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Thread: Hybrid Method for Dry Ferts and Excel, no CO2? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-07-2013 02:03 AM
MadRiverPat
Quote:
Originally Posted by lullafishi View Post
I ended up using wet's calculator and selecting EI low light/weekly to get my dosing information. Here's what I've been doing:

Dose 1/2 teaspoon (or 2.469 g exactly) Potassium nitrate (KNO3) once a week
Dose 1/16 teaspoon (or 0.277 g exactly) Monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4) once a week
Dose 1/2 teaspoon (or 3.374 g exactly) Potassium sulfate (K2SO4) once a week
Dose 1/10 teaspoon (or 0.463 g exactly) CSM+B once a week
50% weekly water change, going to start trying every other week
Dose the regular rec amount for Excel every other day during my mid-day light siesta

I had some minor staghorn algae and BBA problems a week or so ago, but I turned off my filter, spot dosed my regular Excel amount on the problem areas with a syringe, and let it sit for 20 minutes before turning the filter back on. The BBA and staghorn was growing on leaves that were leeching nutrients, so I trimmed those off and trimmed the old rotting roots that were the "root" of the problem. Haven't had any signs of algae since.

This dosing regime seems to be working well for my set-up. There are a few plants that aren't quite as happy (rotala macranda, but it's a high light plant and probably wants co2) but otherwise growth on just about all of them has been healthy and faster than I expected.

I do have a very low bioload right now... one guppy, snails, and two Amano shrimp. I'm not sure how adding fish is going to affect the balance in my set-up yet.

Hope that helps you out!
Thanks for getting back to me. The tank is about 3 to 4 months old but I had to move it about 2 months ago and started somewhat over at that point. Just last week I planted it fairly heavily and have been using comprehensive and iron while with excel while waiting on a final decision for how to dose dry ferts. I've got a new set of measuring spoons but am contemplating a cheap scale to make it a bit more exact. I think I am going to start by aiming for somewhere in the 1/3 EI range and adjust from there just as you and Tom have stated. I have what I thought was just diatoms and I know believe is the beginning of bba or hair algae. I'll start spot dosing the excel tomorrow and decide on a fert regiment since I have a feeling the nutrient leeching plants is the cause. They definitely are starving for ferts and the micros in the comprehensive isn't going to cut it for much longer.

I will hopefully find some way to set up a pressurized system but that won't come for another month or so, which means excel will have to do.

I have a decent bioload right now from the congo tetras and cory cats currently inhabiting the tank but hopefully that won't play too significant a role. I have been doing weekly water changes due to the buildup of fish waste in the parts of my tank that the filter won't reach.
07-31-2013 09:00 PM
Jack Gilvey Thanks much, Tom!
07-31-2013 03:38 PM
plantbrain
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Gilvey View Post
If I may tag-along with a question for Tom (and forgive me if my paraphrasing is wrong): You recommend minimal water changes with non-CO2 so as to avoid algae-inducing spikes in CO2. Does the same caveat apply if using remineralized RO/DI for changes? I've often read that high CO2 levels in tap will deplete a DI resin rather quickly so my assumption has been that it's removing it. Or would water pick up enough just sitting so as to make it that much higher in CO2 than we'd find in a planted aquarium with no added gas?
CO2 is not a salt, so I see little way for the DI/RO to remove it, but I could be wrong.

Not a lot you can do about it unless you want another holding degassing reservoir I'll pass on that. Usign RO is a PITA enough, but if you set up a larger holding tank and a nice auto fill set up, this can be minimal labor and effort, problem is, most do not or cannot set this up like that.

For a 20 Gallon tank, not worth it, but for a 200 Gallon home display? Certainly.

I do not think anyone in their right mind would bother using RO/DI and doing frequent water changes for a non CO2 or an Excel type tank(Excel: most of which are smaller tanks anyway). There are a few cases where doing this might be useful, eg, Discus tank with lots of floating plants.
07-31-2013 07:16 AM
talontsiawd
Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...l-with-non-CO2

I've fused a few methods together over the years.

You can cut EI but 1/3 maybe 1/4 would be best and then do monthly water changes after your tank is going well after the 1st 1-2 months(weekly or 2x a week for that time frame.).

Pretty easy method.

But many love the gas........
I agree. Just do EI but much less. 1/2 to 1/4. Change water by the same ratio, more or less. Meaning if you do 1/2, water change ever 2 weeks.

If your tank can get away with no Excel but you still use it consistently, you can really go pretty long without ferts. I have done plenty of tanks that were about 1/8 of regular EI dosing or just waiting to see deficiencies because I can be lazy with low tech. It can take a long time, depending on mostly lighting.
07-30-2013 09:09 PM
Jack Gilvey If I may tag-along with a question for Tom (and forgive me if my paraphrasing is wrong): You recommend minimal water changes with non-CO2 so as to avoid algae-inducing spikes in CO2. Does the same caveat apply if using remineralized RO/DI for changes? I've often read that high CO2 levels in tap will deplete a DI resin rather quickly so my assumption has been that it's removing it. Or would water pick up enough just sitting so as to make it that much higher in CO2 than we'd find in a planted aquarium with no added gas?
07-29-2013 03:44 PM
plantbrain
Quote:
Originally Posted by manlyfan76 View Post
This is similar to my situation as I save for a quality CO2 system. Im dosing excel everyday and dry ferts once per week. 40% WC every 6 days due to bio load from fish poo. Seems to be going okay ATM.
Q: Would It be better to dose NPK over several days or just once when I do the WC?
Seems fine to me.

