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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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New to fertilizers

Hello Everyone-

As the title says, I'm new to fertilizers.

I have started a 40 G breeder tank that I would like to make it heavily planted.
My idea is for it to be low tech, no CO2, and low maintenance.
I'm running a fluvial 306 canister with Finnex FugeRay Ultra Slim LED Fixture 36".
Substrate is eco-complete with flourish substrate tabs.


I'm planning on getting the very basic KNO3, KH2PO, and CSM+B.

My question are:
Can I dose the CSM+B dry or do I need to make a solution?(I've read some people having issues with mold)

Where can I get this stuff? I'm in the RI/MA line and don't think I could find it locally.

How do I dose it?
-Per Tom Barr's recommendation, a 20 gallon would be dose like this
1/8 Teaspoon of KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) (5.27 ppm NO3 and 3.32 ppm K)
1/32 Teaspoon of KH2PO4 (Potassium Mono Phosphate) (1.61 ppm PO4 and 0.66 ppm K)
So I would double it?

Should I get anything in addition to the basic mentioned?

I was planning on dosing (very small amounts) once a week per Tom's recommendations and doing occasional water changes.

I very open to any suggestions and recommendations.






I appreciate everyone's time and your responses. Like I said, I'm new but tend to be a quick learner.

Thanks-
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 05:37 PM
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My question are:
Can I dose the CSM+B dry or do I need to make a solution?(I've read some people having issues with mold)

You can do either doesnt matter

Where can I get this stuff? I'm in the RI/MA line and don't think I could find it locally.

Cant answer this questions without getting in trouble


How do I dose it?
-Per Tom Barr's recommendation, a 20 gallon would be dose like this
1/8 Teaspoon of KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) (5.27 ppm NO3 and 3.32 ppm K)
1/32 Teaspoon of KH2PO4 (Potassium Mono Phosphate) (1.61 ppm PO4 and 0.66 ppm K)
So I would double it?


Yes

Should I get anything in addition to the basic mentioned?

You should also get Gh booster unless your water is very hard.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 06:27 PM
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Strongly suggest you look to dose Glut (Excel, Metricide). It's a carbon replacement liquid that is often used when not using CO2. I mix my Metricide with my CSM+B and addn'l iron. I dose every morning with a dosing bottle to ensure I do not bottom out.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffHerr View Post
Strongly suggest you look to dose Glut (Excel, Metricide). It's a carbon replacement liquid that is often used when not using CO2. I mix my Metricide with my CSM+B and addn'l iron. I dose every morning with a dosing bottle to ensure I do not bottom out.
Are you running a low tech tank or high tech tank?

I was planning on dosing micros + macros only once a week in small quantities.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 01:52 AM
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I'm running a 40b low-tech also, using Seachem Excel daily per the directions for carbon. I test for nitrate & phosphate twice a week, dosing them up from dry ferts if they read lower than 10ppm for nitrate and 1ppm for phosphate. I also add K2SO4 twice a week, plus iron/micros every other day.

For dosing amounts, check out http://calc.petalphile.com . It's EXTREMELY useful for dosing info, there's an option 'result of my dose' where you can enter amounts in teaspoons & see the resulting concentrations. I use it both for dosing the tank, and for mixing my replacement water.

CSM+B is easiest for a small to midsize tank if you make a solution, just do small quantities so it isn't around for too long.

If you're using city or water association tap water for your replacement water, check to see if they have a website with a water quality report. There might already be significant quantities of some nutrients already in the tap.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 04:54 AM
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You very likely have too much light to treat your tank as a low light tank. You probably have around 60 PAR at the substrate, which is high medium light, or even high light, which means you need to use pressurized CO2 if you hope to avoid big algae problems. You can lower that light intensity by using fiberglass window screen, each layer drops the light intensity by about 40% - drops it to 60% for one layer, to 36% for two layers, etc. Your goal should be to get the intensity below 40 PAR, preferably to around 30 PAR, so one layer should do it for you.

