Floramax LIfe Span

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tackful

AC Members
Mar 15, 2007
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Does it eventually become exhausted, even to the point where root tabs cannot bring it back? I am trying to figure out why my tank has turned into a disaster area after years of healthy growth. I have 20 ppm N03, 1.0 ppm Fe from traces, 2.0ppm PSO4, and a green drop check during most of the 55 watt photoperiod over my 29 gal tall. It's the only possibility I haven't considered after months of frustration. I recall that when I first started out 12 years ago with Aquasoil and DIY C02, the tank looked fantastic no matter what I did.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Not sure what can be exhausted from Floramax, it is inert but with a high CEC.

could be that it has adsorbed stuff that is not useful to plants, but root tabs should resolve that.

I would say when you last changed your bulb (I assume 555W indicates it is a PC fixture?)

a list of plants, maintenance schedule, specific fertilisers (brands and dosing regimen) that sort of thing will help diagnose.


but if plants will grow in sand or gravel, they should grow just as well in Floramax, exhausted or not.
 

tackful

AC Members
Mar 15, 2007
617
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Sausalito, CA
All my ferts are from aquariumfertilizer.com. Dosing is 3x/week 3/4 tsp N03, generous 1/32 tsp PS04, and 8ml of their recommended CSM+B mixture. K is harder to quantify. It's roughly 4ml of a mixture containing as much KS04 as I can get to dissolve. I have a 55w CF bulb (AH Supply Brite Kit). Tank gets a weekly gravel vacuuming and 50% WC. Cannister filter gets a bimonthly cleaning. Plants are foxtail, wisteria, and another leafy stem plant that I haven't identified (a hitchhiker from another species a while back).
I plan to slow things down by dropping from 55 watts to only 40. Nothing to lose, really.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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You mentioned root tabs?

And when did you last change your PC/CF bulb? When you go to 40W l, what will you be using? (And you know Watts is not the amount of light, but the amount of power used)

Everything should grow fine, without CO2 and with little fertilization.

Maybe better describe what is wrong with the plants, and how long is your photoperiod? Has anything changed since you remember it looking good and healthy?
 

tackful

AC Members
Mar 15, 2007
617
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18
Sausalito, CA
I installed a new bulb 8 mos ago. New bulb is also a CF by the same company. Photoperiod is 8 hrs. The plants are growing quite well, but days after my weekly maintenance and replanting , their lower sections are covered with black algae (the substrate as well). Only change I can recall is adding the foxtail plant a while back.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Assuming the algae is black beard algae

I would check for dissolved organics... Try giving your gravel and filter an extra special cleaning.

Check CO2, fluctuating levels can cause algae issues too. I would maybe he have CO2 turn on 30 mins or an hour before the light comes on

Check watee movement through the whole tank, algae nirmally does best where flow is low.

You can treat with excel (or other 'liquid CO2' products or fresh peroxide. Try googling the 1-2 punch method for aquariums.

But the issue isnt with the Floramax or the plants here.
 

tackful

AC Members
Mar 15, 2007
617
10
18
Sausalito, CA
The 1-2 punch method looks good. Will give it a try, and will also adjust the filter outflow head for more circulation, as it's mainly only directed at the tank's upper half right now.
Have been dosing Excel heavily, but that alone hasn't done it. My C02 timing is in line with your suggestion.
Appreciate the help.
 

tackful

AC Members
Mar 15, 2007
617
10
18
Sausalito, CA
Just finished the 1-2 punch. Cutting back slightly on dosing to match the 40w bulb and reduced plant mass after WC and large trimming. Growth has always been good, although the wisteria is not growing as fast as the other two plants.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Make sure your filter, substrate and any decor are very clean. Dissolved organics are a huge part of BBA
 
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