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Sterling919 you really need to get a drop checker. It will accurately measure how much CO2 is in your water. If you try to do the charts they assume you only have calcium and magnesium (I think) in your water. So they measure that and pit it against your pH to arrive at a CO2 concentration. Most people have more dissolved solids that 2 in their water so that throws off the chart measurement. If you use the drop checker method it's pretty much for sure if you can read colors. You can do a forum search on drop checkers. I think they are much easier to use than the charts. No daily testing or measuring.

There is a lot to learn but it will become easier with time. One thing I have learned is that you don't have to know it all. If you get the basics and follow things generally you can have a beautiful tank! :D
 

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Ok folks here is what I've done, hope I've done the right thing.

I went to : http://aquariumfertilizers.com/

I ordered : CSM+B Plantex, Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Nitrate.

So far...please tell me I did right!! I've read till my eyes hurt and my head does too but I'm assuming that the Plantex is micro's, right? That is basically the same thing as Flourish, right?

What else am I missing here? I'm assuming that the KNO3 and KH2PO4 are macro's...is this right? Shouldn't there be one more or not in that group? I'm assuming the Plantex is the micro's also.

If I'm right so far or atleast on the right track...then I assume next on the list would be a good pressurized CO2 system...is that right?

And that I need to find out the water parameters from the water company and post them here. I also need to test my tank water and post that here also...along with a PH test straight from the tap...is this right so far?
You did great! I got all these KNO3 - for Nitrate, K2SO4 - for Potassium, KH2PO4 - for Phosphates, Plantex CSM+B for trace minerals. I dose the phosphates lean as I have a lot of phosphates in my tap water. I follow the chart in the EI dosing sticky for each of my tanks. I just look at the size tank and find it on the chart. If it's not listed I adjust for size. Simple!

Yes, the plantex is trace minerals. Yes, the florish is also the same trace minerals. Yes all the "K" chemicals are macros. The only other thing I dose is iron. I use liquid Iron from Florish. Many plants use more Iron than your trace minerals contain. I have read that it helps with the red plants. There are signs for iron depletion as well, (anubias turing yellow, etc.) Too much iron would be brown spots on sword plant leaves, etc. There are tables on this forum with nutrient deficit signs. BTW there is no test kit for Potassium and most iron test kits that we regular people can afford don't test correctly.

I've never worried about a report from my water co. I have tested the pH and GH and KH from the tap. Wanted to know if my substrate was bringing things down, so that when I did a water change I could be careful. You need a drop checker to measure your CO2. Don't you use DIY right now? Yes, a pressurized CO2 system would be great!

You are on your way! Congrats. :whoo:
 

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Left C - This is one of the BEST explanation of how things work that I've read in a long time. It lets a layman like me understand what your talking about!!! Thank you!!

??? time - SO if I have low KH and almost 0 GH and I want to raise my GH level do I need to add some baking soda to that I am raising my buffering level of the water so the pH won't continue to go crazy?
AND - if I want to keep snails and get my pH up a little will Equilibrium and Baking Soda, and Crushed Coral be what I need to do?

(Don't need to hijack your thread sterling ;))
 

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Left C - I guess I thought you could read my mind!:rolleyes: I was thinking that I needed the Baking Soda as a buffering agent. Hence I would put in the equilibrium to bring up the GH and the baking soda would bring up the Kh and the ph and act as a buffering agent. I thought, what if I added the equilibrium to bring it up (with water changes, slowly) and then just added some of the coral in my filter to keep it up, as ada aquasoil absorbs is back down, along with the baking soda as a buffering agent. What happens then? Am I on the wrong track?

I still don't understand how all these others use the ADA AS and keep the briggs, and nerites without consequence. I can add the Ca for the snail in the form of a cuttle bone or ca tabs. but don't know what to do about the acid water melting their shells.

BTW thanks for the links. I'll read and see if I can keep up with the info..... :rolleyes:
 

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Thanks Sterling919. I have the same responses to a lot of the tanks on this forum. I am hooked on the plants, whether inside the tank or out in my yard!!! I see people make all these elaborate drawings, not to mention all the DIY automatic w/c and fertilizing machines! I sit here with my stack of plants and begin placing them in my tank. I move one here or there. I look at it a few days and move things around again. I don't know about all those ratios and styles. I just know when it looks good to me, after all it's my hobby for me to enjoy! ;)

The EI dosing is the easiest for me. All this chemistry stuff doesn't come naturally for me. So glad you got your ferts. Now be ready with those sizzors for some serious trims once your plants take off. Remember trims make them branch out and thicken up AND you can plant the tops! Great bonus! :D
 
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