Fertilizer Dosing & Bringing Red Plants Back - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Fertilizer Dosing & Bringing Red Plants Back

So I recently got back into the hobby and I'm having some difficulties that I really need some advice on how to handle.

1) Fertilizer target levels. I often read that for planted tanks there are target levels for each of the macro and micro fertilizers (e.g. Potassium Nitrate range 5-30 ppm, Potassium Sulfate range 10-30 ppm, etc.) I have looked for testing kits to test and see if my tank is at these levels but haven't been able to find anything out. How do I find out for sure?

2) My red plants were very bright red when I initially planted them. Now, they are more of a brownish red color (more brown than red). How do I get them back to their former state of bright red?

3) Are Nitrogen and Nitrate the same thing?

A little background:
100 gallon tank.
Substrate is Flourite Black & Flourite black sand mix.
A pre-substrate of pumice, clay, and peat.
My lighting is 2x Fluval full spectrum & 1x Current Satellite Full spectrum
Dosing with PPS-Pro solutions
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 08:07 PM
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1) those are dosage rates. You don't test for them, you add enough to make that many PPM in your tank (on top of what's already there). Usually these are specified for some kind of interval, such as daily or weekly with a certain percentage water change assumed on a weekly basis.

2) figuring out your fertilizer, CO2 and lighting levels. From what I've read, most red plants need a good bit of light and iron to stay red.

3) No, but nitrogen is a part of nitrate. Nitrate is NO3. Nitrogen is just N (usually N2 in pure gas nature).

Last edited by mattinmd; 09-26-2014 at 08:08 PM. Reason: fixed bases to basis
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 09:40 PM
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To get plants red requires red light in the right spectrum. The red pigments won't be produced unless there is light that it can absorb. If there isn't enough of this spectrum, it won't bother to produce a lot of pigment to absorb what isn't there. This may or may not apply to your tank conditions.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-26-2014, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
To get plants red requires red light in the right spectrum. The red pigments won't be produced unless there is light that it can absorb. If there isn't enough of this spectrum, it won't bother to produce a lot of pigment to absorb what isn't there. This may or may not apply to your tank conditions.
By definition, if a pigment is reflecting red light then it is not using it. Just like how most leaves are green because they do not use green as efficiently.

People use red lights because it makes everything look more red - including the plants.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2014, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
1) those are dosage rates. You don't test for them, you add enough to make that many PPM in your tank (on top of what's already there). Usually these are specified for some kind of interval, such as daily or weekly with a certain percentage water change assumed on a weekly basis.
So that being said, how do I find out for sure if I have added enough of the fertilizers to make that level of PPM?

Bump:
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Originally Posted by 691175002 View Post
By definition, if a pigment is reflecting red light then it is not using it. Just like how most leaves are green because they do not use green as efficiently.

People use red lights because it makes everything look more red - including the plants.
I'm thinking I need to increase the amount of time my lights are on. The only reason I decreased it was because I started to get a lot of brown algae (My tank has only been set up for about 6 weeks)
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2014, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by DarkPhoenix View Post
So that being said, how do I find out for sure if I have added enough of the fertilizers to make that level of PPM?

Bump:

I'm thinking I need to increase the amount of time my lights are on. The only reason I decreased it was because I started to get a lot of brown algae (My tank has only been set up for about 6 weeks)
You can buy test kits which give you some sort of reading for the nutrients (Nitrate, phosphate, GH, KH).

An alternative is the EI method of dosing assuming you WILL do the 50% water change after every week. The EI method is designed so you don't have to worry about the amount of nutrients. The dosing is designed to provide an abundant amount of nutrients so none of the nutrient are limiting for the plants. The key to this dosing is resetting the nutrient levels by doing a 50% water change at the end of the week. If you follow the EI method and not do the water change then you will end up with too much nutrients that will create an algae bloom.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2014, 08:48 AM
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The calculator tells you how many PPM you get when you add any certain amount of each fert. Sort of backwards. You list an amount and it tells you what level that brings you to. But it goes one fert at a time and then you will need to add the results to see the final amount in PPM. That part is listed in "and I am dosing for" and you pick
results of my dosing.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=148187
Or you can just use this list. It is for EI so it goes/w 50% weekly water change.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=21944
You likely have lower end of med range light and I don't see any injected CO2 listed by your list of tank specs so I would use less than what that list says by about half.
Or even easier, if you notice the doses are for three times a week with each of Macros on the first day and Micros on the second day and then repete for two more days each.
You can just do the first day of each at the directed level/amount. If you find any deficiencies after a month or two you can add some according to the deficiency.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-05-2014, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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T...You likely have lower end of med range light and I don't see any injected CO2 listed by your list of tank specs so I would use less than what that list says by about half
I thought I mentioned it, but my tank is CO2 injected. It's about 3 bubbles per second at this point. Maybe i should go back to EI dosing. I currently have the auto-dosing using the PPS-Pro method. I just can't seem to find the right balance.. Im starting to get green spot and hair algae now so I increased the CO2 to about 3 bubbles per second.

That being said, to get rid of the algae, I was thinking about putting some Excel in a syringe and squirting it directly on it. However, I am hesitant, because I know some plants don't do well with Excel. Is there a list of which plants excel is bad for? I know Vals is one, but any others?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 05:53 AM
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bps tells you nothing about co2 levels in tank unless you know diffusion efficiency and pressure in bubble counter.
drop checker or http://www.theaquatools.com/co2-calculations is what people use for rough estimations on co2
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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bps tells you nothing about co2 levels in tank unless you know diffusion efficiency and pressure in bubble counter.
drop checker or http://www.theaquatools.com/co2-calculations is what people use for rough estimations on co2
This is really good. i haven't seen anything like this before. Thank you!

100 Gal Tank
Lights:
  • 2x Fluval LED (8 hours) &
  • 1x Current Satellite LED (10 hours)
Co2 Injected
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