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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aquarium: 55 gallon
TDS
pH 7.8
NO3 10-15 ppm
PO4 1-1.5 ppm
GH 10 dh
KH 3dh
Ca
Mg
CO2- I am using Excel
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gall
Wpg- 110 PCs
Fish load- 15 small to medium cichlids
Plant mass- medium
Substrate silica sand
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Fertilizer- Kent Freshwater Plant supplement and Excel as a carbon source, For PO4 I add Fleet and Mg I use Epsom salts

Plants are Anubias, java fern, watersprite, wisteria, Hydro poly, Ludwigia reopens, a few cryps, Bacopa lights are on for about 9 hours

My question is this, with 2 watts per gallon am I adding enough ferts. My plants are growing well, the hydro seems to have small leaves and small stems, much smaller then when it was purchased but it grows very well. I was thinking that it may be a potassium def. One of the crypts that I bought last week is turning yellow and the leaves are yellowish with green veins. I was thinking of getting some flourish trace, flourish potassium, and Flourish iron this weekend. I add about half the recommended dosage of Kent only after water changes. If I add more I get algae on the glass. This week I upped the dosage and I have yet to see any algae on the glass. What souled I do, get the extra ferts or is the Kent enough.

Any other suggestions are appericated
 

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Smaller leaves is a sign of low CO2, or excel perhaps in this case.

Add 1.5-2x the rec amounts.
Consider adding KNO3 + more traces.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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That assumes the NO3 test is correct.
Unless you have calibrated it, I don't trust it(Lamotte is an exception).

10-15ppm is a wide range, 10ppm is not high, 40-50ppm is high.
Adding another 10ppm a week will not hurt even if the test kit is correct.

If you make sure the kit is correct and can confirm that, then you can likely feed the fish well and do large weekly water changes to add the NO3 and verify the NO3 right before the water change and a day or two after to see what the range of NO3 is.

You can use K2SO4 for K+ only.

Once the CO2/Excel issue is addressed, the NO3 should be used up at a fairly fast rate, then you will need KNO3.......

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK here is what I did. I bought Flouish Potassium and I will start to dose Kent Pro Plant that I already had, I want't dosing b/c I thought that I had enough NO3. I dose 1/2 cap of Potassium and half or the Pro plant. I'll wait a few days and see if it helps. Thanks
 

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K is asimilated by plant is its ionic form: K+

Positive ions like this are called Cations, Negative ions are called Anions.

The charge always balances out, so it is not possible in practive to add K+ alone.

I do not recomend the use of commercial fertilizers because they do not tell you what they contain. I use laboratory salts instead as has been recomended here: KNO3 and K2SO4.

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I find your pH too high for my liking. I aim for 6.5 - 7. With or without CO2, though it is much better is you get there with CO2.

I gave up on excell 10 days after I made the mistake of buying it.

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I strongly advise against the use of Flourish Potasium or Pro Plant.

Follow the advice here and you will get results. Buy more comecial products and you will learn nothing, only spend money.

I think you are asking the right questions in the right place, and you first message is well documented. After all this good work it would be foolish not to follow the advice given here and still relly on comercial products.

The fact that you get algae goes to prove my point.

Your call :) Take care and good luck

Hidronium
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That makes sense to me, my tank is doing fairly well. I keep my PH high because I have cichlids. I will slowly lower it if I decide to go the CO2 route. I have a 20 gallon with a few cichilds in it and DIY CO2 and they seem fine. I want to try the excel on my 55 to see how it works and it has helped.

As far a the comerical ferts go- I hear what you are saying and I agree that you know what is in there, but I have all this other stuff lying around now and dont want to waste it. I will probaly go that route when the time comes.

Thanks for everyones help. I snapped a few photos of the tank and the Hydro so you can see what I am talking about



Ludwiga






This is a photo of my tank about a month ago.
 

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KNO3/K2SO4/KH2PO4 are dirt cheap.

Much cheaper than SeaChem.

SeaChem K+ is water + KCL.
Pro plant is sodium nitrate and other nutrients like the above.
Read the labels.

You need more cabon though, the tank is far from densely planted.
Add 3x more plants and more Excel.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so how do I mix up all of this KNO3/K2SO4/KH2PO4 all in seperate bottles and how do I know how much of each.

It quite honestly confuses that crap out of me and drives me crazy trying to figure how how much of ferts to add now let alone mixing my own.


As far as adding more plants that last photo is my tank a while ago since this I have added alot more plants. see the photos above that one. But I feel like I am running out of room for plants. I dont want them real close together b/c I feel like the lower leaves wont get enough light, and I need the rock work in my tank for my cichlids. Although I have taken out a ton of the rocks and the fish seem to really enjoy the cover that the plants provide. So can I plant them closer to one another or space them out
 

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Dosing is easy as pie. Actually making a pie is much tougher.
Fish can hide in the plants much better and the leaves do not scrape fish's skin.

To dose your tank:

add:
KNO3 1/4 teaspoon 2x a week
K2SO4 1/4 teaspoon after water change
KH2PO4 1/8 teaspoon 2x a week
Traces: 10mls 2x a week
Excel, add 2x the rec amounts.

Weekly 50% water change.

Add more plants.

You can add plants into the rocks and cover the rocks with moss, ferns, Anubias etc.

Don't worry, the fish will be fine with more plants.

Regards,
Tom Barr

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Only a few days after adding the Flourish K and Kent Pro Plant, my tank has perked up a bit, alot of new growth and the spot alage in on the decline. I will try to add some more plants this weekend, I would like some java moss and sme cryps, they have really taken off. I'm not sure yet, would baby tears do ok in my tank 2 wpg. I need some smaller ground cover.
 

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At 2WPG, baby tears will probably grow tall before it grows flat. But YYMV, so try it out. I thought it would grow flat under metal halides in a 24" tall tank, but it got to 5" tall before I decided on glosso as my ground cover.
 

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shalu said:
Small correction, it is actually K2SO4 according to Seachem website.
I mentioned I liked K2SO4 over KCl to Greg some years ago.
I thought back then he said they used KCl, eithe rI'm losing it or I guess Greg took my advice:)

Thanks for noting this change.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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