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Discussion Starter #1
I seem to be running into some trouble with dosing...

I've had some very nice tanks in the past, but I've stepped out of the loop for a bit and I'm trying to get back in. Shaking the rust off!

Here are some of the basics:
#65 gallon tank (48x18x18")
#all flourite substrate
#4x55 watt 6700K CF lighting (about 3.4wpg) - brand new bulbs
#injected CO2 with a PH monitor/regulator
#photo period - 10 hours (and near no windows)
#water movement is provided by two spray-bars - one from the XP3 filter and the other from the mag drive (for the CO2 reactor).
*UV sterilizer on for a few minutes every day (10ish), in the early morning before lights and before ferts are added.

i'm dosing all flourish ferts (all are brand new):
#nitrogen
#phosphorous
#potassium
#iron
#trace

other notes:
#water changes are usually on the weekend, about 20%
#temp = roughly 80
#PH = 6.8
#no other food is added! Once or twice a week at most I drop in a single algae wafer (size of a nickel).
#fauna consists of 6 otos, 5 SAEs, some MTS and cherry red shrimp (moderate amount).
#somewhat heavily planted

I wrote down the recommended doses from seachem to figure out a rough ratio. From there, I figured I would dose and watch how the plants reacted and make changes according to that.

First, I was dosing the following 3 times a week (MWF):
N - 5ml
P - 5ml
K - 12ml
Fe - 10ml
Trace - 20ml

after doing multiple tests, I found I never had any nitrates. The kicker, though, was when BGA devoured my aquarium. After a successful blackout, it died completely... but quickly came back with the same regimen. So, to quickly combat it, I began dosing the above amounts DAILY! the BGA finally went away and some of the plants finally started growing gang-busters. However, at the same time, some other plants started to die (ludwigia repens, corkscrew val, and bacopa). Also, I have a large patch of e. tennelus... and it grows quickly and spreads equally fast, but seems to be a little on the white side. It's very pale...

I've had to maintain the daily dosing just to keep N and P above 0. If I skip two days, BGA comes back. Even after dosing daily for over a week, my levels were always near 0, but no BGA.

I've also begun to have a nasty fight with the hard green algae that grows on the glass. I'm definitely losing that fight now, but it's considerably better than BGA! But I know I can do better...

I'm wondering if by dosing the 20ml of Trace daily (or every other), I'm putting way too much Cu into the tank. I've had a FEW shrimp deaths, but really not more than I could possibly attribute to natural (non-poisoning) causes. I cannot test for Cu so I was just trying to keep the same basic ratios from seachem.

I know a lot of people have similar setups and also dose Trace... what has everyone's experience been? And can anyone chime in about Cu poisoning, or should I be considering other sources for my misery?

Perhaps I need to continue dosing the other ferts at the same rate, but drop back on Trace?

JP
 

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I would only be worried if your inverts started dieing off, but you know plants do take up Cu as they grow, and your water changes will also reset any nutrient loads too.

And btw, do you dose Flourish or Flourish Trace for micronutrients?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Trace.

I don't use "Flourish" at all. Just Flourish N, P, K, Fe, and Trace.

I'll have to get some pictures on here... but i'll describe the situation as best i can:

ludwigia repens and my bacopa... the growing tips just died. and then it slowly started going farther down the stalk until the whole stem died.

my micro chainsword is growing, but mostly a very, very pale color. seems to have no problems growing runners though. older leaves are starting to get coated with green algae i think... but it doesn't seem to be affecting any other plants!)

isoetes quill is so-so. it seems that i get a new quill for every one that dies off. it may just be having a hard time because i have repositioned it a few times.

corkscrew val pretty much completely melted down and 2/3 of my plants died, also possibly because i moved them a few times trying to figure out my landscape.

HC (dwarf baby tears) are very slowly dying. i don't know if it's fert or light that is affecting them. they are sitting directly in the front, under the lights, with no obstructions. 3.4wpg CF on a tank with 18" depth shouldn't be so bad, but maybe HC requires even more?? i can't see myself going up to 330watts... that would be 5wpg!


plants that are doing rather quite well: red rubin, crypt wendtii, lobelia c., pennywort, sunset hygro, java fern, java lace fern, windelov, water sprite, african fern, and valisneria (not sure which, the typical long, skinny, straight stuff - i never moved this, so it has had time to root properly).


i think i'm going to keep N, P, K, and Fe high, but cut back on Trace a little bit. Does anyone else have any suggestions? perhaps I should just disconnect the UV sterilizer? I know it can remove some nutrients from the water column... any other suggestions? anyone?
 

