How to measure/track micros? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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How to measure/track micros?

I am roughly following an EI dosing schedule. Because of fish load which contributes to nitrates and phosphates, I find I don't need to dose as much as EI would suggest.

However, I am completely lost with CSM+B. Should I dose micros "as if" I was normal dosing macros?

Is there a way to measure?

Tank trends towards algae... in the blink of an eye.. over 4-5 days it can go from nice to nasty.

Plants dont show any deficiencies besides green slimy film (BGA?) algae developing on any slow growing plants or wood.

Nitrate and phosphates measure 10:1 ratio, with Nitrates hovering around 20ppm. I also dose Equilibrium to any new water added to tank, 1/2tsp for every ten gallons. 30+ppm CO2.

I suspect tank has wayyy to many nutrients, but a lack of micros could be a factor. No way to measure.


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 04:09 PM
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 04:39 PM
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The problem right off the bat with bulk CSM+b is the fact we have no clue what the ratio of each product is that we are actually putting in the tank. Yes it tells you on the side of the container but the stuff is designed to be used by the pound not an 1/8th of tsp.

I'm guessing if you really wanted to find out what was in your water you could send a sample to your local lab and they can do a full report on your water.

Does any of this actually tell us how much the plant actually needs of each element and at what ratio? This is where EI comes in, supply an excess of everything so the plant has access to what it needs when it needs it. Do your 50% water change once a week and start all over again.

Everyone's tank is different, what works for me may not be enough for you. There are many factors to consider when estimating our tanks nutrient requirements and again the closest we will ever come to really knowing our tanks requirements is an estimate. Type of plants, fast growing stems or slow growing Crypts, high light or low light, what substrate you are using, all these things play a role in deciding how much to dose.

Anyone can throw a bunch of numbers at you and say dose x amount of this x amount that x amount of days per week. But to truly find out what works for your tank, you need to start to experiment. EI is not a bad start, if you are not happy with the results try raising or lowering (probably better) your dose for a 3 to 4 weeks, watch your plants see how they respond. Rinse and repeat this until you start to see positive changes. The key here is to make a change and wait long enough to see a response.

To throw another curve ball at you, start rolling your own micros, this way you are sure to know exactly what you are putting in your tank. Lots of people doing this and seeing positive results.
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Last edited by slipfinger; 11-16-2018 at 06:39 PM. Reason: edit
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 01:10 AM
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@MCFC has it about right.
All micros are measured by Fe as the indicator element.
Hanna checkers are like $49 @ most websites.

I've been "rolling my own" micros, but not in all of my tanks yet.
Some compounds I've purchased would last several lifetimes since so little is used.

I've not noticed an issue with CSM+B to date but I have always added an additional chelated Fe to my mix.

I've noticed your complaint of algae lately.
Possible sunlight or your new fixture, who knows for sure.
At times we all battle some form of algae, periodically I dose glut/Excel as an algaecide to get past some of the "rough" times.
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