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Im a little confused, any help would be great


12 Jan 2010

I have a 315ltr aqualantis aquarium
pressurized co2 with UP atomiser
lighting 4 x36w T8 lights on for 6 hrs a day
dosing ei
flow x20 turnover
aquabasis plus topped with inert gravel
50% waterchange x1 a week

plants mainly java ferns and anubias also some hygro, s. repens, montecarlo

the java fern has started to turn brown and pretty fast, i only have it about 2 weeks and some leaves have bba(well i think thats what it is) and isnt that mainly due to poor co2? i believe i have great flow good co2 levels, drop checker bright green when co2 on.

am i missing something or just doing something wrong?



short video of flow

also the s.repens doesnt look the healthiest to me either

any help would be great 🙂

I may get shouted down here but I think you could be killing things with kindness. Too much fert and even too much flow...

That's some pretty serious flow it may or may not be hurting but you only need steady circulation around the tank. Certainly the plants are having to work harder in the current.

The standard EI dose is based upon a grown in and densely planted tank. At the outset your new plants aren't grown in and are slowly adjusting and acclimatising to their new environment and the tank they won't be needing anywhere near a full EI dose. WIth EI you are aiming for or "estimating' to provide non limiting nutrients but still fairly close to actual demand so in the case of your newly planted tank with a new substrate etc. you maybe only need perhaps a third of the full EI dose. Many say that you can just go with full EI from the start but I'm not convinced I think you end up making the water too rich for the plants. There seem to be too many situations like yours showing up here where where people appear to be doing everything right but it isn't working out.

I suggest a couple of big water changes and then reduce EI to ⅓ to a ½ and even wind down the flow a bit. This approach works for me.
Hi Chris, thanks for your reply.

ill take your advise and cut down on the ferts a bit and reduce the flow and see if that helps at all.

something else ive just noticed which may be the problem and cause of BBA, i have the UP aqua regulator and the working pressure is fluctuating from 3bar to 2.6 every 5 seconds consistently. Would this be causing the problems? or would the fact that its fluctuating consistently mean that its still providing a consistent amout of co2?
Doesn't look like to much flow to me. I never trust dropcheckers much. A) change the location of the dc to see if he colorchange is the same everywhere, B) when does the CO2 start? and how long C) could you have acces to a pH device and do a pH profile?
Hi Edvent,

ive tried the drop checker in 6 or 7 different locations and all are bright green when co2 turns on, which is 2 hours before lights on and the off 2 hours before lights off.

if just realised if been making a huge dosing miscalculation and i have only actually been dosing 1/3 EI, so do you think i should just start dosing full or keep it at a 1/3?
It could be the fact that you've only had the java for 2 weeks and it acclimatising to your tank parameters. Cut off bad leaves, hopefully new grow will be OK.

Looking at the short video I would guess that you also have too much flow as every thing is waving "in the air like it just dont care". Too much flow can in my opinion also have an effect on co2 uptake " I could be wrong, just my observations ".
Depending on how old the soil is, if new I would only dose 1/2 EI until you have more growth, plus the plants you have are slow growing so not much ferts needed really...
Hello Jason,
I recently set up my planted tank again. An observation is that any of the leaves that I have that were grown emersed tend to stop growing in favour of newly submerged leaves being produced by the plant. The emersed leaves seem to be more susceptible to algae as they have stopped growing. If you have good growth, I would remove what would appear to be older leaves. Most of my plants are Echinodorus but I think the theory is the same.