Flourish line dosing questions- Talked to Seachem 5/19/04
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:41 AM   #1
Dionaea
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Hello, all:

In my 20G, I have been using the Seachem line of Flourish products, and I just wanted some verification that I was doing it right. I am running a lot of light (96W quad), so I'm keeping my levels pretty high. Here are my Qs:

1) Flourish N says that only half of the available N is NO3, so I've been trying to keep my NO3 at 5ppm in the hopes that my usable N would be the equvalent of 10ppm. Is this right? I keep phosphates at about 1ppm and am aiming for a 10:1 N to P ratio.

2) The formula for doing Flourish N is 0.25vn=m, where v= volume of tank in gallons, n=desired nitrogen increase. Well, I've found that if, for "n," I use half of the desired nitrate increase, it seems to work. For example, I have roughly 15gal of water volume after you take the substrate into account, and my target is 5ppm NO3, so I use this formula: 0.25(15)(2.5)=9.375. So I dose 10mL of Flourish N after my water change, and, when I measure NO3, I get ~5ppm. This seems counter-intuitive. Could someone help explain my results?

2) I dose a half a cap of Flourish Fe every day. After dosing the levels are 1-2ppm. In the evening, levels of Fe are undetectable. Should I keep dosing daily since all of the ferrous iron seems to get consumed? There is some staghorn algae present, mostly on the E. tennellus 'narrow leaf,' but it is subsiding, I presume due to the stabilization of my N and P.

3) What is the consensus on dosing frequency? I plan on 2x/week for everything except Fe, which is daily. I have a reef tank that I dose Ca and Alkalinity solution to daily, so it's no preblem to dose the plant tank, too. I was curious how everyone felt about this.

Sorry for the long post. Thank you for your time and help!

James
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:25 PM   #2
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James, welcome to the Planted Tank!

1) Most power users here use the dry chemicals, KNO3 for supplying N. I am not familiar with the logic behind Flourish-N, but I think your logic of dosing to 5 ppm would be correct.

2) What test kit do you use? Have you checked the NO3 levels before adding? They might not be down to zero, you might still have 2.5 ppm in the water, plus the 2.5 ppm you are adding, resulting in 5 ppm?

2) Iron is difficult to measure, since it converts into other forms quickly. I suggest to dose according to the label, and observe your plants (and algae :P ) and adjust accordingly.

3) I like dosing 2x a week. To figure out how often you need to dose, measure N and P levels often. If you still have some left after 3 or 4 days, 2x a week is sufficient. With lots of plants and light and CO2, you might have to dose every other day to reduce fluctuations.

Do you add any potassium?
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Old 05-17-2004, 07:21 PM   #3
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I have a 18 gallon with 72 watts. You will find that using seachem KNO3 is not worth the money (you will go through it very fast).
http://www.gregwatson.com/
How long has this tank been running? IMO you are using to much iron. If you are using a substrate like flourite, it countains a lot of iron. My schedule right now is,
water change on sat,
dose sat, mon, wed
no3= 6ppm
phosphate=1 ppm
flourish=2 ml
tmg=7 ml
seachem iron=4 ml
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:34 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I'm not too worried about the cost yet, as I work for my LFS and get a considerable discount. I will probably switch to dry chems after this round, though. To me, it seemed like a lot of iron, but I haven't noticed any unwanted algae that hasn't gone away on it's own. About the kit, I use an AP kit, but have verified the results with a Salifert kit. Levels are most certainly unmeasurable before adding ferts. I use DI water mixed with Seachem Alkaline Buffer and Equilibrium, and do water changes on the order of 12gal/week. Not to mention, I am a fanatic tester and did numerous ones to get these results, both before and after adding anything. I dose the Flourish K according to directions since I have no kit. Here is some info about my tank.

20G High
Eco-Complete Substrate
5000K 96W Quad Coralife Aqualight (6700K bulb should be here tomorrow)
Ferts-
All Seachem: Flourish & Flourish Trace, Fe, N, P, K
10lb CO2 w/Blue Line Solenoid/Bubble Counter and Milwaukee pH controller
Filstar xP1

pH: 6.8
GH: 6 dGH
KH: 6 dKH
CO2: 28.5 ppm
Fe: 1-2 ppm
NO3: 5 ppm
PO4: 1 ppm
K: ? (no kit)

Thanks again.

