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[APD] a couple more comments on my troubled natural tank

Some more info on my troubled Walstad-style tank. My apologies for
mis-spelling her name before.

substrate is 1.25" dirt, .25" course sand, 1" fine gravel. Lighting is 65w
CF 7am-10am. by then the indirect light is about equivalent to the CF, so
CF off. around 1pm it starts to get driect sun which lasts till 4:30 when
sunlight starts to filter thru the trees. plants pearling from about noon
'till sunset. I consider this to be a very high light tank, perhaps to much
light for sustained 'natural aquarium' methods.

when the plants started stunting, I started getting algae. after a month I
decided to start dosing. started low 1ppm/day and got immediate response of
increased algae growth. I kept increasing the dose until I started seeing a
response by the plants. plants were responding well at 15ppm NO3/day, algae
was also growing like mad. measured NO3 before dosing remained at 0 and I
started losing fish. I never thought to measure NH4 or NO2 since the NO3
was 0, and the HOB filter had a ramp on the output to minimize surface
turbulence. I guessed the shrimp losses were due to low O2 at night and
replaced the ramp with the boi wheel. -OK, this was wrong, but I didn't
want to change to many things at once, so the bio wheel has remained. I'll
probably remove it in a week or so. yesterday afternoon I measured pH at
8.5 (9degKH), so CO2 levels are very low. (I did not see the pH increase
when I added the biowheel, so I figure it isn't hurting much).

I stopped dosing last tuesday. NH4, NO2, NO3 are now all 0. new growth on
hornwort is brown, amazon sword is getting pinholes, and crypt wentii has
melted a few leaves. Clado on substrate is starting to come back, but the
fine green hair on the surface has yet to return. still adding 2ml/morning
of excel . I also massively trimmed back the emergent ludwigia to reduce N


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