My head's spinning now: help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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My head's spinning now: help

Been reading till my eyes pop out but so much conflicting information on how to dose. Here is what I have

40g breeder
current plus satellite LED
No CO2 and do not plan to dose excel either
Eco-complete substrate with API root tabs
Heavily planted tank
Lightly stocked for 2 weeks now and looks good with 0ppm Ammonia, 0ppm Nitrite and 5ppm Nitrate.
Plan to stock well eventually

I want to keep this low maintenance as much as possible because of jobs/small kids etc etc etc so this can be a relaxing hobby. Have Seachem Comprehensive, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium as well as Seachem equilibrium. Want to dose once per week with occasional skipping of dosing to correct for imbalances. I realize I can get dry ferts but that can come later.

For now, what dosing schedule could you recommend to keep healthy plants? Slow growth is fine with me. I want to dose just once per week and water changes only once a month. Looked at various calculators online but its pretty confusing..... based on seachem's dosing chart since I was not planning to dose excel or add CO2, I was just going to halve their weekly dosing? Is that still too much ferts?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 05:13 AM
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That light should give you about 40 PAR at the substrate, low medium light. That defines the plants' growth rates. You need to be dosing enough of everything the plants need so they are not stunted from a lack of any nutrient. It is also enough light that you really should dose Excel, too. Seachem's dosing chart is, I think, intended for relatively low light tanks, so a good starting point would be to dose per that dosing chart, but it wouldn't do any harm to double the dosages until the plants are growing well. Then you could drop the dosage of one of the nutrients at a time, and observe the plants for a few days to see if the growth rate, the appearance of good health, or any pearling are reduced. If so, you shouldn't reduce the dosages. If you see no adverse effect, you can again reduce the dosage a little bit and again observe the plants for the same adverse effects. Repeat until you see an adverse effect, the raise the dosage back to where there was none. Then do each of the other nutrients the same way. Or, just stay with 1 1/2 to 2X the dosages in the chart, but replace about half the tank's water every week or so.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 05:19 AM
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Agree with Hoppy. 40 PAR at substrate is enough in my experience to warrant dosing and some carbon source. I had roughly 30 PAR at substrate and I ended up going injected route to waive off algae. If that tank is ever unfortunate enough to receive plants that have algae on them, I think you'll be in for a protracted battle without carbon source and dosing.

You could always raise the light to decrease the PAR.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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I think according to current plus charts I should be at 28-30 Par at substrate level. Thanks for the responses. The calculators seem to back up what you are saying. Current photoperiod is 8 hrs. I could just reduce photo period? I guess I will keep some excel on hand but still want to try dosing less than recommended. It also makes more sense to me to do two smaller doses twice/week than one large dose per week?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 01:51 PM
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I have a 20 gal tank, non CO2 with medium light and I use the Gro soil tabs from Riparium Supply. Lights run 5 hrs/day. I prefer the smaller doses of ferts twice a week and I usually dose 1 ml of API CO2 Booster once or twice a week. I found that anymore than that and my crypt leaves would start melting. This tank is still lightly planted and very slow to fill in, mostly root feeders.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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That's interesting cah. Sounds like what I want to do. How frequent are your water changes?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 05:43 PM
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Fish load is real low so usually once a month, unless I notice issues with the water clarity. I top off the tank with water right out of the tap maybe twice a week. Since my plants are root feeders, I keep ferts to a bare minimum and let the root tabs do most of the work.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Gah! See fine strands on my vals. Never seen hair algae but I assume this is it. Guess I need to get a bottle of excel today. How to water changes help with algae? I definitely don't think I have excess of nutrients, more likely the opposite since I have not added any ferts yet
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 03:05 PM
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Surprised this went this far without someone saying it. Excel is good for ONLY one day in the tank. The recommended doses
are for each day. Most of the reason people switch to CO2 or DIY at least. Once you pass about a size 29g tank the Excel
can get expensive to use. Shorter periods of light will do mostly the same as raising the lights up. Don't have the chart
in my head but I'd say about 5 less PAR per 3" raised.
Crypts and Vals can't do Excel either. A crypt, in a tank that has had low doses of Excel for a while can take "as directed"
doses. But once you raise it much they melt. Mine did at..well I used it in a ten g tank and the directions say for a 60g
tank use 5ml. I used 1ml which is just a bit higher and the crypt died. The Excel did control the green spot better
than it controlled the hair algae but that went down also. Other plants are effected also but I don't know which ones.
I'm trying to cover only that which I have experience/w on this one.
You can NOT dose double doses or anything like that expecting it to last for longer than one day. This is especially
true if you have shrimp.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. My plan was low dose excel, reduce lighting and add low dose ferts. Once plants are established and I have a balance maybe wean off the excel slowly.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 05:14 PM
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Dont vals hate excel?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puopg View Post
Dont vals hate excel?
Everything I've heard says Vals are the worst to not be able to live with Excel.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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