James
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Old 05-18-2004, 05:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dionaea
Levels are most certainly unmeasurable before adding ferts.
With a very high light setup like yours, this could become a problem, I mean algae problems. When your out of something, they are just waiting for their turn to take over. You might want to dose more frequently!
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Old 05-18-2004, 05:33 AM   #6
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Flourish is good stuff, but, with your setup, you need to go to www.gregwatson.com and get you some plantex CSM+ and dry ferts for a little of no cost with far better results 8)

I use AP test kits also, among others with good success. they just keep you from shooting in the dark, your plants will tell ya what they need...
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Old 05-18-2004, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dionaea
Levels are most certainly unmeasurable before adding ferts.
With a very high light setup like yours, this could become a problem, I mean algae problems. When your out of something, they are just waiting for their turn to take over. You might want to dose more frequently!
lol. Sorry, I should have been more clear! I mean in the water change water. Not in the tank from day to day. That would be something! I tested buckets of tap and DI and experented with the dosings so I would know what I was really adding. That's how I devised that Flourish N formula where n=1/2 desired NO3. I used a 5 gal pail and the 1 mL syringe that came with the bottle and tested after each mL.

Thanks for the advice!
James
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Old 05-19-2004, 03:06 PM   #8
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How long has the tank been setup? I use to use Equilibrium but had some problems with stunting (Ca deficiencies). It might have been something else, but Equilibrium supplies a lot of K for the recommended dose (like 60ppm). I ended up mixing tap with R/O water to get what I wanted. Any pictures? How heavily is your tank planted?
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Old 05-19-2004, 04:58 PM   #9
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I just got off the phone with Rusty at Seachem. He told me that I should be dosing Flourish Iron everyday. His take was that alot of kits recommend 1.0-2.0ppm of iron because they are dealing with chelated iron, and 1-2ppm of that would last you a while. However, the recommended dose of Flourish Iron should put you at about 1/10th that level (0.1-0.2mg/L), and that all of the iron that you put in as Flourish Fe should be consumed in 24-48hrs. It's not like a chelate in that, if you test for it, and let it sit, the iron will eventually all break free and you will get a reading. You will never get a reading of Flourish Fe after about a day because it's gone. (I tried this myself a couple days ago; I let the test sit several hours, and no reading was returned). So, I said I was dosing 2.5mL/day in a 20gal and by afternoon was getting no Iron reading using the Seachem test, but I was getting one right after dosing. Rusty said that was fine and to keep dosing everyday.

HTH!
-James

PS- Rusty could not explain the fact I had to half my NO3 in the Flourish N formula to get the correct reading. He is sending me a new bottle to see if mine is skewed! Very cool.
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Old 05-19-2004, 06:10 PM   #10
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I dose iron every other day without issues. I'm dosing 5-10ml of flourish Fe every 2 days. This is in my 55g with 3.5wpg and pressurized co2. Plenty of others with high light/maintence tanks dose it daily.

Matt
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Old 05-19-2004, 06:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IUnknown
How long has the tank been setup? I use to use Equilibrium but had some problems with stunting (Ca deficiencies). It might have been something else, but Equilibrium supplies a lot of K for the recommended dose (like 60ppm). I ended up mixing tap with R/O water to get what I wanted. Any pictures? How heavily is your tank planted?
I'm not sure of the specifics, but I do know that they reformulated Equilibrium to include more Ca. See this post by Greg Morin of Seachem on the Aquarium Plants Digest:
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00649.html

The tank has been running a few weeks. Here's a pic.


The blank spot in the back is for some Mayaca fluviatilis and Micranthemum umbrosum that has yet to arrive from AquariumGarden.com. :x But I'll give Vic time to clear that up before I rant here about it!

Take care,
James
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Old 05-19-2004, 06:43 PM   #12
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What a great scape. The Red Temple and mix of rotala sp. looks great. Is that a crinium in the back left there? That bad boy will probably get huge if it is. Is that baby tears on the right side there?

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Old 05-19-2004, 07:18 PM   #13
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Thank you. The plant on the left is Crypt. balansae. I do love Crinums, though. On the right is Micran. micranthmoides.

-James
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Old 05-21-2004, 07:36 PM   #14
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Nice tank and good info. I've been wondering about Seachem Fe dosing as well. I was dosing 3x per week and cut back to 2x per week. Just the other day I was starting to think the tank wasn't looking quite as good as it was before, but wasn't sure if it was my imagination Now I think I'll go back to 3x a week and see what happens.
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