All this talk about dosing is really starting to scare me - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2004, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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All this talk about dosing is really starting to scare me

This talk about dosing is starting to sound so scary and complicated.
I didn't know I'd have to be a scientist to have a planted tank.
I'm not at all familiar with the abbreviations. And even if I were, how do you know how much of what you need?
Is every tank different? That would seem even more complicated.

Why can't a person just squirt in their favorite plant fertilizer and call it good? ...and be gentle.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2004, 05:44 AM
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It is actually quite simple. Plants need two things to grow: Light and Nutrients. Once you accept that, everything from there on is easy.

Start by reading articles (click on "Planted Links" to get to the articles section). Then read all you can on this forum and on other websites.

Once you come across things that you can't figure out on your own ask some questions. After you have used the excellent search capability of this forum.

Where is the fun in squirting some fertilizer into the tank? If that was the case, everyone would have planted tanks.


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2004, 01:34 PM
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Take a few minutes and read my Guide. It's all covered there.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2004, 05:20 PM
 
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It really depends on how much light you have. Low light tanks don't need much fertilization...and you can do the 'squirt some fert and forget about it' type dosing.

But in a high light tank, with CO2 injection, you've gotta know what's going on with each macro.
However once you get over the learning curve, it's easy...just have to devote a little time to maintenance.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-29-2004, 06:20 PM
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Check out this post for abbreviations...

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1580

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 01:26 AM
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I sympathize completely . I finally wrote all the abbreviations and the recommendations down and keep 'em by my computer. At least they're in one of these piles. I also seem to have some sort of a mental block for remembering this stuff; that KNO3 for instance is, well, whatever the heck it is and whatever it's used for. I'll have to find that paper ...

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseHawke
I sympathize completely . I finally wrote all the abbreviations and the recommendations down and keep 'em by my computer. At least they're in one of these piles. I also seem to have some sort of a mental block for remembering this stuff; that KNO3 for instance is, well, whatever the heck it is and whatever it's used for. I'll have to find that paper ...
Teehee, thank you Cindy. That helps me feel better. Misery enjoys company.

~Behold the Savior of mankind,
nailed to the shameful tree.
How vast the love that Him inclined,
to bleed and die for thee.~
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbels
Teehee, thank you Cindy. That helps me feel better. Misery enjoys company.
You're welcome ! What's really sad is that I'm also interested in pottery making (throwing on the wheel) and glazing and that's waaaaaay worse for chemicals and abbreviations and such.

My Phosphate and Nitrate test kits should be here from Big Al's in the next day or so and then I can get started figuring this stuff out. With 220 watts over a 55 just throwing the stuff is not an option unfortunately. I'm already getting hair algae and I've only had these lights for just a week.

Sláinte!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 05:05 PM
 
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Yep Cindy, 220watts over a 55g demands proper dosing (and CO2 injection)

There's a learning curve for all this high light/high tech planted tank stuff, but you will find the light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep researching.

(Oh and Cindy, KNO3 is Potassium Nitrate. I'm so glad I took chemistry back in high school)
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
Yep Cindy, 220watts over a 55g demands proper dosing (and CO2 injection)

There's a learning curve for all this high light/high tech planted tank stuff, but you will find the light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep researching.

(Oh and Cindy, KNO3 is Potassium Nitrate. I'm so glad I took chemistry back in high school)
I knew that (I found my paper .) I never had chemistry, and I suspect that it wouldn't have done much good anyway as High School was almost 30 years ago! I've come up with another question, after checking my KH this morning, but I'm going to ask it over in the Water Parameters category.

I've been here too long this morning I see this IS the water parameters category !

Sláinte!
Cindy



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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 05:29 PM
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Dosing is like quicksand, the more you struggle with it the more you sink.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Start by reading articles (click on "Planted Links" to get to the articles section). Then read all you can on this forum and on other websites.
I am pretty over the learning hump (well still learning but the tank is doing great) but reading those articles as good as they are still leaves newbie’s scratching their head after reading replies to posts.

