what levels to test for ferts. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-13-2015, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: utah
Posts: 40
what levels to test for ferts.

Hey everyone I am just wondering what water perameters do I need to test to know if I am dosing enough. seems to me from what I heard nitrate is for nitrogen I have a phosphate test for phosphorus test and I dont have a test for potassium I heard it is hard to overdose potassium so it should not be a problem. Does this all sound right? what else should I be testing? also what should all the levels be at?
gyouska is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 12:26 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
lee739's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 532
Nitrate should be the major source of nitrogen in the water (you hope!) - use the nitrate kit to test ferts, ammonia/nitrite kits for other reasons.... Phosphate kit for phosphorus also.
Others to consider - GH/KH, perhaps iron.....
lee739 is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: utah
Posts: 40
what should those levels be at? and what is the significance of GH/KH ?
gyouska is offline  
 
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 02:38 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Significance of GH and KH:

GH is a test of calcium and magnesium. This is the most important one for the fish. They thrive when the mineral levels are right.
There is no one 'right' number for GH. It depends on the fish.
Soft water fish (Amazon, Congo, several Asian rivers) thrive with a GH under 10 German degrees of hardness, and some really need it under 3 degrees.
Hard water fish (many live bearers, Rift Lake fish, some Rainbow fish) need the water well over 10 dGH.

KH is a test of carbonates and bicarbonates. Nitrifying bacteria get the carbon they need from either of these materials. KH is also a buffer for the pH.
If the KH is high, then the pH is usually high, and difficult to change.
If the KH is low, then the pH can be controlled by something else in the water, and may be high or low, but is often easy to change.

In nature the major source of GH and KH is the limestone formations, and related materials. These are calcium and magnesium carbonates.
Since the minerals contain both GH and KH materials, when they dissolve, the water will get all the minerals:
Calcium
Magnesium
Carbonate
Bicarbonate
Other (there are always other things in the rocks and soils)
...in the ratios that these materials were in the rocks.

As a rough guide, the GH and KH should be fairly close to each other in the aquarium.
They are not always the same in nature, but it works for all the fish I have kept, to make up water this way:

1) Set the GH to suit the fish. A bit softer is OK.
2) Set the KH to match the GH. A bit softer is OK.
3) Test the pH.
a) Soft water, especially black water species: Filter the water through peat moss to add the organic acids the fish like. This also drops the pH.
b) all other fish: Add a bit of KH if the pH is too low. Add a bit of GH booster to keep the GH = KH.

When I first started making water this way I would run it overnight to be sure the minerals were all dissolved, and the parameters were stable.
I still need to run it overnight to filter it through peat moss for those few species, but mostly I just mix it up and use it. My water does not change parameters overnight. Half an hour to be sure all the minerals are well mixed is fine.

I use GH booster like Seachem Equilibrium or Barr's GH booster for GH. You can also make your own with Epsom salt and a calcium source like calcium choride.
I use potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for KH.

Target for iron: 1 ppm.
So, if you are using a blended trace mineral supplement like CSM+B or Seachem Flourish Comprehensive you would test for iron, and assume all the other minerals are correct, if the iron is correct.
A target of 1 ppm is a general number. There are complications:
Some plants need more. Some do not like excess iron.
Iron and phosphorus fertilizers can interact, forming a precipitate that is not available to plants.
Diana is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-14-2015, 03:55 PM
Algae Grower
 
taylormedic's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Significance of GH and KH:

GH is a test of calcium and magnesium. This is the most important one for the fish. They thrive when the mineral levels are right.
There is no one 'right' number for GH. It depends on the fish.
Soft water fish (Amazon, Congo, several Asian rivers) thrive with a GH under 10 German degrees of hardness, and some really need it under 3 degrees.
Hard water fish (many live bearers, Rift Lake fish, some Rainbow fish) need the water well over 10 dGH.

KH is a test of carbonates and bicarbonates. Nitrifying bacteria get the carbon they need from either of these materials. KH is also a buffer for the pH.
If the KH is high, then the pH is usually high, and difficult to change.
If the KH is low, then the pH can be controlled by something else in the water, and may be high or low, but is often easy to change.

In nature the major source of GH and KH is the limestone formations, and related materials. These are calcium and magnesium carbonates.
Since the minerals contain both GH and KH materials, when they dissolve, the water will get all the minerals:
Calcium
Magnesium
Carbonate
Bicarbonate
Other (there are always other things in the rocks and soils)
...in the ratios that these materials were in the rocks.

As a rough guide, the GH and KH should be fairly close to each other in the aquarium.
They are not always the same in nature, but it works for all the fish I have kept, to make up water this way:

1) Set the GH to suit the fish. A bit softer is OK.
2) Set the KH to match the GH. A bit softer is OK.
3) Test the pH.
a) Soft water, especially black water species: Filter the water through peat moss to add the organic acids the fish like. This also drops the pH.
b) all other fish: Add a bit of KH if the pH is too low. Add a bit of GH booster to keep the GH = KH.

When I first started making water this way I would run it overnight to be sure the minerals were all dissolved, and the parameters were stable.
I still need to run it overnight to filter it through peat moss for those few species, but mostly I just mix it up and use it. My water does not change parameters overnight. Half an hour to be sure all the minerals are well mixed is fine.

I use GH booster like Seachem Equilibrium or Barr's GH booster for GH. You can also make your own with Epsom salt and a calcium source like calcium choride.
I use potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) for KH.

Target for iron: 1 ppm.
So, if you are using a blended trace mineral supplement like CSM+B or Seachem Flourish Comprehensive you would test for iron, and assume all the other minerals are correct, if the iron is correct.
A target of 1 ppm is a general number. There are complications:
Some plants need more. Some do not like excess iron.
Iron and phosphorus fertilizers can interact, forming a precipitate that is not available to plants.
+1 on this. Great write-up, just be careful with the baking soda, a little goes a long way...

12 gallon long rimless | 40 gallon super planted atomic energy driven | 60 gallon tall Lake Travis | 45 gallon recently struck by tragedy - solenoid malfunction dumped in a tank CO2 very rapidly (moment of silence) | 75 gallon cichlid | all tanks planted sump tanks


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
taylormedic is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-15-2015, 01:58 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
The dose for baking soda is:
1 tsp per 30 gallons raises the KH by 2 German degrees of hardness.
Potassium bicarbonate is similar.

When in doubt dose half, allow it to dissolve and circulate, then test.
Diana is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome