Please Review My Water Parameters/Maintenance - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Please Review My Water Parameters/Maintenance

My 50 gallon tank is doing pretty well these days. Hardly any algae except for some spot algae on my H. callitrichoides and older Glosso growth. Plant growth is great. I just want to run my water quality/fertalizer regimen by the group to see if anything raises a red flag. I have only been taking really good care of the tank for the last 2 months or so, and I want to be proactive and catch mistakes before the do any damage. Thanks to Rex Grigg's FAQ and this board for getting me this far.

My current water change routine consists of 50% weekly changes with 100% RO/DI water and enough Equilibrium to raise the gH from 0 to 4. pH is 6.75 and I use CH2O3.Na to raise kH to1 5. I dose dry chemicals from gregwatson.com after each water change, and again midweek... KNO3 to 10 ppm, 3x the KNO3 amount of K2SO4 and KH2PO4 to 1 ppm. I add Plantex CSM+B at levels equal to KNO3. I also add 2.5 mL of Flourish Iron twice a week. Equipment stats are in my signature.

Flora consists mainly of Glosso, Riccia, Vallisneria, and various stem plants. Fish load is pretty high... 14 Rummynose, 30 Neons, (6) 2.5"SAEs and 3 Ottos. Probably 24 C. japonica.

I am mainly concerned about Mg, Ca, K and trace levels, the things that most of us can't test for. Thanks

-Craig
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 10:56 PM
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To start with your potassium levels are much higher than what you think they are. Equilibrium adds a ton of potassium. If you are adding what I guess is about 3 tablespoons of Equilibrium to the 25 gallons of fresh water then your potassium level is 90 ppm. Calcium to 29 ppm. Magnesium to 11.5 ppm and Iron to .5 ppm.

Much better and much cheaper to use calcium chloride, Epsom salts, and baking soda to raise the hardness. Or use tap water.

You can use the Fertilator to see how much of each item Equilibrium adds to your water.

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/fertilator.php
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Rex. I think I add less than 2 tablespoons of Equilbrium per 25 gallons. I got a 600 g bottle when I started into this, and haven't made a dent in it, so cost isn't a factor yet but I will switch to bulk chemicals eventually. I am glad you brought up the fact that Equilibrium adds a lot of K, I hadn't realized that. Now that I look at Seachem's site I realize that I didn't even remember that it had some Fe.

-Craig
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 11:15 PM
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You can use the link to find out how much K it is adding.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 07:27 AM
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Hey CO2 if you look on the bottle of Equilibrium it will tell you the amount of K per dose...65mg/L= 65ppm. A whole lotta K!!! I actually stopped using the product because of this. In my experience with my tank this much K was causing calcium deficiency symptoms which disappeared as soon as I stopped using it.

If it were me I'd just mix your RO with tap water to get the desired KH and GH, but I wonder what is so wrong with your tap water in the first place that you are using RO? I mean if thats working for you it's all good, but then IMO opinion you're maybe working too hard going at it this way? On my side of the bay I'm seeing KH 4 GH 6 from the tap which has been working out quite well for me. If you do decide to go with tap one way or the other get yourself a comprehensive water report from your city and then you'll know the CA and MG and K level among other things which you can use as a baseline to build on if needed, but in many cases it's good enough. Remember plants are adaptable to a range of nutrients not an exact amount.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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magicmagni, the tap water in Oakland is actually pretty good. I don't remember the hardness, but it has really low TDS. I guess I am just used to using RO on my reef. I think I am clinging too much to hope that the "purity" is beneficial. My next tank is going to be 75-180 gallons, so I should probably just make the switch to tap. Out of curiosity, what type of calcium deficiency symptoms were you seeing?

-Craig
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co2
magicmagni, the tap water in Oakland is actually pretty good. I don't remember the hardness, but it has really low TDS. I guess I am just used to using RO on my reef. I think I am clinging too much to hope that the "purity" is beneficial. My next tank is going to be 75-180 gallons, so I should probably just make the switch to tap. Out of curiosity, what type of calcium deficiency symptoms were you seeing?

Actually RO is too pure IMO. I've tried it but was never successful and then reading Rex's page and others I've really come to agree that if one can drink the tap water it is good enough. I think many folks out there are "chasing the dragon" as Rex calls it. I used to be one of those folks and am glad that I came to my senses.

I say calcium deficiency because I was getting curled leaves on the Anubis and java fern mainly, but also the crypts. I read a thread I think by Roger Miller on APC if I remember correctly that described the possibility of K at certain amounts causing ca uptake problems in plants and here I was putting more and more equilibrium thinking I needed more calcium. I now run 12-15ppm of K via potassium nitrate and potassium sulfate and have stopped using the equilibrium and all signs of calcium deficiency have stopped. So thats why I'm not really a fan of that product.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback magicmagni, nice tank too by the way. I think I will start transitioning to a half RO, half tap mix.

-Craig
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 04:42 PM
 
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anyone else worried about doing CO2 injection with a Kh of only 1.5 degrees?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
anyone else worried about doing CO2 injection with a Kh of only 1.5 degrees?

Oh, good catch malkore, but I think CO2 meant that he raises the KH to 5, but if it is that low CO2 you are flirting with disaster. Get the KH to at least 4 I would say by adding tap water or baking soda or... whatever works for you.
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