No announcement yet.

TMG big concern with Iron: Alternanthera reineckii

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • TMG big concern with Iron: Alternanthera reineckii


    First, many thanks for this great forum. I recently fell on EI method and for me it is a complete success.

    I have the tank in my signature, with this actual photo (I pruned the plants yesterday night, and the backward plants are no longer covered by the too huge Limnophila)

    My big concern is dosing Iron using TMG: I have a big stock of TMG that I bought before hearing about CSM+B :-(
    For my tank, the recommended dose by TMG is 20ml weekly. If I follow the EI recommandations, it will be 10ml twice a week.

    The problem is that 10ml of TMG will add only 0.05ppm Fe for a 40G tank, so I'll end up with only 0.1ppm /week. If I follow this scheme, my tank will be always low on Iron (undetectable). I actually add about 60-80ml of TMG/week, so about 0.3-0.4 ppm Fe and my Iron is kept between 0.1-0.2ppm

    I'm concerned about my dosing and what I read from people using TMG. Am I dosing too much? Should I dose TMG only 10ml twice a week and add Iron separately like in E15?

    Why Am I being concerned? Because of the look of my Alternanthera reineckii:

    You see that new leaves are healthy, but older leaves are a pity. I'm being concerned since the bad looking leaves are not that old (only 3 generations), are well exposed to light and I don't see any deficiency in my tank:

    - CO2 is dosed by a PH meter (verified by RedSea PH drops) + permanent drop checker and they coincide
    - I dose PO4 to maintain it between 0.5-1ppm
    - I dose NO3 to maintain it between 10-25ppm
    - I add K2SO4, 20 ppm on water change and 10ppm on otherdays with macro
    - I dose TMG to maintain Iron 0.1-0.2 ppm
    - I have 4x54W T5 Osram Lumilux De Luxe 965 (216W) for a 60G tank (but only 40G water, measured for sure)
    - PH 6.6, KH 3 and GH 3-4
    - I don't dose Ca or Mg

    Other plants are doing fine (Crypto, Echino, Ludwigia Repens, Ceratophyllum Demersum, Egeria, Limnophila sessiflora and aquatica, anubia B. var nana, Hygrophila Polysperma and Corymbosa), the growth rate is amazing and I have no algae problems at all. Maybe one concern is my Limnophila aquatica that doesn't stay well dense at the bottom if I don't prune and replace the stems. The foliage quickly dies into a burned black aspect. The Sessiflora variety is doing much better

    Limnophila aquatica:

    continued on next post...
    Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
    >>Follow it here<<

    Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants

  • #2

    Ludwigia Repens:

    L. Sessiflora + H. Corymbosa

    L. Aquatica: not doing that well if not pruned and stems replaced by new ones

    What do you think about my Altercanthera look?
    And what about my dosing of TMG: is it any accumulation causing this aspect?

    Really many thanks for your help
    Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
    >>Follow it here<<

    Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants


    • #3
      With your size tank going by the EI recommended you would be dosing 10ml 3x a week (30ml weekly)

      However with your plantmass you would move up to the next level and be dosing 15ml 3x a week (45ml weekly)

      Ignore the recommended on any ferts bottle. Tropica readily accept that their guidelines are aimed at the average user with a moderate plantload and lower light/CO2 rather than a heavily planted tank.

      No idea on the Alternanthera but I would doubt its a trace problem.

      At the risk of sounding very repetitive I would say that 4WPG of T5 is a key factor in your problems here

      Last edited by SuperColey1; 04-03-2009, 11:57 AM.


      • #4
        "- CO2 is dosed by a PH meter (verified by RedSea PH drops) + permanent drop checker and they coincide"

        What are you using in your drop checker? I would not expect the pH meter and the drop checker to coincide directly but they should at least trend in the same direction. Everything I've been reading on this site seems to indicate that holes in leaves generally points to CO2 first and then other nutrients later. Especially so with such a high light level.



        • #5
          I'm greatfull for such a prompt answer,

          Please, would you clarify or link me where I can find why 4xT5 bulbs are the cause for my Altercanthera look?

          I'm indeed adding about 60-80ml TMG/week for a 60G (40G real water volume), that's 3-5x the maximum stated by EI and my iron, by many tests, is always between 0.1-0.2, never above.

          What I don't really understand is that the recommanded doses of CSM+B will add about 0.5-1ppm of iron /week. On the other hand, EI recommanded doses of TMG (let's say 3x15ml for a 40G) will only add about 0.2ppm iron /week

          So how do you explain that difference. Following EI + TMG for micro, iron could be really limited that way, especially after a water change of 50%

          Anyone using TMG + EI can clarify the math behind it for me? And any other ideas about my Altercanthera look?

