Dosing Re-Learned - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Dosing Re-Learned

I am guilty of fading away from a firm dosing schedule, and my present planted tank shows it by growing lovely excessive amounts of thread algae, which I pull daily. Some days are better than others... The BBA isn't as bad as it was in previous tanks anyway.
Can you guys help direct me to a good place, thread,....to re-learn proper dosing?
I have excel,potassium,nitrate, and phosphate by Seachem.
I have Tropica, the mixed red solution.
Then I have dry ferts from Orlando, the K2SO4, the KH2PO4, and the CSM+B.
Am I missing something? Iron maybe? I think I traded it all away....
15 gallon tank, well established, good flow, current nova T-5's 2X24 watt-new bulbs.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 03:28 PM
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Dosing fertilizers is the easiest part of keeping a planted tank. Much harder is picking an appropriate lighting scheme. And, still harder is getting a good CO2 supply to the water. Those latter two are where you should start working if you are having algae problems. Once you get those under control, you can just visit the first sticky in this forum and find the easy answer to dosing fertilizers.

Of course, all of this is assuming that you do the important routine maintenance to keep the water, the tank, and the substrate clean, and keep the plants pruned appropriately.

EDIT: I notice you have a 15 gallon tank - that is a 12 inch high tank - with 2 T5HO bulbs lighting it. Unless you hang that light fixture about a foot above the top of the tank, nothing you can do will prevent algae problems. And, you didn't mention CO2 - even with the light fixture raised a foot, you will need good CO2 to avoid algae problems.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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I do not mind some algae..really, it's the excessive amount I cannot stand. I tried CO2, still have my set up. But my gobys were really suffering, so I went back to just excel which they seem to handle ok. Even the shrimp do not mind. They really do not make small fixtures with great bulbs for low light. I had a Coralife 2X 14 watt before. Something about those 14 watt bulbs just bites. The Coralife 30" fixtures are much better. Too bad they did not think that some people would want to get this fixture up off the tank too, not just the 4 bulb ones. Oh well..we do what we can. In my other thread you replied to, do you think I should just get the hang kit made for the other fixtures, or can I do something similar for much less?
Also, when you say"keep the substrate clean"...how does one go about that when using aquasoil amazonia, which just turns to mud if you disturb it too much? I am a constant plant picker, and do keep the water and filter clean..no problems there.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 10:30 PM
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Too much light as Hoppy said for your given goals, lots more management if you have lots of light.

If you want less work, less algae, less risk, more managed growth rates, less CO2 demand and fish stress, everything............points to using less light intensity. CO2 gas is not to be trifled with, it's a killer of fish when not used with great respect.

By using less light, you hedge things towards a lower CO2 ppm and thus more wiggle room dosing it without stress to livestock.

Using nutrients to slow plant growth is backwards.
The process of Growth starts with light, not nutrients.

You do not get to keep having high light and then poor CO2/nutrient fiddling etc and expect to have easier care. You create more hassle and work for yourself.

Not wise.


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Tom Barr




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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-06-2010, 10:31 PM
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I used 2x 15 W regular old FL's on a 15, plenty of light.
T5's? 1 bulb only.

More is way too much.


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Tom. I ordered a single bulb Coralife 10K T-5. Will that work? Seems a lot easier than trying to raise this fixture.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 02:46 PM
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The other option is to see if you can rewire the light and add another switch so each bulb has it's own dedicated switch.

Many light fixtures using T5's have this in Oz and also Europe, but not in the USA.

This allows you to use all the bulbs but in any no# of combinations.
For this goal, I'd just turn one bulb on and then right as it goes off, the other comes on, so you'd have the total of one bulb on at any one time for maybe 8-10 hours.

That would be fine.

I use the two most outer bulbs for lighting my tanks, I might on rare occasion, turn all of them on, but only after a water and dosing and when I know the tank is doing well etc and the CO2 is good etc.

But most of the time, just 1 bulb would be plenty for any needs.
I'm talking L pantanal, S belem, P stellata, any foreground weed, you name it, this is plenty of light for any plant species goal.

Also, with such a short tank, about 16" you do not WANT fast growth, because the time before a trim would be very fast and is harder to keep up on day to day on a smaller tank, or even worst on a nano. So you have fewer choices plant wise with such high light also.

