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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Here is the update for 8/10/08:

K 8 ppm
PO4 0.3 ppm
NO3 12 ppm

I couldn't do my usual water change last week so I doubled up on them this week. My TDS is still above where I'd like it to be; so, I'll be doing a few extra changes this week as well.

Next week I'll post a graph with the weekly updates.

This is my feeling so far. NO3 is not much affected by what you put in or take out. I think NO3 may be the result of feeding my fish.

PO4 is pretty much a constant as well. I don't think PO4 is coming from the fish food so it must be from the ferts.

K is definitely very variable and you cannot tell what it will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
OK, here are the latest updates on the K level project:

8/15/08
NO3 12 ppm
PO4 0.3 ppm
K 10 ppm

8/25/08
NO3 26 ppm
PO4 0.4 ppm
K 11 ppm


Sorry about the delay but I was away the weekend of 8/16 -8/17 and didn’t get home until late on Monday.
When I left I noticed that my tank was slightly cloudy and when I returned it was pea soup!
I gave it 3 days in the dark and on Friday turned the lights back on to a clear tank. There was some decline in the other plants as well with some dying leaves on the Pigmy Chain and Val.
I installed a UV sterilizer over last week end. My tank is now crystal clear!
Yesterday I checked my water chemistry and was surprised to find that NO3 was so high.
I’d like to think the high NO3 was the cause of my algae bloom but I’m more inclined to believe that the dead algae and plants were the source of the excess NO3.

A chart of the results so far follows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Results 8/31/08

NO3 23 ppm
PO4 0.4 ppm
K 10 ppm

I'm going to break away from the PPS Stock plan and go to the NO3 free plan until my NO3 goes down.

If I can figure out how to edit my posts, I'll revise the chart!

I realize that there are people, like Hoppy with green thumbs as long as an arm, who can just smell an aquarium and know what is going on. (That was meant to be a sincere complement). Unfortunately, I can only see numbers and the test result say that for me at least, there is no way to figure out what is going on my your tank with out testing it on a regular basis.

Maybe someday I'll be as good as Hoppy without doing any testing.

BTW: I've almost figured out how to take photos of my aquarium. Unfortunately the colors are all mixed up. When I get that squared away I'll post some pics.
 

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Re: Results 8/31/08

NO3 23 ppm
PO4 0.4 ppm
K 10 ppm

I'm going to break away from the PPS Stock plan and go to the NO3 free plan until my NO3 goes down.

If I can figure out how to edit my posts, I'll revise the chart!

I realize that there are people, like Hoppy with green thumbs as long as an arm, who can just smell an aquarium and know what is going on. (That was meant to be a sincere complement). Unfortunately, I can only see numbers and the test result say that for me at least, there is no way to figure out what is going on my your tank with out testing it on a regular basis.

Maybe someday I'll be as good as Hoppy without doing any testing.

BTW: I've almost figured out how to take photos of my aquarium. Unfortunately the colors are all mixed up. When I get that squared away I'll post some pics.
Wow, do you have me figured out wrong! I struggle as much as anyone trying to get good plant growth with little or no algae growth. My skills at judging what is wrong by looking at plants are almost non-existent, which is why I use the EI method. I appreciate the compliment, but it is aimed at the wrong person. (My thumb is black - I'm an expert at growing BBA)
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Here are the results for 9/7/08
NO3 23 ppm
PO4 0.4 ppm
K 9 ppm


My NO3 is still high. I haven't added any additional NO3 in a week. I'm still doing 20% water changes per week.
Tank looks great except for some problems with one Sward plant (see my post in general plant discussions).

If I can figue out how to do it, I should have a picture of my tank in my pictures file.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Sorry about not posting this last week. I forgot. Here are the results from the last two weeks:

9/14/08

K 10 ppm
NO3 19 ppm
PO4 0.3 ppm



9/21/08

K 8 ppm
NO3 6 ppm
PO4 < 0.1 ppm


There was a dramatic drop in KPN (even though I’ve been adding extra K and P. This appears to be the result of increasing CO2 levels. I added a pH controller and have been gradually lowering the pH (increasing CO2) I’m at 18 ppm now.

My feeling is that I will have to double the PPS rate to keep up with the plant usage at this CO2 level.
 
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