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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Still battling the BGA a bit but I think I am getting it under control. Thanks everyone. I have changed my dosing and fert levels and it seems to be going away, but not entirely. Here is my question...

I have takento dosing my tank after a 50% wc to get NO3 10ppm, P 1ppm, 2 ml flourish, 2.5 ml flourish trace (i have it and figure it cant hurt), and adjust the kh from 2 to 4 wiht baking soda. I keep my CO2 levels in the 30ppm range. Everything grows great. The colors are of, reds and oranges, but I attribute that to the high NO3. I am runinng 4.5 wpg ove rhtis 10 gallon. Since the flourish and incresed light, and also P, the plants grow like mad and algae seems to be slowuing down. Heah

Anyway, so I do all this yesterday and today I have 0ppm of P tested wiht a brand new seacem test kit. Does this seem right? I know that the plants have been starved for P for a while but????? Maybe my math is wrong. I am dosing .25 ml in the 10gallon. That should add approx. 1 ppm yes? How I dose is I have 1 ml of Fleet and 3 ml of H2O in a syringe and I shake it uop and dose 1 ml of that. Does that seem right? I just added another 1ml of the mix so i'll test in a bit.

Any thoughts? Thanks
 

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Right on, Dennis,

My web page calcs say .3 ml per 10 gallons to get 1 ppm. You probably have 7 or 8 gallons in the tank so its about perfect. That is, as long as you are measuring out .25 ml and not using the drops. The syringe method you use sounds good!
see:
http://users.ev1.net/~spituch/Chemicals/chemicals.html#Phosphate from Fleet Enema

How many hundeds of dollars did you spend on the P kit? :lol:

Try to get a baseline on the P you just added. If it doesn't correlate, don't use it.

Regards,
Steve Pituch
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Steve.

I actually was getting my amounts from your site and also from and old ADP post. Syringe method seems to be the way to go. No drops.

I am getting something funny here though now. I dosed my 1ml solution about 2 hours ago and now I test the tank. Reads about 1ppm. Took about two minutes for hte color to fully develop. Directios say 5-30 seconds but I am willing to let that slide. I also, at the same time ran a test using the reference solution that comes with the kit. It is supposed to read 1.0ppm but it only reads about .2ppm :? I am guessing though, that since I am fairly certain that I dosed 1ppm and now I get that as a reading, it should be accurate. What do you all make of this? Thanks
 

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Hi Dennis,

I had a Hagen test kit that went bad because the last reagent was in a plastic bottle. They sent me a new (glass) bottle, but distilled water reads like 1 ppm. I know someone who only uses the Hagen kit as a ball-park estimate: either no P or enough P, but no trying to figure out an exact amount. If its not a Hach or Lamotte test kit, I wouldn't bother. I think 1 ppm P twice per week is quite a bit. If you were starving the plants of P within a week they should catch up. With 50% weekly water changes the max possible would be 4 ppm if the plants stopped using it. I would either dose 1 or 2 ppm twice per week and forget about the test kit and spend the time enjoying the aquarium.

There is a decent amount of P in fish food. The way people are into fish on the APC here, (normal planted aquaria people aren't) there should be a lot of P in the substrate. Walstad says virtually all the P in fish food goes to the plants assuming your fish are fully grown. She also says that sediments sequester P. They are like a P magnet. One pond had P in the water column of .04 ppm, while the soil had it at 1000 ppm. Thats a 25,000 to 1 ratio. I don't know how your substrate compares to a soil substrate as far as binding P goes, but it could be all going into the substrate. That means it is available to plants. This is one of the good reasons to have Walstad's book. It makes one really think about what is going on in the aquarium. I think its required reading. I read it about ten times to understand it, and still refer to it.

So, forget about the test kit, and start enjoying the tank.

Steve Pituch
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe you are right Steve but I actually enjoy the science part of the hobbie a great deal. May sound silly but I have been thinking about college (im 23 and never went. Apprenticed, so I am trained in something atleast) an been think ing seroiusly about botany and aquatic plants, research and all that. The University of Mass near me suposedly has a very good plant and soil science department.

Anyway, sorry for hte tangent. Truth be known I actually like testing. I also liek to learn the how and why. For some reason I can find beauty easier in things I understand. Maybe it means that I stop being in wonder and start seeing more of hte details. I guess I also like being in control:)

As for hte test kit I believe that I know my doses so I will trust that. I might use the test, as you say, to tell me 0 or some and judge my dosing from there. The test does seemto register if you wait a couple of minutes I will know when to add or not. If I get an obvious high or low reading I can take action from there. Maybe I will test twice a wee. At wc and mid-week.

Thanks for your help.

BTW. Just read your article in the biotope section. Very good job:)
 

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Probably something wrong with the reference solution. Fleet is quite strong, in my log book I have "1ml of fleet will raise 10gal by 3.4ppm" so your test result sounds right. I use the Seachem test kit and it seems quite accurate, I can narrow it down to +-0.2ppm which is as accurate as I need it to be.

It should be easy to test however, just measure a sample of RO/DI water, then add 1ppm of fleet, and test again.

Regards
Giancarlo Podio
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I think so to. I did a 50% wc and dosed 5 ppm NO3 and 1 ppm P at 5pm today(yesterday now) and jsut tested it. Took two minutes but got readings of 1ppm for P is it normal that I have to wait hat long to get the correct reading? Everything else seems ok. Maybe tomorrow I will check it with distilled water, or call seachem.

Thanks alot everyone.
 

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You may have a bad box, mine develops the color nearly immediately as the instructions say it should.

Seachem is good at exchanging things so give them a call, they'll probably send out a replacement.

Giancarlo Podio
 
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