New to plants and need a lot of help - Page 4 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #46 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 05:08 PM
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I think you are correct about the number of drops is the reading. It seems to go along with what I read others posting about GH and KH values.
They should have a tables graph that can calculate x amount of GH plus Y amount of KH equals a sum of the two in PPM or TDS or somesuch.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #47 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 06:45 PM
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I think you are correct about the number of drops is the reading. It seems to go along with what I read others posting about GH and KH values.

If I am understanding the parameters correctly, it seems I'm in ok shape as far as plant and fish health goes.

KH - 4
GH - 6
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 20-40

I dose thrive 2x a week...well 1 time this week. <- This...was this wrong? Should I still do my second dose even though nitrates are getting close to, but still under, 40ppm right now?

Seeing as I will have thriveC soon, should I switch over to that to not add excessive nitrate?
You should aim for a weekly total of 30-40ppm NO3. So you can go ahead and skip the NO3 dose if fish waste + water source is supplying enough. No different than my tank, I supply 20ppm on top of residual NO3 directly after a water change, so my livestock never see <30ppm.

Yes, the kH and gH values are in check. One thing is the Ca:Mg ratio. For example, my tap water has a gH of 17 degrees (17 drops with the API liquid kit) BUT according to my water report 15+ degrees of the total 17 is Ca. I confirmed this with some diluted API reef Ca test solution. So, dispite having a gH of 17, I still needed to gH boost (Mg only) to achieve enough Ca and Mg.

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They should have a tables graph that can calculate x amount of GH plus Y amount of KH equals a sum of the two in PPM or TDS or somesuch.
They do, refer to post 43 : https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11154361-post43.html


# of drops = degrees of gH or kH.
ppm = Concentration of Ca+Mg (gH) and CO3 (kH)
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post #48 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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You guys rock! Thank you for all of the input Quagulater and GrampsGrunge.

For now I will stay the course.

If I notice NO3 going over 40ppm before my weekly water change,(as it probably would have been this week without a mid week 15ish gal change) should I make a switch to ThriveC? I don't want to create another imbalance/algae outbreak/deficient plant condition.
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post #49 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 08:00 PM
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You guys rock! Thank you for all of the input Quagulater and GrampsGrunge.

For now I will stay the course.

If I notice NO3 going over 40ppm before my weekly water change,(as it probably would have been this week without a mid week 15ish gal change) should I make a switch to ThriveC? I don't want to create another imbalance/algae outbreak/deficient plant condition.
Higher NO3 will not cause algae outbreaks, nor should it cause a deficiency.

If you are having high NO3 issues, I would switch to a fert program that allows independent NO3 dosing from the rest of the macro / secondary / micro nutrients.

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post #50 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Higher NO3 will not cause algae outbreaks, nor should it cause a deficiency.

If you are having high NO3 issues, I would switch to a fert program that allows independent NO3 dosing from the rest of the macro / secondary / micro nutrients.
I was afraid you would say something like this.
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post #51 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for clarification with thrive directions.

Thrive - 1 pump per 10 gallons, treats 2500 gallons

ThriveC - 1 pump per 5 gallons, treats 2500 gallons

I’m no math genius, but this math seems incorrect. Both bottle are the same volume. If a pump is the same volume from both, thrive C treats half as much water as thrive!?

So in making the switch to thrive C, 1 dose for a 55 gallon tank would be 11 pumps compared to just 5.5 pumps of thrive.
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post #52 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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That nitra-zorb pad my wife ordered. It seems to be doing it's thing, or plants are doing their thing. Maybe I should have waited longer to see the effects all the plants are having, but I wanted to try and avoid a mid week watcher change just because, ya know, life. I tested last night, as I wanted to fert this AM, and nitrates were right around 10. I will test again tonight.

Overall plants are doing well. I see why pleco's are a real pita with planted tanks...I re-plant so many stems everyday because of that fish. Once he goes to a bigger tank, probably within a year, I will add more plants to the tank that I have growing out in other tanks.

Red root floaters continue to grow out of control. Will have to toss some soon so light doesn't get blocked. Maybe I should RAOK some of these?
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post #53 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Biggles View Post
Looking for clarification with thrive directions.

Thrive - 1 pump per 10 gallons, treats 2500 gallons

ThriveC - 1 pump per 5 gallons, treats 2500 gallons

Iím no math genius, but this math seems incorrect. Both bottle are the same volume. If a pump is the same volume from both, thrive C treats half as much water as thrive!?

