Parameter testing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Parameter testing

Hi, Im still fairly new to high tech planted tanks. I started one around this time last year thru this february and took a break, letting the tank do its own thing. Had pretty bad luck with BBA and Hair algae. Pretty awesome at growing hygros and stargrass with no ferts right now xD. Anyways, my question is as follows.

Can anyone clue me into a good source for testing your basic e.i ferts? Micros and macros. I was using the standard e.i. dosing 3x a week for a 60-80 gal on my 75 gallon aquarium and thought i had things under control. The only thing i could think is that maybe the new lighting alongside new filtration (inbalance in the bacterial column) was enough to set off the algae issues. I had let the new filter run with the old one for a month before removing it, and in hindsight probably removing a good portion of the bacterial column with it. Was running about 6-10 bps co2 inline btw.

Scratched my head from January until the end of February but i should have sought help back then. I would really love to get back into it. Have been researching and planning a new scape all this time, buying odds and ends here and there. Time consuming, expensive, but so satisfying seeing your work take life!!

Best regards and thanks in advance,
Jon.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 04:18 PM
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API's Master kit does a good job, I also purchased the GH, KH and PO4 kits by API. Get a test tube rack as well, knocking over the tubes gets annoying haha

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 04:24 PM
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I use nutrafin master test kit. Comes with hi/low ph, ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, calcium, iron, GH and KH.

Dan
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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API's Master kit does a good job, I also purchased the GH, KH and PO4 kits by API. Get a test tube rack as well, knocking over the tubes gets annoying haha
Thanks, i have the master kit as well and also purchased the phosphate and gh/kh testers. Do you have any idea of a way for testing potassium? Im thinking one of my major problems i have was the hygrophilia polysperma (a true weed) and possibly stargrass, were the potassium hogs. Wondering if i may have had excessive nutrients in the water column due to that possibility of tyhe others plants having a lower uptake primarily the rotala's and ar mini being more so stunted.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 04:35 PM
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Parameter testing

You really cannot test micros aside from iron test kits. You typically want to test nitrates and phosphate that are part of macros. This will show you if there is a build up of ferts. I also like to use a tds meter. Typically you test after a large water change what your tds is and once you see your tds rise about 100 it's typically a good idea to do a large wc. This tells you your water is building up ferts.

So what I do is test nitrates and phosphates. So if my nitrates and phosphates are already high enough on macro day I'll typically skip dosing macros and may dose potassium. And typically I would start at dosing half EI level and go from there.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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You really cannot test micros aside from iron test kits. You typically want to test nitrates and phosphate that are part of macros. This will show you if there is a build up of ferts. I also like to use a tds meter. Typically you test after a large water change what your tds is and once you see your tds rise about 100 it's typically a good idea to do a large wc. This tells you your water is building up ferts.

So what I do is test nitrates and phosphates. So if my nitrates and phosphates are already high enough on macro day I'll typically skip dosing macros and may dose potassium. And typically I would start at dosing half EI level and go from there.


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Thank you for the advice! Yeah, the only way i have come across being able to test each individual element is with a multiparameter photometer and those go easily for $400-500 bucks without any of the testing reagents included. What would you consider to be a high level of nitrate and phospate to give me an idea when using the API test kits? Never have used them to much, as until last year i only kept anubias and the occasional crypt. As i said before, still a noobie, but im a open book to ideas and criticism alike xD.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 05:29 PM
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Typically if the API test kit shows red which is 40+ppm and 4+ phosphate is when it's a good idea to do a water change. As long as the nitrate shows in the orange even dark orange then I am fine. Typically 10-30ppm of nitrate is a good level for a planted tank.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Typically if the API test kit shows red which is 40+ppm and 4+ phosphate is when it's a good idea to do a water change. As long as the nitrate shows in the orange even dark orange then I am fine. Typically 10-30ppm of nitrate is a good level for a planted tank.


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The largest problem with this is there are high phosphates in our tap water here. Rodi would be an option, but thats difficult with a 75 gallon aquarium. Would you suggest i look into ro water in the future if i still run into issues?

Bump: Just ordered a tds meter as well as a new master test kit. Purchased the Ubante brand tds off of amazon. noticed the kit was really old and out of date, have had it a few years...lol
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