Originally Posted by damnmosquitoes
To that end, please provide as much of the following as possible:
- Light (make & model): ideally, PAR and PUR reading at the substrate and photoperiod?
- CO2 setup (pressurized or DIY)?
- Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings and which test kits/devices are used for each?
- What you are dosing (product and quantity), in terms of ppm, and how often?
- Substrate type and how long has it been in place?
- What is your filter setup?
- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
- Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
- What is your water source and do you use a water softener?
- What is your tank size?
Please look up each of your plants to determine what, if any, special needs they may have.
Hello, I made a recent post asking if my EI dosing regime is correct and was wondering if you can take a look at it and tell me what you think?
I can not test for par, NO3, PO4, or TDS at the moment.
I moved this quote from your other thread over to this thread, as this thread is more comprehensive. What I am about to say is quite a lot of additional work for you, but these are the things I do and you will have to decide how far you want to go with it.
Light - I have the same Twinstar S, so no need to post PAR (it is high) and PUR. If you are interested, look at my album to see what these values are on a 29-gal. Your values will be higher IF you run at full power. However, you are only using a portion of that. What dimmer are you using? You mentioned that it has 8 settings, as does the one I have. If it is the same dimmer, your “5” setting would be 5%, or do you mean 50 (50%)? I’m not sure how you get the “62.5%” you mentioned. At some point, you may want to increase light for about 2 hours in the middle of your photoperiod. I’d add 10% a week until you reach 100%.
CO2 - If your dKH is 8, then your pH should be 6.9-7.0 to have the nominally ideal 30ppm CO2, but other factors can affect this. I would make sure that your pH drop from the fully degassed level is no higher than 7.0 after reaching the 1-point drop. Let some tank water sit out for several days to determine what degassed pH is. Make sure that your pH pen is calibrated. Incidentally, if CO2 is correct, you don’t need the Excel, unless used as an algaecide (healthy plants should prevent algae for you).
Testing - Make an investment in testing kits. With a high-tech tank, most of us do like to test to monitor our parameters. It will be difficult to diagnose fert issues without knowing what your levels are for some of the nutrients. Dosing recommendations are fine, but knowing what is in the water is important. We need to be sure that nutrients are somewhat balanced, but it’s not a precise issue. For example, you are following EI for some nutrients, which is fine. However, your GH indicates that Ca and/or Mg are far above recommended EI dosing levels for your tank and you can’t control this without using distilled or RO water. So, you may have to increase some of the nutrients.
These kits will do the job:
NO3: Salifert, PO4: API or Salifert, K: Salifert, GH/KH: API (modified for better precision: use 5x the water, then divide results by 5), Ca: API Saltwater (modified, see below).
GH - this is quite high and could be impeding uptake of other nutrients, such as potassium and iron. I would recommend getting potassium to, at least, an equal level with calcium and ensure that the Ca:Mg ratio is in the range of 2:1 and 4:1. Here is how to determine actual components:
Using the API GH/KH and Calcium (saltwater) kits, you test Ca and GH and then derive Mg with this process.
GH - the kit uses a 5ml water sample. Much greater precision can be obtained by using a 25ml water sample with the resulting number of drops then being divided by 5.
Ca - the kit is designed for saltwater, so some modification is needed for freshwater use. I use a 50ml sample in order to allow each final reagent drop to equal 2ppm of Ca. The procedure is then:
1) Add 20 drops of reagent #1 & mix.
2) Shake reagent #2 for 15 seconds before each test.
3) Add 1 drop at a time of reagent #2 and mix. Multiply the number of drops of reagent #2 by 2 and the result is the Ca ppm.
MG - using the GH and Ca results, plug the numbers into the following formula to derive the Mg ppm (note that 1 degree GH = 17.86ppm): (GH ppm – 2.5 x Ca ppm) / 4.1
For the modifed tests, mentioned above, larger test tubes need to be purchased, such as this one: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Cleaning - make sure you clean the gunk out of your filter. I clean mine every two weeks.
Water changes: if you are truly adding 76ppm Ca /week from your water, I would do 70-80% weekly w/c’s to help counter the accumulation (although your GH readings don’t support the 76ppm). Take a look at the RotalaButterfly accumulation calculator.
Circulation - try placing your drop checker in the areas having the least amount of circulation and compare it to where you now have it.