Water Parameters/Fertilizers - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Water Parameters/Fertilizers

I've had a 72 bow with discus for awhile now and am now going planted. I change the water 1-2 times a week 50% depending on the nitrates. I will have eco-complete, jbj co2 regulator w/ph controller, and formosa 260w lights. I have some swords, anacharis, and some other plants I don't know the names for. My tap is:
ph-7.0 and then 8.4 aged

I use a r/o -- tap water mix to change the water to:
kh-0(I know this should make the ph unstable, but it only fluctuates .1 to .2)

I figured I would change it to:
kh-8(no r/o only tap)
ph-7.1 to 7.2(lowered with co2)

What do I need to check the water for in addition to the above. I've read about adding stuff to the water, how do you figure what you need and how much?
Also do the plants keep the nitrates lowered, becuase that's why I was using th r/o. My nitrates were in the 50ppm before when I was just using tap, but I was feeding them a lot more often back them(4-5 times a day).

Thanks for all the help.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 02:28 AM
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How new are you to plant fertilizing? Many of us have tried the estimative index with good success. Here is a link to get you started:


Now if you go to the end of the thread, Stu asks how to go about EI dosing; his tap nitrates are a little on the high side.

What do you need to test for? Well your plants need PO4, nitrate, traces, CO2. Several of us test for nitrates and phosphates. And pH and kH to ensure adequate CO2. Few of us test for iron though.

So what is the EI? Read here: http://www.barrreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1

Basically it involves giving the plants what they want, in more than adequate quantities. Let them grow. You need CO2 about 30 ppm, adequate NO3, PO4, and traces. Do a search on this forum for "estimative" to see what others are dosing for a tank your size.

Now with regards to testing, some do not test PO4 and NO3 when using this method. I test periodically though, to make sure everything is OK. I don't try to be terribly accurate, I just want to make sure everything is in the ballpark range. My tank has been chewing up phosphate, but nitrate less so. However as I am upping my PO4 dosing the plants may start to use more nitrate. I don't want either to bottom out. I am not fanatical about testing by any means. I am extremely pleased with the tank, though, for the most part I can grow anything I want. I have minimal algae.

What ferts do you need to add, where to get them? Read here, a great place to start: www.rexgrigg.com

Do your homework (above) and let us know if you have any further questions. Welcome to the forum. It is a great and friendly place.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 04:50 PM
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Welcome to the planted world!

And, to add to the helpful comments above, get more plants! From your brief description, I don't think you have enough. It's better to start out with *alot* until you've got the hang of the dosing and then you can start aquascaping and trying things out.
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