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[APD] Barr Method Results

I have just completed a month on the Barr Method and I thought I would share the results.

A bit of background. I have a 30 gal. tank (running 3 years) and a 35 gal. tank (running 6 months). Both tanks have tetras, corys some shrimp and ottos, the 30 gal. has guppies and the 35 gal. has mollies, one angel and one pearl gourami. Plants are similar in both tanks including vals, anibus, java fern, amazon swords, limnophilia and some rotala. Nothing that should be really hard to grow. No nutrient programe for either tank, although I did try some Jobe Sticks and Root Tabs at one time. I tried DIY CO2 on both tanks with little or no affect. Water PH is 7.4, GH 110 and KH 70 in both tanks. The main differences in the tanks is that the 30 gal. has a plant gravel from Big Al's and 2 wpg, and the 35 gal. has Seachems Lantrite and 2.6 wpg.

The Problem: The 30 gallon tank is a jungle. Stem plants are growing well and have to be cut back, anibus and java fern are large enough to supply pieces to the 35 gal. tank, the amazon sword leaves are at the water surface and the vals are 2 - 3 feet long and lay across the water surface. Nothing seems to grow in the 35 gal. tank. Two of the three swords I bought gradually shrunk to 3 or 4 inches high and were removed to the 30 gal tank to try to save them, the reamaining sword is about 10 inches high, vals are 8 to 10 inches high, limnophilia is long and thin as compared to the long but wide bushy stems in the 30 gal. tank. The 30 gal. has little or no algae, while the 35 gal. has a furry algae, (has a velvet feel to it) on the sword leaves, there is beard? algae on the edges of the vals and sword leaves, green dust algae on the glass, some BGA at the front of the tank in the gravel at the water level and spot algae on the anibus - yeah I got it all.

The Solution? I have been lurking on this site for about a year. About a month ago I ran across an email that described a tank with similar water conditions as the 35 gal. tank. Tom Barr outlined a nutrient program and said to try it for three weeks - something about money back as I recall. I did some further investigation and decided to try the Barr Method.
To start I did some massive water changes, cleaned the filter, cleaned up the algae as best I could, bought the chemicals and mixed them in accordance with Chuck Gadd's program, (the dosing schedule is below), and set up the DIY CO2 again. (You may recall I'm the guy who thought that using PH Down would allow the CO2 to dissolve in the the water easier instead of dissolving the CO2 in the water and as a result, driving down the PH - live and learn!).

Dosing schedule starting with water change on Wednesday;

Trace KNO3 K2SO4 KH2PO4 Wednesday 5ml 5ml 22ml 1ml
Friday 5ml 5ml 1ml
Sunday 5ml 5ml 1ml
Monday Tuesday

The first week of the Barr Method I did a 50% water change, added the nutrients based on the above schedule. Not much happened the first week. The CO2 brought the PH down from 7.4 to 6.8 after a few days, (also built a CO2 reactor to try to reduce the CO2 lost when the canister burps). No noticeablechange in plant growth. Algae growth did not seem to be affected, except for the beard algae which seemed to be slowing. Removed a few more of the leaves that had sseriousalgae problems.

The second week I did another 50% water change and continued with the nutrient .program The stem plants seemed to be growing faster and needed some trimming. I used the trimmed pieces to fill in some holes. Not much in the way of new growth in the swords. Anibus had more spot algae so I removed the plants at the end of the second week and did a bleach treatment, (should of done this when I stared the pprogram, hoping that it would help clear up the problem. I'm starting to think I have too much light in this tank for anibus, but would like to try some more "exotic" and/or "red" plants in the future if I can turn this tank around. The anibus in the 30 gal. tank is shaded by the sword plants and is not affected by spot algae. The beard algae was ddisappearing and by the end of the week the BGA was almost gone. There was no change in the furry algae on the sword leaves and the green dust algae on the glass. By the middle of the second week I noticed some pearling in the evenings which I had never seen before in this tank.

At the beginning of the third week I did another 50% water change, continued with the nutrient program and cleaned up the green dust algae on the glass. By mid week I had to trim some of the stem plants again. The only sign of BGA was on a small val which I removed. Anibus was sprouting new leaves, stem plants are doing fine and the sword plant was was putting out some new small leaves. I will probably remove the "furry" sword leaves since they are older leaves, just leaving the unaffected newer leaves.

Conclusion. I have just completed the Sunday dosing and though I would complete this email since I doubt if I will have time next week with the holidays coming up. I am very please with the results and will continue with the program - won't be asking for my money back. Plant growth is much improved, algae is on the run and hopefully I will be able to try some different plants in the new year. If anybody has any suggestions regarding the amount of lighting regarding the anibus, the dosing schedule and nutrient amounts, on going green dust algae problem or anything else for that matter, please let me know. Thanks for everybody's help.


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