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Help diagnosing nitrogen issues, and treating

LFNfan

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Thread starter
Joined
10 May 2022
Messages
38
Location
London
Hi All

I've had my tank up and running for about four months (journal here).

My Siamensis 53B has for the last month or so been exhibiting what I think is a nitrogen deficiency. Yellowing and melting older leaves, small new leaves, bit of a red-ish tinge to the new growth. Others have noted the same in my journal. This is becoming something of a problem now, so I think 'ignore' is not on my list of options.

Weird thing is that a) my Nitrate test kit is showing a very red result and b) my limnophila sessiflora is super-happy. My frogbit...not sure.
Pics attached. Really appreciate any advice or pointers.

Things I have thought of:
1. start dosing TNC Lite (currently dosing TNC Complete) to up the micros without overdoing it on the NPK especially with the N already relatively high in the water column.
2. trim and replant some of the 53B to see if that prompts a change
3. turn off the airstone
4. stop gravel-vac-ing the substrate (I don't do an especially deep 'vac', and anyway avoid the planted areas)

Things I have done:
1. added some more root tabs under the 53B.

Other relevant info: nitrates out of the tap - 20-30ppm, tank pH around 8.2, inhabitants: one small but growing plec and four corys. HoB with coarse filter, fine filter, and 'biohome'-type media. gravel substrate, a few Kg's of glimmer wood substrate. Changing water around 50% once a week. Temp around 22C (although currently around 24).

Many thanks for any help!
 

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jaypeecee

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Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
2,901
Location
Bracknell
Hi @LFNfan

I suspect you may have two important issues that will first need your attention:

1 Excess lighting. May I ask why you are using two or three 10W floodlights? I suspect this is having the effect of 'bleaching' some of the plant leaves.

2 As you have pointed out, your water is very hard out of the tap. Do you have access to rainwater? If not, you could mix tapwater with RO (reverse osmosis) water, which you may be able to get from your LFS.

To be continued...

JPC
 

LFNfan

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Thread starter
Joined
10 May 2022
Messages
38
Location
London
Thanks JPC!

1. two 10W floodlights. Guilty as charged. Why is a good question. I started off for probably a couple of months with just the single central one (so, 10W in total). And then as the tank started to grow in after a couple of months I upped the light to just the two outside ones because (alert: this will sound silly) that's what people seemed to do - ie after a while up the lighting levels. It would be an amazing 'easy win' if all it takes is bringing the light back down to just the single central one....

2. Not really rainwater. I looked into RO in the early days of planning my tank, just in terms of the bits of kit required. I sort of ruled it out in terms of both 'faff', and cost. Plus, if I get more kit, my significant other (who I love dearly) may not gaze favourably upon me. Blooming London water.

Eagerly awaiting the continuation....

[Edit - revisiting the RO topic - it doesn't actually seem that onerous. Are you suggesting 'RO' or 'RO/DI'?]
 
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LFNfan

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Thread starter
Joined
10 May 2022
Messages
38
Location
London
Quick update here:

1. I turned down the lighting by cutting back from two 10W floods to just one, and I have raised up that single flood by about six inches from where it was previously. The tank has a more tranquil vibe, lighting-wise, which a couple of weeks on, I think the plants are really liking (see pic). No more yellowing! Great shout JPC.

2. For the last two weeks I have started cutting my tap with c. 50% RO from the LFS. Let's see how that goes.

I also wondered if any goop in my filter could be keeping nitrates circulating in the tank. I gave the filter a full deep clean earlier this week and replaced the fine filter which was looking quite brown on the top-half. Will test the water today before and after I do a water change, and I expect to see a drop all being well.
 

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