Dosing/water parameters question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Dosing/water parameters question

Saw a few threads that addressed similar questions to mine, but didn't really fit, so...
I have had my first planted tank, a 75 gal with 216w of T5 lighting, running for a month and a half, and have decided to start dosing ferts. My water parameters are:

GH: 5 degrees
KH: 3 degrees
PH: 6.4 degrees
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrates: 5-10ppm
I live in NYC, where the water is quite soft, and there is some driftwood in the tank that could be lowering the PH. My substrate is Florabase and Eco-complete, which I think could be acting as a buffer. Not totally sure.

I have been dosing Excel daily, and will be moving to pressurized CO2, but not for a couple of months. I wanted to use EI dosing, as I am fine with water changes every week. Here is the dosing regimen I devised:

Sunday: 50% water change, 1 tsp Seachem Equilibrium, Excel (overdose)
Monday: +/- 3/4 tsp KN03, Excel
Tuesday: +/- 3/16 tsp KH2P04, 15ml Flourish Comprehensive, Excel
Wednesday: +/- 3/4 tsp KN03, Excel
Thursday: +/- 3/16 tsp KH2P04, 15ml Flourish Comprehensive, Excel
Friday: +/- 3/4 tsp KN03, Excel
Saturday: +/- 3/16 tsp KH2P04, 15ml Flourish Comprehensive, Excel

Due to only dosing Excel for carbon, should I adjust this regimen? Also, do my water parameters dictate any changes? I have a feeling that my water might be too soft.

Any comments or corrections would be appreciated. I'm still learning, so I apologize if I'm a bit thick about this stuff. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-27-2008, 11:50 PM
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In my experience the Eco Complete does a little buffering and increases the GH at least somewhat. The effect does wear off though. I have very soft water also, each week when I do the 50% water change I add 1tsp of GH Builder/Equilibrium and a 1tsp of baking soda for KH. The baking soda isn't completely necessary, but at such a low dosage it doesn't hurt either. I didn't add these until quite a few months (9 maybe?) after the aquarium was started up because of the aforementioned substrate buffering. I suppose it's worth noting that my KH & GH out of the tap are both less than 1 degree.

I'd be inclined to recommend a bit lower light (maybe half) and cutting the EI probably about in half too. The Excel will get pretty expensive in the long run, though that point is debatable, but it won't give as good of results as using compressed CO2, which in my opinion 4x54watt T5 HO lamps needs.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks indi, I'll be sure to make the adjustments to the regimen. I run only run all four 54w T5's for 4 hours a day, which I'm hoping will work out for the best. Any suggestions for what I should do about iron? At the moment I'm just waiting for everything to settle. Thanks again.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 04:56 AM
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Flourish Comprehensive in the dose you indicated will provide plenty of Iron.

I'm not totally confident that reducing the dosage is a good idea with all four lamps running, it might just be something you need to test. That HO lighting is basically equal to my 260 watts of PC lighting, granted I run it for 8 hours. I'd never dream of running that without compressed CO2, unless I cut the light in half.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'll keep to the safe road, and cut the lighting while dosing. Hopefully everything will stay nice and healthy until I can attain (read: afford ) some CO2. Thanks!
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