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[APD] Nutrient Problems

Hi, all. I am coming out of lurker mode because I have an algae problem I can't solve. I'll start with my tank's specs.

Size: 29 G "tall"
Substrate: flourite
Lighting: 3 x 55 W CF from AHS, 1 @ 10,000 K runs from 9:00 am - 10:00 pm, 2 @ 6500 K run from 10:30 am - 8:30 pm.
pH: 6.8 - 6.9
KH: 5 - 6 degrees
CO2 injection via pressurised canister system into filter, 24/7 @ 2 bubbles per second
Filter: Eheim 2224 w/ peat filtration
Water changes once every week to 10 days, appx. 35% (10 gal R/O, 1 gal tap water)
Nitrates: 1 ppm
Phosphate: undetectable

Livestock: 15 - 20 Caridina Japonica, 15 "white tipped tetras" Hasemania nana (I think), fed sparingly on micro worms, viniger eels, and freshwater copepods.

Plants: java moss, dwarf hairgrass, madagascar lace, crypt. wendtii sp., Ludwigia repens, Ludwigia (repens?) species I have not identified but is a beautiful purple, anubias nana, rotala magenta, and a myrophyllum sp., bolbitis heudelotii, some duckweed

My background: I have been keeping planted tanks for about 2 years now, slowly moving from low-light to higher-light and now high light (hmmm .... several power strips back there, so I'd say high tech) tanks. I've experienced algae problems in the past, but have usually been able to work it out.

Okay, anyways about 4 months ago I switched from a DIY spiral compact fluorescent hood to a set of AHS compact fluorescents. The tank went through a period of temporary upheaval, but after a couple weeks, the algae started getting under control. My plants were growing, but not thriving. My rotala magenta started growing its intense red, but after a few weeks it was back to the less pleasing orange. I increased my dosages of tetra's florapride, but that didn't do the trick. My ludwigias were also growing a duller pink. At this point, the Anubias was healthy and relatively algae-free (a few of the older leaves had the remainders of some BBA that was growing on them in a diff. tank), the java moss was growing okay, the dwarf hairgrass was quickly filling in the foreground, the madagascar lace was putting out new growth, and the crypts. were all healthy.

Wishing to see the better colors out of my red plants, I felt it would be a good idea to add one more CF light. I ordered the 10,000 K bulb and bright kit from AHS and installed it once it came in. For about 2 days everything was looking good. The desired plants were showing vibrant red new growth. Then all hell broke loose.

It started with the Anubias. The minimal algae that was previously just barely hanging on quickly spread to some of the other, more established plants. Within days every Anubias plant had some algae on it. The myrophyllum, which had displayed very healthy growth began to stagnate and algae started creeping up it, starting with the oldest growth and moving up the plant. This pattern happened to all stem plants. Within a week, the java moss was matted in algae, and the hairgrass as well. I began studying nutrients and ordered what I needed to make PMDD (except for the micronutrients, I am not sure where to get a well-balanced concoction ... suggestions anyone?). I made the PMDD and supplimented it with some tetra florapride to make up the micros. I hesitated to add too much florapride (0-0-3) because I didn't want to cause a potassium excess. I have been dosing at 5 drops per day of Conlin's newest formula (found on theKrib.com) for about a month now.

I have had problems with the CO2 in the past couple months. I have been injecting it straight to the Eheim via the intake tube, but when I upgraded my lighting I wanted to increase the CO2. However, when I stepped it up, it began to make the filter work poorly, requiring me to burp it at least twice a day. I have ordered a CO2 reactor and expect it in early this week.

I called this post "nutrient problems" because that is what I think it is. A nutrient deficency of some kind. It is most visible on the Anubias


but also has shown itself in my crypts, as I have watched them melt away. I doubt it's a K difficency, although that's what it looks like, primarily because I have been dosing with PMDD, at recommended levels of KNO3, as well as the K in the Florapride. Is it a micro? The duckweed has been dying lately, and I thought I read that if duckweed was doing poorly, N was probably to blame. I am hoping that if I can figure out why the plants are not growing well and solve it, they will begin to out-compete the algae, thereby solving both problems.


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