Pottasium levels - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Pottasium levels

I was wandering why I couldn't use KNO3 to top up the K levels in the tank and I did some rough calculations.It seems that the NO3 would be too high if we want a 20ppm level ,so I suppose this is the reason we use K2SO4.It seems reasonable but I need a second opinion...All it is left to do is to calculate the amount of K2SO4 to raise K to 20-30ppm,right?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 10:08 PM
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Your conclusions are correct...

Some ppl don't add extra K2SO4 because they feel regular dosing of KNO3 provides sufficient potassium.

Depending on KNO3 dosing, type of plants, and water conditions, it is a good idea to top off K levels using K2SO4 or KCl.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 10:22 PM
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When you say top off K levels, how do you know what they are at to begin with? Do you have test kit. Are you just estimating?

I understand the EI index. But the K dosing part I am a little confused about.

Should I does 20ppm at water change or half that.

How do you know what it takes to top off K levels? Or does that even matter?

I have been dosing 20ppm at weekly water changes, but I am curious about buildup of K even with 50% once a week. For example if your tank was only using 15ppm or so a week. Wouldn't you have a build regardless? Are there signs to be aware of with excess K?

All my plants and fish seem fine.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2005, 11:01 PM
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Let's say your target level is 20 ppm of K. Let's say your tap water has zero K.

If you adhere to EI dosing then you do a weekly 50% WC. Let's say at that time (or the next day, whatever), you dose KNO3. You figure out how much K that added to the tank.

Then you calculate how much K needs to be added to reach your target level.

To do so, you have two (or more) choices. You can assume that all the K was used up, and dose for the entire tank volume. Or, you assume nothing was used up, and only dose the changed water volume.

Me... I dose on the lower end of things, so I assume nothing has been used up, and only dose the changed water volume to whatever target level I think my plants need.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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I suppose Wasserpest answeared some of your questions,I am not an expert at dosing K but the sure thing is that is an estimative process that takes benefit that some excess K will not harm the aquarium as too high nitrates or phosphates would.

It is easy to estimate the amount of K added when the water has 0mg/L.The problem comes in the long run when you cannot predict the built up of K.

I didn't get the way that was told earlier,maybe Wasserpest can tell us a bit more.The other way I was thinking is that you could estimate K by relating it to a fixed ratio of NO3.For example NO3 10ppm :K 20ppm ,that means a ratio of 2:1 (We are talking about K ions not K2SO4 the substance)

In this way you can measure both No3 and K by measuring only the first if you mix the two salts together in the right ratio.

This philosophy will be correct if plants consume nutrients in this way:
For example if you want to make a sandwich you need two slices of bread and one slice of ham.You cannot make a sandwitch with one slice of bread and two slices of ham,nor if you use two slices of bread and no ham

So if plants consume nutrients in a fixed ratio like above the the hypothesis is correct.Maybe someone can help us out,
I am waiting for yor opinions


PS: I accidentally added arount 40ppm to the tank,is there a problem?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2005, 10:00 PM
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The only thing I heard about adding too much is it will block calcium uptake. If I remember correctly.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 01:24 AM
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Plants don't consume nutrients in a fixed ratio. That would be too easy

When measuring NO3 and PO4 I noticed that often one of them was used up while the other was still there (sometimes NO3, sometimes PO4). I figure that if one of them is used up, the overall growth is reduced and the other will not be used as much. Just a thought...

In my case I underdose, that's why things are running out sometimes. If you keep levels higher that might not happen that often.

If you always add the same amount every week, you could probably mix the two powders together in the right ratio. I still wouldn't... just to avoid any possible or impossible reactions that might or might not happen.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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A last question,do you thing is important to keep your parameters strictly fixed for a long time,how about if you if break the ratio of one of them a get it right in a couple of days?Would that have an impact on the tank?

thanks
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 03:38 PM
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I am fiddling with that problem at the moment. I have been using the EI for a few weeks. I noticed that my wisteria had bright yellow veins, so I tested at the end of the week. My nitrate was OK, probably >15 ppm, hard to tell from the Seachem test, but my phosphate was <0.5 ppm. So currently I am doubling my amount of phosphate dosing (4 mL of Fleet per week instead of 2 mL) while keeping my nitrate dosing the same.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the basic premise of the EI is to not allow nutrient levels to drop below what is needed by the plants. This is what I have come to believe from my reading. I am not really paying strict attention to ratios per se. That said, the EI is only one form of dosing, many of us use bits and pieces of different dosing strategies.

Perhaps my fish load and feeding is providing more nitrates than phosphates. Or maybe my plant selection is consuming more PO4 than NO3. I'm not sure.

As far as extra K dosing, I plan to hold off on it for now, and merely watch for deficiencies. Since my fish load has increased substantially over the past few weeks, I plan on testing my nitrate more frequently, and if I need to dose less KNO3 because of the fish load, I will seriously consider adding some K2SO4.

Wasserpest I am always interested in what the gurus are doing in their tanks. I know Momo was trying the EI for a while.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 04:40 PM
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IMO what's more important than a steady level or particular ratio is that all the nutrients are available, most of the time.

The problem with high-light tanks is that nutrients are used up quicker, so you need to dose more and more frequently. It shouldn't really matter for the plants if the NO3 level is 5 or 20 ppm, as long as it doesn't bottom out completely for extended periods.

You don't know what exactly the potassium level is, that is where EI comes in handy and you start adding it without having to measure. Of course you need to be careful and calculate the correct amount or you will enjoy a brackish tank


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Gyes help,what's the EI?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 08:57 PM
 
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