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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Total Noob Help Needed

OK - so tank has been up for around a month now and everything seems to be doing relatively well. I need help figuring out what to do now moving forward. 55 gallon, 108W HO T5(spectrum & actinic), eco complete substrate, 2 x DIY Co2 w/ bubble diffusers, and a good amount of noob plants (anacharis, anubias, moneywort, cabomba, swords, and HC). Right now, no visible algaes - have around 12 neon tetras and 4 SAEs, lights on noon to midnight. Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates all undetectable...

When should I start doing water changes and how much?
What do I dose? What types of ferts? Liquid or tabs? Do I dose Nitrates? The only liquid ferts I have right now (which I have not used) are API's Leaf Zone "pro series" lol, and Nutrafin's PlantGro Iron Enriched. Any help is much appreciated as this is all new to me...

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 10:46 PM
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You could probably start doing water changes once you start to see nitrates. As for ferts, I'd recommend these from GLA. Dry ferts are much easier and economical than liquids, and you'll thank yourself in the long run. I used Seachem's Flourish line for quite a while, and now that I have dry ferts, I'm never going back to liquids.

Also, if you have T5HO's you may want to think about a CO2 system. Your plants would benefit greatly from extra CO2 in the water. You may also want to replace the actinic bulb with another kind, like a 10000K or something similar. Actinics aren't the greatest for plants.

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 01:16 AM
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I have to say that lego's advice is right on. You have the making of a very fine planted tank there and, IMO, it'd be a shame if you didn't do the pressurized CO2 to make success so much more consistent...hehe...you're gonna do it some day soon anyway I'd bet...so go ahead now if you can manage the cost. I agree with the dry ferts that lego suggests. I use

http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/

which I'm very satisfied with but look around and decide which source to try.

Take a look here:

http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=104737

http://www.ukaps.org/EI.htm

....and here:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-regimes_.html

to see how simple the dosing really is. I put the ferts dry right into my planted tank using measuring spoons and it works very well for me.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the replies and help!! I do plan on switching over to a pressurized system and ditching the diy when I can... I just wasn't sure about dosing the tank - I took a look at the links to the fert companies you both sent, but I'm still not sure what I need/don't need. There seems to be all different kinds of micro and macro nutrients, iron additives, etc. I'm kind of intimidated by it, hence why I thought I'd post on here and see if I could get some help and direction for what I need, how much, how often, when to start, etc.

Also, I took a look at the bulbs in the T5 unit, the white is 12K, so should I replace the actinic w/ 10K or 6,7K? I'm not sure which is more beneficial for growth...

Thanks again...
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 06:10 PM
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For ferts keep it simple at first:

KNO3
KH2PO4
Trace mix (CSM+B or pfertz.com's "M")
Gh booster (for after water changes only)

For dosing schemes I personally use PPS-Pro but you could also take a look at EI or PPS-Classic.

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 07:22 PM
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RIght...I guess I had to increase my comfort level before I commited to trying EI-dosing, but it is that easy. It simply requires a 50% water change once a week, on which day you add the GH booster to adjust your water, if necessary, to bring it into correct parameters. And then every other day, add the macros and every other day from those days, add the micros (traces). You need just what Brad told you to get. That's it.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 07:32 PM
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I'll admit to being a lazy sod. I've bought several pfertz "M" bottles now so I use them for my dry fert mix as well. Not only are they dark bottles but easily refrigerated and depeding on the size of the tank only a few pumps per day after I relabeled one "Macro" with tape & felt pen.

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all again very much... I went on planted aquarium fertilizer and bought dry ferts: GH booster, KNO3, CSM + B Plantex, and KH2PO4...

This one seems to be pretty straight forward and easy to follow:
http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?showtopic=104737

And you guys said to just measure out the dry fert in measuring spoons and add directly to the tank, right?
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-30-2009, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfthreeeleven View Post
....And you guys said to just measure out the dry fert in measuring spoons and add directly to the tank, right?
That's all you need to do. And, stick with the dosages recommended...don't add more...even if it takes a few weeks for the plants to really show their stuff.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-31-2009, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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You are awesome and thank you!!
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Hey - just to verify... The dosages given on the dosing schedule links above, i.e. 1/4th cup, 1/8th cup, is for amount of dry fert, right? Not the mixed solution I hope...
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfthreeeleven View Post
Hey - just to verify... The dosages given on the dosing schedule links above, i.e. 1/4th cup, 1/8th cup, is for amount of dry fert, right? Not the mixed solution I hope...
All you need to do is:

Sunday - 50% water change. Add Add 1/2 tsp KNO3, 1/8 tsp KH2PO4, 1/8 tsp K2SO4, 1 tsp GH Booster
Monday - Add 1/8 tsp CSM+B
Tuesday - Add 1/2 tsp KNO3, 1/8 tsp KH2PO4, 1/8 tsp K2SO4
Wednesday - Add 1/8 tsp CSM+B
Thursday - Add 1/2 tsp KNO3, 1/8 tsp KH2PO4, 1/8 tsp K2SO4
Friday - Add 1/8 tsp CSM+B
Saturday - Rest day

Just dump it in dry about an hour before your lights turn on.

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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 02:17 AM
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Yeah...we're talking teaspoons here, not cups, like Brad says. So get the measuring spoons at any store that sells kitchen stuff like Bed Bath and Beyond, for example. And, I see that you didn't get the K2SO4...that isn't a big deal, so don't worry about that.
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 02:31 AM
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K2SO4 is covered in the GH Booster which is all you need.

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you again very much! Yes, I did mean tsp and not cup, lol - it was late and I was tired.... I just started thinking maybe it meant you were supposed to put it in liquid form first, then measure your tsps. But you both answered my question...
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