Potassium Dosing Based On Nitrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Potassium Dosing Based On Nitrate?

I have been long confused on this relationship, I know if there are nitrates present in your water but you are still experiencing yellowing or not as lush green its lacking potassium. I have a very low bio-load in my tank so I use Seachem Nitrogen and Potassium supplements. Some weeks I am able to skip the nitrogen and other weeks it needs a little to maintain a base line. Regardless if it needs nitrogen or not I still add Potassium on my water change/maintenance day weekly.

Is there a consumption relationship between the two? Do you need one for the other to be consumed faster?

If I test mid-week and find 0ppm nitrate, should I instantly assume my potassium is 0ppm too?

I started to think about this more after I purchased KNO3 for another high-bio load experimental tank...it adds both nitrogen and potassium to the water. I am not sure what the radio of nitrogen-to-potassium is though, which would help me figure out how much potassium to add to my other tank each time the nitrogen nears 0. If the potassium is consumed faster than nitrogen than I need to be monitoring and adding potassium before I see my nitrate bottom out.

Thoughts?


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 07:20 PM
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For every 1 ppm of NO3, you have 0.63 ppm K from KNO3(per rotalabutterfly.com). If you dose KH2PO4 for you P and KNO3 for your N, you are getting plenty of K. I dose 3x/wk 10 ppm NO3 and 1 ppm PO4, which yields 6.72 ppm K simply from utilizing KNO3 and KH2PO4. I don't dose additional K at all.

The consumption relation between the two though, I'm not familiar. You can have a ton of K without having any real impact on N uptake. I know this from utilizing potassium bicarbonate previously to remineralize my RODI water. It added around 40 ppm K to my water when I upped KH to 3 degrees.

I would never skip doses, and I would keep your nitrogen at 10 ppm minimum. Your plants will appreciate you for that.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mgeorges View Post
For every 1 ppm of NO3, you have 0.63 ppm K from KNO3(per rotalabutterfly.com). If you dose KH2PO4 for you P and KNO3 for your N, you are getting plenty of K. I dose 3x/wk 10 ppm NO3 and 1 ppm PO4, which yields 6.72 ppm K simply from utilizing KNO3 and KH2PO4. I don't dose additional K at all.

The consumption relation between the two though, I'm not familiar. You can have a ton of K without having any real impact on N uptake. I know this from utilizing potassium bicarbonate previously to remineralize my RODI water. It added around 40 ppm K to my water when I upped KH to 3 degrees.

I would never skip doses, and I would keep your nitrogen at 10 ppm minimum. Your plants will appreciate you for that.
Seachem nitrogen is not kno3 only, adding 1ppm no3 via seachem nitrogen you will only get 0.25ppm no3.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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I forgot to clarify that my KNO3 is from GreenLeafAquariums not Seachem.

10ppm is the minimum plant threshold? I was trying to get by with 5ppm. The reason I skip doses is the fish produce more nitrate some weeks than others so based on that I skip the nitrogen and add just potassium.

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Originally Posted by nilocg View Post
Seachem nitrogen is not kno3 only, adding 1ppm no3 via seachem nitrogen you will only get 0.25ppm no3.
Sounds like I am only adding 25% nitrogen when I dose it, with 75% of it being potassium? I already dose Seachem potassium as well.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
I forgot to clarify that my KNO3 is from GreenLeafAquariums not Seachem.

10ppm is the minimum plant threshold? I was trying to get by with 5ppm. The reason I skip doses is the fish produce more nitrate some weeks than others so based on that I skip the nitrogen and add just potassium.



Sounds like I am only adding 25% nitrogen when I dose it, with 75% of it being potassium? I already dose Seachem potassium as well.
Sorry my bad, I missed the part about your using kno3. If that is the case than the previous amount noted by mgeorges is correct.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-18-2018, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
I forgot to clarify that my KNO3 is from GreenLeafAquariums not Seachem.

10ppm is the minimum plant threshold? I was trying to get by with 5ppm. The reason I skip doses is the fish produce more nitrate some weeks than others so based on that I skip the nitrogen and add just potassium..
My tanks are running at 20+ ppm minimum. End of week, before water change, they can be 40+ ppm NO3. I run CO2, I'm not sure if you do, but I still would keep NO3 at 10 ppm as a bare minimum, dosing consistently to make sure you don't fall below that.

I know the question was specific to K and N interaction, but I want to make sure that you're also dosing P and micros. A phosphate deficiency can cause yellowing and leaf death. Micros being short can cause all kinds of problems, but yellowing leaves can be a sign of iron deficiency as well.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't have even considered allowing my tanks to go above 20ppm, my algae stays very low when there is not an abundance of nitrogen. It is a scary line to play with though because my entire dwarf baby tears carpet could go up in a flash.

To answer the question on dosing other elements, I will let you do the ppm conversions as I am bad at that however I have a 16 gallon tank with enough displacement to have 12-14 gallons of actual water but we will use 16 gallons as our target. I do not use CO2 but I dose 1.5mL per day of Seachem Excel. Every weekend I dose Seachem Nitrogen only if needed, but I always dose 1.5mL of Flourish, 2mL of Potassium, and 1.5mL of Iron every weekend.

The KNO3 from GreenLeaf is the same thing as Seachem Nitrogen & Potassium together as far as I know, just not sure what they blended their ratio to. I thought I had read that plants consume nitrogen at 80% the rate of potassium...so in theory 10ppm of nitrate means you likely have 1-2ppm of potassium if they were dosed at the same time.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 04:03 PM
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KNO3 from any source is still KNO3.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
I have been long confused on this relationship, I know if there are nitrates present in your water but you are still experiencing yellowing or not as lush green its lacking potassium. I have a very low bio-load in my tank so I use Seachem Nitrogen and Potassium supplements. Some weeks I am able to skip the nitrogen and other weeks it needs a little to maintain a base line. Regardless if it needs nitrogen or not I still add Potassium on my water change/maintenance day weekly.

Is there a consumption relationship between the two? Do you need one for the other to be consumed faster?

If I test mid-week and find 0ppm nitrate, should I instantly assume my potassium is 0ppm too?

I started to think about this more after I purchased KNO3 for another high-bio load experimental tank...it adds both nitrogen and potassium to the water. I am not sure what the radio of nitrogen-to-potassium is though, which would help me figure out how much potassium to add to my other tank each time the nitrogen nears 0. If the potassium is consumed faster than nitrogen than I need to be monitoring and adding potassium before I see my nitrate bottom out.

Thoughts?
Yellowing of leaves or not as green,could be iron and or magnesium deficiency.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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I just read over the Seachem Nitrogen bottle it does say 1% nitrogen and 2% potash so this is a 1:2 ratio of nitrogen and potassium they just don't use the word potassium I guess?

The only magnesium I have is in the Flourish, I assume I dose enough iron.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 05:13 PM
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Be careful to correctly convert. Nitrogen is just the N, to figure out the nitrate(NO3) equivalent you need to multiply by 4.43. For most fertilizers Potassium (K) is reported as K2O equivalents. To convert from K2O to K multiply by 0.83 .

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Be careful to correctly convert. Nitrogen is just the N, to figure out the nitrate(NO3) equivalent you need to multiply by 4.43. For most fertilizers Potassium (K) is reported as K2O equivalents. To convert from K2O to K multiply by 0.83 .
Woa that adds a level of complexity. I kind of understand because I read that only some of Seachems "Nitrogen" has detectable nitrates in it and the other is non-detectable nitrogen so...do not add nitrogen until you reach a desired nitrate level or the nitrogen will be too high?


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