Using Dry Fertilizers
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
tribune1234
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Using Dry Fertilizers


I was looking for some advice on using dry fertilizers. Currently my tank set-up is a 29 gallon, 96w T5, and pressurized co2 with about 1-2 bps. Currently im just using flourish comp, K, and Iron, but it's not enough and I'm not seeing the results I would like to from my plants yet. But, my problem isn't following the EI method because I understand how it works and think it looks pretty easy. My problem is feeding my 8 African Dwarf frogs. I usually feed them at the least every other day and sometimes everyday depending upon how full their bellies look.

And to feed them, it requires me using food that usually dirties up the water, and has to sit on the bottom for awhile so they can scavenge for it. This cause me to have to do frequent water changes, almost every time after i feed them, therefore not allowing me to follow the EI method of doing a 50% water change at the end of the week. Usually when I do the water change to clean out the food, I take about 6 gallons out of my tank. I was thinking i could probably set up my feeding routine to do water changes every 2 days, possibly allowing me to does micro and macro on the separate days and then doing a small water change to reset the nutrient levels. If anybody has any advice on any methods that could work for sporadic water changes or a water change every couple of days I would really appreciate it. Thanks
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
Kathyy
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You can estimate how much is in your water using this calculator. You can put in as many water changes as you like and play with how much of what you want to add then see what the build up of nutrients might be depending on uptake.
http://calc.petalphile.com/

One reason dosing is done on alternate days is because iron can be bound by phosphate. Some find that acidic water doesn't support that reaction and some report that plants do just fine dosing the two a little apart instead of a whole day apart. Another reason is so absent minded people remember to dose and daily is easier to remember than every other day.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:36 AM   #3
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Changing 6 gallons of water in a 29 gallon is not really too much. I would go ahead and do the basic EI schedule and see if things go OK. Ignore the water changes. I mean do them as needed to keep the frog mess cleaned up, but pretend you are not as far as fertilizing goes.
If you find after a couple of weeks that the plants are still demanding a bit more fertilizer, then up the dosing just a bit.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:37 AM   #4
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ok so say I was using the basic dry fertilizer combo of kno3,k2so4,plantex, and kh2po4. As long as i gave the plants what they need daily it doesn't matter how many, or when I do my water changes just as long as I don't let to many nutrients build up? Because I was also under the impression the weekly water change helped keep the tank stable by doing everything the same instead of sporadic water changes.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:45 AM   #5
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That is the idea. Keep a good level of fertilizer in the tank, enough so you know the plants are not deficient in anything. The EI recipes are just a guide, a place to start. You can make any adjustment you want that suits you.

Another way you could do this:
When you are getting ready to do a water change to remove the uneaten food from the frogs add a small dose of fertilizer to the new water. Then you will be maintaining the EI levels.

Another way:
Dose the ferts in the AM, and feed the frogs in the PM. That way, when you do the water change (in the PM, right before lights out) the plants have had all day to use the higher level of fertilizers. Plants are not so active at night, and the next morning (when the plants are getting ready to use them) you are adding more ferts.

If you set up a schedule of
M-Macros
Tu-Micros, feed frogs messy food, 20% water change
W-Macros
Th-Micros, feed frogs messy food, 20% water change
F-Macros
Sa-Micros, feed frogs messy food, 20% water change
Su- no ferts, 50% water change

That sounds like a regular schedule to me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:55 AM   #6
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ahh... I see. Thanks for the advice. Do you think it would make a difference if I did the smaller water changes not on a pattern or do you suggest that I try and make it a habit to have them strictly every tu,th,sa?
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:59 AM   #7
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Last summer when missing a couple water changes caused BBA to go nuts in the tank I was doing 3x a week water changes, the water was sparkling and I had really happy fish. Of course *I* could see the BBA easier too........

As long as you have more or less matched the temperature and treat the water for chlorine or chloramine then water changes can be a really good thing.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:29 PM   #8
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I do not think you need to stick to a strict schedule, but it may help if you tend to be as disorganized as I am. My schedule varies wildly from day to day, so having a stricter schedule for my pets helps keep them healthy.

I organize the fish food and feed it in rotation so they get higher vs lower protein, algae based vs animal based foods and higher in the tank vs sinking foods in a rotation. That way if some fish do not like the food that day, they will probably eat the next day. Same idea with water changes. When I was following a schedule of large, frequent water changes I stuck to a schedule that rotated through all the tanks.
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