Nitrogen Deficiency @ 25ppm

Nick72

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FED3737A-7AE0-46F0-BFA8-F31EAE5C40C0.jpeg


It's hard to see in the photo, but clear when looking at the tank, that the new growth for this stem plant is growing with greatly reduced leaf size and reduced distance between nodes.

It's essentially growing like a dwarf version of itself.

I thought this was a sign of Nitrogen deficiency - but the tank has never had so much nitrogen.

About 8 weeks ago I started E.I. Dosing dry ferts.

My nitrogen went up to around 40ppm for a couple of weeks.

I've brought this back into balance and now it's around 25ppm.

So how can it be deficient?
 

kallililly1973

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Is the plant in question what appears to be Anacharis? It looks like there is a fair amout of algae on your glass which could be outcompeting your plants for nutrients in the water. I would suggest your next WC you take an old gift card and scrape all the glass then do a good 50-60% WC. Are you running co2 as well? Do you have a full shot of your tank? What size tank is it and how long has it been set up and what are the inhabitants. Also do you have the Ph, Ammonia, and Nitrite readings as well?
 
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Nick72

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No not Anacharis - forgotten the name though. This is a far more delicate plant,

Also not a great deal of it when looking at the tank as a whole.

04E6045C-0D7D-46F8-BB27-12E3AFD5D24A.jpeg

(Photo after last Saturday's water change)

50g, 28c, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 25ppm, C02 30ppm, PH 7.4 True, 6.5 with CO2.
Lighting 8hrs at 70% Fluval Planted 3.0

Water changes 50-70% once a week.

Fertilisers:
KNO3, KH2PO4: Saturday, Monday, Wednesday
CSM+B Fe 13% DPTA: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Tanks been running 9 months.

I've been running CO2 for about 10 weeks and in that time I've had brown algae / fungus (substrate), Black Beard Algae (Foreground Grasses), Green Fuzz Algae (Driftwood Wood, Lilies), Green Hair Algae (all Stem plants except Hygrophila), and of course Green Dust algae (Glass).

I remove 100% of the Green Dust algae with a razor tool each week. It visibly reappears by the next day - is as seen in photo by Friday (water change every Saturday)

I remove approx 60% of remaining algae forms each week.

I'm not overly worried about any except the Green Dust algae as it's this one that is most prevalent.

Still if I can always measure 25ppm Nitrate I can't see how it could be used up by the algae?

Inhabitants : 1x Pearl Gourami, 1x EBA, 1X Angel fish,, 8x Red Eyed Tetra, 3x Rummynose Tetra, 12x Zebra Nerite Snails
 

kallililly1973

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Wow very nice setup and stock! Could it be cause its in the back right corner not getting as much light as it could be possibly? I would say maybe still adapting to your co2 and new dosing but you have had that going for nearing 2-3 months so i don't think thats the issue.@Vishaquatics could be much more help.
 
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Nick72

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Wow very nice setup and stock! Could it be cause its in the back right corner not getting as much light as it could be possibly? I would say maybe still adapting to your co2 and new dosing but you have had that going for nearing 2-3 months so i don't think thats the issue. @Vishaquatics could be much more help.
I had similar algae problems, but not as extreme, at the four month stage, back when this was a low tech tank.

Back then I managed to balance the tank within a month or so by increasing the use of fertilisers (Seachem range of Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus + Comprehensive).

When I moved to C02 it was clear the Seachem range was going to be too expensive at the levels I'd need for E.I. dosing, so I moved to dry ferts.

Since C02 + Dry Ferts + New Light (moved from Planted 2.0 to Planted 3.0). I just can't seem to find the balance.

Too many variables. I'll keep working on it.
 

Vishaquatics

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Your fert dosing should be fine. How much CSM+B are you dosing?

As a general rule, if you dose 20ppm+ of NO3 per week, you shouldn't have a deficiency. If you're dosing at EI levels (and not overdoing the trace elements), then you should be fine in terms of nutrients. CO2 and flow must be addressed next if you notice bad growth with EI levels of nutrients.

