cloudy water issue
Just joined the site after finding this post. It's been a few years since I've had an aquarium and I loved my old planted one so decided to start again.
In my marineland 30g half-moon tank I'm using Flourish substrate, an underground filter in part of the tank, Coralife high output quad T5 fixture, and the Nutrafin CO2 activator and stabilizer little canister. Maintaining about a 6.8ph, 6dKH, 38 GH, 0 NO2 & NO3, and never peak beyond 20 NH3. I've been using jugs of drinking water purified by R/O and adding seachem discuss buffer and neutral buffer to maintain pH, and Kent's R/O Right to regain trace elements in the R/O water. First my plants were looking a little rough like they were missing some trace elements:
I was already using Flourish, but decided to add some root tabs. I went with the API tabs, not because of price, but because it appeared each tablet had more of the trace element I thought I was lacking. After inserting 10 tabs for the 30g tank, this is what I woke up to the next morning:
I did a 5 gal water change last night and still no luck. In fact, the above picture was taken this morning. For some reason I thought these were very slow dissolving tablets since they are supposed to last a month, or else I never would have placed them above an underground filter. The tank has been like this going on about 4/5 days now, and worst of all, it doesn't appear the plants are doing any better! Any advice on how I can fix both the water and the plant problem? Should I just stick with Seachem's liquid ferts like Trace, Flourish, and Excel from now on? Thanks
If you have one laying around I would try to throw and HOB or sponge filter on for a few days. (sponge filters are cheap, I just ordered one on Amazon for $15 including shipping) Those might help clear up the water better than your underground filter. Of course on top of daily/bi-daily water changes.
I did forget to mention that I also have a Marineland Penguin 150 with Bio-wheel and have the tank temp at around 78-79F.
The Penguin has 2 AC filters, or just 1 when I have the pillow softner in. The underground filter has one ammo chip head and AC on the other head.
Well then I'm stumped, I do know that usually you want to avoid any of that "water clarifying" stuff, which seems to be a pretty standard opinion on the boards, but maybe in this drastic of a case a small dose might help. Either that or just keep steady on your water changes. Good luck, that's looks pretty bad.
Well I see several problems here. First off I would stop using so many chemicals to try keeping you water stable. This can be done with out chemicals which is much safer for the fish and easier to do. First I would figure out what the hardness of your tab water is. If you have hard water you can cut the hardness with RO water to achieve the desire hardness. So many chemicals can be dangerous and some can react with each other.
Second since you are adding Co2 and have high output lights you are going to have to dose more fertilizer to help balance everything out. Excel is not going to do that as it is just a liquid form of C02 basically. Also flourish trace is just usually one trace element and not all that is needed. You really need to dose dry fertilizers to achieve what you are wanting. Google EI dosing to help find out what exactly to dose.
As for the cloudiness it looks like a bacteria bloom and water changes are not going to help it is just going to have to run its coarse. Water changes can just make it worse.
Thanks for the reply, but can you explain a little more? The only chemicals I'm currently using are the following:
Seachem Discuss & Neutral buffers for pH stabilization
Kent R/O Right to add proper trace back into the R/O water
and then I added the API root tabs (not planning on doing this again)
What would you leave out? the EI stuff I've found almost makes it sound like I should be adding MORE stuff via liquid ferts. My tap water is extremely hard, even with my home water softner system it's still outputting around 15 dKH so I've gone to just using bottled R/O water. Based on the pictures of my plants the best I can tell is that I need more potassium and nitrogen ?? I'm not very good at plant diagnosis.
I'm trying to create conditions close to the Amazon river conditions, slightly acidic and soft. I have a couple of pieces of driftwood in the tank as well. From some of the posts I've read it sounds like I should use something besides the AC filter packets as they strip most of the stuff from the water. Does that check?
I considered the possible bacteria bloom, but my initial target was the root tabs since it bloomed overnight after adding the tabs. Any advice and recommendations are highly appreciated. I've already turned off the air stones for the underground filter.
I can get a dosing regime for you on the dry fertilizer. Just a question why are you using Seachem Discuss & Neutral buffers for pH stabilization? What does it do? Also I would stop using Kent R/O Right to add proper trace back into the R/O water. If you use EI dosing this will add the trace minerals back in.
Flourish? Is this flourish comprehensive?
Also do you know the parameters of just the RO water out the jug?
50% H20 change-weekly
1/4 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
1/16 Tsp-KH2P04 3x aweek
1/2 Tsp-GH booster once a week
5ml or 1/16Tsp-Trace 3x a week
1-2ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week
Trace Element and Iron, Plantex CSM+B, or flourish comprehensive
Fe/Iron Chelate 10%
GH booster is for soft water only. It will raise the hardness. There is other ways of doing this this cheaper and easier if what to leave that out.
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