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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #1267

> Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 20:21:46 -0400
> From: "Daphne Freeman" <daphne.freeman at home_com>
> Subject: nitrates, phosphates,  algae and CO2
> Ok, I am in need of help again please.
> As a refresher the tank is a 92 gallon, MH, Dupla cables, Flourite/plain
> substrate mix with laterite, CO2 injection, ottos, SAE's, Amano shrimp,
> snails, soft water.  I was severely nitrate and phosphate limited.

You'd be surprised at just how many people are.
> As per Tom's recommendations, did a small water change and added stump
> remover to up my nitrates which were 0.
> Day 1 -  added 1 tsp stump remover plus 20 ml of TMG.
> Day 2 -  nitrates were still low so I added another 1/4 teaspoon stump
> remover.
> Day 3 -  added 10 ml of TMG.   I haven't added phosphate because it won't
> arrive until tomorrow.  That being said my parameters today are:
> GH 3 (I added Equilibrium to get this back up to 4)
> KH 4
> Nitrite .01
> Nitrates 3 (I added 1/4 tsp SR tonight)
> Phosphate .07

I have a question that you may have already answered, but I couldn't
find it... How's your K?  In my opinion, balance is one of the big keys
here.  I'm not talking about a magical ratio that people are looking
for.  I just mean that you need to balance all three macro's according
to your tank.

It sounds like you are getting everything together.... get your NO3 up
to around 10 ppm.  Mine goes as high as 20 ppm after a dosing of KNO3,
but gets sucked right back down and stays around 10 - 15 ppm.  A little
high, but [like I said] everything balances out.

> I now have some nitrates( I am still working on getting it up to 5) and am
> phosphate limited, right?  

Assuming that your micro's are in order, yes, I would say that you are
phosphate limited.  [0.07 in my opinion might as well bw 0]  

How is your iron?  I've always put iron right below the macro's.  Sort
of a macro-micro-nutrient.  As long as your iron is up somewhere between
0.1 and 0.5, I'd say you are safe to go with adding P.

> There was green spot on glass before but now it is getting worse 
> and getting on plants and driftwood.  My driftwood is now a solid 
> dark green color and the thread algae with knots is more widespread. 
> The UV is still on.  I thought phosphate excesses caused green spot, 
> although it was there with virtually no phosphates.  

I've found that putting lights over a container of water causes spot
algae. :)

But as far as the algae, you should always continue to manually remove
it.  Clean your glass, scrape of driftwood and pull off badly infected
leaves.  Once hair algae is there, I've never been able to get rid of it
without some sort of manual removal [including herbivores].  Once the
plants gain the upper hand, the hair algae will slow down and then your
army of herbivores should be able to finish it off.

> Several of the plants are pearling (is that cool or what, never had 
> that before!) but I am worried if everything will go crazy when I 
> add the phosphate.  

That's why you do it slowly.  If you are worried about it slow down even
more.  Wait until you get your nitrates up.  At about 5 - 7 ppm, I'd
start dosing a little P.  Just a little mind you, enough so that it
doesn't hit 0 and stay there long.  When you get your NO3 up to 10 and
can keep it there, start raising your P to about .2 - .5 ppm.  Watch
everything else!  Once the P starts coming up, I've noticed that my NO3
drops faster [as well as K and micro's].

> I am still upping my nitrate slowly to hit the recommended 5-10 ppm 
> (thank goodness for the archives or I would not have known that mg/L 
> was PPM). With the increased algae, do I just continue to hit it slowly 
> with SR and start phosphate addition tomorrow, throw in some more 
> frogbit and stems or what? I am at about 35-40% stems.

Like I said earlier, continue manual removal of the algae.  Get your NO3
up to around 5 - 7 ppm before you start adding the P.  Just as a little
precaution. I just think it is easier to get one at a time under
control.  If you are trying to raise a bunch of things at once, testing,
dosing, testing ,dosing, blahh, blah.  First things first.  Get your NO3
up, then get your P up, then get your Fe up and steady, then get a big
bucket and sharp scissors for lot's of clippings [especially with all
those stems :) ].

> On a related note, my CO2 is still dropping to 6.4 at night yet it is set at
> 6.9 on controller.  The CO2 is fed into an Eheim canister filter.  Will the
> canister accumulate that much CO2 throughout the day?  I have slowed the
> bubble rate down, sped it up, doesn't matter.  I thought with  the
> controller it wouldn't drop much at night.  I am being diligent to maintain
> my GH and KH at 4 and have been testing every day to every other day to hold
> it there.  It maintains the pH at 6.8-6.9 during the day and doesn't run
> continuously, I hear the solenoid open periodically and  have visually
> checked.   I don't know if this is normal but don't think it is related to
> the aforementioned problem.  However, I just wanted to give all the facts...

Is there a reason why it shouldn't drop that far?  Are your fish going
to go on strike?  Do your plants jump ship and move to a different tank?

If there isn't a problem, why worry about it?  In natural systems there
are large ph swings at night.  Guess what? Nobody notices, the plants
grow, the fish swim on free to live a life of religious fulfillment.
> Thanks as always, I would have never started a high tech tank if were not
> for ya'll! I am sure you'll be thrilled when I hush about this also so
> thanks for your patience!
> Daphne

Hope something I said helped.  I'm far from being a Tom Barr or George
Booth or James Purchase or any of the other experts.  I just state what
I've noticed from lots of hours spent enjoying my tanks.

Nick Wise
nwwise01 at netzero_net
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