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I think you should be using Flourish, CSM+b or similar, Trace is no stronger than mineral water, imo. Your basically seeing micro-nutrient deficiencies in your faster growers.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I checked the composition... it looks like Flourish has a higher concentration of certain elements, and Trace has a higher concentration of different ones.

I've been trying to make heads-or-tails of the deaths, and I was thinking possibly a boron or calcium deficiency... both of which are higher in concentration in Flourish. Perhaps I'll go grab a bottle and give that a try. I don't want to continue dosing higher concentrations of Trace because of the higher copper content.

thanks for the input... and if anyone else has something to add, please speak up! surprisingly quiet the last few days...


JP
 

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You don't need Flourish Trace at all, but you need to use Flourish (comprehensive) or Tropica's Plant Nutrition liquid like Riz suggested. Flourish Trace is nothing more than "spring water." You can use the fertfriend calculator to see how little the few nutrients levels really are.
http://www.fishfriend.com/fertfriend.html

This forum has a Seachem dosing calculator that is based on Microsoft Office Excel 2003 following Seachem's recommended dosing levels. Since it is in Excel format, you can customize it using all of Excel's features. Cheryl Rogers from AGA uses it, but it is customized for her on use.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/fertilizing/45119-seachem-dosing-calculator-chart.html
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i saw the calculator, but i think i'll pass. too many variables are unaccounted for (like lighting, types of plants, etc). i'll continue to just dose frequently and try to respond to my (poor) plants.

i picked up some flourish so i'm dosing that now, and less Trace (i'm not eliminating it completely).

i'll have to keep a close eye on things and see how they go this week. i think my watersprite may end up being a problem... even though i have other fast growers in there (like sunset hygro), nothing holds a candle to this stuff. it will overrun 1/3 of my tank in only 2 weeks! i think if i just stare at it, i'm certain to see it actually grow.

i'm hoping that (assuming the Flourish fixes this) I will be able to dose LESS of the other ferts. i still get the feeling that i'm WAY overdosing... although there are no signs of it.

thanks for the input so far guys


JP
 

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FertFriend is a handy tool. I believe that Seachem Support helped on this one. APC's fertilator has had some problems fixed. It should be helpful as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yeah! the problem I was having was that people always had a suggested ppm saturation, but it was sort of difficult to know how much I was adding. My only option before was to just blindly dose and then measure the results. now, I'll have a much better idea of how much of something I'm actually adding.

I love the internet...


JP
 

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Discussion Starter #11
after about a week, i can see some improvement since i've added Flourish to my dosing routine. i'm just surprised because i've never had the issue in the past with my other tanks... but perhaps it was because there are minor differences between the tanks.

i think my dwarf baby tears might actually survive, which is good. i think the bacopa is already dead, though... might have to replace it. but most other things seem to be doing better, so thanks for the suggestion. hopefully it'll continue to get better as the weeks roll on. i'm sure i still have some tweaking to do...
 

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after about a week, i can see some improvement since i've added Flourish to my dosing routine. i'm just surprised because i've never had the issue in the past with my other tanks... but perhaps it was because there are minor differences between the tanks.

i think my dwarf baby tears might actually survive, which is good. i think the bacopa is already dead, though... might have to replace it. but most other things seem to be doing better, so thanks for the suggestion. hopefully it'll continue to get better as the weeks roll on. i'm sure i still have some tweaking to do...
That dosing calculator is a decent starting dosing plan, but it does not work for every aquarium. You can tweak things a bit for your needs.

Since the calculator is based on Excel 2003, it is very customizable.
 

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jpmtotoro,

I was using the full line of Seachem as well on a 50 gal with 2.6 WPG. With the higher light (I am certain Seachem's recommendations are for a bit lower lighting) I increased micros by 1.5x and marcros by 3x and started to see some positive results. (I based the recommendations on the "Seachem's Recommended Dosing Guide". )

I just recently saw that the "Fertiliator" (on the gold menubar at the top of the page) has Seachem's products on it now. I fiddled with that and found that I needed to be dosing 6x the recommended macros to come anywhere close to dry ferts on EI method (for higher lighting).

Well, I tried that. 1.5x of Seachem's recommendation on micros, 6x on macros (15 ml of each, 3x per week). The results were great. The downfall, it means buying LOTS more ferts.

Last weeks total doses were 45 ml of N and P, 60 ml K, 15 ml flourish, 15 ml Fe, 60 ml Trace. Plant growth is great, healthy. Fish are fine.

With your high light, I would recommend increasing your doses.

-Dave
 
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