Process/Schedule for Dosing Ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
Jim
 
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Process/Schedule for Dosing Ferts

I just purchased the following fertilizers (85G planted discus tank) from Greg Watson, but am confused about exactly how to go about mixing these and frequency of the dosing.

Plantex CSM+B Plus Iron
Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4)
Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4)
Potassium Nitrate (KNO3)

I think these are the right macro/micro nutrients, but the more I read online to figure out the dosing question, the more confused I become. I typically do 40-50% percent water changes once a week and think the estimative index method would be the right way to go.

Based on the following about my tank, can someone please help me figure this out in very simple terms? I have used Flourish products in the past and am new to this method -- I'm finding the calculators, etc. that are online to be a bit confusing.

Here's a rundown of the tank:

85 gallon
3.5 wpg light for 10 hours/day
Approx. 20 plants in the tank (a combination of swords, anubias, anacharis, hairgrass)
Fish load is moderate to heavy
Pressurized CO2 - 25 ppm
pH - 6.9
KH - 125 ppm (7 degrees)
GH - 143 ppm (8 degrees)
Nitrate - The test is not totally clear, but its somewhere between 0 and 5 (closer to 0)
PO4 - 5.0
Nitrite & Ammonia - 0
Temp - 84

I'm in the process of switching from very hard tap water to RO water (for my discus). I just introduced the RO water into the tank this wekeend (50 percent RO mixed with existing tap water in the tank). I wanted to avoid stressing out my fish, so I went for a 50/50 mixture. So far, so good.

Among other things, I'm trying to get my PO4 level down because I am dealing with an ongoing green algae battle (you'll notice its high at 5.0). This is another area of concern -- I know that I'll be adding PO4 as part of my dosing -- should I leave this out of the ferts mixture until my existing PO4 levels decrease?

I also added RO Right to the new water, but in hindsight I probably should have added less than it called for (given the high KH and GH already in my tank).

Any recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Jim
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 06:56 PM
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Gh/ro

I'll let others with larger tanks pipe in about the regular dosing. As for cutting/adding RO right. You'll probably get away with just cutting yout tap water with RO and not have to add the ro right. This way your utilizing the Ca and Mg from the tap instead of re constituting RO water.

Dosing time table?

My routine is:
Macros K/P
At Sunday WC and Tuesday/Thursday

Micros
Monday, Wednsday, Friday

Ammounts are all dependant on your water measurments. For example I have not added NO3 for three months since finding out I'm around 20+ ppm with my fish load.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 07:54 PM
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As far as discus go with hard tap water the do very in it. I originally started out with soft RO in my discus tank and found this to become too costly, and my plants reacted better in tap than they did purified. I have been using my tap water for some time now and discus grow and mature as scheduled.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzr750r1
Ammounts are all dependant on your water measurments. For example I have not added NO3 for three months since finding out I'm around 20+ ppm with my fish load.
I can second this. I've to 1+" of fish per gallon in my tank and my NO3 levels stay steady through-out the week. I only add NO3 at the water change based on a measurement of my levels (somewhat against the EI methodology ). So, in your tank, I would certainly avoid the "mid-week" PO4 additions.

Also, CO2 levels >=30 ppm seems to be important for the EI approach, so you might want to bump your CO2 levels a bit.

Then again, your plant load seems a bit low. I guess it depends on how you count plants, but looking at individual stems and the like, I probably have 100-200 plants in my 46g. So, you might need to up your plant load, IMO.

Good luck!
Brian.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 10:44 PM
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Are you switching to R/O for discus breeding purposes? maybe to get gh/kh down? or ph lower?
I am using only tap and growing out discus and plants well with similar water parameters.

75 Gal Discus,Crypts,Bacopa,Vals,Ludwigia,Java Fern,Hygro+2 Swords,Alternanthera,java moss ,anubias,P.stellata,lotus
12 Gal Nano, Shrimp,Pygmy Corys,Riccia, Ludwigia,, crypts, HC,nana petite
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-05-2005, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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RO Water

Yes, I'm switching to RO water primarily to lower KH/GH and PO4 levels in my tank. These are all extremely high (as is my tap water pH, but I have brought that down with the addition of CO2).

The excess phosphates in my water is contributing to the algae problem - which I have been battling for awhile. I'm going down the list of everything I can do to deal with it and was able to purchase a RO system pretty cheap, so I thought I would go for it.

BTW, thanks for the posts and good info.

Jim
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-06-2005, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSS
I can second this. I've to 1+" of fish per gallon in my tank and my NO3 levels stay steady through-out the week. I only add NO3 at the water change based on a measurement of my levels (somewhat against the EI methodology ). So, in your tank, I would certainly avoid the "mid-week" PO4 additions.

Also, CO2 levels >=30 ppm seems to be important for the EI approach, so you might want to bump your CO2 levels a bit.

Then again, your plant load seems a bit low. I guess it depends on how you count plants, but looking at individual stems and the like, I probably have 100-200 plants in my 46g. So, you might need to up your plant load, IMO.

Good luck!
Brian.
EI does not "need" the mid week dosing, it's just a suggestion, if you are getting enough NO3 from other sources like fish load, there's no rule that says you must dose 2-3x a week, that's a guess for high light tanks at max levels without fish.

What EI does assume, is that the excess NO3 from that dosing 2-3x a week does not harm things or cause algae. So the fish NO3/NH4 waste add more, but never less.

That's the biggest difference with EI with any other method........it does not assume excess is bad.

You merely guess what the plants will potentially use...........over what time frame? Most do weekly routines...........but it's not a "rule" either. I've done 2-3-4-5-6 weeks out. But weekly changes does help overall. Most folks with issues can do it and then back off if they chose.
Slowly back off one fert at a time till you get a negative response, then bump it up a tad from there.

Just an idea to reset the tank and assumes excess does not cause problems, .....which.......... is quite easy to verify.................

CO2, and the levels added are based on the plants(or/and algae) far more than the ppm levels.

I got into this hobby to grow plants, not test, most did, so that's what the EI is good for, often times, those test are not correct. Sometimes they are.

For many years folks claimed excess= algae, PO4= algae, NO3=algae , need RO, etc......

Regards,
Tom Barr



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