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Re: [AGA-Member] Low-light tanks & CO2

S. Hieber wrote:

It sounds like your nitrates are high but don't error on
the other side of caution and get them too low.

I would try to keep the nitrates around about 10 ppm and
the phosphate around 1 -2 ppm. For potassium, I'd aim for
about 10 but if the potassium is high, it doesn't seem to
present problems. If you dose with potassium phosphate and
potatssium nitrate, you probably have enough potassium.

You can add plants (see previous note on floating water

Yes, water sprite sounds like a good idea. I remember someone on list mentioned an idicator plant they liked to show iron/traces were low, can't remember now what it was. (Don't think that's the problem in this tank, unles my test kit is wonky.)
Sometimes stem plants will just take off, get huge & happy, and then fall apart. There for awhile Shinnersia was going nuts, and Bacopa before that, and then they start to deteriorate. They don't like trying to grow back from foot-long cuttings from the bottom. I do have a surface hog--forgot to mention the happy red-leaf water lily. Didn't think that was the problem, as I got the same results in winter (when red tiger was dormant) vs. now, when it's trying to hog the entire water surface (and could be shading things out) and I whack off 6-7 floating leaves every water change. For awhile, I dosed fairly strongly with majors and traces, thinking that it might be chewing up too *much* of the nutrients, and with those test numbers, then I was hoping that would soak up some nutrients--maybe it *is*!
I had talked to someone quite awhile ago about using vallisneria in back areas as another nutrient sponge. Simply have not been out in search of new plants since then!

to help suck up excess nutrients. Or do more or
larger water changes to hold down the nitrate levels.

In trying to push down your nitrates, you might depress
your phosphates also, so keep an eye on the phosphate
levels and dose if you need.

Will do--thanks!

As for light and depth. there are only two ways to easily
get more light to the bottom, add more lights or narrow the
angle of the reflectors. The latter has only limited
utility because, you can only go so far and fluorescents
tend to scatter light a lot anyway.

Don't worry about whether you are figuring 2 wpg based on
nominal or actual water volume. 2wpg for a medium level of
light is just a rule of thumb not a precise recipe. There
is no precise recipe since each tank can be set up and
behave a bit diff than another -- what plants you have,
which might be shading which, nutrient levels, CO2 etc. can all impact the overall activity of your plants. Wpg rulesare just a guide but now that you have your tank set up you
can watch how the plants that you grow in that tank behave
and adjust accordingly, either with more lights or
adjusting the lighting period for some or all of the


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