When to fertilize - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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When to fertilize

As we all know, there are a million different recommended methods, types, times, doses etc etc etc of ferts in this hobby, and I personally do NOT consider myself to be an expert in this field. While I'm not bragging because I've seen some incredible scapes here and elsewhere, I will say my planted tanks have always looked pretty good...minimal algae, natural looking scapes, lush growth etc.

One thing though, that I have never been consistent with is my timing of ferts. I do it usually right after water changes but sometimes I forget and do it that night, after the lights are off. And sometimes I fertilize between water changes, but sometimes I dont. I NEVER measure anything...a capful here, half a capful there etc.

When do you guys fertilize? Daytime? Night time? After water changes? Between water changes?

Joe
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 10:50 PM
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Hah, my routine is pretty much the same as yours!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 12:14 AM
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I'm pretty consistent with dosing. Usually its right after the weekly w/c and then half way through the week.

The only thing I have to say about random dosing is that if you dose phosphates and iron together, you're wind up making some of them unavailable to the plants.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 12:19 AM
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Monday- Dose NPK
Tuesday- Dose Trace
Wednesday- 50% water change Dose NPK
Thursday- Dose Trace, Iron
Friday- Dose NPK
Saturday- Trim Plants
Sunday- Clean out buckets with vinegar and hot water


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 06:04 AM
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2-3x a week, time of day does not matter.
I might dose traces a bit more frequently.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 07:13 AM
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I used to dose what I will call "haphazardly". I had fantastic results. However, this can fool you into thinking that this is a good plan when you are getting great results.

You have to remember that if you are following almost any method, even if you are not following it very well, the idea is making your ferts non limiting, meaning you don't run out of anything. Even if you do, that doesn't mean your tank instantly has issues, it may take some time, depending on both the nutrient that is lacking, and your level of light/co2.

The first problem with this is when something goes wrong, you don't really know what it is, or if it's even fert related. If you were like me, when I was doing it that way, I would try to immediately figure out what was wrong, find 3 different things and throw ferts at the problem. If it didn't go right, repeat. You don't know what the problem is as you can't retrace your steps, nor can you really draw any real hypothesis for the same reason to even test your results, other than moving to a regiment.

The other problem is if you are truly high light, or especially if you transition to it and have a habit of being all over the place with ferts. You may end up in a situation where you forget and your ferts do become limiting. Things can happen much more quickly in this situation and it may get bad well before you can do much to remedy it. It's not that you can't fix it but it's 10x more frustrating when things happen 10x more quickly.


I dose per EI, but not necessarily the amount, I play with my dosage some times. I do it every day, though I have done more ferts one to two times per week with no issues. Now I use an auto doser on my only highish light tank so it's super consistent, but that is just because I am not home as often as I like.

-Matt

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 07:45 AM
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I dose Via the "standard" EI scheduled. Basically Sunday thru friday. I Alternate Micro then Macro. I dose my Excel/Glut Every other day. Only day I dont dose anything is Saturday. Thats water change day. I prefer to Dose first thing in the morning.

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