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Old 06-06-2008, 06:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Left C, thanks for the excellent links and I'll make sure to read them all fully. I'm going to get a full water report on Monday when the water office opens.

Today I had one of the API root tabs left and I was gonna put it in the substrate. I know one isn't gonna do much but it's all I had left. Well I accidently ended up dropping it into the tank and didn't realize it until it had started to dissolve. It made a really big mess...really cloudy water. It's finally cleared up though, almost all the way like it was before. I guess there's a little extra dose of something good for them.

I gather that right now I need to get some ferts from somewhere. And going by some of the dosing charts linked to here, I see I need to do an every-other-day with them and the flourish. Then if I am right I should do a 50% water each week? That shouldn't be too hard to follow but how long before I should start seeing results? I am also gonna start trying to make purchases of the plants shown in one of the links for the easy to grow plants.

Oh and timers for my lights...gonna see about getting those this weekend too. So once I get the macro's, I assume the micro's are in the Flourish, is that right? And am I right at saying 8-10 hours of light is enough to start with for reference?
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Yes, your pH test kit will be reasonably accurate for practical purposes if you can distinguish the colors well. Nitrate is a good number to know for plants: it should not be zero, but it should not be too high for fish. Ammonia and nitrites should be zero.

Flourish is a great fert and I use it, but I also dose phosphate, nitrogen, and iron by themselves as Left C mentioned. I like Prime because it is super concentrated, but all dechlors work about the same.

Don't think in terms of "I need more chemicals to make this work." Instead, think in terms of, "I need more answers to make this work."

I don't like running CO2 into my filter because I am afraid the CO2 will back up and I have to "burp" the filter a lot. Wooden airstones make very fine bubbles: I run one into a powerhead and it works great! But that tank is filterless. Plenty of people run their CO2 into their filter and it's fine. Maybe depends on the filter and the CO2 levels desired. 30 ppm is a good number to shoot for.

Left C's Seachem dosing calculator is great! I used it on all my tanks and then tweaked it for their individual needs. Funny how you can treat all your tanks the same and they are all different!

Meanwhile, read, read, read. Pick a dosing plan that suits your interests and your lifestyle, and stick with it for a few months before switching. Obtain fail-safe plants like Java fern and Anubias and common Crypts. PM me your address and I will send you some Java fern and crypts for $5 postage!
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

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... Left C's Seachem dosing calculator is great! I used it on all my tanks and then tweaked it for their individual needs. Funny how you can treat all your tanks the same and they are all different! ...
Hi Cheryl

Thank you for the kind compliment about the calculator.

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Old 06-06-2008, 07:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Sterling919 you really need to get a drop checker. It will accurately measure how much CO2 is in your water. If you try to do the charts they assume you only have calcium and magnesium (I think) in your water. So they measure that and pit it against your pH to arrive at a CO2 concentration. Most people have more dissolved solids that 2 in their water so that throws off the chart measurement. If you use the drop checker method it's pretty much for sure if you can read colors. You can do a forum search on drop checkers. I think they are much easier to use than the charts. No daily testing or measuring.

There is a lot to learn but it will become easier with time. One thing I have learned is that you don't have to know it all. If you get the basics and follow things generally you can have a beautiful tank!



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Old 06-06-2008, 07:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

I want to thank everyone for their help, thank you. I've got a lot of reading to do and some searching too.

Kevin
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Ok folks here is what I've done, hope I've done the right thing.

I went to : http://aquariumfertilizers.com/

I ordered : CSM+B Plantex, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Nitrate.

So far...please tell me I did right!! I've read till my eyes hurt and my head does too but I'm assuming that the Plantex is micro's, right? That is basically the same thing as Flourish, right?

What else am I missing here? I'm assuming that the KNO3 and KH2PO4 are macro's...is this right? Shouldn't there be one more or not in that group? I'm assuming the Plantex is the micro's also.

If I'm right so far or atleast on the right track...then I assume next on the list would be a good pressurized CO2 system...is that right?

And that I need to find out the water parameters from the water company and post them here. I also need to test my tank water and post that here also...along with a PH test straight from the tap...is this right so far?
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:50 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

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Originally Posted by Sterling919 View Post
Ok folks here is what I've done, hope I've done the right thing.

I went to : http://aquariumfertilizers.com/

I ordered : CSM+B Plantex, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Nitrate.

So far...please tell me I did right!! I've read till my eyes hurt and my head does too but I'm assuming that the Plantex is micro's, right? That is basically the same thing as Flourish, right?

What else am I missing here? I'm assuming that the KNO3 and KH2PO4 are macro's...is this right? Shouldn't there be one more or not in that group? I'm assuming the Plantex is the micro's also.

If I'm right so far or atleast on the right track...then I assume next on the list would be a good pressurized CO2 system...is that right?

And that I need to find out the water parameters from the water company and post them here. I also need to test my tank water and post that here also...along with a PH test straight from the tap...is this right so far?
You did great! I got all these KNO3 - for Nitrate, K2SO4 - for Potassium, KH2PO4 - for Phosphates, Plantex CSM+B for trace minerals. I dose the phosphates lean as I have a lot of phosphates in my tap water. I follow the chart in the EI dosing sticky for each of my tanks. I just look at the size tank and find it on the chart. If it's not listed I adjust for size. Simple!

Yes, the plantex is trace minerals. Yes, the florish is also the same trace minerals. Yes all the "K" chemicals are macros. The only other thing I dose is iron. I use liquid Iron from Florish. Many plants use more Iron than your trace minerals contain. I have read that it helps with the red plants. There are signs for iron depletion as well, (anubias turing yellow, etc.) Too much iron would be brown spots on sword plant leaves, etc. There are tables on this forum with nutrient deficit signs. BTW there is no test kit for Potassium and most iron test kits that we regular people can afford don't test correctly.

I've never worried about a report from my water co. I have tested the pH and GH and KH from the tap. Wanted to know if my substrate was bringing things down, so that when I did a water change I could be careful. You need a drop checker to measure your CO2. Don't you use DIY right now? Yes, a pressurized CO2 system would be great!

You are on your way! Congrats.



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Old 06-06-2008, 10:13 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

I'm pretty sure that your water is soft like mine. I add Seachem's Equilibrium for a GH Booster to raise my GH by 3 degrees. Plants need the calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese and iron that's in it.
http://www.seachem.com/products/prod...quilbrium.html
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=4828

Some people just dose a little Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate Heptahydrate MgSO4∙7H2O) to increase the magnesium level. Soft water usually doesn't have enough magnesium in it. You can find Epsom Salt at most pharmacies. A big container is just a few dollars.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

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Left C, thanks for the excellent links and I'll make sure to read them all fully. ...
You are very welcome.
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Massive Help Needed Please

Hey Tex, guess what's rearing it's ugly head again.... NaHCO3!! I know I'm such a , LOL. The CO2 guides assume that the only buffer is the carbonate ion. It makes an equilibrium that can shift pH up or down with the CO2 concentration in the water. That's why so many people are afraid when they have soft water (low KH). The buffering capacity is much lower and you can get big pH swings when injecting CO2.

I do take paypal for chemistry lessons too, LOL.

BTW, Sterling congratulations. You are well on your way, much better than I was when I first started. Can't wait to see pics of the set up.

Last edited by jmontee; 06-07-2008 at 06:01 AM.. Reason: More info.
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