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2997 Views 10 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  plantbrain
Can Anyone tell me the list for things to check for nutrients. IE CO2->Nitrogen->?->?->? I know Tom sent it to me once but i lost it.
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This was the hierarchy given to me by Jeff Kropp, and I'm pretty sure it's close (if not the same) as what Tom would advise:


I originally thought that iron would be more important than Ca and Mg, but I guess not.

Hope this helps.

gnome said:
I originally thought that iron would be more important than Ca and Mg
Because most people have hard water or supplement up to a GH of 4ish, hardness issues are rarely a problem. However if you have none, it may well become a large and more significant problem than not enough micro nutrients.

First significant micro nutrient to consider is iron and the rest are usually scattergunned at with broad range micro sources like Flourish. I find TMG offers a broad enough range of micros for my needs even though it is considered by many on these forums to be too narrowly focused. I have yet to observe deficiency problems that lead me to add any more than TMGs recommended .004 - .014ppm iron. I have seen tanks with much more iron added, most notably Eric Leung's, and I have yet to find strong motivation to try major Fe dosing myself.

Naomi gives the simplified heirachial list but she forgot to elaborate on how to use it.

First nutrient to consider is light. This is usually chosen somewhat arbitrarily when one first sets up a planted tank. It may be that an aquarist reads a few posts on this and other forums and decides they need 5 wpg cf illumination or perhaps they buy a tank with a single tube provideing 1wpg or less. Regardless of the decision made in choosing the amount of light, this choice affects all other nutrient factors.

Second factor is CO2. Carbon is the basic building block of life and plants by the miracle of photosythesis use the carbon in CO2 to build. In most contemporary planted tank discussions, particularly those that consider fertilization scheams, the use of CO2 enrichment is considered essential above about 2 wpg. If you are below this break point in lighting and do not use CO2 enrichment then you will not have to worry much about fertilization. A well balanced product like TMG (Tropica Master Grow) will be all the supplementaion you will need; your fish, food and water changes should provide all that is needed.

Now if you do decide to use strong lighting and CO2 enrichment you may well use up all the nutrients provided by your fish and need additional fertilization to to get the lush growth seen in photos.

The first and most significant macro is Nitrogen, usually dosed as pottasium nitrate (KNO3) often called stump remover. Your fish give off a lot of N as a byproduct of breathing in water and excrement. A tank with lots of N is often very green and has big full leaves. One nice thing about KNO3 is that it also provides K or potasium and when used in conjunction with a P (phosphate) source produces a nice ratio of three growth nutrients.

If you have found the estimative index on line you will find it recomends a 10/1ppm N/P ratio. In my own experience, I prefer a 8.25/1ppm N/P ratio and that is easily measured by 1/2 tsp KNO3 to 1/4 tsp enema solution (one common P source). Depending on your feeding methods this ratio will change. Often tanks fed live foods need less P while tanks fed prepared fishfoods, formulated to be low in P, may find a need for more P in their ratio. I think that 1/2 tsp of KNO3 will produce about 10ppm N in a 30 gal tank and currently I supplement 1/2 tsp in a healthy 60g tank every other day.

I'm sure I missed some points... but have tired of typing. Perhaps others have more to add.
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Yeah... What he said :wink: . Sorry, Shane - I should have linked you to the specific post in which he explained this to me so you could take it in context. There was another post in this forum where both Jeff and Tom contributed to an inquiry by a presumed newbie about two months ago. I think it might be worth your while to read that one. I'll try to find it and post a link to it later.

Thanks for elaborating, Jeff!

Oops - sorry again. It was actually a post about rate of P uptake. In case you're interested, here's the link:
The person who made the inquiry isn't a "newbie" either.

I think it goes into more than just P, though. It's a good read if you have the time.

Hope you're getting whatever help you need with the tanks at work and the one at home. :)

BTW, how's that UV working out?

To be honest i think my stepmom is sabatoging the tank. I ran the UV and it was crystal clear. So i turned it off. Like 7 days later it gets foggy a few hours after turning the UV on. i was gone at my friends house. She always adds fish i tell her not to... and i suspect she put something else in the water. She has tank envy i am sure.
Oh, I'm sure her intentions are not malicious... The few times I've had e-mail contact with her, she seemed sincere and supportive of you in your hobby. I'll bet that whenever she goes into a fish store, she can't resist all the pretty critters and whatnot ;).

It's possible that the clouding was caused by a sudden increase in fish population, but I can only imagine this if the fish were big or a huge number of small ones were added. Although... Perhaps something in the mechanism of the UV sterilizer makes it so that restarting it after having it turned off for a while will kick up a lot of particulates that have settled inside or something. You might want to ask around and see if this can happen. Maybe you need to clean it out before you start it up after a relatively long rest period. I don't know - I'm reaching; I've never owned one of these. Make sure you check the manual.

Maybe you could think of a nice way to ask your stepmom to hold off buying things for your tank until running it by you, first. It's certainly another thing if you come home to find an oscar, jaguar cichlid, arrowana, goldfish and the like swimming around in your planted aquarium... Even the first time, I might let it slide as an uninformed purchase :roll: . It happens, we all know...

Since this hobby is such a big part of your life, maybe your stepmom is just trying to bond with you by contributing to your collection of flora and fauna. If this is the case, one certainly can't fault her for having the best of intentions. She seems like a very nice lady, anyway. Maybe take her to the LFS with you so you guys can browse the fish selection and you can be her tour guide. You can explain to her why certain fish can go in your tank and why others can't, which are good community fish and which ones are best in pairs or single in a species tank. Point out that the cute little quarter-sized discus are going to grow into dishplate-sized adults that need high temperatures, ultra-soft water and lots of space. Warn her also that employees don't always know what they're talking about.

It's an idea. I really haven't the slightest clue as to how you two get along, so take it with a grain of salt.

The water should clear again. No worries.

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Its already clear. I dont know what it is but the UV is my new favourite thing. It solved my only big problem. Someone at a local fish store says it will mess up some tracelements in my water... But they also tell me not to do water changes so i take everythingthey say with a grain of salt.
No water changes for a non CO2 plant tank is sound advice and probably their main plant tank customers. With CO2=> do those water changes.

You should use those nice MH lights you guys have where you work.
Save me 4 of them for when I get out to CA here in a month or so.

I'd listen to those folks rather than the LFS. They possess much more knowledge. Applying it directly to a tank might need a little flexibilty, but the general ideas will help.

Hey, if you want or know of anyone that wants a 25, 20 or a 75 gal tank with PC lighting, flourite or onyx sand, stands etc everything, send them my way. I will consider traveling 1.5 hours for delivery. Very good deals and tanks are in great shape.
See plant fest pics:

Tom Barr
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I'm about to put 2 24 watt t5 HO lights on my tank. Just to see what happens as far as plants changing colors. The t8 i was going to use ended up not fitting with the size of the ballast. These will fit fine. My dad wont let me hang anything from the roof... i did it once and now we have off colored holes in the ceiling.
Lighting sounds fine to me.

Enjoy them.
Just save me a few MH's from there.

Tom Barr
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