How big is your tsp ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2004, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Question How big is your tsp ?

When dosing dry nutrients such as KNO3, how do you measure a "tsp" ?

When talking about liquid, measuring a tsp is easy. But when you guys say a tsp for a powder, do you mean it is supposed to have the same volume as if it was liquid ? Or do you put as much powder in the tsp as possible ? Or something in between ?

In other words, how do you guys measure dry nutrients ?

The Chuck's Planted Aquarium Calculator warns that measuring with tea spoons is not accurate. Does anybody here use a more reliable method ? Do you recommend I buy a balance to measure grams ? Where could I find them ?

The reason I am worried about measuring tsp is because I used that calculator (very nice btw) to add NO3 to my tank because my indicator (Red Sea) was marking zero (new tank - 46G, no fish at all). I added 10 tea-spoons of KNO3 in a 200ml stock solution. Chuck's Calculator tells that each ml of that solution would add 1.14ppm Nitrate in 40 galons of water (my estimated true water volume). I then added 5 ml of that solution in my tank. Next day I measured but Nitrate was still zero ! Then, to make sure the indicator was working, I measured the stock solution and it was saturated with Nitrate - as expected. Then I added more 5 ml of the solution to the tank. 30 min later the tank water still has zero Nitrates !

Anybody has any idea what's going on ? Is it possible the plants are absorbing nitrates that fast ?

C02 = 17ppm, 0.96bps
KH = 65ppm
PH = 6.8

As you can see I am totally confused now and even suspicious about how I should measure a tsp. I beg for any help as algaes are slowly starting to appear (fuzzy and thread) ...

Thanks,
makutaku
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2004, 08:12 AM
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The density of KNO3 = 1,145 g/ml and one tsp = 5ml, so you will get 5,725g/tsp.
It is a good idea to buy a set of spoons used for baking! I dont know how much a tsp. is in (gallons) but 5ml is actually a kind of standard here in Europe for 1 tsp.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2004, 08:40 AM
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Must be the test kit. A little difference on the teaspoon measurement won't affect your reading much.

Get a 1 gl jug of water and drop 5 drops of your KNO3 solution and shake it. Your test kit should read around 10ppm (rough estimate).

Anyway, the fuzz algae is not caused by nitrate. What else do you dose?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2004, 08:56 AM
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Your test kit is not working. Don't worry, many of us are finding Red Sea nitrate kits expire too quickly. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=10819 I've got two and they keep comming up at 0 ppms too. Otherwise I've used their other kits and they are fine.

Yep, measuring ferts by volume isn't the most accurate. It assumes when using Chucks claculator that your KNO3 is always 16.2g/tablespoon - which is close but probably off. If you really care buy a scale. I and some others use them. Ebay is the cheapest place as a really nice one like Ohaus is over $100. Usually you can find a Ohaus triple beam balance or a jewelers scale for $20-30, just make sure it has at least a 0.1g resolution.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-16-2004, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninoboy
Anyway, the fuzz algae is not caused by nitrate. What else do you dose?
Besides the KNO3 described above, the only thing that I added since I set up the tank 7 days ago was a little less than half a cup of flourish iron. I regret I did that, even though was less then the recommended dose from the bottle.

After I realized that possible mistake I changed 15% of the water. I'll do 50% water change tomorrow and buy some SAE's - but I need first to figure out how to dose Nitrates properly.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ninoboy
Must be the test kit. A little difference on the teaspoon measurement won't affect your reading much.

Get a 1 gl jug of water and drop 5 drops of your KNO3 solution and shake it. Your test kit should read around 10ppm (rough estimate).
I did the test and the test kit still reads zero ! For a very concentrated solution it reads +50ppm. It's either zero or +50ppm ! Man, what a bad and misleading Nitrate test kit this is ! I lost all confidence in Red Sea: the test kit expiration date is 12/20/2005. I do see precipitations in the reagent A.

What reliable nitrate kits would you recommend ? What are the options ?

Thanks guys for all of your help so far.

Regards,

makutaku
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 03:39 AM
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I use the Hagen NO3 test kit and have had no problems whatsoever... however others might be better to advise.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 04:36 AM
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Half a cup or half a CAP of Flourish Iron?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Half a cup or half a CAP of Flourish Iron?
Half a CAP. Sorry.

Initially I started to noticed some fuzzy algae on the front glass. Not so bad. A couple of days after dosing NO3 to 5ppm - being guided by the bad Red Sea test kit - thread algae appeared and started to grow exponentialy. That is really bad. Long threads, more brown than green.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-17-2004, 05:28 AM
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I use the cheap AP nitrate test kit. It's not the best but fit my purpose. The reading jump from 0-5-10-20 but that's good enough for me.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-19-2004, 04:07 PM
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I haven't had a lot of luck with my Hagen NO3 kit...the AP one seems more reliable.

I suggest plastic measuring spoons since they are inert and won't react with certain ferts like metal spoons would.
Also, to properly measure with a measuring spoon, you scoop up the powder, then use the back side of a knife to cleanly level off the top of the spoon. The capacity to the rim is 1 teaspoon, regardless of measuring solids or liquids...since it's a measure of volume it doesn't matter.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 12:10 AM
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I use this powder measure kit from Lee. They are around $6.00. They are designed to measure gun powder for re-loading. I brought them into work one day and measured each one with KN03 and K2S04 and made a chart. They are extremely repeatable.


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