Likely results of adding 5ml Flourish Excel every day without changing anything else? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Likely results of adding 5ml Flourish Excel every day without changing anything else?

I have a tank that has been running about 4 years.

65 gallon tank, 36 wide x 18 deep x 24 tall with a glass top
New Flourish black sand
Lighting is two Hagen Glo T5 High Output 36" Light Fixtures one with a Lifeglo II and one with Powerglo 39 Watt T5 High Output Bulbs. 10 above tank.

The lights are on timers. Front Powerglo bulb is set to come on 7:00 in the morning until 2:30, about 7.5 hours. Rear Lifeglo bulb is set to turn on again for several hours in the late afternoon around 4:30 for about 6 hours.

30% weekly water change, add 5ml Flourish at the same time, Flourish root tabs are in substrate. No algae problems.

Mostly crypts and anubias, Alternanthera reineckii mini, thinking of adding various Ludwigia, Rotala, Alternanthera species for more colour but know they would be very red without CO2.

What results are likely to happen if I start adding 5ml Flourish Excel every day without changing anything else??

Good things:

Bad things:


Would I be opening a can of worms in that I will start to need to add more fertilizers, etc.?


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2015, 01:44 AM
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Odds are, slightly increased growth.

A standard dose of excel is 5ml/50 gallons, and some folks go up to double that with sufficient fertilizer (I do about 1.4x normal dosing, but also use EI low-light fertilizers on top of root tabs).

At 65 gallons a "standard" dose for you should be 6.5ml, so 5ml is just a tad under a "normal" dose...

You might find yourself running into potassium shortages, as your current fertilizer dosing is mostly micronutrients. Yes, Flourish comprehensive has some NPK, but the amounts are fairly trivial. Your fish waste will provide Nitrogen and phosphorus to a degree, often enough for low-tech, but are fairly limited in potassium. Thus, I would expect potassium to be the first deficiency to show up in your tank...

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 11:32 AM
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you will likely have less algae than before. thats about it
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 01:15 PM
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Ditto mattinmd, and perhaps add iron to that list. Check your fertilizer tablets and the Flourish products for iron. Fish food has little iron. I think Flourish Comprehensive has iron, but I am not sure how much.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 02:14 PM
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Comprehensive has more iron than anything else other than chloride.

The given dose is really, small, but it is roughly what Seachem suggests on the bottle. (5ml/60 gallons 1-2x a week is the bottle rate)

5ml of flourish comprehensive in 65 gallons is 0.07ppm of Fe.

That's not much, but you're going to run out of K first since there's only 0.06ppm of K in that dose, and plants use considerably more K than Fe... (flourish comprehensive is intended to be used as a micro-only, with separate macros).

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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So likely not worth the money or effort then. Mostly I want better colour in my plants. Fast growth isn't a priority.

Any easy suggestions without going high tech?


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 01:27 AM
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Really the biggest driver of color is light level... but to have more light, you need more carbon... High tech is the king of that approach.

You might be able to get some more color out of the tank with a bit more fertilization, as iron is another typical limiting factor in color.

Under PPS-Pro dosing you would dose 7ml of the flourish every day, and under EI low light you could dose 15ml once a week with a 50% water change. Both of those are optimizing it for iron.

The form of iron in Flourish (ferrous gluconate) is one of the most readily absorbed, but also the least stable. Thus, if you do increase dosing, I'd suggest adding a second 5ml dose half-way though the week if you can, rather than one larger dose..

There are other tricks to squeeze out more color, but these involve using deficiencies to weaken the green color of the plant, causing the other colors to show through better. That's not really healthy for the plant, so I don't suggest it.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 01:46 AM
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Am I understanding you correctly...does Hagen have a one bulb T5HO fixture ?
And you only have one T5 bulb on at any one time ?
I have one T5HO bulb on my 10g tank @ 12" above the sub.
I use the regular EI list, but only one dose of it and I do
add more Potassium and Iron. I am also dosing Excel @ 2x the recommended dose.
The "red" plants that I have(Rotala Magenta) are very small yet but the bigger they
get it seems as though they are trying to have some red at the very top of them.
In the past couple of months the new leaves that are coming out are red before
they reach full size but then turn back to almost green.
Keeping my fingers crossed that after they reach the top color will be better
especially on the new shoots those send up.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses everyone.

