First time with co2 and ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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First time with co2 and ferts

Just got my shipment with everything for pressurized co2 (JBJ setup) and I got the Seachem fundamentals plant pack. (Flourish/Iron/Excel).

My tank is a 20g hex, 78watts CF lighting, medium-heavily planted, with a relatively full fish load. Can anyone inform me of a starting point for bubbles per minute and/or some beginner fert dosages? Do I have everything I need? I am still waiting on my ebay drop checker, so I am a little nervous about hurting my fish.

Thanks
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 06:53 AM
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I prefer to use the EI method. It took me A TON of reading, and asking questions to sort of understand it, but that is your best bet.

Have you checked out www.rexgrigg.com yet?
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 07:07 AM
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You might want to invest in a drop checker to determine your daily CO2 in parts per million. For the interim, I would check out the following link. It has a useful calculation to determine CO2 in PPM.

http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

You want to shoot for right around 30 PPM of CO2.

As far as the "Seachem fundamentals plant pack" goes, does it include something for Nitrogen, Phosphates, and Potassium?

If not, you will need those macro ferts. I would stay away from the Seachem line though as you will go through those ferts fairly quickly and they are much more expensive than dry ferts that you can buy online.

I buy my dry ferts from http://www.aquariumfertilizers.com/Store.php

You will probably want KNO3, K2SO4, and possibly KH2PO4 depending on how much phosphate is in your tap water. Some people don't need KH2PO4 because their tap water supplies enough. People like me that use RO filtered water need to suplement the tank since the filter traps KH2PO4 before it enters the tank.

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Last edited by BiscuitSlayer; 03-03-2008 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Corrected URL for http://www.aquariumfertilizers.com/Store.php
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2008, 07:11 AM
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I forgot to mention that I would probably set the bubble counter to like 1 bps and check your PH and Kh about 1/2 way into your photo period. That should give you the CO2 in ppm based on that calculator I sent you a link to. you might not want to make any changes the first day and see where your CO2 in ppm is right before your lights/co2 shut off.

Then adjust the following day. Keep an eye on your fish. If they start acting weird, I would back off on the CO2 and possibly do an emergency water change. If you work up to it slowly though, you shouldn't have any problems.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome info guys, thanks for the responses. I ordered a drop checker from ebay when i ordered all the co2 stuff, but so far its not here yet. 2nd problem... no Kh test kit. So I'm going to start with 1 bubble every ~2 seconds, until my drop checker arrives and I have time to make it to the LFS that sells the Kh test kit.

As far as ferts, my kit came with flourish, flourish iron, and flourish excel only. I now realize this was not really the kit that I need. (good sales pitch, Seachem!)

I will do a lot more reading starting immediately.

Thanks again for the responses.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 12:38 AM
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Rex Grigg has some dry ferts all in a kit that I just got. It has all the starter stuff. I started out on the Seachem stuff too and now they are all just sitting in my basement. The dry ferts are cheaper, easier to use after you figure all the BS out and they really don't go bad. After awhile, the Seachem products go bad from what they have been telling me here. I hate to tell you, but even after reading for weeks, you may still be a bit confused like so many of us. I guess it just takes A LOT of trial and error and to see what make everything work. Good, happy plants, happy fish, little or no algae (only if you are very lucky) and someone to help you figure all this chemisty out.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2008, 11:02 AM
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One thing that helped me tremendously was to find someone with a setup that was already working that was similar to mine. I payed attention to what they were doing and how they were running their setup. I used thier setup as a template for mine. It really isn't that hard. In the end you just have to tweak things a bit since nothing is identical.

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