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Please clear up dosing for a newbie

1140 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  freydo
I have a 40g planted tank. I have 1x92w 10000k bulb and 1x92w blue actinic bulb. I inject CO2 at 25ppm. My substrate is a 50/50 mix of gravel and eco complete

My plants grow fairly well, but not as well as the 4-5 different types of algae that live in my aquarium.

I think I've been fed misinformation for the better part of 1 year and so please bear with me as I post stuff that I'm sure is already here, I just want specific clarification to my problem. Forget all of the crazy things I've been told in the past (that would make a great worst advice thread), the most recent advice I have says to just dose Flourish according to the instructions on the back.

This isn't right is it? Aren't I missing the N-P-K macro nutrients or is flourish all I need?
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Hi tenball,

Although I am not a lighting expert, I suspect part of your problem may be your bulb. Plants need light in the spectrum of about 6700k for optimum growth. Your light bulbs are more for a marine tank, not a freshwater planted tank.
That being said, if you visit the Flourish website, it recommends N-P-K as well as other some of their other formulas for optimum growth. However, when I first started my tank, all I used was Flourish Comprehensive and Flourish Trace and my plants did fine. Now I dose DIY fertilizers per the PPS Pro system that you will find in this forum. Good luck, I hope this helps.
The 10000K light is okay, but the actinic isn't really doing anything. (I would not even count it as part of your WattsPerGallon, but I could be off on that. ) I had the "10000K/actinic" bulbs for a few months and then switched to "10000K/6700K" and it made a HUGE difference.

Flourish on it's own provides only negligible marcro nutrients. You need N, P, and K as well as the flourish, especially if you switch out the actinic bulb for something else (you will have high light).

the actinic bulb is not needed, as the light spectrum is not beneficial to plants. i would do what dave did, by replacing it with a 6000/6700K bulb.

flourish is basically your trace elements, which means you will need NPK. you can get those either from here on the board from one of the sponsors, or from a local hydroponics shop that sells the dry fertilizers. IMO, the PPS method is the easiest way to fertilize your plants. you just add 1ml/10 gallons of water at least an hour before your lights come on. for me, that means before i leave for work.

PPS is great because you don't "need" to do water changes, though they do help for other reasons. of course, all these suggestions won't result in instantaneous changes. but if your lighting is in line with the proper amount of CO2, and nutrients, it will start to turn around for the better.

hope this helps!
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Thanks all, this helps a lot. Sounds like I need to dose additional nutrients and get my lighting in line. Would I be better off going with a 6700k/10000k combo or dual 6700ks? Or, is it really a personal preference within that spectrum.
it comes to personal preferences due to trial and error of what works best for each individual tank setup. for myself, i use all 6000K lamps, and i find that works best. for me.

good luck!
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