There are so many references to Plantex for micro dosing but no mention of dosing amounts. With Plantex it is compounded due to the fact that you need to mix up a base solution first. What strength comes into question now. Flourish at least has this on the bottle. In fact I switched from Plantex to TMG because of the lack of dosing Plantex information “other than PMDD”. Sure would be nice if Chuck included this in his calculator.

Potassium dosing can also be very confusing for new folk. Dose to 20ppm articles say and go on to say that you don't need a test kit for potassium but after the first dosing what is left in the tank? Adding 20ppm with residual potassium yields a higher ppm. In my opinion there are still gray areas in these articles.

Then the out for the real knowledgeable folks is simply “just look and see what your plant needs”. Yea right. I believe they will be even more confused now.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 06:22 PM
 
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i dont do all that doseing crap.. i do 50/50 tap/RO every week, and my kh stays constant at 3, my ph stays at a constand 6.7.. 1 -2 bubbles per min.. no ph controller no bubble counter.. well Its me!! hehe. . my fish are all healty and colors are outstanding, plants pearl all day~.. and grow about an 1' a day~.. .. i'm gonna call it luck.. .... although i do add ferts into my refill bucket~(RO only).... no crazy out of hand alge's either... its kinda.. uumm "balanced"

i like high maint. women, and low maint. tanks~.. hehehe

chris..
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeItUp
Then the out for the real knowledgeable folks is simply “just look and see what your plant needs”. Yea right. I believe they will be even more confused now.
This is still the best way to do it. As for CSM+B, these are traces so you dont have to sweat it, no plant has their dials set to receive 20.045ppm of potassium or they'll hang up their boots, thats not how it works in nature. They do fine in a range, they will even do fine with very low levels for a while, then they will let you know they are not doing well, you can wait for that to happen and then dose or you can simply figure out their daily consumption of macros and dose accordingly. It can be done in a few easy steps, figure out the macro levels in your tank, dose to a target range, then test again 24hours later, you will know how much they are consuming/day, then dose to replenish that amount. Tom Barr says that he has high levels of macros BUT no algae, that reveals a very important point. Algae have evolved for millions of years, they have survived and are ubiquitous. At high levels of macros, both plants and algae do well, both are equipped to make use of the nutrients, however, algae populations are kept in check by what I think to be competition among algae themselves. At low levels of nutrients, algae populations are replaced by those that can survive and have evolved to adapt to the situation. Most plants on the other hand will go downhill, so you begin to notice not only dying plants but also elevated levels of algae.
You cannot win against algae, they will always be present (unless you go to great levels of physically destroying every single spore and trace of algae in your tank, the water you use for topping off or for water changes and sterlizing the very air that flows above your tank), you can try and control their numbers by balancing the tank, and while you are at it might as well try to grow your plants so they are healthy, that way they will draw your attention not mounds of algae. With weekly water changes, you not only reset your tank but you also scrub/pickout/remove visible traces of algae, it all works to controll algae but not eradicate it, you cant eradicate algae. A lot of it is still fuzzy but who really understands nature?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 01:43 AM
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Hi, Barbels,

I'm sorry for this late post but maybe it will be of help.

I have been growing aquatic plants for a long time and I don't dose anything.

If one has high light (generally more than 2 watts per gallon), one needs to add CO2 and plant fertilizers. On the other hand, if one doesn't, one doesn't. See? <g>

Postings to aquantic plant forums tend to be oriented to the high light approach, because of the superior results that can be obtained from it. Plus, I think, more interesting issues (and problems) arise from its use. With a low light approach, one just plants and watches. Well, there might be a little more to it than that, but you get the idea.

Diane Walstad wrote a great book about "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" which goes into the low light approach in great detail. It is readily available on line.

In your future posts you might consider mentioning that you are interested in a low light set-up (if you are.) The responses that you receive will be more focused in that direction.

Good luck!

Bill
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