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Seachem Equilibrium and elevated potassium

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  • Seachem Equilibrium and elevated potassium

    I have been dosing Equilibrium in a new planted tank I started about 6 months ago. I use RO/DI water during water changes (about 33% of water is drained and replaced at each change) every 2 weeks. The new RO/DI water is dosed with equilibirum to bring its GH to around 5-6 dGH before adding it to the tank during changes. I also dose with alkaline buffer to bring pH to around 6.8-7.0 and KH to about 6 dKH before adding the new water. My actual aquarium parameters are maintained at pH of around 6.8-7.0, KH 5-7, and GH 5-7. CO2 is injected 24/7, but regulated using a pH monitor, with the tank aerated with a bubbler every night for about 6 hours. I have gotten the nitrates down to about 5-10 ppm but have never dosed nitrogen because they were previously a lot higher before I started up NPX bioplastics reactor for denitrification . I have also never dosed potassium. I do dose seachem Phosphorus on occassion to acheive a Phos level of about 1 ppm. I also dose seachem iron about weekly per directions and dose Seachem flourish and seachem trace about every 4 days. I also dose seachem excel daily and seachem advance every 2 days per directions. My concern is that I have yet to conquer a problem with black beard/black brush algae, although it is much better now that the nitrates are controlled. My plants are also not quite where I want them. Some of the older leaves seem to have premature yellowing and decay. I have checked my potassium on numerous occasions and it stays at about 120 ppm. I fear that this is a remaining problem related to the residual algae and leave troubles. I believe that the high potassium content of equilibirum has allowed my potassium levels to become sky high over time. Any suggestions for bringing it down? Obviously frequent water changes, but should I alter how I reconstitute the RO/DI water during water changes? I am going to try shooting for a slightly lower GH for the new RO/DI water, but I have not decided how low I should shoot for. Any other suggestions? I realize high potassium can cause calcium uptake problems, but I am not sure if I should be dosing calcium since there is already a lot of it in equilibrium. Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    Hello,
    Thank you for your message and congratulations on how you take care of your aquarium!
    The black brush alga usually growth when the CO2 concentration is low, but this is not you case, so, I suggest to check if the water circulation is good in all the tank. Many times, problems related algae or high levels of nitrate and phosphate could be resolved guarantee the remotion of organics that could be accumulate on the bottom (especially in the corners, behind decoration or on the top of the plants leaf).
    The water values are good, but to guarantee the best absorption of all nutrients, I suggest to reduce the pH between 6.5-6.8 and so KH 4-5 and maintaining a GH around 8.
    About nitrate and phosphate value, the actually concentration are good, but if you want to adjust maintaining the ratio N:P = 10:1 you should convert the nitrate and phosphate value on nitrogen and phosphors values, because the ratio is based on this specific element and not the molecules. So:

    To convert Nitrate to Nitrogen = ppm NO3/4.4
    To convert Phosphate to Phosphorus = ppm PO4/3

    In you case, if you have PO4 = 1 ppm, the Phosphorus concentration will be 1/3 = 0.3 ppm
    In relation of this value, the nitrogen lives should be 3.3 ppm and this mean 3.3 x 4.4 = 14.6 and so, more or less 15 ppm di NO3.

    About the Potassium concentration, if the value 120 ppm is right, well, it's definitely a little bit high! In this case, I could recommend to reduce it doing a water change using RO water and replacing the GH using our Aquavitro Mineralize: this product doesn't contain Potassium, so is perfect for your tank, where you need to maintain high the calcium and magnesium level reducing at the same time the potassium level.
    To rise the KH I recommend to continue to use Alkaline buffer.

    I hope this helps, I'm available for any more questions!

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