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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading on fertilizing and so far found you can do it in one of two ways... there may be more:

Nutrient: Nitrate (NO3) Target=10ppm
Methods:
1) Add Stump Remover, available at Home Depot.
2) Add Dry KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate), available here.

Nutrient: Phosphate (PO4) Target=1ppm
Methods:
1) Add fleet enema, available at your local pharmacy. Read here for further info
2) Add KH2PO4 (Mono potassium phosphate), available here.

Nutrient: Potasium (K+)
Adding any of the above for Nitrate and Phosphate one should get enough potassium in the column.

Nutrient: Fe/Micros
Add Flourish or other commercial product available at your LFS. In this regard I have found no absolut direction on how much to dose... still do not have a very clear idea on how much to add to the tank.

After all of this rambling... I am trying to find out, first if my understanding of what one needs to control as far as nutrients goes is correct, and second advantages (and disadvantages) of using dry chemicals as opposed to stump remover and fleet enema.
 

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As far as nitrate goes, some stump removers are simply made of KNO3, so you are really comparing the same product, just a different name. Do make sure it's KNO3, not all stump removers use this. "Green Light" stump remover is one of the products that do use KNO3. So yes, KNO3 is the best product you can use for nitrates, whatever way you can get your hands on it.

With phosphate, I found Fleet Enema easier to get my hands on as all pharmacies sell it. It's quite strong so you only need a small amount. Plus, KH2PO4 can be a little stubborn to dissolve. Seeing I use an automatic doser, having the product already in liquid form is of some advantage.

Potassium, if you need more you can use K2SO4.

As far as trace mixes go, Flourish is my favorite, followed by Tropica Master Grow. Even better a mixture of both. I also use CSM+B but don't feel it's as good as Flourish so once the powder has run out, probably in 2015 :wink: , I will stick with Flourish and TMG. You can compare these products on my website. Kent Botanica is another one that deserves a mention, although you will need more than a single bottle to get close to the contents of Flourish.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I couldn't wait and bought Flourish last night.

I have power compact lights 55W 67000.
DIY CO2
2 Clown Loaches
3 Adult Guppies
4 Juvenile Guppies
15 Fry Guppies

I am not adding any fertilizers yet... how much flourish should I add? I know there is no rule of thumb, but any guidance on how much to start with would be great.
 

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Start with the recommended dose on the bottle. You can then gradually work your way up to about double that amount for a CO2 enriched tank. But traces are only required in small amounts, their short life span is their biggest concern in my opinion. Dividing the weekly dose into two or more doses distributes throughout the week can work very well.

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just did a 25% water change, yesterday.
I tested my water this morning and I have a Ph 6.6 and Kh 8... CO2 level is around 60!

no change on the CO2 or anything else.

Could this be a sign that plants are not as healthy and hence are not consuming as much CO2 as before? My KH is in the same range but my Ph used to be around 7... I tested my tap water and Ph was 7.3.

Any ideas on what might be going on?

I added 1ml of Flourish and will do so twice a week to start.
 

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You really aren't going to see much of a difference in CO2 levels from the plants alone. CO2 loss due to surface agitation presents a larger loss than consumption from the plants. I think all it means is that you have to slow down the rate of diffusion or increase the amount of CO2 loss. What method are you using to diffuse the CO2? Try increasing surface agitation to lower it.

Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am feeding the CO2 to the water intake of my Penguin filter. I have added a small rock to the water flow from the filter to the tank so the water makes more of a splash when it hits the surface... I'll test tomorrow again.. if it does not lower enough I'll lower the water level of my tank to increase the splash even more.

Thanks for your reply!
 
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