To dose or not to dose? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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To dose or not to dose?

A little background: My first venture into planted tanks was a little hasty, as I jumped in the deep end shortly after getting into the hobby. I went 2.6 WPG on a 10 gallon tank and dosed Flourish twice a week. Needless to say, I grew hair algae like nobody's business. I lost that battle and broke down that tank, but left with a valuable lesson. I was angry and didn't understand what I was doing wrong- then I learned about the trinity.

Now I have a 55g low tech, low light with some stems, c. wendtii and anubias. Lighting is a Satellite+ LED at 0.5 WPG and a PAR of 21. Up till now, the only fertilization these plants have received are the root tabs given to the crypts. I'm hesitant to even try, but I also want my plants to be happy. Given my very low light and no CO2/Excel, how much could I safely dose Flourish and not have an algae outbreak? I was thinking 1/2 dosage, or even 1/3rd for the sake of caution.

What do you guys think? I really don't want another algae problem choking everything in my tank, but I do want to help my plants out.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 03:28 AM
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Start with like 1/3 EI dosing if you ask me. that is what I do for my low tech. Having an excess of nutrients (within reason) is prettymuch never a problem. Tom has said this many many times. Light / CO2 are the cause of algae 95% of the time. After what I have gone through thus far I totally agree.

Ferts really do not cause algae. Extra light that your plants do not use cause algae. If you do not give your plants the nutrients they need then algae will use the excess light.

IMO every planted tank should dose no matter how low tech you go. Healthy plants are the best algaecide. Give them what they need


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 03:32 AM
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If all you have is root feeders I wouldn't worry about anything but the root tabs.

I've found that in my 20L which is a heavily root tank (dwarf sag, crypts) with peacock moss, the moss has grown just fine without the addition of nutrients. In fact I've been able to get dwarf sag to carpet in that tank without he addition of any ferts outside of o+ capsules every so often. No co2 no excel, there's some algae that appears on the glass occasionally but nothing to write home about, I only have to clean the glass about once every two months.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by drewsuf82 View Post
If all you have is root feeders I wouldn't worry about anything but the root tabs.

I've found that in my 20L which is a heavily root tank (dwarf sag, crypts) with peacock moss, the moss has grown just fine without the addition of nutrients. In fact I've been able to get dwarf sag to carpet in that tank without he addition of any ferts outside of o+ capsules every so often. No co2 no excel, there's some algae that appears on the glass occasionally but nothing to write home about, I only have to clean the glass about once every two months.
Right now I have a decent amount of wisteria, a bundle of anacharis, a large anubias coffeefolia and c. wendtii-- java fern and java moss coming soon.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by StrangeDejavu View Post
Right now I have a decent amount of wisteria, a bundle of anacharis, a large anubias coffeefolia and c. wendtii-- java fern and java moss coming soon.
The wisteria, java fern, and moss will feed from the column with those in the tank as well, you more than likely want to look at water column dosing. Personally I'd start slowly and watch to see what happens.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds good, i'll go with klibs recommendation of 1/3 dosage and keep an eye on things.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 04:21 AM
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Just remember the wisteria on e it starts sprouting roots about 2 inches long trim under the roots and replant otherwise you'll end up with a mess of wisteria with roots in your water, it's a fast grower so it should help you keep the balance a bit, if you end up with an explosion of it, you may want to cut back dosing just a hair.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Normal dosing of Flourish is 4.5 mL for 55 gallons, so I shot in 1.5 mL- it's gotta help.

I originally started with wisteria from PetSmart in those tubes. Miserable growth, maybe two new leaves per week with the lower sections drooped over and dusted with brown diatoms. Recently I ordered a bunch of wisteria online and they sent me a second bunch for free, so now I have quite the collection of it, hehe. The huge, bushy ones are from my latest order, with that tiny shrub in the corner being the undergrown bunch from PetSmart. Ignore the cloudiness, post-planting + tannins makes for some unsightly water, lol.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 04:42 AM
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Once the lower leaves of the Wisteria get holes in the leaves it will be usless to increase the doses of Flourish.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Once the lower leaves of the Wisteria get holes in the leaves it will be usless to increase the doses of Flourish.
I guess this test is pointless then since I have a male Ram that can't keep his hands to himself. I feed him well but it doesn't stop him from nibbling on my wisteria, littering it with holes over time.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 01:53 PM
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FYI the 'normal dosing of flourish' is like 1/10 of what I recommended. I mean you should do like 1/4 or 1/3 EI. Seachem labels are very very low amount of fert dosing and in order to hit EI values you will have to put like 30mL of multiple products each day.

