Nutients in soil vs water column
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
tylergvolk
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Nutients in soil vs water column


I have a 20L dirty tank with MGOCPM that is about 2-3 months broken in. My Annibus is starting to show signed of nutrient deficiency(yellowing leaves) because it is attached to a piece of wood and doesn't have access to the nutrient soil. I have never dosed this tank and nor do I want too. I already have some algae issues in this tank that I am trying to cure and I do not want another variable (fertilizers) in the mix. Dwarf Sag, HC, Fanwort, and Flame Moss are all doing very well in this setup.

I guess I'm wondering what I should do. Obviously, take it out and put it in another tank. Is there anything else I can really do for my Annibus which was also hit my BBA and trimmed some leaved off?
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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I maintain NO3 5-10, PO4 2-4ppm and with the soil base it ends up being only water change dosing.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
I maintain NO3 5-10, PO4 2-4ppm and with the soil base it ends up being only water change dosing.
Water change dosing just means the plants use nutrients that come in the tap correct?

My nitrates are at 0, and I do not have the equipment to test for phosphates. My nitrates are low probably due to my frequent water changes due to my attempt to keep the tank cleaner to get rid of algae.

I'm thinking I move the annibus out of this tank, then I suppose I would be okay by keeping all plant plants anchored in the soil.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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My Anubias plants grow long roots searching for the substrate and they mostly do end up contacting it. Could you move your plant lower down so the roots can be partly buried? It is just the rhizome that needs to be clear of substrate and maybe it would be happier further from the light anyway.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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My Anubias plants grow long roots searching for the substrate and they mostly do end up contacting it. Could you move your plant lower down so the roots can be partly buried? It is just the rhizome that needs to be clear of substrate and maybe it would be happier further from the light anyway.
My Annibus is doing exactly that. The roots are growing along the wood and down toward the substrate, but once it gets to the substrate it has 1" of cap before it finds the nutrient rich dirt. I wonder if it will ever make it.

Also, I take this piece of wood our during water changes. I'm not sure it will ever really have a chance to root well.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:28 PM   #6
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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
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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Dosing won't cause algae, but it will ensure that the plants have the best possible edge over the algae, so it might help. I ran a dirty for a year and never dosed. The algae dissappeared once there was enough plant mass (and a couple of ottos). I was not against dosing the water column. I understood that it was a good idea. It was just beyond me at the time. Now that I have gotten rid of the dirt I expect that am going to have to start dosing. I hope you don't mind the hijack, tyler but I think it is on the same track as your thread. I would appreciate any advice wkndracer or others might have. My substarte is gone but goldfish provide a lot of poop. Is there a chance I won't need to dose anything? I can't imagine these plants are going to get enough iron. I expect the plants are missing some thing but not others. Would a cap of flourish regular once a week be a good start?
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:40 AM   #8
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Lesson 1: Plant more densely.

Lesson 2: Get comfortable with ferts

I think if I can get these 2 down I'll be good to go. It's just recently I started dosing ferts for the first time with SeaChem line of ferts and I got an algae bloom. Now I'm just apprehensive about ferts and would rather not does in the dirt tank if I don't need too; however, I should get myself come dry ferts. Sounds like its the way to go.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:53 PM   #9
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You're buying a bunch of water ordering Flourish.
Total Nitrogen 0.07%
Available Phosphate ( P2O5) 0.01%
Soluble Potash 0.37%
Calcium (Ca) 0.14%
Magnesium (Mg) 0.11%
Sulfur (S) 0.2773%
Boron (B) 0.009%
Chlorine (Cl) 1.15%
Cobalt (Co) 0.0004%
Copper (Cu) 0.0001%
Iron (Fe) 0.32%
Manganese (Mn) 0.0118%
Molybdenum (Mo) 0.0009%
Sodium (Na) 0.13%
Zinc (Zn) 0.0007%
hhhhmmmm thats what? 2.6002% sooooo 97.3998% water in a pretty bottle.

Much better to buy Plantex CSM+B or Millers Microplex and add your own water,,, you do have water right? LOL

Regarding the goldfish question, dropped (missed) food and fish waste can provide macros (nitrate and phosphate) but adding trace and a baseline with each water change adds a known value. I don't overfeed enough to support the tanks, help maintain levels yes but not generate needed levels for good growth.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:32 PM   #10
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After I purchased flourish line found out that dry ferts are the way to go.
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Old 11-09-2012, 06:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylergvolk View Post
After I purchased flourish line found out that dry ferts are the way to go.
haha! yeah (sorry), I wasn't thinking about your thread but only the last 2 posts and gold fingers questions
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:15 PM   #12
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Amazing how a company can do such a thing. Soda is kind of the same way, mostly water. lol
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:00 AM   #13
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Nevermind! A 500 ml. bottle of actual fricken water can go for $3 here in canada. And we have billions of gallons of the stuff literally lying around or springing up out of the ground. The expensive stuff that some folks buy in the stores, like Flourish, also comes in a very nice bottle, mind you.

Anyway...I have read that a medium light tank with heavily fed fish probably won't run out of P and I know my N never drops below 5-10 ppm because I test it, so I should dose a baseline of K, iron and traces so that I know the plants will have no serious limiting defecits, right? And with low medium/no CO2 I don't have to do anywhere near EI levels, right?
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:10 AM   #14
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Wait. I can't dose K without dosing N, can I?
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:21 AM   #15
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You can! The usual bottles of plant fertilizer from pet stores are K+iron. Or use potassium sulfate, it is a dry powder sold by the same people that sell potassium nitrate and potassium phosphate.
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