If you see just the stunted growth without decaying older growth, then it means that your CO2 is off. Increase your CO2 and increase the flow in the tank via circulation pumps.
 
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Nick72

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Your fert dosing should be fine. How much CSM+B are you dosing?

As a general rule, if you dose 20ppm+ of NO3 per week, you shouldn't have a deficiency. If you're dosing at EI levels (and not overdoing the trace elements), then you should be fine in terms of nutrients. CO2 and flow must be addressed next if you notice bad growth with EI levels of nutrients.

If you see just the stunted growth without decaying older growth, then it means that your CO2 is off. Increase your CO2 and increase the flow in the tank via circulation pumps.
Sorry @Vishaquatics - this is going to be a long one, but I could do with some advise:

It was a well balanced low tech tank that couldn't grow anything but Egeria Densa for 6 months.

Then my Fluval 2.0 light died. Had three weeks without lights which killed off even the Egeria Densa.

About 10 Weeks Ago: (New light + DIY Ferts + CO2 Injection - all from this date)

Started again with a Fluval 3.0 set to default Planted Tank setting.

Introduced pressurized C02 aiming for 30ppm (but looking back I think it's probably been more like 20ppm for the last 2 months, and only recently up to the full 30ppm)

Moved to the following E.I Dosing (suggested by Rotala Butterfly):

(Saturday, Monday, Wednesday) - 65% water change each Saturday
KNO3 (7.5ppm NO3)
KH2PO4 (1.3ppm PO4)

(Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)
CSM+B (0.2ppm EDTA Fe 7% + 0.2ppm DTPA Fe 11%)

I figured, perhaps incorrectly that the EDTA would not be effective, so added equivalent DTPA Fe 11% (Maybe I'm over dosing Iron?)

Effects:

After 3 Weeks

Fantastic plant growth across all species
Huge Brown Algae / Fungus outbreak on substrate
Green Dust Algae on Glass

Also noted that I was finished the week cycle on Friday evening with 40-50ppm Nitrates (suggesting I'm dosing to much NO3)

Action:
Cut 40% of the KNO3 dosing, but kept at 3x weekly. (now ending the week at 25ppm)
Reduced Lighting by 20% (specifically reduced Blue Light by 80%, Reduced Red Lighting by 30%)

After a further month (7 Weeks)
All plant growth stalled or greatly reduced with the exception of the Dwarf Lily.
Brown Hair Algae on Vals.
Green Fuzz Algae on Driftwood.
Green Hair Algae on all grasses
Hygrophila and Dwarf Lily unaffected.

Action:
Cut KH2PO4 by 40% to match KNO3 dosing.
Cut CSM+B by 50%
Increased lighting back to original levels (except: Blue from 5% up to 10% (original was 20%), Red from 50% up to 60% (original was 80%)).

After a further 3 weeks (10+ weeks in (Today))
All plant growth somewhat stalled.
Brown Hair Algae on Vals (but limited)
Green Hair Algae on all grasses and Stem plants (but limited)
Green Fuzz Algae on Driftwood + Now Covering the big lily leaves that reach half way up the tank (closer to the lights) - this is the most worrying algae.
Green Dust Algae on glass - easy to clean, back within 2 days - very heavy by each Saturday.

In short, I'm playing with multiple variables and not understanding why I'm failing to reach a balance.

The N03 confuses me. My tank is full with plants - yet they don't seem to use up any of the Nitrates.

The CO2 - was confusing me. Seemed no matter how much I increased the CO2 it only reached about 0.7 point drop. I know realize it was a bad idea to have Crushed Coral in my filter - as the carbonic acid dropped my PH, the Coral dissolved and increased my base PH from 7.3 to 7.6.

I was waiting for a reading of 6.3 to be a 1 point drop, when in fact 6.6 (which I am achieving) is now my 1 point drop. - I removed the coral this Saturday.

