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Consistency Deficiency

Hufsa

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Maybe a little sneaky update from me after all :shh:
Ive had a really difficult time lately and your comments were all really lovely and made me feel not so alone, and not so bad about prioritizing my health πŸ’—
I dont want to get too much into personal stuff because thats not really what this journal is about, just know that I really appreciate all of you and consider you all my UKAPS family.
I was feeling really overwhelmed at the prospect of taking care of the tank, but I think I have managed to turn it around a little bit, just by dealing with one small piece at a time.
My goal for this summer will be a controlled decrease in maintenance, without things going completely off the rails. Total lack of maintenance is one thing in low tech, but in high tech things can get really bad. One of the promises I made myself when I got the CO2 system was that I had to keep up with the increased demand on me, even when its difficult.

On the basis of your inert substrate challenge, have you considered picking a couple of your stems and putting them in a wee pot of nice rich aquasoil (assuming you can lay your hands on a handful). Not sure if this would mess with your parameters as I guess even a wee bit would leach slightly but just thinking that the response of those by comparison, might add to your bank of knowledge!
Definitely something I can do, I have a little bit of Tropica Powder Soil in a bag somewhere, so could plonk a Pantanal and Golden in there and see how they get on. Probably much better I would bet. It would be useful as another way to ensure the survival of those two species. Emersed Golden is going really strong in the windowsill, but the emersed Pantanal is still meh.

Also, this may be completely contrary to your plans, so if it’s kind of defeating the object or simply not necessary then please feel free to completely ignore the suggestion and we shall never speak of it again!! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚
Always appreciate your input @KirstyF !πŸ₯°


At this point I have fiddled around with a few slightly different trace ratios.

The one that is running now has made Cuba happier, but Tonina is still pale;
0,1 Fe
0,02 Mn
0,013 Zn
0,013 B
0,006 Cu
0,003 Mo
0,0001 Ni

And I have in my notes the dose I used when Tonina was happy but not so much the other plants;
0,067 Fe
0,033 Mn
0,013 Zn
0,013 B
0,004 Cu
0,000067 Mo
0,000067 Ni
and
0,1 Fe
0,05 Mn
0,02 Zn
0,02 B
0,006 Cu
0,0001 Mo
0,0001 Ni


I also know what the plants didnt like, which was;
0,1 Fe
0,067 Mn
0,013 Zn
0,013 B
0,006 Cu
0,003 Mo
0,0001 Ni
and
0,2 Fe
0,134 Mn
0,026 Zn
0,026 B
0,012 Cu
0,006 Mo
0,0002 Ni
and
0,1 Fe
0,056 Mn
0,003 Zn
0,006 B
0,0087 Cu
0,0029 Mo
0,0002 Ni
and
0,5 Fe
0,28 Mn
0,014 Zn
0,029 B
0,043 Cu
0,014 Mo

A representative image of how I feel looking at all of this trying to find out what to do next:
2lgzrCO.jpeg

And before anyone pipes up with "But Hufsa, why dont you just add more!?", I would like to remind you that the plants were doing really bad with 0.5 Fe + traces.
Ive tried "just more" and it didnt work, annoyingly. It would have made my life a lot simpler if it did!
I hope eventually we will figure out why it doesnt work for me when it works for many others.

I never would have thought I'd have to get down to such small details.
If I do find some dosing that seems to fix it, I want to try to reproduce the issue and see if I can make it reappear and disappear on demand.

Hmm..
I tried again to look at what I used for iron and traces when I was doing low tech. Back then I used a premade trace blend and added Fe DTPA on top of that, using the K.I.S.S. principle.
This worked pretty well and I didnt have chlorosis as long as I dosed enough overall.
Then I started getting concerned that the ratios would be off from me adding iron on top of iron, and decreased a bit the additional Fe DTPA. I believe this is when the chlorosis problems started.
It looks like my tank MAY do better on a higher Fe to Mn ratio, maybe as much as 10 : 1 or more. Just adding more micros overall doesnt seem to produce the same effect.
So this is what im going to try next.
Ill keep the current numbers running, but have made a separate solution of just Fe DTPA that I can dose manually. Each dose gives 0.05 Fe.
Ill add this two times a week and let it run like that for a while, see what happens.


