Got ahead of myself
So I got excited the other day and bought Micro and Macro from GLA. I didn't really look into how much to put in of each one. So I haven't done anything yet, but looking into dosing I tested my water.
GH 9 drops on my API test kit
KH 1 drop on my API test kit
I don't know what effect my Nitrates have on my ferts, and I don't understand the difference between GH KH. Could I be doing the test wrong? It seems like a pretty simple test.
Also do I even have enough light to use Micro/Macro?
GH is general hardness. This is predominantly contributed to by two cationic species, magnesium and calcium.
KH is carbonate hardness and is predominantly contributed to by the bicarbonate anion.
They are measures of two different things in the aquarium. GH is how "hard" your water is (hard vs. soft is a human conception). KH is a measure of how much buffering capacity your water has (against changes in pH).
The lighting is the same as in my sig. I'm thinking about taking out the colormax bulb and putting in another 6500. I'm not sure why I'm getting good growth and my DIY CO2 has done ok.
I haven't noticed any deficiencies in any of my plants. I'm starting another tank after Christmas and I'm planning on making this a high-tech big headache tank.
I just hear everyone talking about ferts and wasteing money on liquid ferts that I bought it without doing my homework or even seeing if I needed it.
What is the source of nitrates?
Tap water? May or may not have any other nutrients. I would dose P, K, and micros.
Fish food? Usually has a fair amount of P and Micros, but is usually lacking Fe and K, so I would dose those 2, and perhaps low doses of P and Micros.
Watch what happens to the NO3 when you start dosing. MAYBE the plants are growing OK, but will grow better when you feed them something that might be lacking, then the plants will start removing the NO3 faster.
GH so high suggests there is plenty of Ca and Mg, so do not dose any form of GH booster. On the other hand, the GH test is one of the first to fail. Is it taking more drops to turn color because it is getting old?
KH is carbonates. Carbonates are used by some plants, but only when CO2 is too low. Carbonates are used by the nitrifying bacteria. I would dose a little bit of carbonates (baking soda or potassium bicarbonate) to get the KH perhaps to 2 degrees, and test to be sure it does not drop to 0. 1-2 degrees is fine, but sometimes problems happen if it is allowed to drop to 0 degrees. Some substrates will remove carbonates from the water. Dosing to counteract that is a good idea.
Do you have any substrate fertilizers such as tablets? Gravel will not hold fertilizers like a substrate with good cationic exchange capacity.
What I would do now:
Practice with the fertilizers, get used to dosing at a low level. See how the plants respond.
After Christmas, when you are ready to make this a higher tech tank get a better substrate and you will have the fertilizers and CO2 ready to go.
As for the light, I would generally prefer to have more than one color of bulb. That way, each offering different wavelengths the plants have what they want (hopefully) and the tank looks right by our eyes.
The nitrates are not coming from the tap. I'm pretty sure I was overfeeding. I bought the green fert pack from GLA
◦Plantex CSM + B
•Macros - ◦Potassium Nitrate (KNO3)
◦Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4)
◦Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4)
I don't know much about the chemistry of all of these yet, but I'm picking it up. None of these are a GH booster right? The GH test is not old, I may take a sample to my LFS just to check against my test.
I have just plain gravel with API root tabs. I already have AS for the next tank, I'm not going to change the other bulb since someone said it wouldn't make that big of a difference.
Thanks for the help! The search feature can make my head spin.
I believe GH booster consists of (is a mixture of) magnesium sulfate, calcium sulfate and potassium sulfate.
So no, you do not have GH booster.
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