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Nitrate is 0, EI dosing help needed

seawolf

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15 Jun 2009
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i have just done a complete set of test this morning for the first time in about 2 months.
readings are as follows
ammona 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
ph 7 on wide range test 6.4 on narrow test
kh 50 ppm ( i have no idea how to change these to degrees)
gh 120 ppm
My drop checker is green (just)

i am currently EI dosing in liquid form but the mix is made up for a 4 week period
NPK mix on a sun/ tue/ thu made up of this amount 3 tsp KNO3, 1tsp KH2PO4, 7 tsp MGSO4 in 600 ml of water so i dose 40ml per dose.
trace mix is 1tsp in 300ml dosed on mon/ wed at 25 ml each time

My nitrate reading is 0 so i am presuming i need to add more KNO3, if so, How much more? Double?
Or is there something else i need to add?

I'm also wondering if such a large water change is needed every week with these readings. My plants appear to be hungry and not leaving much behind
 

aaronnorth

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19 Feb 2008
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worksop, nottinghamshire
Hi,
your mixtures are correct, so dosing at EI method will be approx 5-10ppm per dose. Maximum uptake is estimated to be 5ppm per day - but this is with ridiculous amounts of lighting and loads of CO2.
this is what EI was based on, so even if you have 4wpg only then may you start to run defficient in nutrients. ;)

the test kit may be out of date. but as above, algae, or yellowing of the leaves would be a first sign of Nitrogen defficiencies.
 

seawolf

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yes i have algea.
i would say its thread algea, the long green stands that cling to stuff like my wood and eleocharis parvula ( my grass lawn )

i used to have staghorn but thats gone now

still get some of the black beard algea that grows on the edge of leaves but its greatly reduced and i remove leaves when i see it

and i still get the green spots that grow on the slow growing anubias nana. i have come to the conclusion i will always get this one

Tank is 100l with 78 watts of T5 light (around 3WPG) on for 10 hours a day 11.30-21.30 (curtains are drawn so no natural light)
CO2 is on from 09.30-21.00
 
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stroud, glos
well thats a lot of light for quite a long time!
thats the equivalent of more than 3w/gal as its t5. i would maybe lower the photo period to 8 hours.
i guess if the tank is rammed with fast growers you may be running out of nutrients....

you dont mention what the filter/flow is, this seems to be a main culprit in many high tech tanks.
 

ceg4048

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seawolf said:
..i would say its thread algea, the long green stands that cling to stuff like my wood and eleocharis parvula ( my grass lawn )
still get some of the black beard algea that grows on the edge of leaves but its greatly reduced and i remove leaves when i see it...
As stated above you need to stop testing an to throw your rubbish test kits in the bin. They are lying to you and are not helping you at all. The algae you have is not related to NO3 but is strictly a CO2 issue. You have a lot of lighting for a 100L tank so this creates a huge CO2 demand which is apparently not being met. Lower your lighting and/or add more CO2/flow. You don't really need 10 hours of CO2 either, so you can increase the injection rate and turn the gas off a few hours earlier to manage your consumption. Ideally, the dropchecker is lime green or yellowish green at lights on, so you might need to turn the gas on earlier as well as to increase the injection rate.

seawolf said:
kh 50 ppm ( i have no idea how to change these to degrees)
gh 120 ppm
Use the following idea: Divide ppm by 17.8 to get degrees. 50ppm=> 3 dKH, 120ppm=> 7 dGH


Cheers,
 

seawolf

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OK i will lower the lights to 8 hours from tommorow and see what happens

FILTER FLOW
i run a fluval 205 (rated at 680lph) which is probably only getting 450 lph in real terms, but i also run a koralia nano which says it runs at 900 lph. The filter pushes water along the back of the tank towards the koralia, and the koralia sits above my co2 ladder to disperse the overflow co2 around the tank

i hadn't used the test kits for some time and was curious to see what the levels were. test kit isnt out of date till march 2011
tested nitrate again today and got a result of between 10-20 mg/l so its definatly jumping around alot

as for kh....reading from this article which is a link on this forum http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/

quote "Carbonate Hardness (KH) should never be under 4KH. Carbonates and Bicarbonates have the acid binding capacity. Carbonate Hardness level which is under 3KH doesn’t have a very good buffering capacity and therefore pH might shift drastically. If necessary dose Bicarbonates (Baking soda) to increase the KH." quote


