Using more then the manufacturer recommends.. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Using more then the manufacturer recommends..

So I got a brand new API Pondmaster test kit for the pond, and I figured although it doesn't do nitrates, it tests pH, Ammonia, nitrites, and phosphates. Everything was perfect across the board, 7.0 pH (tap is 7.6 according to the kit, so assuming thats from CO2), 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, but 0 phosphates?? I tested the tank approx 5 hours after I dosed phosphates, and it was already gone?

I've been using Seachem's Aquavitro line following the dosing guidelines on their website:
Day of the Week Product Dose
Day 1, 3, 5 propel 1 inner cap (7 ml) per 70 US gallons ( 280 L)
activate 1 ml per 36 US gallons (136 L)
synthesis 1 ml per 36 US gallons (136 L)

Day 2, 4, 6 propel 1 inner cap (7 ml) per 70 US gallons ( 280 L)
envy 1 inner cap (7 ml) per 40 US gallons (150 L)

Day 7 Water Change

Propel is a concentrated (10,000 mg/L) source of ferrous iron.
Activate is a concentrated (6,000 mg/L P) phosphorus source
Synthesis is a concentrated (32,000 mg/L N) nitrogen source
On the bottles: use with activate to provide nitrogen and phosphorus in a 5:1 N:P ratio
Envy is micros and other vitamins, too many to list

The tank in question is a 40 gallon long with 2 HOT5 54 watt bulbs, CO2 running at an uncountable amount, a split 8 hour lighting period (battling algae). I just use gravel with root tabs under the HC (yes my HC is growing in gravel, I planted it when I was a noob, but it's bright green and happy), DHG, and Rotala. My plants are happy and well rooted despite the algae issues. The Algae explosion was from the change in lights from 1 HOT5+T8, to two HOt5s, after my ballast died in the T8. Trying to figure out the new lighting period, but I notice the 3 hour break in the 8 hour lighting period is helping. Also put in barley yesterday after a big tank cleaning to keep it away....

There is also a handful of wisteria stems, lots of java moss, some what I thought was elodea (grows like a weed, drives me nuts sending baby plants everywhere around the tank), and a coconut fiber ball with what I believe is a lily (which sent up a flower a few weeks ago, and sends up leaves to the top too) and a fern of some sort also in the ball.

So I was curious... when is it okay to dose more then the manufacturer suggests? I wouldn't have expected the plants to use up the phosphates that quickly, and I'm curious to see where my other levels sit. They are all growing quite well, but I'm wondering if maybe they would benefit from a small increase?

When I tested with test strips I had, I got a nitrate reading of 20 ppm, taken at the same time as the other test. Nitrates and phosphates are dosed at the same time too, this was before a water change.

Would it be worth it to increase the phosphate and nitrate dosage? Currently I use a 1 mil pipette and dose 1 mil of each on Days 1, 3, and 5. I've been dosing extra phosphates in my 10 gal, but only to kill Diatoms, and only inhabitants are Nerites, so I don't know if there's a negative effect or not, but I assume if it's at 0ppm in 5 hours I should be safe?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 02:09 AM
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I would be suspicious about the test kit.
If you dose the phosphate fertilizer into a tank (bottle, jar) with nothing but tap water does it read correctly?

Does the bottle of fertilizer have instructions like this:
To raise the phosphate by X amount, dose Y amount per 10 gallons.
?
Or are the instructions more like this:
Add this amount per 10 gallons.
?
If there are instructions like the italicized ones, then use that to make a known concentration and test your test kit.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 02:13 AM
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You have high light, so the plants will be growing fast, as fast as the supplied nutrients let them grow. Since you have algae problems, I suspect you don't have enough CO2 to meet the needs of the plants growing that fast. In any case, with fast growth the plants need more fertilizing than with slow growth. Seachem seems to make their fertilizing dosage recommendations based on slow growth, so you should be able to double their recommendations without any problems at all - other than money related problems.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-19-2014, 03:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I would be suspicious about the test kit.
If you dose the phosphate fertilizer into a tank (bottle, jar) with nothing but tap water does it read correctly?

Does the bottle of fertilizer have instructions like this:
To raise the phosphate by X amount, dose Y amount per 10 gallons.
?
Or are the instructions more like this:
Add this amount per 10 gallons.
?
If there are instructions like the italicized ones, then use that to make a known concentration and test your test kit.
Well for the 40 gallon, after math it ends up being 1ml of phosphate into the tank. Use one inner capful (7 mL) per 250 US gallons (950 L) twice a week (or as needed). This dose increases phosphate by 0.15 mg/L, and potassium by 0.06 mg/L. (The website says to dose it every other day so I've been doing that)

I'll definitely do a quick test tomorrow. And convert that all to ppm so I can understand it lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
You have high light, so the plants will be growing fast, as fast as the supplied nutrients let them grow. Since you have algae problems, I suspect you don't have enough CO2 to meet the needs of the plants growing that fast. In any case, with fast growth the plants need more fertilizing than with slow growth. Seachem seems to make their fertilizing dosage recommendations based on slow growth, so you should be able to double their recommendations without any problems at all - other than money related problems.
Yeah well aside from the tank having been on from 9am to 11 :P. Oopsies. Never changed it when we got plants , but previous to the extra T5, we had barely any.

I've been slowly increasing the amount of CO2 going into the tank, but as of right now it's uncountable. Just letting the fish slowly adjust. Even my moss right now is growing insanely fast. For a 48" long tank 40 longs are very short, so I'm almost wondering if we made a mistake switching to two T-5s, though I could always raise them. The bottles of the stuff are actually fairly cheap, been dosing at the recommendations since February and barely 3/4 of the way through them, though the Iron is a bit lower... Only 10 bucks a bottle, so not too bad.

I'm going to try to see what kind of readings I'm getting with the testkit phosphate wise so I can get a better idea of what I should be seeing. My plants don't seem to be showing any deficiencies, but I do wonder if I'm not dosing enough.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-20-2014 at 01:04 AM. Reason: Back to back posts
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