New setup doesn't want to bloom!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by sisko, 6 Jul 2008.

  1. sisko

    sisko Member

    6 Jul 2008
    London, UK
    Hi All,

    First timer :(
    I need some advice guys! I have a new setup (about 6 weeks old) and in the first 2 weeks everything was fine. The problem started when I went for holiday for 3 weeks and flatmates forgot to add the TPN!! Now I know who my mates are! :) When I came home I saw that the beautiful bright green colour changed to dark green and plants look like they were rotting. Started adding TPN 8ml every 2nd day about 10 days ago but can’t really see any change jet. New “leafs” on the hair grass are yellowish and curly and once they reach 3-4 cm in height they become brownish.

    Tank is a Juwel 180 actual volume roughly 130-140L
    Pump 1000L/h
    I’m using DIY CO2 bottles, changing 1 each week, giving me 0.8-1.4bps
    Rhynox 2000 diffuser
    Juwel T5 light 1x Day(front) 1x Colour(back) (2x45W)
    Plants: 5x pots of hair grass and 2xpots of Cryptocoryne wendtii
    Tropica substrate 5-6 L
    Water change 40L/week
    TPN 9ml every 2nd day

    I have 25 cardinals, 7 amano shrimps, 2 zebra snails, 1 suckerfish, 3 Sae’s.
    I was gonna get a lot more plants but just before I purchased them the light bar broke and within a week the pump too!! I had to spend like £140 on it so couldn’t afford more. I’m a student and don’t work at the moment.

    I’ve done some test and the results are:

    PH 6.8-7.2
    KH 6-8
    GH 10-20
    NO2 0
    NO3 20-40

    Don’t know anything about my tap water (K,Mg,S,B,Cu,Fe,Mn,Mo,Zn)
    I live in North London (N22) if anyone has any idea?

    My question is what am I doing wrong? Or I just need more time?
    PS: I’m getting a pressurized CO2 system hopefully within 2 weeks. Will that solve my problems?
  2. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    19 Jul 2007
    Lincoln UK
    The first 2 weeks the plants were most likely still using their 'reserves' from the nurseries feeding.

    I notice you say you are using TPN. This would mean you're not adding any NPK to your tank and just traces? Even though it says on the label for lots of fish and few plants its always best to dose TPN+. TPN can be used as trace alongside NPK.

    For your size of tank you have approx 2WPG of T5. You MUST use pressurised CO2 with this amount of light. This coupled with the small amount of plants you have will be definately algae. DIY is not very gppd for your sized tank with low light let alone T5s!!!

    As for the dying off it may well be that the Crypts are melting in their new surroundings and should perk up a bit. Hairgrass can also go off a bit and need a good trim prior to it regrowing back healthily.

    So you have a little work to do. lol. and some decisions to make r.e. the lights v CO2 issue. If you have lots of TPN left then I would suggest getting some Pot Nitrate and Pot Phosphate powders and dosing them alongside the TPN. After the TPN is gone then you can either go onto TPN+ or go fully with powders/solutions.

    Sorry to give you the bad news, but I would look at it positively in that you've found out quite early before you go out wasting money on the wrong solutions.

  3. sisko

    sisko Member

    6 Jul 2008
    London, UK

    Thanks for the quick reply! Yes I’m using only TPN but will run out in a week. Might get some before and hope my new CO2 system will arrive by the end of the week.
  4. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    10 Jun 2007
    Dorset, UK
    with that size tank and lighting Id advise to go full dry power, and not bother with TPN other than providing trace elements. TPN on its own, as Andy has already pointed out, doesnt have any of the macro nutrients in it, so youre going to need to go onto dry powder.

    have a read of this EI article, might shed some light for you.

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