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Sllo and Liviankano, I can't speak for plantbrain, but my response to your question is that it depends on many factors. Factors to consider include the following:


nutrients in the water supply prior to fertilizing
quantity/quality of light
amount of CO2 supplementation
type and amount of flora
bioload and quantity/type of feedings

In other words, my experience tells me that each aquarium is going to be different, and each aquarium's fertilization needs are likely to change over time. The estimative index is great in that it creates some room for error. Essentially, it allows one to "reset" the parameters if adverse reactions to the fertilization routine are experienced.

When I try to determine how much to fertilize (and I do use the estimative index - I think??), I begin by determining the amount of NO3 and PO4 in my tap water. I then determine how much fertilizer it would take to get to my target levels. I try to consider how much feeding of the fish I will perform. It usually takes me a few months to get a good feel for a new aquarium - what can I say, I may be a little slow. Then again, I think it is important to note that changes in one's routine take time to fully display their effect on the aquarium. Make a small change and stick with it for a month. Take detailed notes. Even if you suffer from an algae outbreak, all is not lost - hopefully, the experience will prove valuable in the future.

I doubt this is the answer that both of you were hoping to receive. Hopefully, Tom and other will be able to provide a little more insight.
 
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