          Really many thanks again for any help/comment
          Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
          >>Follow it here<<

          Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants


          • #6
            You should go by your tank volume and not the water content. I think the figures allow for the difference. therefore I make it that you are dosing 2-3x the recommended amounts as I moved you up to the 227ltr+ bracket due to your plantmass

            I wouldn't worry too much about the content of the trace elements. They are all slightly different and trace is a tiny factor in the plants uptake.

            The reason for the suggestion that light could be the cause is that you have 4WPG(ish) of T5. Considering the advance of technology and much better pentration of the T5 compared to T12 which the WPG rule is based on you are in the regions of being closer to 6-8 on the WPG scale (equivalent amount of light)

            Therefore you have super highlight. this causes problems because the more light you have then the less room for error you have with CO2/nutrient delivery because the plants now use much more and therefore circulation, flow and injection method become very very important.

            It could well be a nutrient defficiency but not cause by dosing too little. More likely that the circulation/flow is not distributing the nutrients to all the areas in the tank well enough or fast enough for their needs due to the light!!!

            Also I didn't read about the Ph controller which we basically slate in planted forums. Using a Ph controller to control CO2 levels is paramount to using Ph/KH tables and therefore about as much use as a ******. the Ph controller is assuming that CO2 is the single variable that is reducing the Ph and therefore when it thinks the level for 30ppm has been reached and switches off the actual may well be way off.

            I would wait to see what Tom says but I think it is CO2 related whether it be due to the Ph controller,flow/circulation or a combination of both. Then if the circulation/flow is a factor this could be limiting some areas of nutrient at the same time



            • #7
              Many thanks for having clarified it,

              In fact, 2 weeks ago, the problem was only on bottom leaves and very slow. Since 1 week, I had to stop my Nanostream 6055 (that was activated 2x/h for 2mn) beacause of one of my Apistogramma C. was sadely killed when it entered the pump enclosure while it was stopped. I'm waiting for two TUNZE Universal pump Mini 5024.04 (40-80 G/h) to replace it. Because of their smaller power, I could let them active all the time during the light period.

              Also, I installed 2 weeks ago an Eheim surface filter because of the thin fatty film on surface: I had to decrease my Eheim 2028 performance manually because it was too strong for the surface aspiration valve. I didn't install an Y on the tubing to solve it since I'm waiting for my external CO2 diffuser that will lower the filter performance making it useless to install an Y

              So, two interventions that suerely decreased the flow in the tank. I was aware of them but didn't think the impact will be so fast.

              I'll try to reactivate the nanostream 6055 + a protection filter for fish, till I receive my external CO2 reactor and the new weaker Tunze pumps.

              Really many thanks for having pointed it as I really didn't realise it could be so important.

              About the T5 bulbs, I didn't think it is so different than T8 in fact. I even was thinking to add my spare 2x39W T5!!!!

              About the TMG dosing routine, I tried to use 3x10ml and 3x15ml /week. I ended with iron measures below 0.05ppm all the time (15ml will add 0.07ppm to my tank. After one day under my lights, the iron level is quiet undosable because lower than 0.05ppm). Any one can reassure me for sure about using TMG that way? Still concerned because of in the EI method the iron needs are estimated to >0.5ppm/week. 3x15ml TMG in my case only supply 0.2ppm/week, with half of it removed during water change of 50%

              Many thanks again for your support, I really appreciate it
              Last edited by jonny_ftm; 04-03-2009, 03:52 PM.
              Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
              >>Follow it here<<

              Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants


              • #8
                Yes, the A reineckii is actually a very easy plant...........but folks wit5h high light and so so CO2 get holes and stunted tips commonly.

                I use it as shade plant, or the back where it gets less light.

                If you look at the Behemoth tank, you can see it 4ft tall with the same EI nutrients and TMG traces. So not likely that is it.

                I also have it in another tank, high light, but good CO2 and in a shaded part:

                I get the same above issues in higher light where CO2 is poor.

                a lot of this dosing business, CO2 and light included, requires the user to get close with test/eyeballs etc, then take the next step and tweak things a bit.

                Problem is, there's a dozen myths for each solution for each parameter.

                So you rule things out step wise.
                EI does that, it's not to say that you cannot grow plants without non limiting nutrients, rules them out so the user can focus on CO2, or light related issues, which by and large account for 95% of every issue I've had and the problems I've helped others with for the last 15 or so years.

                Adding more TMG will do no harm and the advice given thus far is good.

                Tom Barr


                • #9
                  Many thanks Tom for your advice,

                  I didn't think it needs to be in a shaded place. Since it is a red plant, I thought it will need good light. I first will try with improving flow. I reactivated the Nanostream 6055 on a timer. The new pumps should arrive next week. I also put some ceratophyllum above the Altercanthera to shade it

                  Abou the CO2, I have a drop cecker too, and the color is rather showing too much CO2 than less. I found it hard to dose CO2 without a PH meter...

                  A last question: will it be a good idea to dose only 3x15ml TMG and add iron separately (E15,...), to spare some TMG while maintaining a good level of iron that 3x15ml TMG doesn't provide in my case?