Unrelated note:
Scutariella has reappeared again AGAIN 😑 4 and a half weeks since last treatment. Last treatments were weekly ones, four of them from mid april to mid may.
Apparently not long enough 😣
To say I was annoyed to spot it again is an understatement, the follow up my tank will require over summer suddenly increased a lot.
I think I have read the life cycle of the parasite is 2 weeks, I will need to double check this. I was treating weekly because the earlier medications were ineffective, but the latest one seems better so biweekly might be ok.
It looks like I might have to change water every two weeks throughout summer instead of monthly πŸ˜’


All in all I am doing a bit better though.
Might not go completely MIA after all, we shall see 😊
Big hugs and a picture of Cuba that is doing a bit better
20220608_105134.jpg
 

Hufsa

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Quick and dirty update for the journal 🌞

20220617_152404.jpg
Pics taken after a massive trim, I think I threw out well over one solid liter of plant material.

My "more iron" plan didnt seem to do the trick. Dang, I had moderate confidence that might be it.
Some plants are slightly happier, some are super stunted, theres a ton of what I think is called Blanket weed a thick slimy stringy algae that looks like it should be in a pond, and BBA is back with a vengeance, just look at the spray bar.
I actually have thread algae growing from hardscape/equipment, which I think is rather impressive, even if its impressive for the wrong reasons 😎
I think its time to try plan B and see what results that gives. If it works better I can base new attempts on that and go from there.
Plan B is finding a premade fertilizer that is the least extortionately priced diluted water, dosing that and seeing what happens.
Its convenient to try this right now when I dont feel up for making ferts all the time.

20220617_152416.jpg
The Troll moss seems to be really happy after I replanted it, and it has grown a lot. So far it doesnt seem deterred by summer temperatures.
Speaking of, I have adjusted the Inkbird temperature controller that controls the inline heater to account for summer conditions.
We dont have air conditioning so summer temperatures are always a challenge, although switching to LED has helped a lot.
The Inkbird is a really great bit of kit, the adjustable heating and cooling differential allows me to set up the tank in the following way;
Tank is allowed to drop as low as 21 degrees C before the heater will kick in.
I have set it like this to preserve some of the cool of the night and allow it to carry into daytime, leading to lower peak day temperatures.
If it does drop as low as 21, the heater kicks in and heats it up to 24. If the tank gets higher than 25 the homemade fan turns on to bring it back down to 24.
I have been running my tank at 23 throughout winter, I could ask the fan to aim for this but it would be a lot of work for the fan and thus cause more evaporation.
I could also let it get as hot as 26 before it starts cooling, but so far it hasnt struggled to keep it down and having a narrower temperature range is inherently better for CO2 stability.
The Inkbird also features adjustable alarms for high and low temperatures, I have it set to 28 and 18 respectively. Highly recommend the Inkbird if that wasnt apparent πŸ˜ƒ

The homemade fan is an old computer fan with a 3D printed mount courtesy of my SO. It was made for my old tank/hood, so it doesnt really fit any more, but I have just rested it on top of the lights for now.
Before I leave for holidays we're gonna need to print a different mount for it as it is a fairly large risk of falling into the tank and electrocuting stuff at the moment.
Im planning to be gone for around two weeks in july, so I need the tank to be easy to look after for the pet sitter.
She is meticulous at following instructions so there is no risk of overfeeding, but she is also pretty nervous regarding the tank, so I want to keep her tasks as simple as possible :thumbup:
Having "Dont knock the precarilously placed fan into the tank and electrocute things" on the to-do list sounds like it might contribute to anxiousness so we cant have any of that :lol:

20220617_152432.jpg
20220617_152437.jpg
Both Super Red and Rotalas have stunted, this might be CO2 and not ferts, I have noticed the drop checker not turning quite green enough if the water level drops too low (because surface agitation increases). I try to keep up with the top-ups, but its not 100%. I really want an auto top off, just no budget for it at the moment. Evaporation didnt matter much when I was running low tech, but now with the lid off and the fan going the evaporation rate is much greater and actually important to keep up with.