So in making the switch to thrive C, 1 dose for a 55 gallon tank would be 11 pumps compared to just 5.5 pumps of thrive.
ThriveC is created for a low tech tank in mind, with different concentrations of all the ingredients.
ThriveC | Premium Liquid Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics

Thrive is based of the EI system, so has higher concentrations of the compounds we are looking to use in the tank.
Thrive 500ml | Premium Liquid Fertilizer | NilocG Aquatics

Check out the site and it will give all the details and analysis.



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post #54 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Grobbins48,

Thanks for the reply. I read up on these before buying when they were recommended to me on this forum.

I am currently using Thrive but had been experiencing higher nitrates than I would have liked. I now also have ThriveC at my disposal. I got this because of the description as being for low tech tanks and tanks with higher levels of nitrates.

Now that a lot of plants and nitra-zorb have been added I am seeing pretty low nitrate levels, so I am sticking with Thrive for the time being.

I have a low tech, low/medium light tank. Which Thrive would you say is more appropriate for my scenario?

My question about dosing Thrive vs ThriveC was more or less to establish the fact that if I switched to ThriveC, the bottle would be used up at twice the rate of Thrive...which seems to be the case.
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post #55 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 10:34 PM
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Question for you.

Why are you so focused on the nitrate levels?

I've never, ever heard of someone using nitra-zorb in a planted tank.

Is there someone you are trying to emulate who keeps a successful planted tank keeping nitrates low?

I keep a heavily stocked tank and my N is never below 40......by design. Much like Quag said above. Why? Because after years of experimenting it results in healthier plants, which in turn means less algae.

And one more thing. When you ask for help, it's best to post pictures of the tank. I read this whole thread and I don't have any sense of what is going on in your tank or what your goals are?
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post #56 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Morning Greggz,

My focus on nitrates is fish health. And previously a misconception that it had a hand in my algae issue, Quag set me strait on that. I am originally a fish only keeper and new to plants. I am under the impression nitrates above 40ppm will negatively effect fish health.

No, not trying to emulate anyone, just trying to keep under 40ppm. Pretty sure I got this information from a book about freshwater fish basics some years ago.

Your tank is purposely never below 40 ppm nitrates. So doesn't that mean it gets to about 80ppm before your weekly water change, assuming you change about %50 weekly? That seems to go against what I have read for fish health. I'm here to learn and not claiming the literature I have read is the end all be all authority. Just letting you know what I have read so you know why I think what I do.

Ha, well, I don't want to post pictures of my tank. It is nothing like the works of art I see posted here. Kidding aside, I do have a series of pictures of the same plant to show what has happened over the past Month.
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post #57 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 01:27 PM
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No, our tanks do not see 80ppm NO3.

Our NO3 dosing plus fish waste contribute to the 40ppm after a water change.

40ppm x 50% water change = 20ppm

20ppm post water change + 20ppm NO3 from dosing = 40ppm.

Plant uptake NO3 = Fish contribution NO3 (in my tank anyway)

Tank NO3 equilibrium = 40ppm

Fish don't seem to care, I've had my rainbows and CPD's breed in my tank w/ high CO2, high NO3 etc.

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post #58 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the breakdown Quag.

Coming from fish only, nitrates were always increasing during the week. You guys have the balance down with your ferts, fish waste and plant uptake.

Quag, your last line, when you say high NO3, what ppm are you talking about?

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post #59 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 01:50 PM
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Thanks for the breakdown Quag.

Coming from fish only, nitrates were always increasing during the week. You guys have the balance down with your ferts, fish waste and plant uptake.

Quag, your last line, when you say high NO3, what ppm are you talking about?
Consistently in the 20-40ppm or slightly higher range of NO3. Never ever below 20ppm (unless I'm late on a WC and plants consume slightly more). Remember, dosing pure NO3 is a lot "cleaner" than biologically produced NO3 from fish waste and organic's decomposing.

It's not a "balance", its weekly 50-70% water changes that reduce NO3 down only to be dosed up to a certain concentration for max plant uptake (Not just NO3, but all nutrients we dose).

Just because there is a trace of NO3 in the water, does not mean that plants can utilize it. They can't "choose" which nutrient they want to uptake. If light + CO2 are driving fast growth, we need the 40ppm concentration of NO3 so the plant's N requirements are met for it's growth speed.

Make sense? Or no? I can try and re-word it if needed.
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post #60 of 82 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I tried to take the same picture over and over...starts on Dec 19th, ends Jan 5.
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