through www.gregwatson.com/products.asp Boric acid can be found in any drug/grocery store.
 
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