Stop dosing K separately..plants growing nomrally. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Stop dosing K separately..plants growing nomrally.

Have anyone experienced this? I have stopped dosing K separately for more than a month after I modified my EI dosing and running some numbers through a fert calculator. For the past 2 years, I realized that I have been dosing excessive amount of K separately. The results were that stem plants tend to get leggy looking regardless of the light intensity. Plant growth was unbelievably fast though. Let's say that plants like Blyxa Japonic...I could have more than 60 trimming per month with plant size averaging 4 inches tall. However, plants like Hygro brown...I would be getting smaller leaves.

So, I have been stopping dosing K separately and my plants are growing normally. Plants like the ludwigia glandulosa...I am getting longer and narrower leaves with bushy look. The growth rate is medium for the plant. My DHG carpet didn't react differently. However, my Blyxa are growing much, much slower now.


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 05:49 AM
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I did an old K+ from KNO3 discussion back when dosing lots and lots of K+ was en vogue.

You'd basically need about 3X the demand from N before you'd exhaust the K based on plant tissue rations.

In other words, unless you have 75% of your N demand coming from fish waste, it's not likely you'd need to add more K+ from say K2SO4.

K2SO4 is added to GH booster, but this is just a save all for folks who do not use KNO3, or do not dose Ca++ or have RO and need to add GH back, or do not add Mg etc.

It hits everything.

I lard on the K+, always have.
So I can rule out all the claims about poor health and growth due to pretty high so called excess ranges.

So have many other folks over nearly 15-20 years now.

Does not say why you have issues, only says what is cannot be due independent of any other factors.

I have mountains of Blyxa, Stem plants, Hygro Brown got massive, L granulosus, I've grown this as nice as anyone I've ever seen. Hairgrass is fair non responsive to most changes, it's a tough foreground plant. But the bottom line is there is no reason t lard it on, but doing so should not cause any issues.

I did an old K+ from KNO3 discussion back when dosing lots and lots of K+ was en vogue.

You'd basically need about 3X the demand from N before you'd exhaust the K based on plant tissue rations.

In other words, unless you have 75% of your N demand coming from fish waste, it's not likely you'd need to add more K+ from say K2SO4.

K2SO4 is added to GH booster, but this is just a save all for folks who do not use KNO3, or do not dose Ca++ or have RO and need to add GH back, or do not add Mg etc.

It hits everything.

I lard on the K+, always have.
So I can rule out all the claims about poor health and growth due to pretty high so called excess ranges.

So have many other folks over nearly 15-20 years now.

Does not say why you have issues, only says what is cannot be due independent of any other factors.

I have mountains of Blyxa, Stem plants, Hygro Brown got massive, L granulosus, I've grown this as nice as anyone I've ever seen. Hairgrass is fair non responsive to most changes, it's a tough foreground plant. But the bottom line is there is no reason to lard it on, but doing so should not cause any issues.




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Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-17-2014 at 06:25 AM. Reason: Back to back posts
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 06:29 AM
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Every species of plant has a unique set of nutrient requirements. Some species need more potassium, others need less. Bylaxa may be one of those potassium hogs.

My plants use more ppm potassium than any other nutrient, even nitrogen.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 06:34 AM
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Because I don't want NO3 in any excess, I dose 1/16 tsp KNO3 and 1/8 tsp
of K2SO4 in a 10g for EI low light/weekly and a light dose of it. Also on alternating weeks I either dose 1/32 or 1/64 tsp KH2PO4 and 1/16 MGSO4 + micros.
Does this sound off in any way ?
And I presume you meant no KNO3 when you said no K seperately ?

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 07:07 AM
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I stopped dosing KNO3 due to some high nitrate readings I was getting. I replaced the missing K with K2SO4. Since the change in dosing I have been getting an abundance of GDA. Obviously I can't say without doubt that this is the cause of my GDA, but the correlation does lend to speculation. I still think it may be the large amount of light I have over my tank, but if that were the case I should have seen the GDA occurring a month ago or when I added the light? Other possibilities may be the addition of additives to promote the growth of bio film for shrimp or the reduction of flow that occurred when I removed a power head. So many possible causes, an no 100% concrete answer.

My nitrates seem to be settling down now since I don't disturb my substrate as much from planting/replanting etc. I think I will add KNO3 back into the mix. Hopefully this move will result in less GDA. If not, it's fine (I only have to wipe my glass once weekly). GDA isn't so bad especially if I can train my shrimp to suck on the glass.

Last edited by randpost; 03-17-2014 at 07:54 AM. Reason: a
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 01:18 PM
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Sometimes I think GDA is the progression of GSA and dosing phosphates while making sure nitrates and k+ are 10+ppm.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
Every species of plant has a unique set of nutrient requirements.
+1. I can tune nutrients in a tank to specific ranges, and get any particular plant looking absolutely spectacular. Keep in mind that health does not always equal beauty, some plants are considered better looking when slightly deficient.

But I keep many species in each tank, and inevitably a few other species won't like such specialized tunings at all.

And it's hard to maintain such a precise tuning. Consumption rises and falls with plant growth and trimming. Fluorescent lights dim over time. Unless you weight fish food, sometimes you'll feed more, or less. And so on.

