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Old 06-19-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
Nightspell
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Forgive my ignorance


Alright, so I once again feel a chimp among scientists... I have a 37 gallon (tall) with a Finnex Ray 2 (22" above substrate), with a newly integrated CO2 system, a new planting of HC in Flourinte and I'm trying to figure out what else I need to avoid complete failure. I'm looking to buy a drop checker from GLA but I don't know what kind of reference solution (I'm assuming 4 dkh?) and I'm completely new to fertilizers. I don't know what I need, but I know I need it soon. I've been browsing this forum for weeks and I think my brain is shrinking as a result. If anyone can recommend to me wtf it is I need, I would be forever grateful. I'm getting pretty overwhelmed with the fertilizer aspect of it all. God help me because I know nature won't.

Any and all guidance would be very much appreicated. My thanks and apologies in advance...
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:39 AM   #2
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Check out nilocg's WTS thread. He has the cheapest fertilizers on the web and he also has pre- mixed packages. I am sure he can walk you through the process and make your brain swell up again

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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PM sent to nilocg begging for his wisdom and recommendations. Thank you OVT!
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
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4dkh is right about the drop checker, plus a few drops of the pH test solution from an API test kit (the "low pH" one).
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:19 PM   #5
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Fertilizers go like this...

NPK - (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) These are your 3 Macro fertilizers

Micro Fertilizers consist of Iron, Manganese, Calcium, Zinc, etc....

You can see micro fertilizer analysis here

http://aquariumfertilizer.com/index....ShowItemStart=


Yes 4 dkh is drop checker solution....



Live aquarium plants need both Macro, and Micro fertilizer nutrients in order to grow, and stay healthy. Because you're new to fertilizers I recommend starting with liquid solutions from the SeaChem Flourish line of planted tank products, and once you get used to dealing with nutrients and fertilizers then you can make the switch to dry fertilizers.

If you feel like you don't want to waste your time with liquid fertilizers, and wish to get right into dry fertilizers then I recommend buying dry fertilizers here

http://aquariumfertilizer.com/index....ditU=1&Regit=2



And then using a fertilizer calculator like this one here, and it'll give you how much and how often you should be dosing the fertilizers.

http://calc.petalphile.com/



I suggest getting a gram/micro-gram/ounce digital calculator so you can measure out the exact amount of fertilizers you tank needs, then you can see a EI dosing regime here...

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=21944




I would suggest learning the element ID of each fertilizer.... Like Potassium Nitrate is KNO3, Iron is Fe. and so on...
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
I've been browsing this forum for weeks and I think my brain is shrinking as a result.
i feel your pain. definitely get up with nilocg. tons of threads on here about his good ferts. i just received on saturday and just doing the EI dosing of his (not pre-mixed). only 4 days in and i see drastic improvements.

i'm really at a loss so far with the water parameters besides EI dosing is nuking the plants nicely and at the end of the week you drain 50% and start over. really can't go wrong there.

gotta say it again, i have observed drastic improvements with my plants. start with EI, the rest will fall into place later.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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STOP WHERE YOU ARE

lets simplify

fertilizing is EASY for the beginner if you can follow the EI dosing regimen.
there is a link at the top of the fertilizer section on how to do it
GLA has a starter kit that will provide the neccessary ferts to do EI

it takes out ALL the guesswork and supplies plants with more than enough nutrients to grow under perfect conditions. it does NOT supply too many nutrients that could cause harm to fauna, some delicate shrimp aside.

co2 is the HARDEST part of this hobby. fertilizer should become a mindless routine after a few weeks. and its so simple because it does NOT cause problems.. co2 does, and again is the hardest to master

Co2 as a reference point should be injected until some of the faster growing plants start pearling visibly. on the first few leaves of growth.. this will likely happen on the underside where the tissue is soft ad oxygen is transported out easier. this response should happen within about 1-2 hours of co2 on and should be continuous throughout the day.. if its not continuous, you don't have enough co2

watch fish while adjusting co2 as it can be dangerous to them
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:10 PM   #8
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CO2 gets confusing.. you can have different safe ppm's depending on the pH and kH of the water.

