I'm sure this has been covered before, and I apologize for repeating it, but I'd just like confirmation before I start dumping stuff into my tank.
I have a 60P clone (Mr Aqua): 17.1 gallons. I'm using a pair of Current Sat+ lights which should give me about 70 PAR at the substrate. Compressed co2 via a diffuser, cranked just shy of when my fish start looking distressed. Details in my tank journal (see sig), if you need them.
My tank is moderately planted (I think), and hope to be heavily planted before long, assuming I work out my algae issues and start a DHG Belem carpet. It's been established for about 6 months, and aside from the annoying algae issues has been nice and stable.
I assume my algae issues stem from fert imbalances, and my inconsistent use of a couple of SeaChem ferts (Flourish and Potassium) plus Excel. I'm hoping to go to EI ferts to combat this. Also I want to kick up the red in my new red plants, so I'll include iron chelate with the standard EI stuff.
So I have purchased GLA's EI starter pack, plus iron chelate.
Per GLA's general instructions
(for a 10-20 gal tank), I believe I am supposed to add:
- 1/8 tsp KNO3 (macro)
- 1/32 tsp KH2PO4 (macro)
- 1/32 tsp K2SO4 (macro)
- 1/32 tsp Plantex CSM+B (micro)
... and alternate micros/macros daily, and 50% water change on day 7 (and don't add either on that day).
Of course, my cookware set doesn't come with a 1/32 tsp measuring spoon.
Now, AnotherHobby did the math for this mixture, each one is mixed into 16 ounces (~500 ml) of water:
2 tbsp KNO3
1.5 tsp KH2PO4
1.5 tsp K2SO4
1.5 tsp Micros
3/4 tsp Iron (an addition to the normal EI mix for red plants)
So I dump x amount of the each powders into a 16 oz / ~ 500ml jar of water, and at 10 ml per daily dose (50 doses per 500 ml, or 48 doses per 16 oz) that jar should give me a 4 month supply (using each 3x per week, 48 doses is 16 weeks' worth, or 4 months). I think that works out, because 1/32 tsp * 48 = 1.5 tsp, and 1/8 * 48 = 6 tsp (or 2 tbsp), perfect per his calcs. I'll take his word on the iron, under the circumstances.
Can anyone confirm this mixture? It's obviously working well in his
obviously spectacular tank, but I'd feel better with confirmation that I'm getting this. Just looking at the above paragraph, I'm fairly certain I'm in the right ballpark, and I trust AH got it right, but I want to make sure *I* have it right in my head, instead of following his formula completely blindly.
Do I need to use distilled water for these mixtures, or is tap ok? If tap, I assume I should treat with Prime as usual, else no need for Prime in distilled water?
What about Excel? I've read some reports where they mix it into one or the other of their solutions, both as an easy way to add to the tank all at once, and as an algae retardant within the solution. Would I add to macros or micro, and would I simply substitute some Excel (how much?) for water?
Should I worry about my KH and GH levels? (see below)
FWIW, as of my last water tests, my numbers per API master test kit and API GH/PH kit were:
- pH: 6.8
- Ammonia: 0
- Nitrite: 0
- Nitrate: 5-10 (between the two on the chart)
- KH: 9 drops to yellow = 9 ºdKH or 161.1 ppm
- GH: 11 drops to green = 11 ºdKH or 196.9 ppm
The latter two seem high, per the little chart of recommendations, but not insane, not I'm not sure whether to really worry or not. I clearly need to test my tap water (standard Los Angeles tap water), but meanwhile...
Anyone care to chime in?