New Planted Tank Fertilizer Questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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New Planted Tank Fertilizer Questions

Hey Guys,

I have had aquariums for years and have decided to take the plunge and try my hand at a planted one. I am doing this in a 50 Gal aquarium with a pressurized CO2 system, utilizing a Milwaukee regulator, solenoid and bubble counter. I have an inline CO2 reactor and an API filterstar M canister filter and two 54W T5HO bulbs on the tank. I have a couple of questions in regards to proper dosing.

1. I have the following flourish products Complete, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and potassium. I know liquid ferts are a little more expensive and I found some really good suggestions on where to order dry ferts and I'm going to try my hand at that next. My question is can I get an idea of how much/when to dose them? Is it simple to just follow the directions on the bottles?

2. Is there a nutrient I'm missing? I know I need to dose the Macros (NPK) and micros/trace I;m thinking the complete covers the micros/trace.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Ohh and I only have a couple of Amazon swords and crypts in there right now with a Monte Carlo carpeting plant and a few bunches of twisted Vals.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 07:16 PM
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How densely planted is this 50 gallon? To save you a LOT of reading, this is basically the suggested way to dose fertilizers in a 50 gallon planted aquarium, using the EI method.

Quote:
From Tom Barr's Estimative Index "EI" Dosing routine

40-60 Gallon Aquariums
+/- 1/2 tsp KN03 (Potassium Nitrate) 3x a week
+/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 (Mono Potassium Phosphate) 3x a week
+/- 1/8 tsp K2SO4 (Potassium Sulfate) 3x a week
+/- 1/8 tsp CSM + B /Trace Elements 3x a week
50% weekly water change
dose the kn03, kh2p04, k2s04 on one day, then csm+b on the following day. Alternating each.

Start dosing small amounts, and slowly increase.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Right now not dense I just set it up and put a few plants in. It has the following:

2 Amazon Swords
2 Twisted Vals
2 Crypts
1 Large Bunch of Java Fern
1 Monte Carlo ground cover

I plan on adding a bunch of stem plants that are quick growing in the next week.

I saw that dosing for dry ferts and when my supply of wet runs out I will be buying those and creating my own.

I made my own 4 dkh solution an have a drop checker that seems to be reading nice and bright green so I think I'm getting enough CO2 and I've noticed a drop in PH so I think its reading correctly.

I have not read any ammonia or nitrite yet and couldn't find any janitorial grade ammonia here as of yet so I'm a little concerned that I'm limiting my plant growth with no nitrites.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 08:17 PM
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Sounds like you got it down. Follow the directions in the beginning at least. If your going with Seachem just dose the Flourish on the off days of dosing NPK for your micros and take one day off so your dosing pretty much 6 days a week.

Most important thing is make sure your changing water and dosing on a regular basis and your co2 to working . Also if your just starting up use about a 5 hour lighting period and gradually increase. This will help curtail algae. I always wait to I have everything running smoothly with good plant growth, etc before I add fish.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-2016, 11:10 PM
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Hi rstewart8,

Welcome to TPT!

What part of Canada? The reason I ask is the water on the west coast (aka Wet Coast) is typically very, very soft and you will want to add some Ca and Mg to the list of nutrients that need to be added.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Hey,

thanks everyone for the quick replies. I am in Southern Ontario about an hour south of Toronto just across the boarder from Buffalo, our water seems to be decently hard. I will monitor for Ca and Mg deficiencies.

Should I be looking to dose the flourish Iron as well?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi rstewart8,

Welcome to TPT!

What part of Canada? The reason I ask is the water on the west coast (aka Wet Coast) is typically very, very soft and you will want to add some Ca and Mg to the list of nutrients that need to be added.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 12:56 AM
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Hi rstewart8,

Seachem Flourish Comprehensive does contain iron however with your 2X54 watt lighting and CO2 your plants are going to want a lot of nutrients. If the area between the veins of the leaves turn yellow that is an indication that more iron is needed. I believe the plant guy in Canada sells a lot of the macro and micro ferts needed for aquatic plants.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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One more question while its on my mind. Should I take the carbon filter pad out of the filter? I've read it could be sucking up the nutrients I'm dosing.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 03:16 AM
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Hi rstewart8,

Yes, remove the carbon filtration. The only time I run carbon is if my fish have been sick and after they recover I want to remove any medications I have used. Otherwise I typically run poret foam, bio-balls and/or ceramic tubes as my filter media. If I have a build up of too much organic material I will use Purigen in the filter as well.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the helpful answers. I've done a couple of days of dosing and have noticed a lot of perling and some new growth from the plants. I've seen some brown spots on some of the existing leaves, I don't think they are algae spots so I'm not too concerned as of yet.

I have a friend who is getting rid of a PH controller and I'm wondering if it would be a good investment. My CO2 system has a solenoid already that I just have running off a timer. Would the PH controller be a good investment?
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 01:40 AM
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Hi rstewart8,

It would depend upon the brand, some are much better than others. Keep in mind that the probe may need to be replaced if it been dry for some time; also you will need calibration solutions.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi rstewart8,

It would depend upon the brand, some are much better than others. Keep in mind that the probe may need to be replaced if it been dry for some time; also you will need calibration solutions.
It is a Ista pH Controller and it is complete with calibration solutions and a brand new replacement probe. Just not sure if it is actually worht spendng the money on
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstewart8 View Post
It is a Ista pH Controller and it is complete with calibration solutions and a brand new replacement probe. Just not sure if it is actually worht spendng the money on
Honestly I would keep things simple. I never found a ph controller to be worth it. As Seattle mentioned you need to worry about calibration, etc. Just shut your co2 off at night.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 03:22 AM
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+1 for hoc's comment, also Ista is not necessary a premium product...save your money buy ferts and plants!

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-2016, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again guys.

I have yet another question. I've managed to get my drop checker a nice shade of green and my plants have been showing some new growth but I'm starting to see a lot of brown patches on the leaves of the crypts, swords and Java Fern. the tank is not yet a week old so I know its not cycled yet I'm wondering if these are Diatoms? and if they are whats the best course of action to remove them?
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