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Old 06-06-2006, 04:15 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kweeheng
So, Whats the most important substance in the tank ? the CO2,NO3 and PO4. Whats the meaning of NO3 and PO4 ? Where can i egt his kind of substance? I saw a bottle of liquid which gives all this nutrient inw ater. but how much is too much and how can i measure how many drops of these nutrients in my tank ? How do i calculate how much light is enough for my tank ?
The first post in this thread lists some of the abbreviations that are used in planted tanks and may be helpful to you:

Everything kind of goes hand in hand as far as "substances" are concerned with light being the most important. Without enough light, not many things will grow regardless of how many nutrients you add to the tank. Light will determine how fast the plants (and algae) grow in your tank. The more light you have the more fertilizer you will need to add to your tank.

A carbon source is second on the list of importance to plants. Once you get about 2 watts per gallon you need to look into adding a source of carbon to your tank. Pressurized CO2 is the best but you can also go with DIY CO2 or Seachem's Excel as a carbon source.

Once you have addressed the light and carbon level, nitrates (NO3) phosphates (PO4) and potassium (K) come into play. They are all required by plants and are considered macros. While nitrates and phosphates are considered "bad" in a fish only tank, they are very important in a planted tank. Micros include iron, manganese, copper, etc and are usually provided by a "Trace" fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish, Tropica Master Grow (TMG) or Plantex CSM+B.

You can purchase most of the above from Greg Watson's website, in 1 pound quantities. You would be interested in Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) and monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4) for your macros (note that both of these fertilizers will add K to your tank) and Plantex CSM+B for your micro additions.

If you live in the Cincinnati/Dayton area I have extra fertilizers I can sell in smaller quantities. The prices are the same as Greg's since we (SWOAPE) purchased them from him, but the quantities are smaller. Just let me know how much you need.

Some info about your tanks wouldbe a big help. If you are not using CO2 you may be able to get by without adding any of the above items and rely on fish waste and food to provide fertilizer for your plants.
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