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Re: strange nitrate experience and fish loss


<"Hi, all, I've been battling some hair algae that is
growing on the substrate.  I recently concluded that I
wasn't adding enough TMG (I was adding about 4
ml/week).  Also, my hygro leaves had pin holes in them
indicating a possible K deficiency.">

You could try dosing K seperately.  I add 1/16th
teaspoon of K2SO4 (Homegrown Hydroponics)twice a week.
 You can also use KCl which can be found in Greenlight
Stump Remover at Ace Hardware or maybe Home Depot.

<"I also determined through two test kits--Aquarium
Pharmaceuticals and Red Sea--that my tank appears to
be nitrate limited. (NO3 was not detectable.)">

For the Red Sea test use kit II, test number 2.  Test
number 1 gives inaccurate readings when organic
compounds are present or so the manual states.  I
compared the results or test 2 against a Wardley test
kit and they matched.

<"I mixed up a small batch with distilled water so
I was adding about .5ml per day. I noticed after
several doses that my fish became stressed.  They were
lethargic, and my SAEs developed red around their
fins.  Yet, my Red Sea test indicated that I only had
about 2.5ppm of nitrate in solution.">

See above.

<"Tank parameters:
Size: 29 gallon
Lighting: 60 watts, 12 hours/day
pH: 6.8-7.1 with DIY CO2
KH: 3.0
Filtration: HOT Magnum with biowheel
NO3: undetectable
Fe: less than 0.1 ppm with Seachem test kit
Fertilizers: Seachem Potassium, Tropica Mastergrow
Plants: Java fern, Java moss, hygro, ambulia, baby
tears, crypts, Amazon sword, wisteria, anubias, a bit
of duckweed">

You tank parameters look good with the exception of
CO2.  It seems a little low (< 15ppm), boosting the
output or the efficiency of the CO2 diffusion into the
water will help.  

<"I would appreciate any input on what I can do to
balance my tank without stressing my fish.  Also, has
anyone else used Homegrown's NO3? I wondered if there
are impurities which become toxic.
Thanks for your assistance.

I and many others on this group have been using
Homegrown Hydroponics supplies for quite some time
without ill effects.  My guess is your NO3 test kits
are giving incorrect readings.  Chances are the
nitrate levels are through the roof.  Like I said, try
using test 2 of the Red Sea kit.

I too have a 29gal with the following parameters:
- 100W NO fluorescent lights (12hrs/day)
- Dose trace elements + Fe (4ml/day)
  K2SO4 (1/16th teaspoon 2X/week)
pH: ~6.8, KH: 5ppm, NO3: 10-20ppm, PO4: 0.2-0.3ppm


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