Drop checkers are neat but not really accurate. I'd suggest testing your pH and kH and referring to a chart...like this one. Generally 35ppm is the sweet spot.

Hope I don't start a debate here.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocological View Post
CO2 gets confusing.. you can have different safe ppm's depending on the pH and kH of the water.

Drop checkers are neat but not really accurate. I'd suggest testing your pH and kH and referring to a chart...like this one. Generally 35ppm is the sweet spot.

Hope I don't start a debate here.
there is no debate
the ph/ kh chart is only good if your water KH is all carbonate alkalinity and not anything else, and that the ph is not affected by any other substance other than carbonic acid from co2

kh, and ph do not play a role in safe co2 levels. in terms of my kh is 5 and ph 7. so i can only inject 40 ppm of co2... it doesn't work that way

my kh is 3 and my tap ph is 7.8 i've dropped my ph all the way to 6.5 with it like that and now i use aquasoil and my kh is 2 and my average tank ph is 6.8 and i drop down to 5.4 with co2 on. that's a 1.4 drop in ph due to co2... fish are still alive and kicking.
and according to that chart, my co2 should be well over 90 ppm...
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:39 PM   #10
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Excellent info guys, thanks a ton. I had read that EI method post but was a little weary; I was unsure if saturating the water with excess chemicals and stuff might harm my fish; I guess that's not the case though. Appreciate the help folks!
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:40 PM   #11
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Which would be better? Referring to pH charts or a drop checker?
At least for the newbie.. which I still am.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocological View Post
Which would be better? Referring to pH charts or a drop checker?
At least for the newbie.. which I still am.
drop checker.. its slow, but will provide an easy to see reference point

once ur familiar,, and kh/chart with known values and a proper ph probe go a long way
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightspell View Post
Alright, so I once again feel a chimp among scientists... I have a 37 gallon (tall) with a Finnex Ray 2 (22" above substrate), with a newly integrated CO2 system, a new planting of HC in Flourinte and I'm trying to figure out what else I need to avoid complete failure. I'm looking to buy a drop checker from GLA but I don't know what kind of reference solution (I'm assuming 4 dkh?) and I'm completely new to fertilizers. I don't know what I need, but I know I need it soon. I've been browsing this forum for weeks and I think my brain is shrinking as a result. If anyone can recommend to me wtf it is I need, I would be forever grateful. I'm getting pretty overwhelmed with the fertilizer aspect of it all. God help me because I know nature won't.

Any and all guidance would be very much appreicated. My thanks and apologies in advance...
How is your HC fairing? I also have a 37 gallon tank, I was thinking of getting a Finnex Ray 2 as well. Or even two. I'm currently using PC lighting and I think I need more lighting for foregrown plants... I've tried HC and it just melted away.

(I also have Flourite)
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:02 AM   #14
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How is your HC fairing? I also have a 37 gallon tank, I was thinking of getting a Finnex Ray 2 as well. Or even two. I'm currently using PC lighting and I think I need more lighting for foregrown plants... I've tried HC and it just melted away.

(I also have Flourite)
Too early to say, it's only been planted for about 4 days. I'm currently content that it's not all bunched up around my intake screen. It's certainly not pearling or anything, but it is still green so I guess that's a good sign. I'm still wondering if the Ray2 will be sufficient light being so high; a good 20" off the floor or so, and with glass lid on tank. Not sure if I'm going to keep the lid on, and I'm considering an additional light, possibly a Fuge or another Ray. Plenty of algae growing on glass at the bottom, perhaps a good sign some light is making it's way down. Anxious to start the fert schedule, really want the HC to take hold...
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:50 AM   #15
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If you have a 30 inch long Ray2 light, you should have about 40 PAR, which is low medium light. With that I would certainly use CO2 and, since you don't really need to use the maximum amount of CO2 that the fish will tolerate, I would just adjust it so the drop checker is green, then concentrate on keeping it the same every day when the lights are on. While working on the CO2, just dose per http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=21944 maybe reducing the dosages in the table by 50%, but no lower than that. That way you can be sure you don't have any nutrient deficiency, so you can just concentrate on the CO2.
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