I could add more iron and potassium easily enough. I used to do two smaller water changes a week instead of one larger one and added 5ml Flourish each time. I don't have time for that anymore anyway but what I found was that the plants liked it more than one larger change but it was harder to keep the nitrates down. So better for the fish but not the plants, especially the crypt nurii.

I did notice before that when I was treating the tank with paraguard the plants had better colour and thought that it may have been because they were using the aldehyde in the paraguard as a carbon source.

So I thought that maybe Excel would help, but I'm not feeling the need for plants to be red bad enough to invest in large amounts of it.

I have some Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini' that is sort of peach colour on the bottom of the tank and where I've been collecting all the stray bits floating around in a breeder box that is right at the surface it is brighter pink but not the rich red it always is in pictures describing it. That is another reason I thought that adding some excel might help; because being close to the light was not enough by itself to bring out the colour.

Maybe what I'll try first is adding some time during the lighting periods when both lights are on at the same time to up the intensity a bit and add a second dose of Flourish midweek. I'll see how the plants respond to that and adjust if algae or deficiencies indicate that I need to change lighting or add more ferts.

A few anubias leaves are yellowish and a few have the darker veins that I think is magnesium shortage but they may have been formed from a period of tank neglect a few months ago while I was not as consistent with water changes.

Does Flourish have enough iron for this, or should I be dosing iron on an additional day(s)?

I generally use Seachem products for ease of use, but is there some other brand I should look at as well/alternatively (I don't want to get into mixing my own ferts from dry though).

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
Am I understanding you correctly...does Hagen have a one bulb T5HO fixture ?
And you only have one T5 bulb on at any one time ?
I have one T5HO bulb on my 10g tank @ 12" above the sub.
I use the regular EI list, but only one dose of it and I do
add more Potassium and Iron. I am also dosing Excel @ 2x the recommended dose.
The "red" plants that I have(Rotala Magenta) are very small yet but the bigger they
get it seems as though they are trying to have some red at the very top of them.
In the past couple of months the new leaves that are coming out are red before
they reach full size but then turn back to almost green.
Keeping my fingers crossed that after they reach the top color will be better
especially on the new shoots those send up.
Yes, I have two single bulb fixtures and usually only run one at a time but will experiment with two sometime soon.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
Really the biggest driver of color is light level... but to have more light, you need more carbon... High tech is the king of that approach.

You might be able to get some more color out of the tank with a bit more fertilization, as iron is another typical limiting factor in color.

Under PPS-Pro dosing you would dose 7ml of the flourish every day, and under EI low light you could dose 15ml once a week with a 50% water change. Both of those are optimizing it for iron.

The form of iron in Flourish (ferrous gluconate) is one of the most readily absorbed, but also the least stable. Thus, if you do increase dosing, I'd suggest adding a second 5ml dose half-way though the week if you can, rather than one larger dose..

There are other tricks to squeeze out more color, but these involve using deficiencies to weaken the green color of the plant, causing the other colors to show through better. That's not really healthy for the plant, so I don't suggest it.
Do you have a link handy for a basic explanation of PPS-Pro dosing. I've heard of EI but not PPS-Pro.
Thanks


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff B View Post
Do you have a link handy for a basic explanation of PPS-Pro dosing. I've heard of EI but not PPS-Pro.
Thanks
The main site for PPS-Pro (and PPS-classic) is here:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquati...r/home/pps-pro

Briefly, the PPS-Pro (perpetual preservation scheme pro) is similar to PMDD (poor mans dosing drops), but has phosphate added, where PMDD did not.

The general idea of EI is to provide more than the plants will ever need (ie: non-limiting) and use water changes to prevent accumulation of excess. (Although Tom does have a variant scheme with no water changes needed)

In contrast PPS-Pro is based on the idea of trying to roughly provide enough fertilizer to last the tank one day, and provide that amount every day. (PPS-classic tried to do this down to a level of precise testing and adjustment of dosage, and drove many aquarists mad).

With PPS-Pro you end up mixing two bottles of fertilizer, one with macros, one with micros, and dose 1ml/10 gal of each every day.

