40 year old tank ,... fertilizer - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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40 year old tank ,... fertilizer

tank :285 gal.
sump :15 gal.
total :300 gal.
heavily planted
substrate fine gravel
co2 injected
light : 3x 400w. metal halide

can someone do the calculations for me , for a daily dry dosing of ferts.
i used to make a mixture of PMDD.
however time goes by and opinions change , is this recipe still valid ?
i'm getting somewhat older and every time i try to calculate the macro's i get wildly different results .
at times i have a slight problem with cladophora other than that things are fine
if someone could give me a daily number in grams i would be happy
thanks in advance
i have available:
k2so4
kno3
mgs04
epsom salt
plant prod. chelated micronutrients

Last edited by klr-dude; 06-28-2015 at 03:25 PM. Reason: add more info
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 03:55 PM
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Actually, PMDD is an old mix. When it was conceived the general consensus was that phosphates caused algae. Therefore, PMDD has no phosphates included.

Fast forward to today. We now understand that extra phosphates do not cause algae. All current dosing regimes (with exception of some low tech approaches) include phosphate. After all it is a macro nutrient.

I'd be happy to do the calculations for you. However, I'm not sure what your goal is. If you want to use standard dosing regimes there are basically two choices for your setup. If you do large frequent water changes and want explosive growth go with EI. If you prefer less water changes and decent growth go with PPS-Pro.

All that said if you're happy with the results of PMDD why change it? The choices are really up to you.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 04:07 PM
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KNO3 supplies nitrogen and potassium.
If you do not dose anything, what does the nitrate level do between water changes?
a) Rises- Do not dose any of this.
b) Stays stable, between 5-20ppm- Maybe dose a low level.
c) Drops- Dose enough to make the NO3 hold steady between 10-20 ppm.

K2SO4 supplies potassium. This is a good material to balance the potassium from KNO3.
a) If the fish food is making the NO3 rise so much you do not have to dose any KNO3, then I would dose plenty of K2SO4.
b) If there is some NO3, but you also have to dose some, then I would also dose some K2SO4 for additional potassium
c) If you have to dose a lot of KNO3, then that might supply enough potassium. Don't also dose K2SO4.

MgSO4 is Epsom salt. Test the General Hardness. If the GH is over 3 German degrees of hardness, then there is likely enough Mg in the water for the plants.
Plants need more calcium than they do magnesium, so unless you know the tap water is unusual, with plenty of calcium, but seriously lacking magnesium (an odd condition, but not impossible) then do not dose Mg without also dosing Ca. If you need both (low GH) then use a complete GH booster such as Seachem Equilibrium or Barr's GH booster.

Chelated micros- Some people find these blends are a bit low in iron, but start out with this one, and lets see what happens.

Your list is lacking phosphorus. This is one of the macro nutrients. If your NO3 is staying high because of fish food, then the phosphorus is probably just fine, too. But if you need to dose KNO3, then you will also need a phosphorus source such as KH2PO4. This is dosed at a fairly low level, so the potassium almost does not count, but the phosphate is very important.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since you are using CO2, and have fairly high light then you should be dosing a fairly high level of fertilizer. In this setting, the plants are probably using up all the nutrients from fish food, and will be deficient if you do not dose.

The dosing I am most familiar with is the Estimative Index. This is a starting point for a luxury amount of nutrients, which you can adjust as you go forward and see how the plants and the test results are going.

Here is the EI recipe for a smaller tank than yours. I would multiply these amounts by 6 to start with, and try it for a week or two. Note that this method calls for large water changes. If this size water change (50%) is more than you want to do, then just do this amount for 1 week, then test. Lets see what change it has made to the levels. Test with all the tests you have before you start, then test right before a water change.

Original recipe:
40~60gal
50% H20 change-weekly
1/2 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
1/8 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
3/4 Tsp-GH booster once a week (if needed)
10ml or 1/8Tsp-Trace 3x a week (you can dose more-
Optional
2-4ml-Fe/Iron 3x a week

Multiply by 6, and correct a few numbers
50% H20 change-weekly
3 Tsp-KN03 3x a week
3/4 Tsp-KH2P04 3x a week
GH booster once a week (as needed. If needed at all, may be added during the water change)
1 Tsp-Trace 3x a week
Optional
Fe/Iron 3x a week (Dose depends on the product you are using)
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the responses .
a few things !
50 % water changes are not practical , i cant heat the water that quick ,
right now i have my R.O. running for one hr. per day to make approx. 40 gal. of water , i mix this with my hard (well) water to aprox. 200 micro siemens .
my plants grow rather fast , nitrogen is used up over night from 10 ppm. to zero the next day
i did not know i was lacking phosphorus .
i would like to have a daily dosage to make up for the 40 gal. that i replace per day plus what the plants use , witch is a lot .

