Originally Posted by Blue
I have been reading through various boards around the net and this whole "don't test your water" thing makes absolutely zero sense to me. Why on earth would you NOT test your water? How on earth do you know what your levels are if you're not testing?
This seems like very bad advice ???
Seems and is are two entirely different things.
If you look at the math, the most you possibly build up in the dosing routine adding a certain amount ppm of say NO3 per week is 2x the dosing amount.
Suppose you dose 10ppm of NO3 total to a tank per week. Assume you do a 50% weekly water change. If you do the math, you find out that:
If you assume that NONE of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 20 PPM
If you assume that 25%of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 16 PPM
If you assume that 50%of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 13.3 PPM
If you assume that 75%of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 11.4 PPM
The concentration will not be 15ppm with 25% weekly uptake because of the previous week’s build up if factored into the equation.
Basically what occurs is a range of 10-20ppm is maitained without using a test kit.
You can use an accurate test kit and measure these same ranges and numbers for additional verification(which I did long before seeing mathmatical relationship but knew it works and kept the levels from climbing based on the curves.
Most get into this hobby to grow weeds, not to test water..which is not much of hobby really from what I understand........
I tersted a great deal and still do in some areas, but as far as a routine thing to set your ppm ranges, I fine that testing is a poor method that cost more and requires more skills for the aquarist and is not a needed routined.
You arer welcomed to disagree, and vouch for 4-10$ cheapy test kit accuracy, but they are no better than estimating the ppm ranges empirically and dosing the inorganic salts like KNO3 provides bioavilable N, wereas test kits measure both organic and inorganic fractions, often the organic fraction is not biolavailable to the plants(and available to algae and a source of NH4)as is the case with higher fish loads.
NO3 derived from fish waste is not the same as NO3 derived from KNO3.
While at first glance it seems simple, there is more to it and what we assume about the dosing/testing.
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