Complete newb with fertilizers has questions.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
Calmia22
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Complete newb with fertilizers has questions.


Every time I come into this section of the forum I quickly leave. Everything I read confuses the hell out of me.

Looking at the sticky for dosing regimes it seems so simple but then I try to figure out a few parts and I am lost again so here it goes:

55g
high light
paintball co2 (hoping to go normal pressurized within the next few months)
Tank is going to be officially set up in another week or so. I got an awesome deal on a huge mix of plants which are all currently still in their pots, sitting in the 55 with the light on. Some have melted and come back others are flourishing, some look ok, and others like my java fern look absolutely horrible. Oh, and there are currently fish in the tank with the plants but there wont be next week.

So according the the dosing regimes here is what I would do:
40~60gal
50% H20 change-weekly
1/2 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
1/8 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
3/4 Tsp-GH booster once a week
10ml or 1/8Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
2-4ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week

I get the KN03 and KH2P04 but I have no idea what trace is or how much iron should be done: 10 or 13%.

Like I say I am a total newb at this and have really no idea what I am doing, all I know is that I would really like my plants to flourish and my fish not to die


I would also like to know how do you test to make sure that the fertilizers are just right? Do you just go purely off of algae? It seems like a lot of people mention some sort of test, but I am used to the basic API liquid test kits for your normal aquarium stuff.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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Go on e-bay or to your local head shop and buy a cheap digital scale ~$30 or so. Make sure it weighs to .00 (hundredths).

Then go here:

http://calc.petalphile.com/

You don't test to make sure your fertilizers are just right. That's the whole point of the EI, which I suspect you haven't educated yourself on yet. You should do some reading.

You don't say where your ferts are coming from - dry? Commercial stuff like Flourish etc? That would be important to know.

La Pine... Are you on a well? You may or may not need GH booster. Most water west of the Cascades is soft but still has enough calcium and magnesium to keep most fish and plants happy. I'm not sure what kind of terrain La Pine is to be honest. I lived in Ashland for a few years and the water there was medium hard. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you unless you have special circumstances.

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Old 05-13-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
Calmia22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
Go on e-bay or to your local head shop and buy a cheap digital scale ~$30 or so. Make sure it weighs to .00 (hundredths).

Then go here:

http://calc.petalphile.com/

You don't test to make sure your fertilizers are just right. That's the whole point of the EI, which I suspect you haven't educated yourself on yet. You should do some reading.

You don't say where your ferts are coming from - dry? Commercial stuff like Flourish etc? That would be important to know.

La Pine... Are you on a well? You may or may not need GH booster. Most water west of the Cascades is soft but still has enough calcium and magnesium to keep most fish and plants happy. I'm not sure what kind of terrain La Pine is to be honest. I lived in Ashland for a few years and the water there was medium hard. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you unless you have special circumstances.

Cheers
Sweet I will grab a scale.

I am going with dry and will be getting it in the power sellers section since there isn't anywhere near me to get fertilizers.

La Pine is generally harder water, but I know where the tank is going it will be on a well. I will check the water when I go there today. I know my plants are currently in soft water.

And yea i try to avoid anything to do with fertilizers as it just frustrates me, but I am to the point where I don't have a choice anymore.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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If you really want to avoid fertilizing, you can drop your light intensity down to low light. Then if you use substrate tabs, or have a fertile substrate you won't need to dose anything.

I wouldn't get the gram scale if it were me. The point of using the estimative index method is to make it simple, and use tiny measuring spoons. Or, you can put 16 doses of each of KNO3 and KH2PO4 into a 16 ounce bottle, add tap water, shake it up, and dose one ounce of that at a time. That makes the quantities of chemicals easy to measure with kitchen measuring spoons.
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