Dosing question for Bleaklow - UK Manchester and Area - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Dosing question for Bleaklow - UK Manchester and Area

Thanks for the reply yesterday
My water parameters are

KH 4.5 (using JBL AquaDur Plus to increase as water is so soft)
PH 6.8
CO2 - approx 21ppm
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 25ppm
Phosphates (after last water change) - 4ppm

What test kits do you use ? What's recommended in the UK ?
I've been using JBL and they seem OK !?

I'm currently using
JBL Biotopol water conditioner to remove chlorine
Seachem Flourish (weekly after water change)
Seachem Flourish Trace (twice weekly)

As I'm relatively new to this any advice on what works well in our
area would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
Gary


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 10:18 AM
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Hi Gary

I use a range of test kits - JBL like you for KH and GH. I've got an electronic pH meter. I use lab grade kits from Merck for Nitrates and Phosphate and an AZOO Fe test kit. Although the only ones I really use regularly are the KH, GH and the Nitrates. The all seem accurate enough +/- 1 degree for the KH and GH when I've made up some standard solutions at work.

As for water parameters - I'm no expert at all at this and have only had success at growing plants over the last six months or so after years of algae factories. I got better results by getting my nitrates down, upping the CO2 to around 30ppm, and dosing ferts. My main tank is only medium light 2.3 wpg but I add CSM+B for iron, MgSO4 for magnesium, K2SO4 for potassium or KH2PO4 for both potassium and phosphates when needed (I get these from Greg Watson and Aqua Essentials, both are really helpful). For the CO2 level, try taking out a sample of water and leave it for a day and test the pH. Aim for a pH of 1 lower than that, alternative lots of people suggest turning the CO2 up (very) slowly until you see the fish begin to look stressed and then back off 0.1 or 0.2 in the pH. Don't always believe the CO2 charts as they are only valid if the only buffer is carbonate.

My parameters at the moment are about

pH 6.7
KH 8 d
GH 11 d
Nitrates 10ppm
K about 20 ppm
PO4 3-4 ppm
Fe 0.1 ppm
Mg about 10ppm

If you want to reduce the phosphate in the tap water, try some JBL phosEX ultra. Put it in a little internal filter and leave running in the new water in a container over night before you do the water change. Although I do my water changes with HMA filtered water (filter from from Devotedly Discus) and leave the phosphate in.

Hope some of that helps?

Cheers
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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That's brilliant
Thanks for that. I will let you know how I get on.
I think I'll stick with the phosphates as they are now (they probably fluctuate in the water supply anyway) and keep monitoring.
I've been using Aqua Essentials for my water conditioners/fertilizers so I'm going to look into getting some dry ingredients rather than the AquaDur which is reasonably expensive when you've got to raise the KH by 4 ever water change.

Is your KH normally at 8 or do you increase the level from your normal tap water ? If so what do you use ?

Cheers
Gary


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 10:42 AM
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I actually live just on the edge of the peaks - so with all the peat around here the KH is actually 0-1 out of the tap!

The KH level now is actaully a one of those great mistakes from when you first start out. I added some coral sand to the substrate to help the buffering and rather than hiding it in a small mesh bag I put it straight into the gravel! So now I think the acid from the CO2 dissolves the calcium carbonate into solution and I get the slightly high KH reading. Plants seem to be ok though and at least the pH doesn't crash.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2006, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Cheers
It seems to be one of those ongoing learning things
Ta for the help


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