Nutients in soil vs water column - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 09:26 PM
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In an attempt to make amends for totally jacking Tylergvolk's (sorry and thank you) thread here I would like to post on the OP's original question of wether to dose the water column or not. I am no expert, a beginner really, but I have read a lot of stuff and know the theory at least, so here's the consensus. While some, especially nature types, may still advocate soil only nutrients few would say to give nothing at all to the water for the leaf intake, and most agree with the high production folks approach: dose the soil and the water column. The logic is sound. Dosing properly does not promote algae it prevents it, so dosing the water adds redundant backup. But, you say, why would my soil fert not work? The chemistry of plant nutrition is complex, dynamic and unique to each tank. Factors may exist in your tank which may block the availability to your plants of certain present elements. No one knows everything that's going on in the planted tank and redundancy is insurance. On the other hand, If you have time and experience and observe the reactions in your tank you certainly can produce fantastic results without redundancy.

Ver. 1.0 80 gallon dirt goldfish tank (defunct)

Ver. 2.0 bare bottom same tank another approach (defunct)

Ver. 3.0 Pool filter sand same tank now

Farming Algae

Goldfish are among the worst fish for beginners.
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post #32 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 09:32 PM
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well said ^
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post #33 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Make sense. I have been doing my research recently as well. I basically came to the same verdict.

Now for decided which method to use. EI or PPS. I have read up slightly up on both of them. PPS makes the most sense to me but I'm sure EI is more popular amount the guru's. lol

What do you guys think?
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post #34 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tylergvolk View Post
What do you guys think?
With the exception of Tom Barr I'll hazard making the statement that I probably have more dirt tanks than anyone else posting regularly on this forum. Using soil enriched substrates with low or medium light I already posted my opinion. (post #2, #6)

PPS, PPS Pro, and EI methods were all used as I learned what was easiest to maintain long term, hence dirty tanking .

Good luck and enjoy the tank OP.

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post #35 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 07:08 PM
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post #36 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-12-2012, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Dosing ferts really doesn't have to be a scheduled maintenance weekly with low or medium light energy supplied. After a water change the majority of my tanks are baseline dosed and that's it until the next water change. Plantex CSM+B or Millers Microplex $10 - 12/lb, NO3 $3/lb and PO4 $5/lb are what most using tap for tanking need to be concerned with. Those amounts last a really long time for most folks.

When I change water finishing up I dose NO3, PO4 and trace, not hard at all really.
Plants do have to be fed. Just like you feed the fish you should feed the plants.

Years ago I copied this info from Rex's site and it's the same as all the fert calculators provide today.
1) KNO3 aka Potassium Nitrate is used to primarily dose nitrates or NO3. It does have the side effect of dosing a small amount of potassium.
2) KH2PO4 or Mono Potassium Phosphate is used for dosing phosphates or PO4.
3) Plantex CSM+B is a trace mineral mix.

I mix solutions using 250ml of water in the same glass jars I've used for years. Measuring for tank use is a 10ml syringe (same one for years).
(using measuring spoons you always use level measurements)

PO4 = Mix 1 cup water (236 ml) with 5 teaspoons (24 grams).
This solution will dose 0.93 ppm per ml in 20 gallons of water.

NO3 = Mix 67.2 grams or 12 teaspoons or 4 tablespoons of KNO3 in 250 ml of water and this will give you a solution that will dose 4.34 ppm of NO3 in 10 gallons of water and 2.74 ppm of potassium for each ml dosed.

Less than $20 in dry chem lasts most more than a year so I think it's cheap enough. Done after each water change unless you have high energy lighting that's it until the next tank cleaning.

Keeping the tank "really" clean won't cure algae issues. Less light energy slows things down but for plants even Annibus to thrive they need nutrients.

If all you add is what is listed above at each water change I don't see a real need to test levels. This dosing and the value that results has been verified by many, many folks over the years.

Yea, I appreciate this advice. When I finally buy some dry fertilizers, I am going to have some more questions about this. I hope you don't mind.

Dirt Tank Dosing! Sounds naughty doesn't it? lol
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