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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-12-2012 11:39 PM
tylergvolk
Quote:
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.

HTH
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
11-12-2012 08:08 PM
DogFish wkndracer ===> Aqua-Dirt Hoarder

11-12-2012 05:45 PM
wkndracer
Quote:
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.
11-12-2012 04:30 PM
tylergvolk 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?
11-11-2012 10:32 PM
Green_Flash well said ^
11-11-2012 10:26 PM
Gold Finger 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.
11-11-2012 09:25 PM
Gold Finger Yeah, thanks. I figured some of this out from old plantbrain posts. Will use DPTA and may use some gluconate too. Gone fast is OK for plants which suck it up fast, and good for fish which don't appreciate toxic levels accumulating. Got the theory but your practical experience is at least as helpful, maybe more so.
11-11-2012 08:58 PM
KH2PO4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold Finger View Post
Naturally there is a company which sells a very pretty, very expensive little bottle of "special" (ferrous gluconate) iron which claims to be much better in high pH water like mine.
What? Gluconate is even weaker than the common “EDTA” and is even
less suitable to high pH water.

Gluconate has some plus sides but definitely not for high pH/KH water.

Go with DTPA iron.
11-11-2012 08:48 PM
Gold Finger
Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Seachem Eq is 50% K2SO4, so is GH booster, the generic version.

Gold fish are great and good nutrient producers, but.......they also like cool waters..........so this slows CO2 demand and plant growth a lot...........so the nutrient demands are reduced.

Most over fed their goldfish also.

A good method to deal with any excess is adding some floating species like water sprite. Cuts the light down below, but provides excellent export of nutrients.

You basically learn to use the weedy WS as your test kit. Works quite well over time. Most LFS and local aquarium clubs like it also, so you can sell the weed.
Thanks; The generic, yours for example, would work better for me since the Eq has too much iron to use often in low light.

I always forget to say "fancy" goldfish. Quite different is some ways from flat bodied type. I keep mine at tropical temps so that's not an issue. Many Chineese breeders reccomment ~78 degrees on average (72-86 being a safe range on average, believe it or not). More widely known knowledge over there where these fish are respected and valued.

NO3 never tops 10ppm, so export is not an issue thankfully as I am trying to minimize stems. Trying to get as nice a plant look as possible despite having these messy fish in there. It is not as difficult as many think. A bit rare for folks to try is all.

much respect,
A. Laisney
11-11-2012 05:04 AM
plantbrain Seachem Eq is 50% K2SO4, so is GH booster, the generic version.

Gold fish are great and good nutrient producers, but.......they also like cool waters..........so this slows CO2 demand and plant growth a lot...........so the nutrient demands are reduced.

Most over fed their goldfish also.

A good method to deal with any excess is adding some floating species like water sprite. Cuts the light down below, but provides excellent export of nutrients.

You basically learn to use the weedy WS as your test kit. Works quite well over time. Most LFS and local aquarium clubs like it also, so you can sell the weed.
11-11-2012 04:38 AM
Gold Finger I think obsessing on the details is a side effect of my insanity, rather than the cause. And I am finding a lot of references to fish/food Producing enough N and P but not enough K. I have just remembered that Equilibrium, of which I happen to have a jar, is 30% K2SO4, so I will dose that for a week or so and if it helps I will order some dry K2S04. Then I will start with traces and iron. The vast majorty of web advice is that with a heavy fish load I will still need to dose K, Fe, and traces to support a heavy plant mass at the fastest rate it will grow under the high end of low light such as mine. Those and some excell since I am not attracted to the idea of adding a CO2 contraption as of yet.
11-11-2012 03:04 AM
DogFish I do believe in research but , I also feel people in this hobby can make themselves insane micro managing the Chemistry of it all.

I think you are right to slowly make adjustments to learn what works with your water, in your tank, with your plants, growing under your lights, with your fish swimming in water that you change on your schedule.

I feel the best tool is a camera. Take pics keep track of the progress you make. It get very obvious when you can look at pics taken say the 1st of each month.
11-11-2012 02:43 AM
Gold Finger Firstly, you make a good point about the fish probably providing all the macros my plants need, dogfish. Only someone who has kept goldfish can believe the waste they produce! My thinking was to start by providing the K+ and the traces both in order to see what non nutrient limited growth looked like then get rid of the K+ and see what happened. Now that you mention it though, I realize that I could start with just the traces first (which are more likely to be limiting) then try adding the K+ later. I would not get my answer any sooner either way. Secondly, dry vs. bottled ferts certainly is a question of economy but I don't see the sense in dosing K+ for the rest of my life never knowing if I ever really had to. I will start by picking up something in a bottle at the LFS for the sake of the experiment then order whichever dry ferts I indeed need after that. The cost of bottled traces the Seachem way (which involves one bottle for traces which last and another for traces which precipitate out quickly) is ridiculous. about $150/year vs. maybe $15 for dry!

Thank you all. This kind of help really is invaluable. I know what I am doing now.... except... I just read some stuff about EDTA iron not working so well in water as basic as mine (Ph7.8). Naturally there is a company which sells a very pretty, very expensive little bottle of "special" (ferrous gluconate) iron which claims to be much better in high pH water like mine. Any opinions on vs. plain ol' SCM+B type iron in very Basic water?
11-10-2012 02:14 PM
wkndracer As the conversation developed it reads as though K2SO4 and trace are the only concerns. 1/2 or 1lb orders on each would be a years supply for most and less cost than a single shipment of water bottles. Ratio mix trace using distilled not to introduce bacteria and dry dosed potassium is easy.
11-10-2012 02:07 PM
DogFish Gold Finger - Your Goldfish are, I would think creating all the Macros your plants will need and maybe more. Plants are limited to the amount of Macros they can use by the amount of trace elements presents. Hence dosing Traces will benefit.

Keep in mind they are called "TRACE" elements for a reason. More is not better.

Both dry and wet methods work and it is more a matter of economic value over effectiveness. Dry of course is cheaper per dose. However, if one has only one or two tanks, I question the logic of owning enough dry chemical to dose an Aquatic Greenhouse operation.
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