Also I get around 2 inches of open tank evaporation per week (5.6 Gallon), this brings my canister output closer to the surface, greatly increasing gas exchange as the week progresses.
I've now lowered the output to some 4 inches below surface, and going forward I'll top up tank mid week.

Lighting is confusing me: Now that I've reduced lighting I'm getting poor growth + Algae, instead of great growth + Algae (although at least the Black Beard Algae has gone).

Circulation - This is the only thing I'm truly happy with. The Fluval 407 pushes a lot of flow. I can clearly see the CO2 being circulated around the entire tank. My PH probe only reaches 6 inches below the surface, but in all corners I get an identical PH reading.

Sorry - I know this was long.
 

Vishaquatics

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Sorry @Vishaquatics - this is going to be a long one, but I could do with some advise:

It was a well balanced low tech tank that couldn't grow anything but Egeria Densa for 6 months.

Then my Fluval 2.0 light died. Had three weeks without lights which killed off even the Egeria Densa.

About 10 Weeks Ago: (New light + DIY Ferts + CO2 Injection - all from this date)

Started again with a Fluval 3.0 set to default Planted Tank setting.

Introduced pressurized C02 aiming for 30ppm (but looking back I think it's probably been more like 20ppm for the last 2 months, and only recently up to the full 30ppm)

Moved to the following E.I Dosing (suggested by Rotala Butterfly):

(Saturday, Monday, Wednesday) - 65% water change each Saturday
KNO3 (7.5ppm NO3)
KH2PO4 (1.3ppm PO4)

(Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday)
CSM+B (0.2ppm EDTA Fe 7% + 0.2ppm DTPA Fe 11%)

I figured, perhaps incorrectly that the EDTA would not be effective, so added equivalent DTPA Fe 11% (Maybe I'm over dosing Iron?)

Effects:

After 3 Weeks

Fantastic plant growth across all species
Huge Brown Algae / Fungus outbreak on substrate
Green Dust Algae on Glass

Also noted that I was finished the week cycle on Friday evening with 40-50ppm Nitrates (suggesting I'm dosing to much NO3)

Action:
Cut 40% of the KNO3 dosing, but kept at 3x weekly. (now ending the week at 25ppm)
Reduced Lighting by 20% (specifically reduced Blue Light by 80%, Reduced Red Lighting by 30%)

After a further month (7 Weeks)
All plant growth stalled or greatly reduced with the exception of the Dwarf Lily.
Brown Hair Algae on Vals.
Green Fuzz Algae on Driftwood.
Green Hair Algae on all grasses
Hygrophila and Dwarf Lily unaffected.

Action:
Cut KH2PO4 by 40% to match KNO3 dosing.
Cut CSM+B by 50%
Increased lighting back to original levels (except: Blue from 5% up to 10% (original was 20%), Red from 50% up to 60% (original was 80%)).

After a further 3 weeks (10+ weeks in (Today))
All plant growth somewhat stalled.
Brown Hair Algae on Vals (but limited)
Green Hair Algae on all grasses and Stem plants (but limited)
Green Fuzz Algae on Driftwood + Now Covering the big lily leaves that reach half way up the tank (closer to the lights) - this is the most worrying algae.
Green Dust Algae on glass - easy to clean, back within 2 days - very heavy by each Saturday.

In short, I'm playing with multiple variables and not understanding why I'm failing to reach a balance.

The N03 confuses me. My tank is full with plants - yet they don't seem to use up any of the Nitrates.

The CO2 - was confusing me. Seemed no matter how much I increased the CO2 it only reached about 0.7 point drop. I know realize it was a bad idea to have Crushed Coral in my filter - as the carbonic acid dropped my PH, the Coral dissolved and increased my base PH from 7.3 to 7.6.

I was waiting for a reading of 6.3 to be a 1 point drop, when in fact 6.6 (which I am achieving) is now my 1 point drop. - I removed the coral this Saturday.