20220617_152442.jpg
Cuba is one of the plants that is doing better, these are freshly replanted so not the greatest shot.
Stargrass is still slightly chlorotic in the tops.

Ive got 95% of the Stargrass area converted over to polysperma now, the Stargrass just grows too dang fast and I realise why we dont see it much in high tech tanks.
Still, I keep a little bit as it shows the chlorosis thing better than polysperma, who just turns a rather unhelpful shade of brown.
 

Hufsa

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Uppetty datety 🌞
Its super warm in Norway today πŸ₯΅ Im going to book a one way ticket to Siberia, my noodly limbs are adhering to the desk chair 😠

My "more iron" plan didnt seem to do the trick. Dang, I had moderate confidence that might be it.
Some plants are slightly happier, some are super stunted, theres a ton of what I think is called Blanket weed a thick slimy stringy algae that looks like it should be in a pond, and BBA is back with a vengeance, just look at the spray bar.
I was a little bit hasty when I wrote this, its not entirely the case.
I think I was disappointed because I was hoping for much better results across the board, but it does seem like we are one step closer to figuring it out.

I think its time to try plan B and see what results that gives. If it works better I can base new attempts on that and go from there.
Plan B is finding a premade fertilizer that is the least extortionately priced diluted water, dosing that and seeing what happens.
Its convenient to try this right now when I dont feel up for making ferts all the time.
Plan B was set in motion, I ordered a fertilizer that contained HEDTA thinking it was close to EDDHA in chelating power, but I had forgotten that its actually marginally better than EDTA and worse than DTPA until Happi pointed it out to me. I cancelled the order, and I couldnt find a fertilizer that had EDDHA so I got annoyed with the whole plan and decided to postpone it again.

20220624_132753.jpg
FTS. Camera decided to go extra hard on washing out any color on the plant tops. Thanks camera. The tops are not this white.
Drop checker is the wrong color here, it doesnt turn the final color until later in the day. Now that I think about it that is a little bit concerning.
But I think it has been like this all along, even back when I had an updated PH profile. I will check.
Tank got a few hydroponic plants placed in the back a few days ago. So far growth of green algae seems to have slowed a bit.

To prepare the tank for me going on holiday I have made changes to when my skimmer runs. It used to run only at night, but with the help of snails the floating bit kept getting stuck every night when it turned on, and it had to receive percussive maintenance every time. Since I am hypervigilant about factors that can contribute to higher than intended levels of CO2 in the tank and endanger my fishies, I need the skimmer to reliably remove surface film daily so that off-gassing is consistent. I didnt want our petsitter to have to deal with this.
We'll be gone for about two and a half weeks, so I changed out the fine floss for a coarse sponge that will not clog during my absence.
I also set it to run 24/7, and have spent a while adjusting the CO2 injection rate to account for this new increase in off-gassing.
I dont think I want to keep this change long term, I had to increase the injection rate quite a lot, and if the skimmer should fail entirely (just not work at all), I fear the CO2 levels could go quite high if a surface film develops since the injection rate is much higher.
Im trying to have my tank set up in a way where risks will be minimized, and skimmers seem to me to be one of the pieces of equipment that malfunctions the most, just based on what I have gathered on forums over the years. I have been Hufsa(TM) Overthinking how I could work around this issue, but no concrete solution yet. Stay tuned for updates on this 😜

Plant health pictures
20220624_133113.jpg
Cryptocoryne spiralis Red is recovering from the uproot and trim it got and some of the leaves are dramatically increasing in size. Im scared :nailbiting:

20220624_133119.jpg
Polysperma looks better, still a little bit funky color but better (I think..)

20220624_133128.jpg
Marilia is a better color of yellow, as is Cuba. Cuba is still sulking from a recent replant. Narrow leaf java fern still chlorotic.

