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Plant deficiency problems need advice please

TheFishBox

New Member
Joined
4 Sep 2021
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7
Location
Liverpool
Hiya I'm just looking for some advice about fertilisers at the moment I use tnc light fertilizer (dosed daily 2ml, iron twice per week 1ml) I used this because my nitrates are always up around 50 PPM or more but I am thinking of switching to a different fertilizer called evolution aqua, theaquascaper complete liquid plant food. Because at the moment the issues I'm having are stunted growth (especially in my pogostemon octopus) crinkled growth, and my tiger lotus is getting holes and see-through portions on the leaves and the leaves slowly melt away one by one. Lights (leds) are on for 7 hours, fluval soil, no CO2. 180 litres. Been set up for around 9-10 months. Any advice much appreciated. Emma😊
 

John q

Member
Joined
6 Jan 2021
Messages
547
Location
Lancashire
Hi Emma,
I don't think your issues are completely nutrient related, but having said that I think it would be advisable to switch to a fertiliser that contains nitrate and phosphate.

I'm curious as to why you're getting nitrate readings in the 50's, I'm from the North West and the nitrates in our tap water are usually fairly low, so that leads to believe that you either don't change much of the tank water every week, or your nitrate test results are skewed.

Most of the deficiencies you list are generally caused by insufficient levels of co2, rectifying this is the tricky part. If the tank is low tech then the main weapons to combat this would be to ensure good water flow around the tank and reducing the plants demand for co2 by limiting the amount of light they receive.

I'm going to make some assumptions about your tank, if these are wrong then please correct me.

From your description and photo in another thread I'm guessing you have a stock fluval vicenza 180l, if that's the case then you have a couple of issues, the first one is the standard 206/7 filter it comes with, even with its rated pump power of 780l/h its probably not going to be enough to circulate enough water around your tank, the actual circulation rate of the filter will be far less than 780l/h.

The second issue with the vicenza is the outlet position, the through tank positioning of that outlet, combined with twin outlet heads make it difficult to get good flow to all areas of the tank and plants.
The best but by no means perfect set up with that outlet was to have the duckbill at the back of the tank pointing straight down the length of the tank, almost parallel and pointing slightly upwards, and the duckbill nearest the front pointing towards the front glass but aiming about a third of the way down the length of the tank and pointing slightly down. Basically you will have to experiment a bit to try and get some movement in all your plants.

It's difficult to tell from the picture in your other post but it looks like the outlet is sat quite low in the water, if you can raise it a bit it will help a bit with getting a more circular flow and getting better gas exchange via surface movement. This is the height of my outlet.
20210401_185828.jpg


If buying a bigger filter isn't an option then maybe consider getting a circulation pump or wavemaker to add extra flow to the tank.

Lastly do you have the ability to reduce the lighting intensity with the light it comes with? If so it might be an idea to reduce it a tad whilst you sort out the other things.

Hope that helps.
 
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TheFishBox

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4 Sep 2021
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Liverpool
Thanks for your reply I have a fluval 406 canister on the tank at the moment I'm doing water changes with a bucket I really need to get a python so it's a little difficult doing water changes for me me.and I probably haven't done them my often enough to be honest I use the API liquid test kit.

Oh ok I tried to research my issues but, I thought that the light wasn't that much at the moment and also thought that less water movement at the top of the aquarium was better for it, I will definitely try your suggestions.
My tank is a fluval and it's 180l it is second-hand. I think you are right about the make of it.

Yes I am not really a fan of the outlet myself I will try moving it as you said. Yes I see what you mean by your photo I like the way you have yours setup up my outlet pipe does not extend all the way to the top of the surface of the water though, it seems shorter than yours.

Yes I have two LED light bars they are both on timers so I will try reducing the light. Thanks for all Ur advice.View attachment 16312000637358196655023595300920.jpg
 

John q

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Messages
547
Location
Lancashire
Hi Emma, that filter should supply enough flow for your tank, it might just be a case of tweaking how the outlets are positioned in order to get some movement (gentle swaying) in all the plants and some surface agitation. Is the filter crammed with media by any chance?

I've no idea how powerful your led is, i assumed it was the stock 14.5w unit so if its not that then it could be fine as is once the flow issue is sorted, I certainly wouldn't recommend lowering the duration of 7hrs if that's what you had planned.

Have a tweak with those outlets and start adding a complete fertiliser, trying to do regular weekly water changes would be something I'd also suggest, even if the percentage changed is only 20 ~ 25% for now.
 
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TheFishBox

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John q,
I have now changed the output flow so I have a lot better Flow now so thank you for that, and no my filter isn't crammed with media but is almost full I plan on buying more ceramic media and maybe more sponge to.

Well my LED lighting as I mentioned is 2 bars of LEDs with a handful of blue and red LEDs as well. I don't know enough about my lighting currently on the tank to describe it properly but it grows my tiger lotus, water wisteria and Madagascar lace plant good. My best guess would be that it is somewhere between low and medium light. And I currently dont have alot of algae outbreaks.

25th of August so two weeks and 2-days ago, was the last time I did a water change I expected my nitrates to be high as they usually are but I tested yesterday and I'm very surprised they were 0 ppm, atm, I think the reason for this is I have cut back on feeding lately. I feed on, off for 4 or 5 days a week now.

I will keep an eye on my parameters, and carry on with small water changes from now on. Thanks.

I use API liquid test because I heard it is reliable, I'd be interested to now what anybody else opinion is? and what do you use to test your water?

Thanks 👍
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
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Yorkshire,UK
what do you use to test your water?
Apart from a pH meter and a DC (Drop Checker) which are both used to monitor the CO2 levels I and many others test nothing.

Many folk just dose ferts in abundance and use regular WC (water changes) to prevent build up of DOC( Dissolved Organic Compounds) and remove detritus.

Water test kits are user sensitive and not 100% false/negatives etc, so I would recommend stop testing dose a complete ferts and regular WCs its cheaper and your plants will love you for it
 
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John q

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Location
Lancashire
no my filter isn't crammed with media but is almost full I plan on buying more ceramic medi
In a conventional fish based aquarium we tend to rely on filter media to house the beneficial bacteria, which in turn reduces harmful ammonia and nitrite build up, the media also helps trap any unwanted debris. In a planted tank the need for large amounts of media becomes less important, the plants themselves will consume a lot of the harmful chemicals and the tank itself (plants, substrate, rocks, wood etc) becomes a vast playground for beneficial bacteria to flourish.

Having lots of media in the filter effectively chokes the flow of water through it, removing some of this media will allow you to get more water circulating around the tank, which in your case would be beneficial to the plants.
In my 407 filter I have the standard white and blue pre filters and the standard black bio filter, I then have 1 tray with about 10 ceramic rings in it (which I'm slowly removing each week.)

I don't know how much of what you have in your filter but suspect some of it could be removed, I would also suggest you don't buy any more ceramic media as this is notorious for reducing flow in them.

I use API liquid test because I heard it is reliable, I'd be interested to now what anybody else opinion is? and what do you use to test your water?
I used to be an avid tester and used the api test kit, I stopped regularly testing the water about six months ago, not because I distrusted the readings I got, I just came to realisation that in a planted tank its not necessary.

I still use a ph pen to help monitor the ph drop in my co2 tank and use a tds meter.
 

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