First, thanks for being so helpful this path month. I've been a chatty kathy on here lately -- haha -- but your answers have been very beneficial.
Per forum recommendations, I'm about to start using some of Greg Watson's ferts (who was great to order from by the way, generous, fast, and very helpful). I will be using Chuck's online caculator, a Lamotte Nitrate 3110 kit and a Red Sea Phosphate kit.
After a 25-30% weekly water change this weekend, I plan to do my first ferts. My questions are:
1) After doing the forementioned water change, do I wait a certain amount of time before testing the nitrate and phosphate levels of the tank? I thought I read something somewhere about waiting to test tap water (see question #2) and didn't know if this applied to testing the tank, too, since I'm filling it with said tap.
2) When determining how much nitrate and phosphate to add to a mixed solution, how many of you test your tap water first to see how much nitrate & phosphate is in the tap water itself? If so, do you take some water from the tap, let it stand for an hour or more, then test the water in the glass? In other words, does the chemistry change or stabilize over time in standing water? AND, if you get a nitrate and/or phosphate reading from your tap water, do you subtract that amount from the total dry nitrate & phosphate you yourself will be adding to the solution? Or, do you not even bother taking into account the inherent chemistry of the tap?
3) Lastly, I heard it is best to keep the nitrate/phosphate of one's tank in a 10:1 ratio. Can someone give a quickie example of this with some numbers for this challenged fellow?
Rock (and plant) on!