Dgh vs DKH, vs Mg vs Ca I am struggling - help - The Planted Tank Forum
 21Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Jcricket's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 105
Dgh vs DKH, vs Mg vs Ca I am struggling - help

Hey Folks,
The more I read the less I know. or so it seems. I am reading 1-2 hours a day right now trying to get my head wrapped around fertilizers and water parameters. It seems there is a lot of conflict on target levels. I guess that makes sense since aquariums can vary greatly with lighting, plant load, bio load, etc. But I am a newbie just trying to get my feet on the ground.

So few simple questions.
Ca and Mg - what is the correct way to test for these? I have read several threads denouncing the hardness test. Is it necessary to test for these? Specific test kits needed?
Nitrogen - tested via a nitrate test kit?
I have a phosphorous test kit.
I am looking for a potassium test kit.
Sulfer - test kit needed?
What do you think my target range should be for each of the above?

I am reading, and re-reading the PPS web page as my main source of info right now. I think I am going to use this as a fertilizing program. My tank is a 75 and will have a moderate to heavy plant load, some fish. My lighting is currently 4 bulbs t5ho 54 watt( two separate fixtures so it can be cut in half easily if needed)
Thanks in advance

EDIT: I have a CO2 injection system on it way. It should be here by the end of he week. That will be added then.
Jcricket is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:38 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Maryland Guppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (15/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arnold
Posts: 3,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
Hey Folks,
It seems there is a lot of conflict on target levels.

Ca and Mg - what is the correct way to test for these? I have read several threads denouncing the hardness test. Is it necessary to test for these? Specific test kits needed?
Nitrogen - tested via a nitrate test kit?
I have a phosphorous test kit.
I am looking for a potassium test kit.
Sulfer - test kit needed?
What do you think my target range should be for each of the above?

My lighting is currently 4 bulbs t5ho 54 watt( two separate fixtures so it can be cut in half easily if needed)

EDIT: I have a CO2 injection system on it way. It should be here by the end of he week. That will be added then.
Use EI method to target fertilzers.
NilocG.com for dry compounds, recipe on Colin's site also.

GH will tell you amounts of Ca & Mg

KH is a measurement of alkalinity, this is kind of like saying how easily will your pH change.

Test kits
NO3 = yes
SO4 = no
K = no
You could add a cheap pH & TDS pen to your arsenal.

4 - T5HO will require CO2 on a 75G.
Target @ least a 1.0 drop in pH before lights on.
Run a moderate photo period of 6-7 hours, don't get greedy.

Check out Dennis Wong's website too!
Greggz and diverjoe like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Growing is not that difficult.
Maryland Guppy is offline  
post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:44 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
MCFC's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 794
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
Ca and Mg - what is the correct way to test for these? I have read several threads denouncing the hardness test. Is it necessary to test for these? Specific test kits needed?
API KH and GH tests work well for carbonate hardness and general hardness. For most hobbyists this is good enough.

If you want specific Ca and Mg number then get the Salifert Ca test and use that value subtracted from your GH test result to get your Mg number. Lots of posts/threads available on how to do the conversion math.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
Nitrogen - tested via a nitrate test kit?
Get the Salifert NO3 test. The API test is complete garbage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
I am looking for a potassium test kit.
Sulfer - test kit needed?
Neither are needed. I don't know a single hobbyist who tests for either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
What do you think my target range should be for each of the above?

I am reading, and re-reading the PPS web page as my main source of info right now.
These two go hand-in-hand. Target ranges can vary widely depending on your goals and the system you use for guidance. I use EI, so can't help much with PPS targets. I'm pretty sure @Edward is the one who created PPS, so I imagine he can offer more assistance there

Blue Moon Rising!!!

My Journal -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
(Retired)
MCFC is offline  
 
post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:52 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Maryland Guppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (15/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arnold
Posts: 3,690
PPS or EI, don't get hung up on it.

With a heavy plant load you'll dose enough PPS to pretty much equal EI.
Both methods use the same compounds.

PPS is a lower dosing,no water change method.
EI is based on a 50% weekly water change.
There is a place where these two methods can meet in the middle.

If you are going to run all 4 lamps start with a lot of plants.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Growing is not that difficult.
Maryland Guppy is offline  
post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 03:53 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 5,036
In the pics in your journal, it looks like primarily low light low tech plants. Any amount of T5HO with reflectors is a lot of light for those plants.