So 50ppm is 3DKH, seems i need to adjust KH
anyone have a formula for how much bicarbonate soda i need to add?
i'll be scouring the forum for an answer in the meantime

Many Thanks
 
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i'm not too up on the water chemestry side of things but i'm pretty sure you will get told in this forum that those figures are perfectly fine.
no need to worry or to mess about adding things to alter that!

also its a good idea to try the drop checker in different places around the tank, good way to establish is the co2 distribution is upto scratch.
 

ceg4048

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seawolf said:
OK i will lower the lights to 8 hours from tommorow and see what happens
Reducing the photoperiod will not help as much as lowering the intensity. While the lights are on they are doing damage if proper levels of CO2 are not provided. Reducing the photoperiod to 8 hours will mean that the plants are suffering for 8 hours instead of for 10 hours. Reduce your intensity and you will see immediate effects.


seawolf said:
i hadn't used the test kits for some time and was curious to see what the levels were. test kit isnt out of date till march 2011
tested nitrate again today and got a result of between 10-20 mg/l so its definatly jumping around alot
The more you use a nitrate test kit the more you will chase your tail. It is your test kit accuracy that is jumping around, not your nitrate levels.

seawolf said:
as for kh....reading from this article which is a link on this forum http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/

quote "Carbonate Hardness (KH) should never be under 4KH. Carbonates and Bicarbonates have the acid binding capacity. Carbonate Hardness level which is under 3KH doesn’t have a very good buffering capacity and therefore pH might shift drastically. If necessary dose Bicarbonates (Baking soda) to increase the KH." quote
Well, "aquariumalgae.blogspot.com" should search their LFS for a reality test kit. Here is a tank with kH near zero: Can you see any problems?
2508506070038170470S600x600Q85.jpg


seawolf said:
So 50ppm is 3DKH, seems i need to adjust KH
anyone have a formula for how much bicarbonate soda i need to add?
I see no reason whatsoever to adjust your KH. That is not where your problems are as I explained in an earlier post. If you continue to waste your time chansing things that don't matter, like pH/KH and GH then you will continue to have problems. My advice is to spend your energies on providing the tank with stable and adequate CO2 + nutrients as well as proper maintenance and you'll have a lot more success.

Cheers,
 

seawolf

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I cant reduce the intensity without removing a tube from my light unit. the unit is designed with 2 tubes and there is no switch for turning one off.
So with this in mind, surely it would be better for me to try to get the co2 right, at the light intensity i can supply. Rather than take out a tube and possibly cause damage to a unit that is desinged to run with 2 tubes, and if i do remove a tube then surely i would only be able to get the co2 correct for the new lower intensity.

another option.... i can dig out my old t8 light at 18 watts in a single tube and have that on for 2 hours then have the t5s on for 4 hours then back to the t8 for another 2. though i think my tank would be very dark with only 18 watts lighting it,
my tank will look very odd with 2 different light units on it

the article i referred to at aquariumalgae.blogspot.com was a link in this post viewtopic.php?f=19&t=905 by George Farmer
so its no wonder i'm chasing my tail with all the conflicting information
 
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you could introduce some floating plants? this will have the effect off lowering the intensity of the lighting into tha tank.
also plants the grow upto and along the surface will do the same.

or you could use some card or similar on the perspex part of the underneath of the lighting unit to partly stop some of the light reaching the tank. if this makes sense? :0/
 

seawolf

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I have 2 fast growing stem plants, Limnophila sessilflora which has grown over 8-10 inches this week alone, and hygrophila polysperma which grows at a slightly slower rate.
I recently trimmed these to get rid of alot of the roots that were growing out of the stems.

the sessilflora was trimmed and replanted so it was about 6 inches from the surface, now it can be lifted clear of the surface by around 3-4 inches after only 5 days
i'm trying to trim the polysperma into a bushy appearance so it hides the heater, but its a fast grower and not in the direction i want

these plants grow over the top very quickly and i tend to try to leave them give cover for my gourami's.
 

seawolf

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I have opted to keep a 10 hour photoperiod, split into 3 parts

dawn is 2 hours at 18w t8
6 hours of sunshine from 78w t5
dusk is then 2 hours of 18w t8

i dont think my plants will get much from the 18 watts of t8 as it works out at about 0.7wpg, hopefully the algae won't either
 

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