In practice, "larding it on" as [Plantbrain] puts it is easier, and an acceptable compromise of conditions for most plants. I tweak conditions a lot, but it's because I like to, not because I have to.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Because I don't want NO3 in any excess, I dose 1/16 tsp KNO3 and 1/8 tsp
of K2SO4 in a 10g for EI low light/weekly and a light dose of it. Also on alternating weeks I either dose 1/32 or 1/64 tsp KH2PO4 and 1/16 MGSO4 + micros.
Does this sound off in any way ?
And I presume you meant no KNO3 when you said no K seperately ?
I used to dose KS2o4 separately, in addition to all regular EI ferts. About 4 to 5ppm of K, in additions to K from KNO3, GH booster, and KH2PO4.


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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by randpost View Post
I stopped dosing KNO3 due to some high nitrate readings I was getting. I replaced the missing K with K2SO4. Since the change in dosing I have been getting an abundance of GDA. Obviously I can't say without doubt that this is the cause of my GDA, but the correlation does lend to speculation. I still think it may be the large amount of light I have over my tank, but if that were the case I should have seen the GDA occurring a month ago or when I added the light? Other possibilities may be the addition of additives to promote the growth of bio film for shrimp or the reduction of flow that occurred when I removed a power head. So many possible causes, an no 100% concrete answer.

My nitrates seem to be settling down now since I don't disturb my substrate as much from planting/replanting etc. I think I will add KNO3 back into the mix. Hopefully this move will result in less GDA. If not, it's fine (I only have to wipe my glass once weekly). GDA isn't so bad especially if I can train my shrimp to suck on the glass.

The 1st sentence says it all, your READINGS, unless you calibrate those and make sure, and only then,........do you make a management decision......can you say much. Many accept the test kits as fact, they are not unless you confirm them with a calibrate test method.

Algae never lies, test kits can.




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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:22 PM
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Also, if you dose a fair amount of PO4, this is typically from KH2PO4.
So extra K+ there.

I do not think we have that much limitation with K+ generally in planted tanks with EI, it's pretty much impossible to do.

If you adjust EI down to the 1/3 or lower ranges, have a low tech tank without CO2, maybe some Excel dosed tanks, or a large Discus/fish load, only then does it become possible.

Folks love a good correlation to assign cause when fiddling with their ferts.
Very rarely does it turn out to be the case. Water changes, when you last did a trim, then followed up with a good water change, trim methods, making a mess rescaping, cleaning filters, feeding fish etc, CO2, too much light, plants shading others too much. 101 things.

We cannot rule those out, but we can rule out K+ pretty easily.
At least those who do not have issues ATM(thus lack any "control" in any of their "test").

Socially, often the person posting is looking for "Me Too's" to confirm their belief, not knowledge and logic. That is problematic also. My ignorance and inability to grow plants is not equal to another's logic and good horticulture. Do we go looking for facts to support our belief, or see what facts there are, then try and draw some conclusion?

If several aquarist know they have high K+(dosing easily confirms this) and plant species X, Y or Z, plant health and growth is good, they have examples and pictures etc. You have to accept it their methods to quantify the the K+ seem sound.

Eg, if I dose 30-40ppm a week of K+, it's extremely unlikely I'll ever see a limitation for any plant species for K+. Plant health is excellent, plants are large, I sell plenty etc, won a contest or two, etc.

If you have a few folks like that, correlation may fix your issue, but the hypothesis that K+ limitation/excess is the root, that's dead in the water.
You have to let that idea go and try out a new hypothesis that caused your issues.

You will not learn from your mistakes otherwise.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
The 1st sentence says it all, your READINGS, unless you calibrate those and make sure, and only then,........do you make a management decision......can you say much. Many accept the test kits as fact, they are not unless you confirm them with a calibrate test method.

Algae never lies, test kits can.
I really should calibrate, and make some test solutions then calibrate before every nitrate test. I probably won't even though I should.

I really shouldn't be so lazy, but the last thing I believe to be the culprit is k+.

Probably my light/co2 ratio needs adjusting. I will try to rule out some of the more simple things like water flow first though.




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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 04:54 PM
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I really should calibrate, and make some test solutions then calibrate before every nitrate test. I probably won't even though I should.

I really shouldn't be so lazy
That's like continuing to trust your gas gauge even though it never moves. lol.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 05:21 PM
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That's like continuing to trust your gas gauge even though it never moves. lol.
I know, but honestly how many people calibrate their nitrate kits every time they use them? A few perhaps, but I think I can live with a little inaccuracy, since I don't drive my aquarium to work.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 05:32 PM
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I know, but honestly how many people calibrate their nitrate kits every time they use them? A few perhaps, but I think I can live with a little inaccuracy, since I don't drive my aquarium to work.
I was actually joking .

You don't need to calibrate every time just every now and then or if the test seems inaccurate. Medical tests are calibrated very frequently. Yet, physicians will frequently discard test results that don't make sense before treatment. There is an old saying in emergency medicine, "treat the patient not the monitor". This holds true in this hobby as well.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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I know, but honestly how many people calibrate their nitrate kits every time they use them? A few perhaps, but I think I can live with a little inaccuracy, since I don't drive my aquarium to work.

Just use this fert dosing calculator and to cross reference with your favorite kits... http://rota.la/ Well, you can't get more ferts than you put in, that's for sure.


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Last edited by tetra73; 03-17-2014 at 07:03 PM. Reason: typo
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