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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Walk me through it.

Alright, so I've got a couple of plants that I'd wish would show more color that I can't get to turn red let alone "redish"
Alternanthera reineckii (it is redish but I wish it popped even more)
Ludwigia repens (green. completely green)
I also wish my melon sword had more coloration.

It's a 55g with a satellite plus pro 48". I dose seachem flourish comprehensive plant supplement twice a week. I normally do about a 30-40% water change once a week. I went through an old box (5+ years) and found some seachem root tabs from a long time ago. I added a few, I've seen some growth but not much more color.

I'm up for adding ferts as needed, but I have no idea what/how to add.. I really don't want to get into CO2 if I can help it. What do I need to add? Is there an EI method for non CO2? Help me walk through it if you could.

Thanks!!
Michael
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 01:03 AM
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plants

Im sure someone will chime in and give you the info you need. I had the same problem you have now. The only thing that changed my plants , was to add co2. It makes a world of difference. I put it off and put it off , and one day bit the bullet and went all out co2. Co2 tank , GLA regulator with solenoid , co2 reactor , pH controller , the whole thing. Glad I did. Won't have a planted tank without it.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-05-2015, 11:42 PM
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Start dosing dry ferts and you'll get some colour, flourish comp is very watered down and is very low on macros.

http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr...on-co2-methods


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 09:13 AM
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For reds, make sure you dose iron and that you have sufficient light. Of course, also dosing NPK, micros and CO2 is a given.


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Eheim 2217, pressurized C02, high tech planted

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 12:44 PM
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Google Tom Barr's NON CO2 method or,,estimative index for low tech tanks.
Add dry fertz once a week.(aquarium fertilizer.com or Greenleaf aquarium.com)
I think you will have too much light for low tech unless you can raise the light fixture above the water's surface (maybe ten inches to start).
Keep lighting period around six hours for first few week's.
My two cent's.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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I guess I don't understand micros and macros. I see "KNO3/KH2PO4" all over Tom's post but have a really hard time understanding it. Like it's going right over my head.. It's a lot of great information, I'm just trying to figure out what pertains to me

Should I start off by getting some Potassium nitrate KNO3, Monopotassium phosphate KH2PO4 and trace(from what/where??)? I'm also not sure how much of each to add. I see in Tom's NON CO2 method "I also will add about 1/8" and 1/32" teaspoon of KNO3 and KH2PO4 respectively once a week or two." I don't see what size tank he's adding this to to extrapolate to my circumstance.

I know it'll be a little trial and error for a bit and I'm fine with that, I'm just going into uncharted waters for me.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 12:39 AM
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https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=21944
I use the directions on there for my 10g tank.
But I do use more Potassium than it calls for and K2SO4 makes up the difference.
I use 1/16 tsp KNO3 and 1/16 tsp of K2SO4
But...since I don't have injected CO2 I only use one dose per week of these.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=845826
That is someone on here who has/sells ferts. The third package deal should be good for you. But I would add the smallest quantity of iron in 10% that you can get to that list.
I would start out/w one dose of that which they recommend for your size tank and see how it works before I'd use more than that.
I can neither confirm nor deny the use of iron(extra) for the red color.
I can say that some plants need more than what is in the CSM+B.
That list of ferts gives you the K2SO4/w it.
But I might use only half of what is the amount of the KNO3 till
you know you need more than that.
Sulfate is not in the other nutrients listed on the Dosing Regime so
you need some of it. The K2SO4 supplies it. But it is mainly used
to add more "K" (Potassium) without adding more nitrogen(the NO3
in the KNO3)which will raise your nitrates.

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 04-09-2015, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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So great links, suggestions and contacts. That gets me off to a better start.
How does GH and KH play into all of this?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-09-2015, 06:53 PM
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Your "red" plants need to be healthy and growing or they aren't likely to be well colored. They need carbon as a nutrient in order to do that. Use Excel, at 2 ml per 10 gallons of water, dosed every day, and they should have enough carbon unless you have more than medium light.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2015, 12:34 AM
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GH is a test that measures calcium and magnesium. These are essential to fish and plants. Plants use these at a level somewhat under the macros, but more than micros. In gardening they are referred to as secondary nutrients. Usually the tap water supplies these, and if the GH tests 3 German degrees of hardness or higher, then you can usually assume that the Ca and Mg are there in something like a reasonable ratio.
If you suspect problems, the you would do a calcium test (make sure it is for fresh water) then look up the formula to figure out what the magnesium is. If you need to supplement, then the plants use about 4 parts of Ca per 1 part of Mg. The ratio in the water does not have to be exactly that, but if you have to do something about it, then target that sort of ratio. If the GH is too low, then a GH booster such as Barr's GH booster or Seachem Equilibrium are good products. There are others, read the label. Some have sodium chloride, which you do not want.
Epsom salt will raise the GH, but it is only magnesium. If you know your tank needs just magnesium, and the calcium level is OK, then Epsom salt is great. But if you do not know what you need do not JUST add Epsom salt to make the GH test turn the right color. Your goal is to add the right minerals, not just make a test look good.

KH is usually just thought of as a buffer that stabilizes the pH.
The nitrifying bacteria can use it as a source of carbon, and roughly half the aquarium plants we grow can use the carbon from carbonates.
Usually the only reason you would alter the KH is if you want to alter the pH.
If the KH is low, then the pH is often controlled by something else, such as CO2 or peat moss. If it gets too low the pH can drop very low (below 6.0, IME)
If the KH is high, then the pH will almost always be high, and difficult to change.

How this relates to red plants:
Certain forms of Iron are easy for plants to use. Other forms are not well used. Chelation sort of locks up the iron in a way that keeps it available for the plants.
Chelated iron is available with several different chelators. Some of these last longer in lower pH water, some are better when the water is about neutral or a bit higher.
So.....
If you want the iron to be available for a long time (at least until the next dose) check the pH and use the right chelated iron.
Or alter the pH to use the other one.
Altering the pH opens another can of worms. Better to just use the chelated minerals (including iron) that is best for the pH you have.
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