Newbie dry fertilizer question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-28-2014, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie dry fertilizer question

Hi all,

I'm a newbie setting up a 55 gallon aquarium. So far I have java fern and anubias in it, but I would like to order some more plants and fertilizer. It will be a low-light no CO2 tank, so I am thinking about using the fertilizing method here http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/...singfertilizer . I would like to go with dry fertilizers as they seem more cost effective, but in the method above Seachem Equilibrium is used. The author mentions that you can use CSM+B instead of Equilibrium, but then you will need to add Calcium and Magnesium. I am wondering what dry fertilizers I should use for that, and how much should I dose?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ac0xr View Post
Hi all,

I'm a newbie setting up a 55 gallon aquarium. So far I have java fern and anubias in it, but I would like to order some more plants and fertilizer. It will be a low-light no CO2 tank, so I am thinking about using the fertilizing method here http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/...singfertilizer . I would like to go with dry fertilizers as they seem more cost effective, but in the method above Seachem Equilibrium is used. The author mentions that you can use CSM+B instead of Equilibrium, but then you will need to add Calcium and Magnesium. I am wondering what dry fertilizers I should use for that, and how much should I dose?

Thanks!

The dosing is set for EI method which might be too much for a low tech tank.

If you are buying dry ferts then CSM+B is your trace and Barr's GH booster (@ aquarium fertilizers) will provide the Magnesium and Calcium.

So you need to buy:
Potassium Nitrate <-- Nitrogen(N)
Monopotassium Phosphate <-- Phosporus (P)
Potassium Sulfate <-- Potassium(K)
GH Boosters <-- Calcium + Magnesium
CSM+B <-- Iron and Trace

The dosing specified in that article is for EI dosing method which works best with good light + C02 injection. Without those 2 then you are going to be creating an algae farm. As mentioned in the article:

3) Very low fertilizer dosing, and only occasionally

The dry ferts can be used but I would suggest to get the complete water test kit and the Phosphate and GH test kit since it is very easy to over do the dry ferts.

Also the EI method is under the assumption you are going to do water changes on a regular basis which basically resets the nutrients in the tank on a weekly basis. If you have no plan on doing that then be prepared to figure out the right dosage for each fert.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 03:04 AM
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Here is a good site for low tech fertilization & excel.
http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/...-planted-tank/

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PortalMasteryRy View Post
The dosing is set for EI method which might be too much for a low tech tank.

If you are buying dry ferts then CSM+B is your trace and Barr's GH booster (@ aquarium fertilizers) will provide the Magnesium and Calcium.

So you need to buy:
Potassium Nitrate <-- Nitrogen(N)
Monopotassium Phosphate <-- Phosporus (P)
Potassium Sulfate <-- Potassium(K)
GH Boosters <-- Calcium + Magnesium
CSM+B <-- Iron and Trace

The dosing specified in that article is for EI dosing method which works best with good light + C02 injection. Without those 2 then you are going to be creating an algae farm. As mentioned in the article:

3) Very low fertilizer dosing, and only occasionally

The dry ferts can be used but I would suggest to get the complete water test kit and the Phosphate and GH test kit since it is very easy to over do the dry ferts.

Also the EI method is under the assumption you are going to do water changes on a regular basis which basically resets the nutrients in the tank on a weekly basis. If you have no plan on doing that then be prepared to figure out the right dosage for each fert.
Thanks for the reply!

I was going to do water changes once a week, but I would like to figure out the correct dosage for each fert and then do the water changes anyway.

Would the PPS Pro system work? Or would that still be too much fertilizer. How would I calculate the right dosage for my tank?

Sorry for all the questions... I am very new at this!

Thanks!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 03:00 PM
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Only thing I would add to a low tech tank is CO2. Do you want a low tech or low light tank?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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I don't really care if it is low tech or not, but I would like to keep the costs as low as I can. For lighting I only have two 40w T8 bulbs so it is a low light tank.

Why would you add CO2 and no ferts? Will fish provide all the nutrients the plants need under that low of light?

Thanks!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ac0xr View Post
Thanks for the reply!

I was going to do water changes once a week, but I would like to figure out the correct dosage for each fert and then do the water changes anyway.

Would the PPS Pro system work? Or would that still be too much fertilizer. How would I calculate the right dosage for my tank?

Sorry for all the questions... I am very new at this!

Thanks!
PPS Pro is just another dosing method. What you are looking for are the dosing amount which varies from tank to tank.

IMHO to succeed is to understand how to tank works in terms of lighting, C02, nutrients, plant mass, plant types, etc.

The reason I suggested constantly check all the water params at the beginning is to get an idea of how much of the nutrients are being tossed in the water with the goal not to overdo it which just results in algae and unwanted water changes. With a low light tank, it becomes very very easy to overdose and since plants will not be set to grow fast the nutrient just stay in the water waiting for the algae to utilize it.

Fish provide the Nitrogen from the fish poop that gets broken down and converted to nitrates (N source). You still need to provide the other nutrients.

With low light you might not need to do water changes since your will never or should never put that much amount of nutrients in the water.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-29-2014, 08:50 PM
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With light that low you can probably get away with 1/4 EI and be fine.

For reference I run 1/2 EI with daily excel dosing in my low tech tanks. My light is higher than yours though. Buy dry ferts - they will last forever and are very cheap vs the liquid stuff which is mostly water.

I recommend a source of carbon. If not CO2 then use excel or a glut mixture something.


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