20220624_133130.jpg
Bolbitis type A has put out a fair amount of new lush leaves, very good size increase for relatively small rhizomes. I have thinned back its neighbors again to allow it good flow.
Type B is still recovering from the carbonated water treatment, I can see a tiny bit of new green activity but its slow.
I probably should have been a bit more careful with the carbonated water instead of going all "fizz fizz b**ches!" :lol:
Live and learn :geek:

20220624_133144.jpg
20220624_133200.jpg
Super Red is still trying to recover from whatever caused it to stunt so much.

20220624_133208.jpg
20220624_133214.jpg
Rotalas I would say are looking better, they have recovered from the trim and look less pale than they have looked for a while.

20220624_133228.jpg
One of my few pieces of remaining stargrass. Chlorosis in this is better but not fixed. Dont mind the roots of the emersed plants.

20220624_133244.jpg
The last actively growing Pantanal is doing pretty good relative to their usual happiness in my tank. It has a happiness range of 1-10 where 1 is "kinda angry" and 10 is "VERY ANGRY imma die now!".
As you can see its growing in a pot of sand capped aquasoil. So far its not growing that much better in the soil than it was in just sand, the only thing I know will 100% cause great amgery:mad: is replanting or moving the stems. Its got downcurled leaves which is not good, but its not bright angry red in the top (which seems to be a sign its about to stunt), and the overall diameter is decent compared to the 15mm diameter growth I get sometimes when its a different kind of angry.

20220624_133257.jpg
Sagittaria is throwing out chlorotic leaves, P. helferi might be recovering a bit, it didnt show up in this picture but it looked like the center might be greener in real life.
Hydrocotyle tripartita 'mini' is mildly chlorotic and so is M. Guyana, although its hard to see.

20220624_133311.jpg
In the middle of the Buce clumps in this picture is Bucephalandra sp. "Dark Achilles", its a very slow growing Buce but so far seems to do ok under water, contrary to some reports. I wonder if there are different populations in the wild, where some populations of the Achilles / Kishii type do not do well under water, and some that do ok.
Which kind you end up getting when you buy one might then be entirely up to chance unless youre buying submersed grown and propagated plants.
If it keeps doing well I will split the rhizome and try to get it to my friends in the UK so you can also have it.

20220624_133315.jpg
Some pale Microsorum pteropus "Petit". This plant is so far not particularly Petit, I have kept the standard Tropica Narrow variety in the tank too because I want to grow them out together and see if there is any meaningful difference. So far my theory is that many of the rare small varieties of java fern that exist among collectors and specialized retailers actually grow much larger than they say, its just that many collectors do not use injected CO2, and thus the plants will be significantly smaller in their care, even over long periods of time. I know my Tropica Narrow / Windelow / Trident java ferns were very small when they were growing under suboptimal conditions in low tech. In order to unlock their true size they need enough time to develop in addition to CO2 and decent ferts.
Maybe some of the "small" varieties of java fern will differ in how small they are under suboptimal conditions, with the special collector types becoming extra small, but is that really a good way to compare plants? Maybe for people running low tech. I dont know, and I dont know where im going with this either so ill leave it at this 😁

The random bits of healthy looking N. p Golden have just recently arrived, the emersed windowsill culture is doing so well I was able to harvest some stems and I just plonked them into various locations πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ The emersed Tonina and Pantanal cultures is coming along, I will be able to harvest from them reasonably soon. I very optimistically hope to have some of the fertilizer issues sorted out first so they get a good start in the tank.

20220624_133322.jpg
My poor pale Tonina 😒 It seems like this one is doing the worst out of all of the plants. I really want to at least get back to when this one recovered and became green and happy, even if the other plants suffer πŸ˜… I just like this plant a lot.
You can see the Golden above it in the soil cup is not happy, from my experience so far, just like Pantanal, Golden does not like to be moved.
So its too early to tell if its angry just because it got moved into the cup, or what.