Bump: BTW. the reason i wanted to make a change is that i can't seem to grow althernantera reinekii minni
so there is something lacking .
also i might be aiming to high but i see some tanks that have absolutely no algea at all .
my tank has always some , hard to see sometimes but it seems to lack the lustre that some tanks have .
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 05:52 PM
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If you're changing 40 gallons a day that's more than enough for the EI method. I would highly recommend you obtain some KH2PO4. This may have a lot to do with the plants that aren't thriving.

As far as your algae situation, your tank seems about par for the course. Most tanks have some algae. Those "algae free" tanks are trimmed and cleaned very frequently. I would expect to see green spot algae in your tank since you don't dose phosphorus.

Here is the EI daily amounts for 280 gallons. I suspect you have a substrate and other things which displaces water hence the reduction to 280 gallons. I would personally mix everything except the Plantex in the 40 gallons. Dose that separate directly into the tank. The iron and phosphate can precipitate if the concentrations are high enough.

KNO3 5.53 gm (approximately 1 1/16 teaspoons)
KH2PO4 911.24 mg (approximately 1/8 teaspoons)
K2SO4 2.21 gm (approximately 1/4 teaspoons)
Plantex CSM+B 3.25 gm (approximately 3/4 teaspoons)
MgSO4.7H2O 21.5 gm (approximately 4 1/4 teaspoons)

The amounts below will raise the following nutrients by the ppm listed.

NO3 3.2
N 0.7229
PO4 0.6
P 0.1957
K 3.2
Fe 0.2
Mg 2.0429
dGH 0.1218
Cu 0.0028
B 0.0245
Mn 0.0573
Mo 0.0015
S 3.0221
Zn 0.0113

The levels above are for a 280 gallon tank using "EI daily" dosing method.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
If you're changing 40 gallons a day that's more than enough for the EI method. I would highly recommend you obtain some KH2PO4. This may have a lot to do with the plants that aren't thriving.

As far as your algae situation, your tank seems about par for the course. Most tanks have some algae. Those "algae free" tanks are trimmed and cleaned very frequently. I would expect to see green spot algae in your tank since you don't dose phosphorus.

Here is the EI daily amounts for 280 gallons. I suspect you have a substrate and other things which displaces water hence the reduction to 280 gallons. I would personally mix everything except the Plantex in the 40 gallons. Dose that separate directly into the tank. The iron and phosphate can precipitate if the concentrations are high enough.

KNO3 5.53 gm (approximately 1 1/16 teaspoons)
KH2PO4 911.24 mg (approximately 1/8 teaspoons)
K2SO4 2.21 gm (approximately 1/4 teaspoons)
Plantex CSM+B 3.25 gm (approximately 3/4 teaspoons)
MgSO4.7H2O 21.5 gm (approximately 4 1/4 teaspoons)

The amounts below will raise the following nutrients by the ppm listed.

NO3 3.2
N 0.7229
PO4 0.6
P 0.1957
K 3.2
Fe 0.2
Mg 2.0429
dGH 0.1218
Cu 0.0028
B 0.0245
Mn 0.0573
Mo 0.0015
S 3.0221
Zn 0.0113

The levels above are for a 280 gallon tank using "EI daily" dosing method.
WOW . thanks a lot !
are you clairvoyant ?, i do indeed have some green spot algea ,if i don't wipe the glass regularly.
i will buy K2po4 tomorrow and give it a go !
wish me luck.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klr-dude View Post
are you clairvoyant ?, i do indeed have some green spot algea ,if i don't wipe the glass regularly.
No, not hardly. lol To me, algae are mother nature's way of telling us there's a problem. Each algae likes different conditions. Learning why each thrive steers us towards a solution to improve the conditions for better plant growth. For example, green spot algae is usually caused from low phosphorus. Oddly enough plants like and need this. Basically, ignore the plant's needs and algae will remind you.