Hoppy
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
You very likely have too much light to treat your tank as a low light tank. You probably have around 60 PAR at the substrate, which is high medium light, or even high light, which means you need to use pressurized CO2 if you hope to avoid big algae problems. You can lower that light intensity by using fiberglass window screen, each layer drops the light intensity by about 40% - drops it to 60% for one layer, to 36% for two layers, etc. Your goal should be to get the intensity below 40 PAR, preferably to around 30 PAR, so one layer should do it for you.
I wasn't aware that the PAR rating was so high to the substrate. I bought the light back in January and not many people were experimenting with them so there was no definite answers that I could find on the PAR readings.
How about some Amazon Frogbit? Would that help in reducing the amount of available light to the substrate as long as I don't let it overtake the surface?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2013, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilocg View Post
My question are:
Can I dose the CSM+B dry or do I need to make a solution?(I've read some people having issues with mold)

You can do either doesnt matter

Where can I get this stuff? I'm in the RI/MA line and don't think I could find it locally.

Cant answer this questions without getting in trouble


How do I dose it?
-Per Tom Barr's recommendation, a 20 gallon would be dose like this
1/8 Teaspoon of KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) (5.27 ppm NO3 and 3.32 ppm K)
1/32 Teaspoon of KH2PO4 (Potassium Mono Phosphate) (1.61 ppm PO4 and 0.66 ppm K)
So I would double it?


Yes

Should I get anything in addition to the basic mentioned?

You should also get Gh booster unless your water is very hard.
Thank you for your response. I'm not sure how hard the water is currently, I'll be picking up a GH and kH test kit to check my parameters. I wasn't planning on adding gH booster to reduce the chances of overdosing K.
If that was the case then I wouldn't dose K. I would only dose N + P once a week; GH booster at WC, and micros once a week.
Is that a reasonable rationale?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 01:44 AM
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Yes, if you need to add that much GH booster, and you use Seachem Equilibrium, it has enough K for the low level of dosing you are doing.

But if you do not need GH booster, then remember the KNO3 has some potassium, and that may be enough.

Only way to know is to run the tank a while and find out.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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So far the only thing I have dosed is Seachem Flourish... The plants have been added on recently and I know that I will need some fertilizers to keep them healthy in the long run.
I have been planning on going to my local LFS and picking up some Seachem Equilibrium for traces of Calcium and Magnesium. Do you suggest that I purchase dry KNO3 and KH2PO4 for macros at the time being along with CSM+B?
Or I could get the Seachem Equilibrium and leave the CSM+B out?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 01:28 PM
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Do not leave out the CSM+B.
This is not the same thing as Equilibrium.

Depends on what your tank needs, what to dose. A typical low tech tank depends on fish food and water changes for a certain amount of the ferts. But fish food is low in K, Ca and Fe. You can test your tap water (or whatever source you are using for the tank) for GH. A long established low tech tank will generate low levels of C from decomposing leaves and things that fall to the floor of the tank.

Here are a few basic concepts, modify as needed.

Option 1) Lots of fish, reasonable tap water, low light:
Dose K and Fe, and C (Excel or equal)

Option 2) Fewer fish, or higher light, tap water supplies Ca and Mg:
Dose N, P, K, CSM+B, C.
Start with EI method, or the modified EI that is floating around somewhere. It is for low tech tanks. Modify the dosing as you go, adjusting one element at a time.

Option 3) (Combine with 1 or 2)
If the tap water is very soft, GH under 3 degrees, then dose GH booster to keep the GH at the level preferred by your fish. If you know that the tap water is low in either Ca or Mg, but the other is OK, then you might just dose the one that is missing. While Equilibrium has a fair amount of K, unless you need to dose quite a bit, it is not enough K. I just dosed the regular amount of K, even in tanks that needed GH booster.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcp05 View Post
I wasn't aware that the PAR rating was so high to the substrate. I bought the light back in January and not many people were experimenting with them so there was no definite answers that I could find on the PAR readings.
How about some Amazon Frogbit? Would that help in reducing the amount of available light to the substrate as long as I don't let it overtake the surface?
Yes, floating plants do reduce the light intensity, but it is very hard to keep just the right amount of plants there, and you can only guess at what the light intensity is, or use a PAR meter periodically to be sure. I don't like floating plants, so I'm prejudiced against them.

See https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=189944 for some very good charts showing how much light you get from various Finnex LED lights.

Hoppy
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