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Thread: Plants not doing so well, need help!!!

  1. #1

    Plants not doing so well, need help!!!

    Hi All ,

    First of all, I just found this forum. It is awsome, it has so much information and great advice. I cannot believe it is the first time I come across it.

    Here is what I have:

    180 gallon aquarium reef ready, three years old set up
    39X4 t5HO bulbs 6700k
    39X2 t5HO bulbs 10000k
    39X4 t5HO bulbs plant grow (current pink light)
    pressurized co2 system, reactor
    rena xp4 filter
    sump with 900 gallon/hr pump
    closed loop system for co2 reactor on sump,
    flourite substrate, root tabs every 6 months
    dosing KNO3, 1/2 teaspoons twice per week
    dosing H2PO4, 1/2 teaspoon per week
    Flourish Potassium 30 ml twice per week
    Flourish 20ml twice per week
    pH 6.3
    GH 8
    KH 6
    NO3 ~10ppm
    PO4 ~ 2ppm
    iron ~0.1ppm
    50% water changes twice per week.

    Fish:

    10 Discus
    40 lemon tetras
    1 pleco
    4 bleeding heart tetra
    10 rummy nose tetra

    The problem:

    In the last 3 months, all the plants are not growing as they use to. The first indication is my cabomba. It is thin and new growth tend to die right after they appear.

    In addition, algae has started to appear on the older leave of all plants. Specially on my sword and criptocorine plant older leaves. I would say that all the plants are not growing at all. New leaves are smaller in size and twisted.

    I have been trying to isolate the problem. At first, I thought it was Ca deficiency as new leaves were distorted and smaller. So, I change RO to tap water mix to 25% RO and 75% tap water. No much of a change there after a month.

    Started to add potassium as the older leave in the Amazon sword started to "melt away". It actually stopped that, but not new growth.

    I have been reading and it seems to be Boron deficiency + lack of CO2 , but I am not quite sure. I might suspect that it is a micro nutrient deficiency and not macro as I initially thought.

    Any ideas are really appreciated!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Few more pictures....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Hi,

    Not an expert but, I think 40ml of Flourish (trace or comprehensive ?) per week it's not enough for an 180g tank. I dose 45ml/week in a 55g tank + extra Iron. This are my micros and macros solutions:

    Micros:
    500 ml bottle:
    I added 7 ml undiluted Metricide 14 (or 10-11ml Excel) to the DI water and let it settle for 10 min or so then I warmed up the water a bit.
    I mixed 3 tsp CSM with 5 tsp Miller + 1.5 tsp 10 or 11% DTPA + 1.5 tsp Fe Gluconate + 1 tsp MnSo4
    Dosing 15ml 3 times/week for a total of 45ml/week for a 55g tank.

    Macros:

    KNO3 solution: 100g in 500ml bottle dose 15ml 3 times/week (30 to 40ppm/week)
    KH2PO4 solution: 30g in 500ml bottle dose 10ml 3 times/week (5 to 7 ppm/week)
    K2SO4 I dose dry 1/2 tsp 3 times/week (20 to 30 ppm/week)
    CaCl2 solution: 100gr in 500ml bottle dose 30ml 3times/week (30ppm/week)
    MGSO4: 100gr in 500 ml bottle dose 25ml 3 times/week (7 ppm/week)
    Metricide 14 5ml daily
    Ultimate Gh booster 2tsp with WC only
    1 tsp Baking Soda to raise Kh from 3 to 4, WC only

    All this dosing is for a 55g tank.
    http://calc.petalphile.com/
    http://ei.petalphile.com/

    Please keep in mind that I dose Ca and Mg b/c I have very soft tap water.
    "Ich Hatte Einen Kameraden"

    "In the Shadow of Hermes"

  4. #4
    Hi,

    Not an expert but, I think 40ml of Flourish (trace or comprehensive ?) per week it's not enough for an 180g tank. I dose 45ml/week in a 55g tank + extra Iron. This are my micros and macros solutions:

    Micros:
    500 ml bottle:
    I added 7 ml undiluted Metricide 14 (or 10-11ml Excel) to the DI water and let it settle for 10 min or so then I warmed up the water a bit.
    I mixed 3 tsp CSM with 5 tsp Miller + 1.5 tsp 10 or 11% DTPA + 1.5 tsp Fe Gluconate + 1 tsp MnSo4
    Dosing 15ml 3 times/week for a total of 45ml/week for a 55g tank.