To many people get tunnel vision trying to eradicate this or that algae. When it's all said and done, if you focus on growing healthy plants algae is rarely a problem. I personally like algae. It lets me know when I get lazy or forget to clean my filters, trim my plants, adjust my dosing, CO2 or lighting. Just saying.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
I personally like algae. It lets me know when I get lazy or forget to clean my filters, trim my plants, adjust my dosing, CO2 or lighting. Just saying.
+1
All this money / time spent on drop checkers, ph meters, testing kits when we already have the best indicator already. Your plants!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
No, not hardly. lol To me, algae are mother nature's way of telling us there's a problem. Each algae likes different conditions. Learning why each thrive steers us towards a solution to improve the conditions for better plant growth. For example, green spot algae is usually caused from low phosphorus. Oddly enough plants like and need this. Basically, ignore the plant's needs and algae will remind you.

To many people get tunnel vision trying to eradicate this or that algae. When it's all said and done, if you focus on growing healthy plants algae is rarely a problem. I personally like algae. It lets me know when I get lazy or forget to clean my filters, trim my plants, adjust my dosing, CO2 or lighting. Just saying.
agea as an indicator .
this time you were ,.............spot on !
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 09:18 PM
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Dose after the daily water change.
Try and find a spot that allows the reneckii to be over shadowed a little bit or away from the MH's hot spot.

Trim off old ugly leaves, nice new ones will form post trim, do NOT uproot.
Just top the plants.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Dose after the daily water change.
Try and find a spot that allows the reneckii to be over shadowed a little bit or away from the MH's hot spot.

Trim off old ugly leaves, nice new ones will form post trim, do NOT uproot.
Just top the plants.
thanks for the tip , i always tried to give them as much light as plausible.
maybe it was too much ,
i do have lots of light ,....i think
my tank is 2x2x8 ft.... lights 3x400w metal halide .
i have no idea how that compares but it is rather bright .
lamps are 5500k but i have lamps 14000k i could use .
they look nice as well , but i don't know what is best for the plants .
as it is , some ( the so called easy plants ) are pearling like crazy .
i want however grow some more challenging plants .
BTW.,i'm down to 6 hr. per day .

Last edited by klr-dude; 06-28-2015 at 10:53 PM. Reason: more info
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 11:03 PM
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I came back because it dawned on me... I missed something. If you're using pure R/O for water changes you should be using GH booster as well. If you use a booster with Ca, Mg and potassium you could eliminate the Epsom salt and K2SO4 from my advise. I personally would mix enough of your tap water with R/O to get a GH of around 3-4 degrees. However, if you want to use pure R/O then you may be lacking in calcium with the regime I gave. Here is a post about dosing. It gives the basics to give you an idea of why I say all this. It's really quite simple once you see the whole picture.

Plantbrain's advise is always good. I've had similar results with A. reinekii. It takes awhile to "settle in" but once it does it's a pretty easy plant to grow in my experience.

Also, I saw your tank dimensions. Those are the same for my 240 gallon. Are you sure about the size? It won't really change the doses I gave but something to be aware of.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
I came back because it dawned on me... I missed something. If you're using pure R/O for water changes you should be using GH booster as well. If you use a booster with Ca, Mg and potassium you could eliminate the Epsom salt and K2SO4 from my advise. I personally would mix enough of your tap water with R/O to get a GH of around 3-4 degrees. However, if you want to use pure R/O then you may be lacking in calcium with the regime I gave. Here is a post about dosing. It gives the basics to give you an idea of why I say all this. It's really quite simple once you see the whole picture.

Plantbrain's advise is always good. I've had similar results with A. reinekii. It takes awhile to "settle in" but once it does it's a pretty easy plant to grow in my experience.

Also, I saw your tank dimensions. Those are the same for my 240 gallon. Are you sure about the size? It won't really change the doses I gave but something to be aware of.
i live in the country and use water out of my own well
i reconstitute the water to 200 micro siemens
about 5 kh. according to my test kit .
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-29-2015, 12:25 AM
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Okay. I thought you were using pure R/O. Provided your water has sufficient calcium you should be fine then. Sorry for the confusion.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-29-2015, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Okay. I thought you were using pure R/O. Provided your water has sufficient calcium you should be fine then. Sorry for the confusion.
no problem ,......thank you !
i will let you know the outcome in the future .
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