Also I get around 2 inches of open tank evaporation per week (5.6 Gallon), this brings my canister output closer to the surface, greatly increasing gas exchange as the week progresses.
I've now lowered the output to some 4 inches below surface, and going forward I'll top up tank mid week.

Lighting is confusing me: Now that I've reduced lighting I'm getting poor growth + Algae, instead of great growth + Algae (although at least the Black Beard Algae has gone).

Circulation - This is the only thing I'm truly happy with. The Fluval 407 pushes a lot of flow. I can clearly see the CO2 being circulated around the entire tank. My PH probe only reaches 6 inches below the surface, but in all corners I get an identical PH reading.

Sorry - I know this was long.
No problem at all! I think the main thing here is that you’re playing with too many variables at once. Here’s what I recommend doing.

Set your light to 75% (all values, making it all default).

Dose this schedule:

3x Macro day (every other day):
8ppm NO3 from KNO3
2ppm PO4 from KH2PO4

3x Micro Day (every other day):
0.15ppm Fe from CSM+B
0.2 ppm Fe from DTPA

75% water change at the end of the week


Now this leaves you to just focus on the CO2. Get rid of any buffers like crushed coral.

Ignore your pH probe too. First get a nice flow across the entire tank where each plant will sway slightly in the current. Try to minimize dead spots.

Then just focus on CO2. Over a period of a few hours, bump up your CO2 slowly until your fish start to hyperventilate and gasp at the surface.

Then slowly lower it just a smidge until your fish return to normal behavior. This borderline level of CO2 is perfect.

From there, just continue everything as normal. Wait Atleast 1.5weeks before touching the CO2. If the algae persists, keep increasing CO2 just a smudge and make sure your flow is adequate.
 
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Nick72

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No problem at all! I think the main thing here is that you’re playing with too many variables at once. Here’s what I recommend doing.

Set your light to 75% (all values, making it all default).

Dose this schedule:

3x Macro day (every other day):
8ppm NO3 from KNO3
2ppm PO4 from KH2PO4

3x Micro Day (every other day):
0.15ppm Fe from CSM+B
0.2 ppm Fe from DTPA

75% water change at the end of the week


Now this leaves you to just focus on the CO2. Get rid of any buffers like crushed coral.

Ignore your pH probe too. First get a nice flow across the entire tank where each plant will sway slightly in the current. Try to minimize dead spots.

Then just focus on CO2. Over a period of a few hours, bump up your CO2 slowly until your fish start to hyperventilate and gasp at the surface.

Then slowly lower it just a smidge until your fish return to normal behavior. This borderline level of CO2 is perfect.

From there, just continue everything as normal. Wait Atleast 1.5weeks before touching the CO2. If the algae persists, keep increasing CO2 just a smudge and make sure your flow is adequate.
OK @Vishaquatics I will give that a go.

One question, what do you mean by:

'Set your light to 75% (all values, making it all default). '.

Do you mean Blue 75%, Red 75%, Cold White 75%, Pure White 75%, Warm White 75%?

Cause that's an awful lot of Blue, the Default Planted setting is only 20% Blue.

Or do you mean take the default settings and reduce every tone by 25%, so that Blue becomes 15%?

FYI the default Planted settings are: Red 84%, Blue 20%, Cold White 73%, Pure White 100%, Warm White 80%.
 

Vishaquatics

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OK @Vishaquatics I will give that a go.

One question, what do you mean by:

'Set your light to 75% (all values, making it all default). '.

Do you mean Blue 75%, Red 75%, Cold White 75%, Pure White 75%, Warm White 75%?

Cause that's an awful lot of Blue, the Default Planted setting is only 20% Blue.

Or do you mean take the default settings and reduce every tone by 25%, so that Blue becomes 15%?

FYI the default Planted settings are: Red 84%, Blue 20%, Cold White 73%, Pure White 100%, Warm White 80%.
Oops, sorry for the confusion. I meant to reduce the default settings by 75%. So we'd tone down the blue from 20% to 15%, the pure white to 75%, the warm white to 60%, etc.
 
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