PPS-Pro doses a lot less than EI, and is generally favored by low-tech folks, and a few mid-tech that are looking for low maintenance. The lack of excess nutrients in the scheme in theory does not require water changes, and also has slower growth rates than EI generally gets (which can be good if you don't like trimming a whole lot).

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
The main site for PPS-Pro (and PPS-classic) is here:

https://sites.google.com/site/aquati...r/home/pps-pro

Briefly, the PPS-Pro (perpetual preservation scheme pro) is similar to PMDD (poor mans dosing drops), but has phosphate added, where PMDD did not.

The general idea of EI is to provide more than the plants will ever need (ie: non-limiting) and use water changes to prevent accumulation of excess. (Although Tom does have a variant scheme with no water changes needed)

In contrast PPS-Pro is based on the idea of trying to roughly provide enough fertilizer to last the tank one day, and provide that amount every day. (PPS-classic tried to do this down to a level of precise testing and adjustment of dosage, and drove many aquarists mad).

With PPS-Pro you end up mixing two bottles of fertilizer, one with macros, one with micros, and dose 1ml/10 gal of each every day.

PPS-Pro doses a lot less than EI, and is generally favored by low-tech folks, and a few mid-tech that are looking for low maintenance. The lack of excess nutrients in the scheme in theory does not require water changes, and also has slower growth rates than EI generally gets (which can be good if you don't like trimming a whole lot).
That sounds like a more reasonable approach to dosing if you don't want crazy growth.

Someone in my area that I am considering buying some plants from also sells mixed fertilizers. I know that a large proportion of each bottle is water and it would be cheaper mixing them myself, but don't want to buy larger amounts of dry ferts until I'm sure I'm going to continue using them. This would give me a few months worth to try before deciding whether to continue doing this.

Do these ratios/concentrations look right?

Macronutrients
KNO3 - 0.650g/5ml (130g/L)
KH2 PO4 - 0.175g/5ml (35g/L)
K2SO4 - 0.0583g/5ml (11.66g/L)

Micronutrients
CSM+B - 0.134g/ml (26.8g/L)

I multiplied by 200 to calculate g per L.
KNO3 seems double PPS-Pro
KH2 PO4 seems 5-6 times PPS-Pro
K2SO4 seems 5 times less than PPS-Pro
(Unless there is a typo and KH2PO4 and K2SO4 have been accidentally switched and they are actually both about twice PPS-Pro)

Micronutrients
CSM+B - 0.134g/ml (26.8g/L)

His recommended dosing is:
_____________________________
EI
Macro 15 ml for every 20 gallons 3/week
Micro 15 ml for every 20 gallons 3/week on alternate days
50% water change at the end of each dosing week
___________________________
Regular Dosing
Macro 5ml for every 20 gallons once a week. Thicker growth may require 10ml per 20 gal
Micro 5ml for every 20 gallons once a week. Thicker growth may require 10ml per 20 gal
______________________________
Carbon (Excel)
After a major water change (>40%), add 10ml for every 20 gallons.
5ml for every 50 gallons daily for minimal planted tanks
10ml for moderately planted tanks
15ml for heavily planted tanks
____________________________
So his 'regular' dosing is only once per week at possibly higher doses than PPS-Pro (maybe 4-5 times more if doses are 2.5 ml per 10 gal at twice the concentration). That would be easier and cheaper but probably less effective. Does this seem like some sort of hybrid plan between EI and PPS?

If I decide to go with mixing my own ferts does anyone know a good place to buy from in Canada? Im sure border services do not like potassium nitrate getting shipped across.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Here is a simpler method, randomly found by google:http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/...-planted-tank/

Basically:

A 20 gallon tank using excel should get:

1/8 teaspoon of KNO3, 1-2x a week
1/16 teaspoon of KH2PO4, 1-2x a week
2mls of Seachem Flourish, 2x a week

SeaChem Equilibrium 1/8th once a week (Immediately after weekly water change)

50% weekly water change

Dose 1-1.5x the recommended dose for Excel (1 ml for every 10 gallons on a daily basis and 5ml for every 10 gallon after 40% or more water changes).
--------------------------------------------------
So x by 3 for doses on my 65 gal tank.

This seems easier. It does not say anything about if some of these should not be dosed at the same time. It looks like it is based on EI but seems like less chemical, less frequently unless I am mistaken.


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