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Old 02-16-2010, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Method of controlled imbalances and gda...

a) Kno3 y Po4

The generic protocol of Kno3 will be the main tool for algae control. We are going to use it for finding out the real uptake of No3 of our aquarium.

The generic Kno3 protocol:

1. First day 50% water change.
2. Stop fertilizing at all.
3. Add daily 1 gram od Kno3 every 50 gallons until you reach GSA.
4. As soon as you reach it or on the seventh day, 50% water change.
5. If GSA didn’t bloom the first week, after the water change ad double the amount of Kno3 during this week.

In the fertilizing approach, this protocol works like this:
You add Kno3 every day, let’s suppose you reach GSA the 3erd day in a 50 gallon tank. Then the weekly doze of Kno3 will be 3 grams divided in seven days.

If your aquarium is really healthy, the remaining ammount of Kno3 in the water should be low. If the No3 raises, this means that you are having problems related to Co2, KH, lack of light, overpopulation, bad tap water$ quality, etc. In this cases you should check the prerequisites out.

About Po4, you should be asking why I “restrict” Po4. Well, a healthy aquarium has a normal tendency to No3 lacks and excess of Po4. For this reason I suggest to listen to your aquarium and to add Po4 only if you need it. Green Spot Algae and pigmy leaf and syntoms of a real lack of Po4. On the other hand, we know that microsorums, anubias and marsilea crenata consumes a lot of Po4, in this cases we know we may need it.

And I would like to clarify this subject. If we add more it doesn’t mean that plants will uptake more. If we are adding too much we are confesing that we have no idea how much we need. I look for efficiency.

I know probably think about I am limiting resources but I believe that this concept from Hydrophonic cannot be use just without any tune up in submersed crops. The reason is simple, we are not dealing only with plant grow rate, we have to deal with algae too. So the idea behind the MCI is not to limite anything, instead I am looking for efficiency. I made a living about submersed aquarium plants cultivating and I had great grow rate with zero algae. Algae for me meant bankruptcy, simply like that.

In fact, I am limitating resourses but not Po4, I limite K. I don’t want that No3 reach zero, if we add too much K we can achieve this anti goal.

And the main idea is that there are plants with priority consumptions. With this concept I mean that only some plants uptakes a lot of a specific macro and this plants will define the fertilizing.

If we need to add Po4 because we have some plants that demand it we have two choices:

1. There may not be evidence of lack of Po4 like GSA. This happends when we have plants with priority consumption but not enough to alter significantly the water chemistry. In this case we can add a little bit of Po4 over the leaves with a syringe without needle. The doze may be insignificant in ppms but enough if we take care about uptaking, then it can be more than enough.
2. The second scenario is when we actually have GSA after stop adding Po4. In that case we shoulf use the Po4 protocol to find out the real uptaking of this macro. The Po4 protocol (Algae control approach: against GSA) (Fertilizing approach: Po4 consuming finder) is the following:

1. First day 50% water change.
2. Keep adding Kno3.
3. Clean the glases of GSA daily.
4. Add daily 1 gram of Po4 every 500 gallons until GSA stops appears.
5. As soon as you reach this point or on the seventh day, 50% water change.
6. If GSA didn’t stop bloom the first week, after the water change ad double the amount of PO4 during the second week and so on.

Once we reach the point where GSA stop blooms, then we use this weekly ammount of Po4 as the weekly fertilizing of Po4. If it took three weeks to find out this point, you only use the last week amount, you don’t add the 3 weeks amount.

b) Ca y Mg

The 4:1 ratio Ca:Mg cannot be sucesfully use under water. When there is too much Po4 in the water and you have an imbalance in the Ca:Mg ratio, you will have GDA. In my experience, if you add this macros, the ratio should be the opposite 1:4 Ca:Mg. The inmediate consequence of this idea is that you can’t add too much Ca because Mg cannot be added in large amounts.
We can find out how much Ca:Mg we need in the same way I propose to do it with No3 and Po4. However, I sugest you better wait a little more if you are a beginner.

The MG protocol is:

1. First day 50% water change.
2. Stop fertilizing at all.
3. Add 0.3 ppm of Mg daily until the algae “.3. RODOPHYTAS SP. 3” blooms.
4. Then use the specific protocol for this algae you will find at the algae control chapter.

With this simple steps you will know how much Mg you need. About Ca, just add 25% of the Mg.

This is no necessary to reach this algae, rotalla wallichi can also be use as a bioindicator because it melts when there is too much Mg.

Rotala Macranta is a Ca priority consumer plant, so it will alter the Ca consumption of the aquarium. We can assert the same about ammania gracilis, if this plants get blackish that is a syntom of lack of Ca.

The Ca:Mg ratio I suggest is a generallization. Priority consumers plants always alter this kind of rules, but using the steps I mentiones and the algae as bioindicators, as the blind man with his cane, you can fin the balance of your aquarium.

I don’t like to use calcium chloridre because it can burn microsorum leaves. Usually with water changes you add enough Ca. Other option if you have soft water with low kh is to use aragonite in your filter. It should be enough for standar requirements plants.

You know when you have an imbalance related to Ca because you will have algae rodophyta sp.2 (look for the picture at the algae control chapter) or, if you also have at the same time an imbalance related to Po4, then you will have an issue with GD.

c) Potasio

One of the special features of the MCI is that I don’t recomend the use of potassium sulfate. There are some reasons.

The first one is that if you add this macro, the No3 will be uptaken and as soon as you reach zero you will have algae issues. The main goal I think is to avoid this situation. All the idea behind the MCI is to have a stable water chemistry where we know we are always close to GSA. If we add K this stability desapears.

On the other hand, it is better to do not add sulfur when we can avoid it. Bacteria oxidation may produce sulfuric acid. Of couse, if you add a lot of Fe you alter the redox ratio and this problem is neutralized but is more simple just to limite the adition of sulfur.

If you have hard water, you probably already have more that enough sulfur and adding more with the fertilizing may produce Grey Long Hair Algae (See algae control chapter).

K is needed, no doubt. But in my experience, with the low K we add with Kno3 is more that enough. If my asser is wrong, then microsrums pteropus shoul became black.

Hygrophila polisperma is a plant that consumes priority K. I have read that it is propose to be use as a bioindicator of the lack of K. This is a mistake, the uptaking of K with this plant in your aquarium becomes bulky.

You can put this plant just with water and potassium sulfate and it will grow well.

It continues...

Last edited by bigstick120; 03-18-2010 at 08:45 AM.. Reason: Fixed typos
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