With CO2, 2x a week seems to be a min with decent results over a wide range of hobbyists using the gas.

Excel? Not so much.
Uptake is reduced from 10-20x down to 3-4x.
So demand and the amount needed to prevent limitations is also correspondingly lowered.
07-29-2013 03:15 PM
lullafishi
Quote:
Originally Posted by manlyfan76 View Post
Q: Would It be better to dose NPK over several days or just once when I do the WC?
I was wondering this myself so I don't have an answer for you. I can't imagine it would make much of a difference to dose NPK all at once vs half doses spaced out during the week. I don't think plant uptake is that fast, and it's not like the ferts become inactivated after sitting in the water column for so long.

Does anyone have an educated answer to this?
07-26-2013 01:02 AM
manlyfan76 This is similar to my situation as I save for a quality CO2 system. Im dosing excel everyday and dry ferts once per week. 40% WC every 6 days due to bio load from fish poo. Seems to be going okay ATM.
Q: Would It be better to dose NPK over several days or just once when I do the WC?
07-25-2013 06:16 PM
plantbrain
Quote:
Originally Posted by lullafishi View Post
Thanks for stopping by, Tom! Your article was the one I was originally referencing and I've read your non-co2 and hybrid method articles through twice or more. Both are very informative! I was so happy to discover a method that was middle-ground when it comes to growth and maintenance.

My regime is pretty close to 1/3 of EI. I'm trying to see if I can get away with just the regular recommend Excel dosing instead of 1.5-2x the amount. So far so good, but my tank is still young. I'll up it if needed.
Depends on the light, cooler temps will also aid in the usage of Excel/Glut and the growth of the plants, growth rates will slow down, so there's more time to develop and grow from the light/ferts/Glut.
07-25-2013 05:50 PM
lullafishi Thanks for stopping by, Tom! Your article was the one I was originally referencing and I've read your non-co2 and hybrid method articles through twice or more. Both are very informative! I was so happy to discover a method that was middle-ground when it comes to growth and maintenance.

My regime is pretty close to 1/3 of EI. I'm trying to see if I can get away with just the regular recommend Excel dosing instead of 1.5-2x the amount. So far so good, but my tank is still young. I'll up it if needed.
07-25-2013 04:48 PM
plantbrain http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...l-with-non-CO2

I've fused a few methods together over the years.

You can cut EI but 1/3 maybe 1/4 would be best and then do monthly water changes after your tank is going well after the 1st 1-2 months(weekly or 2x a week for that time frame.).

Pretty easy method.

But many love the gas........
07-25-2013 02:12 PM
lullafishi
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadRiverPat View Post
Hey lullafishi any update on your dosing regiment? I have a very similar set up with my 40 breeder and have been trying to decide how to dose dry ferts with excel. Have you had any success so far with the plants you're keeping?
I ended up using wet's calculator and selecting EI low light/weekly to get my dosing information. Here's what I've been doing:

Dose 1/2 teaspoon (or 2.469 g exactly) Potassium nitrate (KNO3) once a week
Dose 1/16 teaspoon (or 0.277 g exactly) Monopotassium phosphate (KH2PO4) once a week
Dose 1/2 teaspoon (or 3.374 g exactly) Potassium sulfate (K2SO4) once a week
Dose 1/10 teaspoon (or 0.463 g exactly) CSM+B once a week
50% weekly water change, going to start trying every other week
Dose the regular rec amount for Excel every other day during my mid-day light siesta

I had some minor staghorn algae and BBA problems a week or so ago, but I turned off my filter, spot dosed my regular Excel amount on the problem areas with a syringe, and let it sit for 20 minutes before turning the filter back on. The BBA and staghorn was growing on leaves that were leeching nutrients, so I trimmed those off and trimmed the old rotting roots that were the "root" of the problem. Haven't had any signs of algae since.

This dosing regime seems to be working well for my set-up. There are a few plants that aren't quite as happy (rotala macranda, but it's a high light plant and probably wants co2) but otherwise growth on just about all of them has been healthy and faster than I expected.

I do have a very low bioload right now... one guppy, snails, and two Amano shrimp. I'm not sure how adding fish is going to affect the balance in my set-up yet.

Hope that helps you out!
07-24-2013 08:57 PM
MadRiverPat Hey lullafishi any update on your dosing regiment? I have a very similar set up with my 40 breeder and have been trying to decide how to dose dry ferts with excel. Have you had any success so far with the plants you're keeping?
06-26-2013 02:54 PM
dzega i believe daily is better
06-25-2013 11:30 PM
lullafishi So I've been doing some more reading, and it seems like it's the general consensus that a non co2 tank can run on 1/4th of EI dosing if Excel is used. If I start out with this schedule, one to two times a week, should I be adding Excel daily? Or every other day?
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