So if you keep things the way they are, you might consider running two bulbs and maybe even removing the reflectors. Those plants also need far fewer ferts than fast growing high light showy stems.

Part of the equation is figuring out what your goals are, then matching lighting/CO2/ferts to those goals.

In general, the needs of low tech low light slow growing plants is VERY different from a tank full of stems.
ReeferRob likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Greggz is offline  
post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Jcricket's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
In the pics in your journal, it looks like primarily low light low tech plants. Any amount of T5HO with reflectors is a lot of light for those plants.

So if you keep things the way they are, you might consider running two bulbs and maybe even removing the reflectors. Those plants also need far fewer ferts than fast growing high light showy stems.

Part of the equation is figuring out what your goals are, then matching lighting/CO2/ferts to those goals.

In general, the needs of low tech low light slow growing plants is VERY different from a tank full of stems.
I was wondering about this. What I have is pretty much been what I could find at the local fish shops. What happens if I overdose low tech/low light plants with ferts and light? I think best start practice would be for me to cut the light in half(one fixture for now) and run it a bit longer. Maybe 8-12 hours a day?

As to goals, I am not even sure how to set them. My current goal is to get a planted tank that grows well without algea. Once I accomplish that I think I might have enough smarts to start working on more difficult stuff.
Greggz and Maryland Guppy like this.
Jcricket is offline  
post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 04:33 PM
Captain
 
Immortal1's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Iowa
Posts: 3,413
Well, IMHO if you overdose low tech/low light plants with ferts there is basically a lot of left over food. Now, if you over dose light there is a lot of left over "energy". With all that energy and all that left over food, somebody has to clean things up. Hello algae.

So, as you already stated, 1 fixture and a reasonable amount of ferts (food) should work nicely for your tank. As your demand for food increases (more plants / faste growing plants) your demand for light will also increase. Kinda a funny balancing game that there is no correct answer for.
diverjoe likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- GreggZ Tank Parameters
Immortal1 is offline  
post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-23-2018, 04:57 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 5,036
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
I think best start practice would be for me to cut the light in half(one fixture for now) and run it a bit longer. Maybe 8-12 hours a day?
If it were me, I would remove the reflectors, run two bulbs, and nothing longer than 8 hours to start with, maybe less. At first, better to err on too little than too much light.

Again, basing that on the plants I saw in your journal, and my own personal experience with low light plants. They need far less light than you would think.

Good luck and look forward to seeing how things go.
Immortal1 likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Greggz is offline  
post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 03:03 AM
Algae Grower
 
diverjoe's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 131
Over the last year or so I have been going through the same worries and uncertainty. It sounds like you are a ďdo the right thingĒ kind of person. We would have that in common. I too have a 75 gallon tank with all the trimmings. Yet, just a week ago I had to resort to a 1-2 punch to re-take my tank from all the strings and bushes that literally covered my whole tank. I say this to warn you ahead of time that this hobby really isnít an exact science and all the good folks who have posted already have all given you great advice. Listen to them and you will have some great successes. But....I hope it isnít he case for you but this is an actually jungle you are creating with all the elements as perfect as you can possible get them. That jungle wants to go wild. That is what it does. So donít be disheartened and give up the first time you sit and stare at the ugly mess and wonder how it could have gone south so quickly. Accept nature and just be patient. Watch how things change over time. It in the end will be your friend. I wish all the best for you!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Jcricket likes this.

No Guilt in Life...
No Fear in Death!!!
diverjoe is offline  
post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Jcricket's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 105
I disconnected on of the light fixtures. Part of the co2 system is here. Still missing the tank and regulator.

Since I am running basically low tech plants with moderate light, how much co2 do you folks think I need? Any? What would you do?

As to fertilizing, I am reading the PPS as stated earlier, but for now I am using sea chem flourish. Dosing twice per week as stated on the bottle. My tests showed the slightest trace of ammonia on Monday, and then gone. No nitrites to be seen??????????????????

I'll keep on watching. In about 10 days I am hoping to ad the first fish,likely to be an angel.
Greggz likes this.
Jcricket is offline  
post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 12:59 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Greggz's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Novi, MI
Posts: 5,036
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
I disconnected on of the light fixtures. Part of the co2 system is here. Still missing the tank and regulator.

