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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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some fert questions

I am brand new at planted tanks so please bare with me. I just have a few questions about dosing ferts.

1. I have decided to use the PMDD method. Does anyone know if I can I add PO4 to the mixture or do I dose PO4 on it's own?

2. Do the ferts in liquid form need to be refrigerated?

3. I am not really sure how start dosing. Should I dose at half of the
recommended amounts of trace/macro/micro. and slowly increase the amounts if no problems arise? or should I just jump in? Which is better for the fish/plants?

4. I think I have what I need for lighting and CO2. Most of my plants seem very heathly (to me at least) but some are starting to show signs of nutrient deficiencies. My tank is moderatly stocked with fish and I have noticed over the last several weeks that the plants seemed to get everthing they needed from the fish. But as the plants grew and spread my nitrate levels dropped lower and lower. Now there are no nitrates at all. I want to allow the plants to continue to spread slowly so I am adding ferts. Am I right to add ferts? or will adding more fish and over feeding fish a better option for plant growth?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 12:19 PM
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Not sure about the PMDD method. I believe that was one of the original dosing methods developed and not many people use that regime, but to each his own.

As far as your plants getting what they need from the fish... that is not 100% correct. They may get some nitrates from the biological cycle, and they my even get small amounts of phophates from the food, but trace elements and potassium are the missing elements that are not present in most natural things in an aquarium without intervention.

Not sure how these solutions are made for this dosing, but most solutions do not need to be refrigerated, but it wouldn't hurt if you did.

PO4 should never be added to the Trace Elements solution, but it ca be mixed with the other macros NO3 and K.

BTW... NEVER OVERFEED. I have never ever heard of a situation where this is acceptable.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
Not sure about the PMDD method. I believe that was one of the original dosing methods developed and not many people use that regime, but to each his own.

As far as your plants getting what they need from the fish... that is not 100% correct. They may get some nitrates from the biological cycle, and they my even get small amounts of phophates from the food, but trace elements and potassium are the missing elements that are not present in most natural things in an aquarium without intervention.

Not sure how these solutions are made for this dosing, but most solutions do not need to be refrigerated, but it wouldn't hurt if you did.

PO4 should never be added to the Trace Elements solution, but it ca be mixed with the other macros NO3 and K.

BTW... NEVER OVERFEED. I have never ever heard of a situation where this is acceptable.
Thanks, I know that PMDD is not the most current method but it's a proven system and my tank is not a high tech setup. It should work just fine

I really don't understand why the plants stopped growing. I was thinking it may have been because the plants that I keep are not that demanding to begin with, and that they may have grown with what the fish were providing them. Since I started the tank the plants did really well and spread out rather quickly. There may be too many plants now competeing for what little nutrients there is. That's why I'm now toying with adding ferts. Thanks for the heads up reading PO4 and trace. That's really good to know.

I have heard that overfeeding fish is a method used by some people. However I do not know of anyone who does this or how it's done properly. I thought I would ask here for some input.

Thank you for your insight gmccreedy. You have been quite helpful. I might try the EI method with my other tank later on. I would like to try both methods just to see what works best for me. I will have more questions later on. Again thank you.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 03:52 PM
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The need for dosing ferts is relative to the intensity of your light and the CO2 levels in the tank. If you originally stocked your tank with healthy plants they had a certain amount of stored nutrients and energy which probably enabled them to grow well for a period of time until they hit a wall from lack of nutrients relative to the light and CO2 they are being provided with. Overfeeding your fish is not the answer especially if your light and CO2 levels are high, it sounds like you need to come up with a dosing regime for your tank so that the plants have a consistent source of nutrients. The only liquid ferts that usually need refrigeration are the micros. Refrigerating a liquid solution of CSM&B helps to prevent its tendency to develop mold. I refrigerate Flourish for the same reason despite the label claiming it is not necessary.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filipem View Post
Thanks, I know that PMDD is not the most current method but it's a proven system and my tank is not a high tech setup. It should work just fine

I really don't understand why the plants stopped growing. I was thinking it may have been because the plants that I keep are not that demanding to begin with, and that they may have grown with what the fish were providing them. Since I started the tank the plants did really well and spread out rather quickly. There may be too many plants now competeing for what little nutrients there is. That's why I'm now toying with adding ferts. Thanks for the heads up reading PO4 and trace. That's really good to know.

I have heard that overfeeding fish is a method used by some people. However I do not know of anyone who does this or how it's done properly. I thought I would ask here for some input.

Thank you for your insight gmccreedy. You have been quite helpful. I might try the EI method with my other tank later on. I would like to try both methods just to see what works best for me. I will have more questions later on. Again thank you.
PMDD is developed with the notion that PO4 limitation, is a good idea for algae control.

It's not.

So add some KH2PO4 to the Macro's, keep the trace mix separate.
So have a bottle of PMDD and then a bottle of KH2PO4.
Add these.

Not just PMDD.

The lull you see is likely due to low PO4, adding it should increase pearling of the plants and increase the clarity and reduce the Green spot algae.

So add about 10ppm of NO3 worth and 2ppm or so for the PO4.
This will likely rev up the CO2 demand so make certain you have a good handle on that.

Poor CO2/circulation causes about 95% of the algae and plant growth related issues folks have.

If you limit say PO4 severely, then the CO2 demand will go down, because you have limited PO4 more strongly than PO4.

So this led folks to think that PO4(or any other nutrient that's strongly limited) causes algae when it's higher/excess etc.

However, it's not.
You just relieved the PO4 limitation so now the plants need more CO2 than you had been supplying. If you added plenty of CO2 to begin with, you'd never see the issue with algae when you add PO4 at high levels.

Good example of how correlation does not = cause.
While PMDD may be what some here considered to be old, all the methods pretty much that involve dosing liquid ferts are based around it.

NO3 is still NO3.
K+ is still K+.
PO4 is still PO4, whether made by ADA or bought at the Ag supply store in 25 Kg sacks.

I'd suggest watching your plants and CO2 the most, and then dose well/do water changes often etc.

That should keep you out of most trouble.

Regards,
Tom Barr






It's not, but




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond to my problem. Tom thank you for your insight and advice that clears things up quite a bit. I will dose as per your direction once I step up my CO2.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 09:14 PM
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sorry to thread jack, but question relating to this...

besides online, where can you find KH2PO4?

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75g - Eheim 2213 - Magnum 350 - Pool Sand - Root Tabs -2.5 wpg - 10lb Pressurized CO2


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