The right time to test? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-08-2005, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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The right time to test?

I ran a search for this but could not find it. Sorry ahead of time if this is a repeat question.

When should I test my water for ferts? After water change or before? The day after I dose or the same day I dose? Early morning or late? etc....

Also how do you figure out how to adjust the ferts to the right levels/ how do you know how much you need to add ECT? Do you test several days through the week to see if there is any fert build up and then decide when you need to dose x on day x the next week?

I hope Im not being completely dense about this, Its just that I went to test my tank and noticed how much the ferts change through out the day/week

Thanks For Your Help
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-08-2005, 05:43 PM
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It all depends on what system, and/or what levels you want from your tank.

First decide what levels you want in your tank of each nutrient. If you are unsure, it's probably best for you to try a dosing schedule like Tom Barr's (plantbrain) "Estimate Index" that makes sure you have excess levels in your tank so you don't have to worry about this.

If you have decided on the levels you want, you can test as much as you like! The Perpetual Preservation System (PPS) is another method, that tests on occasion to see which nutrient needs dosing and you dose up of that one in particular.

If you want to make your own schedule, it is best to get a feel for how fast the plants use up those nutrients, so as to know how much and how often to re-dose.
Testing before dosing will tell you the current levels, and show any defficiencies. Testing after will confirm the new levels in the tank.
It all depends on how much testing you want to do, how fast you want to go through a test kit, etc........ personal preference.
If you don't develop a schedule for dosing, I can guarantee you will go through a lot of test kits trying to find the levels and when to dose "on the fly", and probably will end up with a tank out of balance due to small dosing/testing errors.

Do a search for the methods I mentioned and read up about them.

Eheim Pimp #121

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