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Old 09-15-2006, 11:15 PM   #1
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macros and micros

I have not had the opportunity to ready every single thread in the Planted Tank forum. I have an algae problem (hair and/or staghorn) -- it was very minor but in the past week there has been considerable growth. My plants look healthy and are developing good root systems but the algae is starting to take a foot hold.

I have read about people using Excel or peroxide but I would like to try to avoid adding chemicals if at all possible.

As some of you indicate, and I believe is true, if plant growth is good, the algae levels will be non-existant or minimal. I often read that you need to make sure that your micros and macros are at optimum levels however, I have not been able to find out what micros and macros are. Also, how do you check for micros and macros?

Here are the specs on my aquarium:
15 Gallon, medium planted (equal balance of broad leaf, mid-size leaf, and narrow leaf plants)
5 phantom tetras, 10 cardinals, 3 albino SAE's (all get along and are healthy)

pH (circa 7.5)
NH4+ 0 ppm
NO3- 2.5 - 5 ppm
NO2- 0 ppm
T 25 degrees C

25% water change each week, add approx. 1/2 tsp of Sera Florena to the new water being added to the tank.

DIY CO2 (no way of monitoring how much but have not seen any pH fluctuations).

Lighting: compacts, 65W; 10 hours continuous + 2 hours in the morning to assist with feeding.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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Old 09-15-2006, 11:26 PM   #2
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No need to read all the posts, just read the Sticky and it will tell you most of what you need to know about the differences between them.

IMHO, Just a word of advice, if you order from Gregs, make sure you get all the ones that other will suggest and get calcium sulfate as well so you have it if you need it and can dose it to maintain a healthy GH. It is only a couple bucks and the shipping is pennies to add it. I wish I did.

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Old 09-16-2006, 12:23 AM   #3
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Nitrate - NO3
Phosphate - PO4
Potassium - K

Most everything else including Iron, these are the nutrient plants need in smaller amounts.

Potassium should be dosed to 10-20ppm per week. There's no hobbiest grade test kit for it, but it's nearly impossible to overdose.

Your Nitrates look to be low and may have bottomed out depending on how accurate your test kit is. Definately needs dosing. Since your Nitrates need dosing, you will probably need to dose Phosphates as well. There are test kits for Phosphate available if you want to pick one up. The SeaChem brand appears to the test kit of choice for Phosphates currently.

To measure your CO2 you just need your pH reading and you KH reading. As long as there aren't any funky buffers, etc in your water, these to readings can be used to get an approximate CO2 level for the tank.
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