20220624_133334.jpg
Second cryptocoryne corner. Silver Queen continues to put out these sunset colored leaves. They're kinda nice.
The SQ in the middle has Wooki's name on it, its just waiting and growing until it can make its way over to him 😊
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Bolbitis type A has put out a fair amount of new lush leaves, very good size increase for relatively small rhizomes. I have thinned back its neighbors again to allow it good flow.
That looks OK.
Type B is still recovering from the carbonated water treatment, I can see a tiny bit of new green activity but its slow.
Sounds promising.

cheers Darrel
 

_Maq_

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Excuse me if I missed something mentioned earlier within this thread.
I'd like to know basic parameters of your tap water, supposing this is the one you're using, PLUS what is your macro dosing routine, PLUS pH of your aquarium water when dosing CO2.
 

Hufsa

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Excuse me if I missed something mentioned earlier within this thread.
I'd like to know basic parameters of your tap water, supposing this is the one you're using, PLUS what is your macro dosing routine, PLUS pH of your aquarium water when dosing CO2.
No problem at all, the journal is 36 pages long so I dont blame you for just asking instead of having to comb through a gazillion pages πŸ˜„

You are correct I am using tap water. The parameters I get from the water supply report are as follows;

NH4-N + NH3-N <0.040 mg/l
NO3-N 0.319 mg/l
NO2-N <0.010 mg/l

Cl- 12.5 mg/l
SO4 2- 14.7 mg/l
Na 5.33 mg/l

Fe 0.0123 mg/l
Cu <0.001 mg/l
Mn <0.001 mg/l
Ni 0.000794 mg/l
B <0.01 mg/l
No values reported for Mg, Zn and Mo

The water contains almost no Calcium when it arrives at the water works, but they filter it over marble to raise it to approximately 21g Ca/L. They also add NaOH to raise the PH.

Tap water at my house comes out with 3 KH, 3 GH (consisting solely of Calcium), a PH of 7.1 - 7.3, and a TDS usually between 55-67.
I raise the GH to around 6-7 for the shrimp before adding to tank.
As of lately the final Ca and Mg values of my tank water is Ca 30ppm, Mg 10ppm and 6.5 GH

Current weekly total macro levels (added daily by doser)
13,29 NO3 (3 N)
1,2 PO4 (0,39 P)
4,68 K

Current weekly micro levels (also dosed daily)
0,1 Fe DTPA
0,02 Mn EDTA
0,013 Zn EDTA
0,013 B (From Boric Acid)
0,006 Cu EDTA
0,003 Mo (From Ammonium molybdate)
0,0001 Ni (From Nickel Sulphate)
Plus an additional 0,05 ppm Fe DTPA dosed manually about two times a week, bringing the total weekly Fe up to 0,2

PH of my aquarium water usually sits around 7,2 ( fully degassed) and when I performed a PH profile in April I had a full one degree drop to 6,2.
I havent performed a PH profile lately but I expect it to be somewhere around this area :thumbup:
 
Last edited:

_Maq_

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One more question: How exactly do you add calcium, magnesium, nitrates etc.? I mean, which compounds? Par example, if you add 13 mg of NO3 in KNO3, then you add 8 mg of potassium, as well. Which is more than you indicate, so you probably use some other compound.
Do I understand correctly that you add as much CO2 as to lower your pH from 7.2 to 6.2?
 

Hufsa

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I mean, which compounds?
Oh my mistake, I forgot to list that :oops:
Youre very observant, my source of nitrogen is 50% from Urea and 50% from Potassium Nitrate / KNO3, hence the low K.
Monopotassium phosphate / KH2PO4 is the other part of the macro, not currently using potassium sulphate / K2SO4 at all.

I acidify the mixes with ascorbic acid and preservative potassium sorbate, although my next micro mix will be without ascorbic acid to try to rule out some possible micro interaction.

I remineralize with Calcium sulphate and Magnesium sulphate

Do I understand correctly that you add as much CO2 as to lower your pH from 7.2 to 6.2?
Yes, that is correct, it may be slightly lower now (0,8~) as I have adjusted the injection after that PH profile.
 

_Maq_

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I can see several issues:
(1) A source of growth defect may come from incorrect balance between (Na), K, Mg & Ca. I prefer ratio K : Mg : Ca = 1 : 5 : 10 molar, which is approx. 1 : 3 : 10 by weight. However, sodium enters this ratio together with potassium. If I'm correct, then your ratio is (Na+K) : Mg : Ca = 1 : 1 : 3 by weight. Can you see any signs of Ca, and particularly Mg deficiency?

