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Old 02-17-2005, 12:38 AM   #1
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The results are in...now what?

OK...

After reading many posts about algae and CO2, etc., I decided to get offa my rump, get some more test kits, and test my water. I'm starting to see green hairy algae on the leaves of my swords.

Here's what I came up with from the testing I performed:

NO3 = 5 - 10 ppm
PO4 = at least 2.0 ppm (yikes)

pH = at least 7.4
dKH = 13 deg (233 ppm)

dGH = 21 deg (376 ppm)

My water seems kinda hard 8O . I'm thinking my Phosphates are way too high (too much fishy poo). My Nitrates are mediocre.

I'm also thinking that my little Nutrafin CO2 fermenter that the LFS sold me is only good for it's entertainment value (oooo...look at the neato bubble ladder ).

So CO2 injection here I come. Water changes and some serious substrate vacuuming here I come. Anybody see anything I may be missing?

TIA
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55 GAL FW PLANTED w/wimpy CO2.
Lighting: 260W Fluorescent 6700K, only use 130W x 12 hr.
Fish: 7 Clown Loaches, 2 Opaline Gourami, 1 Boesmani Rainbow, 1 Aust. Rainbow, 2 Dojos, 1 Clown Pleco.
Plants: Amazon Sword, Anacharis, Ludwigia Ovalis, Crypts.
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Old 02-17-2005, 01:04 AM   #2
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Have you tried adjusting the photoperiod?
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Old 02-17-2005, 09:11 AM   #3
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The only thing I originally tried with the photo period was to turn on the full 260 W for 4 hr., in the middle of the period. I suppose I was trying to simulate mid-day tropical sun.

I stopped, though, because of my lack of CO2 @ 4.7 wpg and concern of an algae explosion (I had an inkling that my nutrients would be out of balance...this was a 3-yr established fish-only tank, then I added plants).

I have also stopped suplement dosing (SeaChem Flourish) for concern of algae. I planned on starting again after I get my CO2 setup.

Thoughts?
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55 GAL FW PLANTED w/wimpy CO2.
Lighting: 260W Fluorescent 6700K, only use 130W x 12 hr.
Fish: 7 Clown Loaches, 2 Opaline Gourami, 1 Boesmani Rainbow, 1 Aust. Rainbow, 2 Dojos, 1 Clown Pleco.
Plants: Amazon Sword, Anacharis, Ludwigia Ovalis, Crypts.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:14 AM   #4
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with a 55g tank, you really need pressurized CO2. Yes, people can make DIY work on a tank that size...but its one of the most inconvient things to have to keep up with, and you'll still have inconsistent CO2 output.

Yes, you do have hard water. For a KH that high, I'd expect a higher pH, something like 8.0...assuming no other chemicals are added by the water company, and that you're not using something like pH Down products.

In your tank with that much lighting, Flourish is going to be your trace nutrient. I'd increase nitrates to 15ppm so you have a better balance with the 2.0ppm of phosphates. crank up the CO2 and your tank should improve in a week.

good luck
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:13 PM   #5
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What compound could I use to safely raise the NO3 values?

Thanks.
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55 GAL FW PLANTED w/wimpy CO2.
Lighting: 260W Fluorescent 6700K, only use 130W x 12 hr.
Fish: 7 Clown Loaches, 2 Opaline Gourami, 1 Boesmani Rainbow, 1 Aust. Rainbow, 2 Dojos, 1 Clown Pleco.
Plants: Amazon Sword, Anacharis, Ludwigia Ovalis, Crypts.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:26 PM   #6
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If the pH is actually at 7.4 then with a 13+ dKH you've actually got around 15 ppm of CO2, not bad but not exactly what you want either. Malkore is right, pressurized CO2 is the way to go with a tank that size.

You can get potassium nitrate (KNO3) and use it for nitrate supplementation. I buy mine from www.gregwatson.com in bulk, but it is also sold as 'stump remover' (check the label for ingredients - it should be pure potassium nitrate). I can't remember the brand name but your local Home Depot-type store should carry it. Here's a link to Chuck Gadd's nutrient calculator for figuring fertilzer doses:

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/download/aquacalc_setup.exe

Or you could go the easy (and very expensive) route and buy Seachem Nitrogen, but it will cost a lot to supplement NO3 that way. Bulk is the way to go.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:02 PM   #7
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Danka Danka!

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55 GAL FW PLANTED w/wimpy CO2.
Lighting: 260W Fluorescent 6700K, only use 130W x 12 hr.
Fish: 7 Clown Loaches, 2 Opaline Gourami, 1 Boesmani Rainbow, 1 Aust. Rainbow, 2 Dojos, 1 Clown Pleco.
Plants: Amazon Sword, Anacharis, Ludwigia Ovalis, Crypts.
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