                  Many thanks again anyway for your great support
                  Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
                  >>Follow it here<<

                  Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants


                  • #10
                    what we are suggesting at least IMO is that it is not iron, it is CO2. TMG has been and is still used (Its called TPN now) for many years by many people with huge success just going on the EI recommendeds.

                    3 x 15ml should supply more of all the traces than you need. This is a CO2 problem not trace.

                    The shade thing is new to me and something I may have just learned

                    What are you putting in the drop checker and where is it positioned. Do the fish struggle when you add CO2 without the ph controller?

                    My DC is almost yellow (lime green like the forum bar above) virtually wherever I put it and therefore should by rights mean I have too much CO2 for the fish but then I watch the fish to see if this is true and they just go about their usual business so I know that it is fine.



                    • #11
                      When you have too much CO2 the fish will virtually all be at the water surface, nose up, trying to keep their gills filled from the top layer of water, where the CO2 concentration is the lowest in the tank. At that point with more CO2 they start having serious problems. I have even found my Yoyo loaches will rest on the overflow pipe I have through the back of the tank, with their nose right at the surface too. So, that is a very good sign to look for. (I have lots of experience with this, having had a Milwaukee regulator, which gases the fish everytime the CO2 tank runs out of liquid CO2.)


                      • #12
                        I'm so greatful to have so many interest for my first post/topic here

                        I understand what you are suggesting. I'll stick with 3x15ml TPN (indeed, I have the TPN branded one, not the TMG).

                        Today, I switched on my Nanostream 6055, 1mn every 15mn. I'll remove it once I receive the slower pumps. After your post, I also just added an Eheim compact 1001, at 600 LPH to the front of the tank and all the leaves are now slowly moving.

                        In my CO2 drop checker, I add the Dennerle liquid. My fish is doing very well indeed, no symptoms at all. The color is always steady lime-green also. My CO2 flipper is on the right corner of the tank with the filter output directed near it. The drop checker is exactely on the opposite left side. The filter aspiration is on the same side as the drop checker but enough away from it.

                        I'll also receive next week an external CO2 diffuser to avoide any gradiant of PH/CO2 from one corner to another

                        Finally, I forgot to tell you something important: On 14 Feb I moved to a new city and from a tap water of KH 6-GH 12 to a tap water of KH 17-GH 14 . I had no choice than to begin a mix distilled-tap and I targeted lower parameters: GH4-KH3. I was doing small water changes until 2 weeks agao when I begun EI. Last week, just after my 2nd 50% water change since I begun EI, I lost my two Neritina and most of my Red Cherries I didn't have any death or disease in my tank for the last 4 months. That's why I thought I overdosed the TPN (but my Salifert cupper test is showing 0). The water I used for my change was very different than in the tank (KH 6 / GH 9 / 700s vs KH3 / GH4 / 125s). The water is heated before the change and I changed it slowly on 1h. It could be an osmotic shock that killed them too and not the TPN overdosing as I thought.

                        Anyway, feel free to put any further comment about my Dennerle drop checker or teh position of my flipper/checker, I'll be really greatful

                        Many thanks again for all your advices
                        Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
                        >>Follow it here<<

                        Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants


                        • #13
                          Very interesting. I too never knew that Alternanthera reineckii didn't respond well to high light. I used to have this in a little 10 gallon in a high-light area and it would never do good, it grew slow and would get holes in the leaves too and I would always be chopping off the poor leaves as they would get algae on them. All of my other plants flourished.


                          • #14
                            Bear in mind that you will probably not be able to avoid any CO2 gradiants no matter what you do. Tom's recent experiments with his CO2 meter have shown quite dramatic swings in CO2 concentrations depending on where you test from. The external reactor should let you get a more consistent amount in the tank though, but your actual values will vary throughout the tank due to flow rates.



                            • #15
                              Many thanks again for all this feedback. I think my CO2 gradiant was really important as I had to switch my PH meter from near the flipper to the opposite side. It was making my CO2 valve switching on/off every 2mn. I really improved drastically the flow after your comments. I also will try to solve the Altercanthera issues and change its position.

                              Finally, I lost again many shrimps after my waterchange of yesterday, despite having added only 15ml of TPN

                              So, I think you are right. Overdosing TPN didn't cause my problems as I thought. The Altercanthera was too exposed to light as you say and the waterchanges with two different parameters caused my shrimps to litterally explode :-((( crying :-((( I didn't think they are so vulnerable as I really took many precautions (change on 1h, same temperature)

                              I hope that there are still some in my external filter that will multiply

                              Meanwhile, any feedback on the Dennerle CO2 checker?

                              Many thanks for all of you
                              Aquatic Natur Cocoon 7: 11gal, dry start success / low light / CO2
                              >>Follow it here<<

                              Aquatlantis Evasion 120: Stopped ---> Malawi setup = No Plants