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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just made some big changes and upgrades to my tank and I wanted to run this fertilizer dosing by some of you to get an idea if I am on track. I would like to get into a simple routine without too much chemistry or testing.

Some details:
-Heavily planted 29 gallon
-AH 2X55w PC
-New pressurized co2 replaced Carbo Plus (finally)
-Mix of regular gravel and flourite
-Some funky algae with the old set up still hanging around. It's not really out of control and I hoping that the new co2 helps
-Kh 3˚, Gh 3˚, Ph 7 (I just started using Calcium Carbonate to raise them. I'm shooting to get them up to 4˚-6˚ and with the new co2 I would like to get the ph down to 6.8.
-1/3 water change per week with r/o water

The past set up had some signs of deficiencies that are still visible but it's to early to tell if there is any with this new regiment. I was only using 3 Dupla drops per day and a little iron supplement. I would also like to start using less expensive additives in the future to replace these new fertilizers. One step at a time.

Here is the new dosing regiment:
-Tropica Master Grow 1.5 ml per day
-Flourish Iron 1.5 ml per day (no test kit)
-Flourish Potassium 1.5 ml per day (no test kit)
-Flourish Nitrogen 1.5 ml 3X per week (test kit reads as 0)

Does this sound like I'm on the right track? Any glaring omissions or overdosing? Also, should I add more after water changes? Any advise is appreciated.
 

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What do you mean by "-1/3 water change per week with r/o water ?" r/o water normally doesnt have any hardness at all and wont work very well with co2 injection because there will be no buffer. Are you adding hardness back to the water?
 

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You should not be doing water changes only with r/o water. Not only is there no benefit in doing so, but lowering the KH to very low levels may cause a pH crash. A KH of 3 and a GH of 3 already is on the lower side. Is that what you get out of the tap?

As for your dosing regime, since you are unwilling to test, it will take some experimentation and experience to get the best health out of your plants. Just dosing blindly, IME, just isn't good enough for a lot of the more sensitive species. Use your plants as the test kits. What kind will you be growing?

Since you have such high amounts of light, I would be try dosing more of the TMG and Seachem Flourish Iron. Say, 3 mL daily of the TMG and 2 mL daily of the Seachem Flourish Iron as a starting point. As the plants start to grow, you can increase the amount of traces you add until you no longer see an improvement in your plants over a few weeks. High traces/Fe, IME, really are the key to really healthy plants in a high light setup.

Your nitrate dosing seems very low. Why not order dry chemicals from www.litemanu.com? Order the KNO3 for nitrate and KH2PO4 for phosphate. I like to set my nutrients at a certain level right after a water change (10 ppm NO3, 2 ppm PO4 for my high light tank). Chuck Gadd's calculator comes in handy for these calculations.

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

A dose midweek with about 5 ppm NO3 and 1 ppm PO4 should be more than enough, especially in the beginning stages.

Oh, another source for dry nutrients:

http://www.gregwatson.com/

Experiment, watch, etc. Although using a test kit, it only takes me a few minutes to get the results...

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm doing a 1/3 of the tank (10 gallons) water change per week with an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals tap water filter. I'm not sure if that means it is r/o. Part of the problem with my old set up was that I wasn't getting the Kh or Gh over 2˚by just using Kents r/o right and Kent Kh+. Now I'm using the r/o right and calcium carbonate to get the them both up to 4˚. The water here is so soft that I would have to add a buffer to it regardlessly. Is that providing an adequate buffer for co2 injection?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information. It's right on the mark. A few questions. What are the basic essential testing kits that I should have? Brands? The water here in NYC seems very sterilized and soft. It measures around 1˚ for Gh and Kh. I live in a fairly old building with mostly newer plumbing, but you never know when the is a civil war era pipe under the road, and I've been told that there are too many trace chemicals to use New York tap water for a planted tank. I'm going to look into getting an online EPA water report for NY today but I wouldn't know what would be considered acceptable levels.
 

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If you are using R/O right or similar mineral supplement for R/O water there is nothing wrong with using RO or DI water. If you have high metal content in your tap water as I do, it's probably not a bad thing for your fish, but tap water is just as good as far as the plants are concerned.

Try using 50/50 RO and tap water and see if any deficiencies improve.

TMG is very good however slightly limited in it's contents compared to flourish. I'd probably add Flourish to your routine as it contains many more minerals which could help with your RO/mineral doubts above.

As far as potassium and nitrogen are concerned, you really should be basing your doses on test results and visual observations. Potassium deficiencies are easily seen on leaves as small pin holes, however if you're using TMG I doubt you need to add any more potassium. Nitrogen should be dosed to maintain a nitrate reading in the 5-15 range, read the bottle carefully as Flourish Nitrogen does not show up correctly on most test kits, you usually need to double the test result to know the amount in the tank. Get your hands on KNO3 as soon as possible, will save you some money and they are easier to test for. Between TMG and KNO3 you probably won't need any more potassium.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 
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