It's hard pill to swallow, after spending the $$ on high light, to go back and use less. I'm in the same boat but made sure I can modify and use only part of my lighting. I have not used the HQI MH's for 2+ years now and I'm happier, much.

Even before, I only used them 1-2 hours.

Now everything is well under 2/w gal using PC or T5 and the lights are about 30-36" away from the tank bottom sediment.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your help. It's much appreciated. I absolutely love pantanel, and all of the wonderful plants, but refuse to kill another beautiful batch. It broke my heart when mine went from gorgeous to dead...same for erios, covered with algae. Now I am happy with various mosses, some tiny lilies, crypts, anubias, and a couple feathery stem plants. I have one super small slow growing sword, that is red. Works for this little tank.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 03:52 PM
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I actually have a 15g with the same light fixture and although I agree with most of the information given here I actually don't find that light that powerful. I'm not running co2 in the tank, but I am dosing excel and have AS. Could also be that when you laxed off on dosing you also did on maintenance as well. As I said lower light would help, but the maintenance and keeping the water clean off organics is probably another reason you didn't have more wiggle room especially with 2x24 t5ho.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Well I won't be selling it off, so I will play with the lights and see how it goes. I also still have my CO2, so it's still possible to use it if I want to try again at some point.
You could be right about laxing & I also had it a bit overstocked at one point, which is now a much more manageable number. I had a hard time giving up some favorites when I downsized.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterfaller1 View Post
Thanks for all of your help. It's much appreciated. I absolutely love pantanel, and all of the wonderful plants, but refuse to kill another beautiful batch. It broke my heart when mine went from gorgeous to dead...same for erios, covered with algae. Now I am happy with various mosses, some tiny lilies, crypts, anubias, and a couple feathery stem plants. I have one super small slow growing sword, that is red. Works for this little tank.
But...these plants I have.......and I use low light
They are very weedy, grow 3-4" a week.

Ferns, slower growers, much nicer to prune and deal with, always easy to sell and ship also.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterfaller1 View Post
Well I won't be selling it off, so I will play with the lights and see how it goes. I also still have my CO2, so it's still possible to use it if I want to try again at some point.
You could be right about laxing & I also had it a bit overstocked at one point, which is now a much more manageable number. I had a hard time giving up some favorites when I downsized.
Houseofcards brings up another good hybrid method, sediments + Excel.
With some decent bioload, this should be very easy to content with over time.

See non CO2 dosing methods also.
Excel will need about 3x that, and CO2 needs about 8-10X non CO2 rates.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by waterfaller1 View Post
Thank you Tom. I ordered a single bulb Coralife 10K T-5. Will that work? Seems a lot easier than trying to raise this fixture.
That fixture looks like it is a T5NO fixture. If so, it should give you low medium light, which should work.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Cool..thanks.
Tom, you grow that hot pink pantanal under low light? It is my absolute favorite plant I have ever had. Maybe it should be a goal...get a grip on this hobby and maybe try in the future...
This is one hobby where you guys really beat me, a woman. Seems this should be a woman's hobby but clearly we are far outnumbered. Is it because it gives you guys a chance to be in touch with your feminine sides?
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 10:15 PM
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I've seen some excellent aquarist who happen to be gals. Karen Randall and Diana Walstad come to mind pretty fast. Smarter than the guys in the plant hobby I've met

So.........

Here's the Tropica article.
Read it good, see how not adding CO2 at low light and adding it effect things.

Look at their conclusion.

http://www.tropica.com/article.asp?t...aristic&id=142

Regarding light:



You can see that under either CO2 or nutrient limitation stress, the ability of the plant to grow is reduced.

This is why using less light+ good non limiting nutrients(sediment and water column) and then focusing strongly on CO2 makes things much easier.

This lower light also slows the growth rates down and ina very stable easy to manage way, much easier than any other growth rates management tool we have.

Ole, Troels and myself complained about the hobby some here when they gave a talk, saying many hobbyist do not understand this basic tenant of how a plant grows.

How can anyone explain nutrients if they do not understand light and CO2?
Very hard. Maybe some got lucky and had a decent balance, or has a lot less PAR than they really do comparatively, or they had good CO2 at one point.
Many others are not so lucky.

But it should not be so much about luck or belief.



Regards,
Tom Barr




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