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Re: New tank ,nutrients

Gamera Wrote:
> Okay, a quick update on my tank.  Itís a 30-gallon with a 96 watt Bright
> Kit, pressurized CO2, moderate to moderate/high planted, low fish load.  It
> has an Eheim Pro II filter that was run on an established tank for 1.5
> months prior to setup and the all-Flourite substrate was seeded with gravel
> from an established tank.  Iíve decided to keep a detailed journal of my new
> tank.  Just to answer a few of Tomís questions, hereís whatís been going on
> with my tank recently:

Well you have all the goodies to make it an _extremely_ well run tank. All
you need to experience, nutrients etc.
> I performed water tests the past couple of days, both at morning and at
> night, just to get an idea of whatís happening.  The main thing I wanted to
> know was how much CO2 my tank was consuming.

See here? Smart. 

> The morning of 02/11/02, pH
> was 6.6 and KH was 3-4 degrees for a CO2 of 23-30 ppm.  Tom suggested I test
> again right before lights out.  That night pH was 7.0 and KH was 5 degrees
> for CO2 of 15 ppm.  The KH was higher because I added Ĺ teaspoon of baking
> soda to bring it up, per Tomís suggestion to get it up to 5 degrees.  Per
> Tomís notes, I need to add more CO2 during the day.  So I set my bubble rate
> a little faster.  The morning of 02/12/02, my pH was 6.6 and KH was 5
> degrees for CO2 of 38 ppm.  That night right after lights out, the pH was
> 6.6 and KH was 5 degrees for a CO2 of 38 ppm.  Since my tank is now getting
> plenty of CO2 (maybe a little too much), I backed my bubble rate off just
> slightly.  Iíll run tests again tomorrow to find out.

Good. Slightly lower would be better. Your fish seemed fine? The higher CO2
won't hurt the plants. pH 6.8 is the target for the long term. Notice at
these higher levels there's less flux between day/night?

> Another thing thatís happening is my Nitrates are swinging wildly.  I know I
> posted a couple days ago that my tank seemed to be eating them up very
> quickly, but that seems to have changed now.  BTW, I use an AquaPharm
> Nitrate Test Kit, Tom.  I know itís probably a cheap piece of crap, but I
> have to recoup from spending so much on my new tank before my wife will let
> me buy better test kits.

She may never let you:) Go back and follow the routine I gave you, as once
mentioned, "tank recipe". Add 1/4 teaspoon of dry KNO3 3 x a week. Feed
well, add some shrimp etc for algae control.

> At the very least, it will give me a range for my
> Nitrates.  So I can tell if they are going up or down.

Presence or absence at bestI think. This is fine for PO4, NO3 in some cases.

> Later on Iíll get
> something pricey and sophisticated like Lamott or Hach.

This is the only Kit that cost, that I really see a need to get. Be cheap on
the others although a compete set is always nice:)

  A couple days ago
> when my tests kept reading zero, I started dosing KNO3, and a lot of it!
> The night of 02/11/02, my NO3 read >40 ppm.

Hpw much volume are you actually adding? The Test kits don't tell me much
unless they good test result from good kits.

>  I immediately performed a 50%
> water change.  I have not added any NO3 since the afternoon of 02/10/02.
> This morning (02/12/02), my NO3 read 5-10 ppm, not too bad!  This evening,
> NO3 was 20-40 ppm.  Obviously something is going on, since I have not added
> any KNO3 for two days and did a large water change last night.  I though
> maybe this is part of the cycling process.  So I checked NH3 to see how it
> was doing, 0 ppm.  My NH3 has tested at zero since I set up the new tank.

It should.

> So, it could be cycling, I guess.

I don't think so. Unless your adding something like a lot of fish
waste/food. Bad test kits range/resolution.

 The only other things I can think of are
> plant die off or fish deaths.  The only plant die off Iíve noticed is a
> little Vallisneria is fading away.  Not too much though.  Also, last
> Thursday I purchased and added 17 Yamato shrimp to my tank.  Now, these
> little buggers do a very good job of hiding.  So I canít tell if any of them
> have died or not.  Maybe, maybe not.  If some have, that could be adding to
> the rising NO3.

You'll see the "cooked pink shrimp" look on those that have died. Feed them
also. I still think there's no way you gained that much NO3. It doesn't fall
from the sky into your tank. Hobgoblins do not come late at night and add
> Other observations Iíve made are some BGA creeping up on my Riccia and
> Christmas Moss.  Each time I do a water change, I try to clean up as much of
> it as possible, but it keeps coming back.  Not too bad, though.

Just keep upon it. Keep up on plant nutrition and it won't bug you.
Riccia loves K and P.

>  Also, Iím
> am now starting to get that Green Surface Algae that everyone complains
> about but canít do anything about.  I had this real bad in my old tank and
> would like to nip it in the bud in my new tank if possible.  Itís appearing
> on stones, driftwood, walls of my tank, and on slow growing leaves like
> Anubias.  It hasnít gotten too bad yet, but I donít want it at all.  What
> causes this? 

GSA? Powdery? Keep after it and keep cleaning. Feed the fish/critters you
have. It seems to hang out when your tank is getting matured but once this
happens it no longer stays. To get rid of it, try less lighting times,
Blackout, harassment(cleaning the tank real good then doing the 50% water
change), run a micro filter after a good cleaning scraping. Never had it
long enough to work on it much although it's neat one(to me anyway).

> Too much light, too long of photoperiod, too high NO3, too
> much Iron, too much PO4?

Most algae, NO3 if you have good ranges of PK, traces, CO2 light. Strong
bluer light seems to help it. Never got it to go in warmer colored light
ever. Try keeping the KNO3 a tad lower till the plants get better
established. Add KNO3 1-2 days after water change when you add everything
back into your tank like Traces, K2SO4, PO4 etc. Give it a day maybe two.
Then add a 1/4 teaspoon. That will hurt the GPA.

> The only variables Iíve played with since setting
> up the tank are NO3, PO4, CO2 and Iron.  I have since stopped playing with
> these things and will wait for advice on the proper path to take.

These are all you really need to deal with if your GH/KH are good. Water
changes, trims, 

Tom Barr

> - -Gamera
> P.S.  Sorry for the really long post.  Itís late and Iím rambling!