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[APD] Re: Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 3, Issue 42
Nitrate slightly over 5 (Hagen test kit bout today)
compressed CO2 bubble rate about 45 per minute injected into filter intake.
PMDD dosed daily.
160 watts of T12 lighting.
Community tank with Bala Sharks, Loaches, Cardinals, SAE's,
no algae problems other than a few tufts of dark colored algae found on the
glass, heater or filter intake, output tubes (really hard to remove)"
Your CO2 is not 38ppm, it's closer to 20ppm, I'd leave it alone.
Also, measure CO2 right before the lights come on and when they go off, then see how your CO2 levels compare.
A mid day measurement is good also. After doing one day's worth, you can get an idea of how the CO2 is being delivered to the tank and if there's any shortage/excess you might want to be aware of and address. With the light levels you have, this is not so critical.
I'd not trust the NO3 readings off the test kit. Better to do large water changes and add KNO3 back. The fish will like this also.
"I am relatively new to the hobby but have had reasonable success with my
:) Well you have done a number of things right and have had reasonably good success, not too much light, good CO2 etc, getting the nutrients down is easy really.
You can keep it this way or you add some nutrients to get the plants going great and healthy.
You did well with the CO2 and lighting, so the nutrients will be easy for you and you should get very good results.
" Recently my plants have shown what appears to be some type of
nutrient deficiency, ie: tips of plants curling, some yellowing , and holes
in old growth. Another poster had a similar experience and thought it might
be a lack of K. Checking Chuck Gadd's site it appears that a lack of
potassium is or could be the likely culprit however with Nitrate levels over
5 could this be the case? On checking Chuck's site on the relationship of
PH, KH and CO2 levels it appears according to his chart that I am running
about 38 PPM of CO2 which seems to be too high. In order to get down to
15PPM to 25 PPM I would need a PH of 7.0 - 7.2. Does reducing my bubble rate
further from 45 likely down to about 25 seem reasonable?. Thx for any
About 4.5 KH(KH of 80ppm) and a pH of 6.8 will give you about 20ppm. This is fine with lower light, if you had 220w or more of PC lighting, then you'd need to keep a bit more in there.
The effects of humic acids, any organic component and tannins is greatly reduced if you do 50% weekly water changes. This also allows you to simply add a few dry cheap salts(plant nutrients) into the tank with better accuracy than test kits provide.
Your tank would only need dosed 2x a week.
Once right after the water change and then again mid week.
If you have a reasonably higher fish load/feed heavy etc, you'll use less KNO3.
After a water change:
KNO3 1/2 teaspoon once to twice a week(alternatively, feed the fish regularly and more/less depending on what you like to do--within limits)
KH2PO4 roughly 1/16th to 1/8 th teaspoon 1-2x a week
K2SO4 1/2-3/4 teaspoon once a week _only_ after water change.
10 mls of Trace 2x a week
I think if the CO2 stays where it's at all day long, you add these 4 things regularly, your plants will have enough nutrients to grow well, that is more important than some set level or trying to maintain a particular measurement.
Try this and see, it will not cost much and the plant health will improve dramtically.
If some plants grow too well, phase them out with slower growers.
Hope this helps.
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