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You're right many things are taken for granted at times and when you're new at this "10ppm of NO3 using KNO3" really doesn't give you the whole picture :)

You can dose either dry or diluted/pre-mixed. Those who dose dry usually go by teaspoon measures and those who dose diluted would use a calculator such as this one to figure out the mixture of ingredients and doses required to raise the concentration by a certain amount:

...where is it now? I'm a little lost in the new interface, we have a very nice calculator here at APC but I can't find it right now so I'll link to this one:

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_dosage_calc.htm

As far as how quickly to raise levels to their target concentrations I've always done it immediately without any real "build-up" period, but then again my fish are used to that now, perhaps initially you may want to raise the levels over a 2-3 day period... not sure how important that is but if it's a concern there are no setbacks to doing it gradually.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 
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