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Old 10-08-2008, 07:39 PM   #1
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A new member. Please help.

Hi all,
I am a 58 year old mechanical engineer stationed at Kolkata, India.
Am new to this site and also planted aquariums. I started my planted tank on 6th July 08 with a 1200 x 605W x 610H mm tank (440 lit gross vol) after keeping a 55 lit tank for nearly 6 years.

The tank is open top and is all glass made by me with the help of another colleague from 12mm sheet. The CO2 system is pressurized, again assembled from purchased components. The lights are 236W and filtration is Eheim 2217.

Plants are the common swords and stems with a couple of crypts and "mini red lilies" covering about 60% of the floor. The front is bare to facilitate cleaning out left overs,

The fish are
  • Assorted angles 7 nos.
  • Albino catfish 7 nos.
  • Red tail shark from my old tank 1 no.
  • Clown loach 2 nos. Introduced to control the snails whcih piggy backed on the lilies.
Being new I had started with the EI dosing method but "copy book". After an intial burst of growth in about 2.5 months all my plants were pale and had become bald and brittle after shedding most of their leaves. The growth was also very slow, if at all. I then uped my dosing several times over. The colour is now back to near normal. The shedding of leaves has now reduced to a couple of leaves a day (seems to be mostly from replanted cuttings) and the growth is again good, but the plants are still brittle and tend to break at the least handling.

I am dosing :
  • NO3 from KNO3 72 ppm per week in 4 equal doses
  • K from K2SO4 30 ppm per week in 4 equal doses
  • PO4 fron KH2PO4 3 ppm in 3 equal doses per week
  • Microsol Ė B 100 ml per week in 4 equal doses after lights off.
  • Boric Acid 40 ml per wk in 4 equal doses from 1 tbsp in 1lit water
I test for pH, kdH and NO3. The nitrates till now are <10 ppm at the end of the week before a 50% water change. The pH = 7.2 and the kdH = 12.

My question is am I on the right track ? Do I need to increase the dosing further ? How do I know when I reach the limit for dosing my tank.

Maninder Singh
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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Since you're getting improved health, you're definately on the correct track. Based on the description of your plants being very brittle, it sounds like you need to up your Iron dosing.
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:30 PM   #3
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What type of lighting? T5/PC?

You may benefit from more water movement, a good Koralia type power head(#3) or another 2217. As a single 2217 on a 110+ gallon tank is not enough, many people use those on ~40G tanks, manufacturer specs are highly over rated.

What are your CO2 levels? and how are you diffusing it?
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:06 PM   #4
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Is microsol a micro mixture? not familiar with that. If it's not, that's what you're missing (iron is part of it, like Purr said)

What brand are you using to dose NO3, K, and P04?
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:45 PM   #5
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A new member. Please help.

First thing. Am I supposed to repeat the tittle of the original post in the title box or is it the reference to a reply. Please be indulgent - I am 10 thumbs as far as these things are concerned.

Now to the answers
@Speed Euphoria. My CO2 level with pH=7.2 and kdH=12 is 24. Regarding the circulation I am trying to locate a low head circulation pump. Koralia is not available in India. A capacity of approx 900 gph would be oK ?

@nielanh. The brand of my macros except for the nitrate is Merc. Nitrate is a commercial agricultural fert purchased loose. But have tested it for purity. It is >97% potassium nitrate. Balance is mostly insolubles. Yes Microsol B contains iron.

Since my last post I have noticed that the new leaves are turning black. Understand it is due to iron phosphate. As tomorrow is WC day will change water but not add phosphate. Will this be ok ? My thinking is that the food will leach the phosphates into the water.

Thank you in advance
Maninder Singh
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:55 AM   #6
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Can you list the constituents (with percentages) of the Microsol B?

From your description, it sounds kinda like an immobile element problem.
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