(2) This issue may be exacerbated by using urea, which works basically as ammonia. Ammonia is another cation which is used preferentially to Mg & Ca. (Even before potassium.)

(3) If I assume that you dose weekly 1.7 mg/l KH2PO4, 3.2 mg/l urea, and 10.8 mg/l KNO3, then your P : N ratio is correct, but you're overdosing K. Which is not harmful in itself, but it suggests that you could lower dosing of K and improve your K : Mg : Ca ratio. It's an eternal pity that your water-processing plant adds sodium. I wouldn't expect such an obsolete practice in Norway.
You can use NH4NO3 to lower K easily.

(4) CO2 dosing helps to lower pH, yet it does NOT lower alkalinity. There's one thing people often overlook. Some plants hate high pH because they cannot acquire transition metals (micronutrients). So, you dose CO2, force your pH to 6.2, and believe things are fixed. Not so. Alkalinity is another problem, disabling some physiological processes within the plant itself. So the plant is able to acquire the nutrient, yet unable to USE it.
We lack detailed analysis for which aquarium plants this is valid, unfortunately. My guess is that Tonina fluviatilis and Ludwigia Pantanal belong among them. (Ludwigia glandulosa definitely does.) You can add tons of micronutrients, yet some specie will not be able to live on.

(5) As you surely know, phosphorus and transition metals require reducing environment to be accessible to plants. That's why plants almost solely get these nutrients through roots deeper in the sediment, where conditions are reducing. However, iron will NOT get reduced as long as nitrate is abundant in the substrate. The reason is that nitrate is preferred electron acceptor over ferric iron. Bacteria respire oxygen first, when it's depleted, they respire nitrate, and only after nitrate is in shortage, they respire ferric iron, and the sulfate.
Unfortunately, people listen to Tom Barr and dose incredible (and harmful) amounts of chelated micronutrients. (I suspect most of them end up in filters, but that's another story.)
I never add CO2 to my tanks. I always mineralize from zero, i.e. from reverse osmosis + mixbed water. As such, I've got no experience with the conditions recommended by Barr and similar hi-tech gurus. If I make a tank with acid water, hardness and alkalinity are very low, too. I maintain from 1 to 3 mg/l NO3 equivalent (half NH4 half NO3) in my tanks. I seldom dose any micronutrients, and in tiny amounts at that, and there's no artificial chelator in my house present. (Yes, I follow Marschner.)
In my opinion, micronutrients are an issue only if you make them so when trying to outsmart the nature.
 

Hufsa

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I thought something in depth might be coming when you asked all those questions πŸ˜„
Thank you for sharing your time and experience with me :geek:
Im probably gonna have to take a few days to process all of this completely 😊

I can see several issues:
(1) A source of growth defect may come from incorrect balance between (Na), K, Mg & Ca. I prefer ratio K : Mg : Ca = 1 : 5 : 10 molar, which is approx. 1 : 3 : 10 by weight. However, sodium enters this ratio together with potassium. If I'm correct, then your ratio is (Na+K) : Mg : Ca = 1 : 1 : 3 by weight. Can you see any signs of Ca, and particularly Mg deficiency?
When you say growth defect, could you describe or link to what you mean by that? Right now I have an issue with persistent paleness of plants, but recently the Ludwigia palustris 'Super Red' got very stunted and curly new leaves, do you mean either of those problems or something else?
Im not entirely sure how Ca deficiency is supposed to look like, I think some people argue its "not a real thing" or at least exceedingly rare. Therefore I have never paid much attention to it.
Is it small curly new leaves predominantly?
Im a bit cautious to try to diagnose individual deficiencies as so many of them seem to have similar looking symptoms πŸ€”
I cant see any signs of Magnesium deficiency, and I have dosed more Magnesium occasionally with no difference in the plants, so Magnesium seems unlikely to me

(2) This issue may be exacerbated by using urea, which works basically as ammonia. Ammonia is another cation which is used preferentially to Mg & Ca. (Even before potassium.)
Interesting. A little while ago when I got started with lean dosing I was using Nitrogen from 82% Urea and 18% Nitrate.
Happi advised me to change to my current 50/50 ratio, I believe to slow down the plants a bit. The amount of potassium was naturally increased when I did this.