Flourish comp is really only good for micros / trace elements. It has miniscule amounts of NPK so your macros will not be covered.

Plugging 55 gallons to the rota.la calculator yields you need to add 32 mL of flourish comp for full EI - just to hit the 0.5 PPM Fe. You will need to dose more than comp IMO.

IMO you should ditch seachem products. They are like 99.9% water. Get some dry ferts and go to town.

Also +1 for wisteria getting messy. Throws out mid roots like crazy


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeDejavu View Post
I guess this test is pointless then since I have a male Ram that can't keep his hands to himself. I feed him well but it doesn't stop him from nibbling on my wisteria, littering it with holes over time.
Well I learned another piece of info about Rams today...
Had a 30Long tank(36"x12"x16") early in my "fish tank" days.
Rams were my perfect candidate for a predator in it as I like to keep live bearers and they could keep them in check. Never ate my plants but I guess they didn't like what I had.
But the reason I mentioned holes in the leaves of the Wisteria was because of what Klibs just said. In Wisteria, holes are signs of fert deficiencies and what he said would take care of that. With that few of plants you could even use "EI Low light/weekly" as
it may be enough.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klibs View Post
FYI the 'normal dosing of flourish' is like 1/10 of what I recommended. I mean you should do like 1/4 or 1/3 EI. Seachem labels are very very low amount of fert dosing and in order to hit EI values you will have to put like 30mL of multiple products each day.

Flourish comp is really only good for micros / trace elements. It has miniscule amounts of NPK so your macros will not be covered.

Plugging 55 gallons to the rota.la calculator yields you need to add 32 mL of flourish comp for full EI - just to hit the 0.5 PPM Fe. You will need to dose more than comp IMO.

IMO you should ditch seachem products. They are like 99.9% water. Get some dry ferts and go to town.

Also +1 for wisteria getting messy. Throws out mid roots like crazy
God, I didn't realize it was so diluted. My hair algae situation must have been purely high light/high PAR combined with how close the lights are to the substrate in a 10 gallon. I think i'll bump up to full dose next water change and see how it goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Well I learned another piece of info about Rams today...
Had a 30Long tank(36"x12"x16") early in my "fish tank" days.
Rams were my perfect candidate for a predator in it as I like to keep live bearers and they could keep them in check. Never ate my plants but I guess they didn't like what I had.
But the reason I mentioned holes in the leaves of the Wisteria was because of what Klibs just said. In Wisteria, holes are signs of fert deficiencies and what he said would take care of that. With that few of plants you could even use "EI Low light/weekly" as
it may be enough.
He's such a punk, he'll bite a hole right in the center of a lush, green leaf, then go to the lower leaves, rip a piece of the side off then spit it out and i'll watch it float to the top. Makes me want to spank him, lol. Not sure if he's going for infusoria living on the leaves or if he just wants to vandalize my plants.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 06:14 PM
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In general I think a good way to think of it is that if you need your plants to use up all the light that you hit your tank with. Plants can only take in so much light. After that point algae will swoop in and take advantage.

In order for plants to use all the light you need a decent amount of plants as well as all the nutrients your plants need to make the most of their situation. If ferts are not there than plant growth is limited by ferts. You ALWAYS want light to be the limiting factor - not ferts or carbon (CO2 or excel/glut)

IMO the best option for fert dosing are dry ferts. They are super-cheap and will last you forever.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by klibs View Post
In general I think a good way to think of it is that if you need your plants to use up all the light that you hit your tank with. Plants can only take in so much light. After that point algae will swoop in and take advantage.

In order for plants to use all the light you need a decent amount of plants as well as all the nutrients your plants need to make the most of their situation. If ferts are not there than plant growth is limited by ferts. You ALWAYS want light to be the limiting factor - not ferts or carbon (CO2 or excel/glut)

IMO the best option for fert dosing are dry ferts. They are super-cheap and will last you forever.
Go figure on that last sentence. This 55g setup was a Craigslist find, got the tank, canopy/stand, 2x Eheim 2213s, 6 months worth of Prime, every Seachem plant product, root tabs, medicine, live plants, 100+ Red Cherry Shrimp... the list goes on, all for $150. Anyway, she had dry ferts by the pound- Potassium, Phosphate, etc and I gave them away when I sold the fluorescent fixture to buy LED. "I'll never need these", I said.

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