First- I'd like to apologize for the lenghty post.
-BSS, thanks, I have a ways to go, before I can just "read" the plants-you are definitely one up on me at reading them... Kept all sorts of fish for a long time, just a newbie at planted... I planned on ordering from Greg W. when I finally figure out what I need to do, just hate to have such large quatities sitting around if I won't need them. There are 4 tanks total in my house, my 100 gallon, my 10 gallon, my daughter's 120 gallon & 37 gallon.
-Hypancistrus, Thanks, I heard that iron and postassium are not reliable, and not necessary for that matter. If I decide to try those, I will be sure to get the ones you reccomended...
Tom, I was referred to your site, and read, and reread. You are a pretty smart guy too!
thanks for posting. Some info is sinking in, but not all. I hate chemistry, and get confused after reading a while. I'll go back and read some more. Would you suggest I just follow your EI method, and not worry about the iron and potassium levels then?
My 10 gallon with DIY Co2, plants, guppies and a Betta, that would work fine, but my 100 with DIY Co2, my daughter's 120 (no Co2) and 37 (no Co2) all have goldfish, mostly large ones, that produce way too much poop, hence -high nitrates (40 to 60 range
), which started my search for a way to reduce nitrates other than almost daily water changes & minimal feeding, this was the origination of our planted tanks.
Now we just love the look of so many plants-we find ourselves looking at plants in the lfs instead of fish, and wish we could achieve the show tanks we see on the board-except reality sets in and we realize it won't happen with the goldfish who rearrange our plants almost daily or actually love to eat expensive or delicate plants!
I don't have nitrite or amonia troubles unless a tank is going thru a cycle, just nitrates. Well, after getting a boat load of plants from another poster on the board (thanks again Snake!
), I have gotten the nitrates down to around a liveable 10 in the goldfish tanks, and plants are growing wonderfully. The Co2 tanks are having faster plant growth than my daughter's non Co2. The non Co2 is growing though. We can now relax a bit and just do weekly half tank water changes instead of the almost daily changes.
To fill in some blanks, we have well water-no chemical additives- hard water with lots of minerals in it. It leaves a white crusty film on anything that it sits on for more than a day.
The ph out of the tap is 7.9 to 8; in non Co2 tanks, ph is 8.1; in Co2 tanks, ph is 6.8.
I am waiting on kh/gh test kit to come in the mail-sorry.
The phosphate- Non Co2 tanks-is .5 to 1; The Co2 tanks -is between 0 and .5. hard to match the colors on the test kit more accurately.
This lower phosphate reading and a few new yellowish anubias leaves is what triggered the idea of adding other fertilizers (we already add Flourish, and Flourish Excel). I have gotten the small bottle of Flourish iron to experiment (too soon to tell yet if it helps-hasn't even been a week yet), but there is not a source local, for potassium. If I can figure out what I need to do, then I can order a larger quantity. But wanted to get an idea before going that route, don't have room for unneeded fertilizers sitting around.
Oh, and thank you everyone for input on this. I really appreciate it...