(3) If I assume that you dose weekly 1.7 mg/l KH2PO4, 3.2 mg/l urea, and 10.8 mg/l KNO3, then your P : N ratio is correct, but you're overdosing K. Which is not harmful in itself, but it suggests that you could lower dosing of K and improve your K : Mg : Ca ratio.
I could increase the amount of Urea in order to lower the potassium, but then we might run into your point number 2, hmm

It's an eternal pity that your water-processing plant adds sodium. I wouldn't expect such an obsolete practice in Norway.
Yeah its annoying for sure, I believe they add it to preserve the water pipes, the maintenance on the water lines is horrible so they would much rather add this than spend money actually maintaining anything.

You can use NH4NO3 to lower K easily.
Unfortunately this is an illegal substance for laypersons to have now in Norway 😒 Only for registered farmers and businesses with documented need for it.
What about ammonium sulphate, can it be substituted for ammonium nitrate somehow? We would get all that extra sulphate and then the potassium from the KNO3 I suppose?

(4) CO2 dosing helps to lower pH, yet it does NOT lower alkalinity. There's one thing people often overlook.
Very true

Some plants hate high pH because they cannot acquire transition metals (micronutrients). So, you dose CO2, force your pH to 6.2, and believe things are fixed. Not so. Alkalinity is another problem, disabling some physiological processes within the plant itself. So the plant is able to acquire the nutrient, yet unable to USE it.
We lack detailed analysis for which aquarium plants this is valid, unfortunately. My guess is that Tonina fluviatilis and Ludwigia Pantanal belong among them. (Ludwigia glandulosa definitely does.) You can add tons of micronutrients, yet some specie will not be able to live on.
I would really love your input on why my Tonina greened up quite rapidly a while back, when I used two following micro mixes;
0,067 Fe
0,033 Mn
0,013 Zn
0,013 B
0,004 Cu
0,000067 Mo
0,000067 Ni
and
0.1 Fe
0.05 Mn
0.02 Zn
0.02 B
0.006 Cu
0.0001 Mo
0.0001 Ni

Details and pictures can be found here, here and a few here
Ive been scratching my head for ages trying to figure out why it liked this but not what im currently dosing

(5) As you surely know, phosphorus and transition metals require reducing environment to be accessible to plants.
That would be after they have precipitated, they are only available this way, am I understanding that right?
But there is a window of availability (dependent on tank conditions) where they are available in the water column, before they precipitate, or?

That's why plants almost solely get these nutrients through roots deeper in the sediment, where conditions are reducing. However, iron will NOT get reduced as long as nitrate is abundant in the substrate. The reason is that nitrate is preferred electron acceptor over ferric iron. Bacteria respire oxygen first, when it's depleted, they respire nitrate, and only after nitrate is in shortage, they respire ferric iron, and the sulfate.
Unfortunately, people listen to Tom Barr and dose incredible (and harmful) amounts of chelated micronutrients. (I suspect most of them end up in filters, but that's another story.)
I never add CO2 to my tanks. I always mineralize from zero, i.e. from reverse osmosis + mixbed water. As such, I've got no experience with the conditions recommended by Barr and similar hi-tech gurus. If I make a tank with acid water, hardness and alkalinity are very low, too. I maintain from 1 to 3 mg/l NO3 equivalent (half NH4 half NO3) in my tanks. I seldom dose any micronutrients, and in tiny amounts at that, and there's no artificial chelator in my house present. (Yes, I follow Marschner.)
Hmm this bit is going to take a while to process. RO is for sure a very clean slate to start with, but there are some that make their tap water work though?

In my opinion, micronutrients are an issue only if you make them so when trying to outsmart the nature.
Outsmarting, are you referring to chelates? Do you think I might have better success with non chelated traces then? Or am I misunderstanding it?
I actually have an order of chemicals on the way that includes that, so they will arrive within a few weeks probably
 
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