    Macros:

    KNO3 solution: 100g in 500ml bottle dose 15ml 3 times/week (30 to 40ppm/week)
    KH2PO4 solution: 30g in 500ml bottle dose 10ml 3 times/week (5 to 7 ppm/week)
    K2SO4 I dose dry 1/2 tsp 3 times/week (20 to 30 ppm/week)
    CaCl2 solution: 100gr in 500ml bottle dose 30ml 3times/week (30ppm/week)
    MGSO4: 100gr in 500 ml bottle dose 25ml 3 times/week (7 ppm/week)
    Metricide 14 5ml daily
    Ultimate Gh booster 2tsp with WC only
    1 tsp Baking Soda to raise Kh from 3 to 4, WC only

    All this dosing is for a 55g tank.
    http://calc.petalphile.com/
    http://ei.petalphile.com/

    Please keep in mind that I dose Ca and Mg b/c I have very soft tap water.
    "Ich Hatte Einen Kameraden"

    "In the Shadow of Hermes"

  5. #5
    Hi For100,

    Welcome to The Barr Report! A couple of quick questions first; do you check your CO2 level, if so what is it? Also, please tell me a little about you local water, is it "soft" or do you use DI or RO water?

    -Roy
    Roy
    45 Gallon Tall; 96 Watt AH Supply CF; 6700K; & 30 Gallon Long; 2X36 Watt AH Supply CF; Pressurized CO2; UGF; Heat Treated Montmorillonite Clay
    Greater Seattle Aquarium Society

  6. #6

    Planes not doing so well, need help!!!

    Hi,

    Thank you both for your prompt response.....

    About the question below, I have very hard water, close to 16 degrees for both GH and KH. This said, I keep amazon fish, for which I need to have softer water. But I don't push it to lower limits (<5 degrees), I keep it in the 6 to 7 range.

    I don't check CO2 levels, I have a pH controller calibrated to 6.3. But to your point, it equates to about 100ppm based on KH and pH curves. Not sure if these would be accurate though because all my fish would be dead or gasping for air.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    5,581
    Hi,

    More later but quickly:

    Too much light
    Too little macro/micro dosing
    Too little c02 for the light levels

    Reduce the amount of light by raising the fixture or remove a bulb or two. How is the fixture mounted and what is the photoperiod?

    Go to EI dosing

    Wait 2-3 weeks and see if c02 needs to be tweaked. Most likely it does but see if the reduce light and increased dosing helps.
    Thanks,

    Gerry.

    'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

    Current 220 scape

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

  8. #8
    Hi,

    The fixture is about 5" above the tank (original fixture base), tank depth is about 24". About the photoperiod, it is divided into three phases:

    Phase 1: 39wattsX4 lightbulbs from 9am to 12:30pm
    Phase 2: 39wattsX12 lighbulbs from 12:30pm to 3:30pm
    Phase 3: 39wattsX8 lighhtbulbs from 3:30pm to 7pm

    I will go to EI Dosing and change the fertilization qty and frequency.

    Freddy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    5,581
    Hi,

    I still think you have too much light esp at the peak time.

    When does c02 come on?

    EI and dosing will help, but c02 is much more important along with the levels of light.

    I know you don't believe me but you will see eventually. It is very difficult to maintain good/adequate c02 levels at the lighting levels you are using.

    I also have a 180 with your dimensions and somehow I get by using T8 bulbs.....mounted even higher than your fixture...
    Thanks,

    Gerry.

    'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

    Current 220 scape

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    449
    What are the actual dimensions of the tank?

    Why do you think you need so much light?

    Jim

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