Since I am running basically low tech plants with moderate light, how much co2 do you folks think I need? Any? What would you do?

As to fertilizing, I am reading the PPS as stated earlier, but for now I am using sea chem flourish. Dosing twice per week as stated on the bottle. My tests showed the slightest trace of ammonia on Monday, and then gone. No nitrites to be seen??????????????????

I'll keep on watching. In about 10 days I am hoping to ad the first fish,likely to be an angel.
Adding CO2 is good for any planted tank. And not just a little. It makes a big difference, and everything else is easier.

I would start at 1.0 pH drop and experiment from there.

Be patient with cycle. It will happen, and each tank cycles on it's own schedule.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
---
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Greggz is offline  
post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Jcricket's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Use EI method to target fertilzers.
NilocG.com for dry compounds, recipe on Colin's site also.

GH will tell you amounts of Ca & Mg

KH is a measurement of alkalinity, this is kind of like saying how easily will your pH change.

Test kits
NO3 = yes
SO4 = no
K = no
You could add a cheap pH & TDS pen to your arsenal.

4 - T5HO will require CO2 on a 75G.
Target @ least a 1.0 drop in pH before lights on.

Run a moderate photo period of 6-7 hours, don't get greedy.

Check out Dennis Wong's website too!
I was re-reading this. I have the CO2 system.

BEFORE THE LIGHTS ARE ON???

The regulator has a solenoid to only allow it to run while the lights are on. Does this mean I am looking at a greater than 1 ph drop while the lights are on? Or am I just targeting a ph drop of one, and then the plants will take what they need when the lights are on. I think this is what is meant, but thought I would check. To do this would be to simply install the regulator on a non timed circuit until I reached the target levels and then move it to the timer. Correct?
Jcricket is offline  
post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 12:05 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Maryland Guppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (15/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arnold
Posts: 3,690
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
BEFORE THE LIGHTS ARE ON???

The regulator has a solenoid to only allow it to run while the lights are on. Does this mean I am looking at a greater than 1 ph drop while the lights are on? Or am I just targeting a ph drop of one, and then the plants will take what they need when the lights are on. I think this is what is meant, but thought I would check. To do this would be to simply install the regulator on a non timed circuit until I reached the target levels and then move it to the timer. Correct?
Typically CO2 is on 1-2 hours before photo period begins.
Just target a 1.0 pH drop within the first hour or so of photo period and maintain it until sunset.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Growing is not that difficult.
Maryland Guppy is offline  
post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Jcricket's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
Typically CO2 is on 1-2 hours before photo period begins.
Just target a 1.0 pH drop within the first hour or so of photo period and maintain it until sunset.
So a separate timer for the CO2 then? Got it and thanks!
Jcricket is offline  
post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 01:45 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
hbosman's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Leesburg Virginia
Posts: 1,728
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcricket View Post
I was re-reading this. I have the CO2 system.

BEFORE THE LIGHTS ARE ON???

The regulator has a solenoid to only allow it to run while the lights are on. Does this mean I am looking at a greater than 1 ph drop while the lights are on? Or am I just targeting a ph drop of one, and then the plants will take what they need when the lights are on. I think this is what is meant, but thought I would check. To do this would be to simply install the regulator on a non timed circuit until I reached the target levels and then move it to the timer. Correct?
Typically, the solenoid for the regulator would be on a separate timer. You could get one of those $6.00 timers at Walmart, like the ones used for Christmas. Set it for 1.5 to 2 hours before the lights come on.
hbosman is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Deficiencies Galore? Little Soprano Fertilizers and Water Parameters 50 12-29-2018 01:17 AM
Seachem Equilibrium and effect on PH and dKH Linwood Fertilizers and Water Parameters 4 03-19-2015 04:08 AM
dKH in cycling tank fell from 6.7 to less than 0.5! kwirky88 Fertilizers and Water Parameters 3 07-25-2014 01:08 AM
Flucuating pH killing kuhli loahes? Amandas tank General Planted Tank Discussion 25 11-03-2012 04:10 AM
Terms gh, dGH, dkh, kh? Hilde Fertilizers and Water Parameters 17 08-10-2009 10:55 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome