Using Flourish Nitrogen with EI, Testing nitrate level - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Using Flourish Nitrogen with EI, Testing nitrate level

I use EI dosing on my 12 gallon with Seachem liquid ferts including Flourish Nitrogen. I've heard I need to double my test results in order to get accurate readings when dosing with Flourish Nitrogen. Is this true? I am using the API Master Test for readings.

see here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11...-nitrogen.html

So if my test reads 10ppm, is it really 20ppm nitrate?

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 07:25 PM
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Link doesnt work for me.

Liquid tests such as API are good for a ballpark estimate only. Basically all they show is if you have zero, some, or way too much (yellow, orange, red).

I dont understand what you mean by doubling the test results. Not sure how that could work across the board because the tests themselves are unreliable with varying accuracy. And even if you calibrate one, good luck distinguishing the color difference between 10 and 20


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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sorry, link got messed up: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11...-nitrogen.html

I'm trying to dial in my EI dosing to get my nitrates to phosphates 10:1 .. or at least as close as possible. Just by looking at it, I may be able to accurately guess nitrate color within 5-10 ppm(if I am lucky). But If i have to double it, that seems like a big difference. 20 ppm to 40 ppm. etc

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 08:02 PM
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Follow Seachem's instructions. My understanding is that some of the nitrogen in Flourish Nitrogen is in a form the plants can use, but does not show up on a NO3 test. So, yes, whatever the test result shows, there is really about twice that much nitrogen available to the plants, so double the test result.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 08:02 PM
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There is no need to have a strict 10:1 ratio, or any specific ratio for that matter. Just need plenty of both, within reasonable amounts. Those ratios you see are general guidelines only. You wouldnt want 10:1 P:N for example.

Mine stays closer to 4 or 5:1, roughly 20-30 N and 5 or so P. My tanks just do better with higher P. It keeps gsa away for one thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Follow Seachem's instructions. My understanding is that some of the nitrogen in Flourish Nitrogen is in a form the plants can use, but does not show up on a NO3 test. So, yes, whatever the test result shows, there is really about twice that much nitrogen available to the plants, so double the test result.
I wonder if calculators take this into consideration when giving the results for Seachem N dosing....


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Last edited by burr740; 01-17-2016 at 08:21 PM. Reason: .
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. I am using EI dosing but I think I have to work on my amounts because when I tested my phosphates yesterday they were at .5 (roughly) while my nitrates were around 20ppm.

Here is my current dosing, but I think I may up my phosphorus to closer to 18mL each macro day since they were so low yesterday. I am getting no algae besides some on the front glass. I have a 12 gallon long heavily planted with 36" hung satellite pro plus. There is basically no visible substrate. 10+ kinds of rotala, HC Cuba, Blyxa Alternifolia and Japonica, and a few more.

Code:
M
Flourish Nitrogen 4.73 ml
Flourish Phosphorus 13.52 ml 
Flourish Potassium 4.4 ml
Flourish Iron 1.0 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml


T
Flourish 6.51 ml
Flourish Iron 1.0 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml

W
Flourish Nitrogen 4.73 ml
Flourish Phosphorus 13.52 ml 
Flourish Potassium 4.4 ml
Flourish Iron 1.0 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml


TH
Flourish 6.51 ml
Flourish Iron 1.0 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml



F
Flourish Nitrogen 4.73 ml
Flourish Phosphorus 13.52 ml 
Flourish Potassium 4.4 ml
Flourish Iron 1.0 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml


SAT
Flourish 6.51 ml
Flourish Iron 1.0 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml



SUN
50% WATER CHANGE

Last edited by sl3xx; 01-18-2016 at 05:54 AM. Reason: -
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 08:43 PM
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If the PO4 was at .5 after a week of dosing, right before a water change, that might be a bit low. Perhaps double the dosing.

What kind of algae on the front glass? Is it green spot algae? (gsa mentioned by burr)
Do you have any algae eating fish in the tank?
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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This test was not done after a water change, it was done on Saturday night towards the end of a normal week of EI dosing according to my schedule.

I have 3 dwarf puffers, 3 nerite snails, 5 or so amano and a handful of RCS. I clean the front glass every 10 or so days to get it crystal clear, so it's not a tremendous buildup or algae. I just like my tank to look spotless, and I face no other Algae. The only other issue was stunted tips on some of my rotalas, but I blame that on a week of having a dirty ADA diffuser with larger bubbles (which I fixed).

You can see how much phosphorus I already dose 3x a week. 13.5 mL... I think I'll up to 18mL or 20mL and then take a few more test readings this week. How does this sound?
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
I wonder if calculators take this into consideration when giving the results for Seachem N dosing....
There's no way to determine how much of the urea will be uptaken by plants, and how much will get converted by bacteria. Zorfox planted tank calc will give a NO3 result that is if all of the N converts to NO3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl3xx View Post
You can see how much phosphorus I already dose 3x a week. 13.5 mL... I think I'll up to 18mL or 20mL and then take a few more test readings this week. How does this sound?
With a 50% water change once a week, the concentration should be bouncing between about 4-8 ppm. I highly doubt your tank is uptaking such a large amount of PO4.

Rather then boosting PO4, I would first shift all iron dosing. Seachems flourish iron is Gluconate, so it will happily bond with PO4 to form FePO4, which is insoluble.

I see three options.
Try dosing the others in the morning and iron in the arvo.
Move iron dosing to the days where you don't dose PO4. Although you may have issues with iron deficiency.
Far better solution would be to switch to a DTPA Fe source. This will remain stable for significantly longer in the water column.

Feel free to edit.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. If FePO4 was formed, would that be the reason my phosphate levels are testing so low? It was clearly no higher than .75 on each test.

I have ADA ECA as well. Would this be an acceptable replacement for Flourish Iron?

I can't find exactly what form of iron it is but they say "rich in iron in a form which does not easily combine with other ions, prevents colour-loss and improves the condition of aquatic plants. Also contains various natural organic acids."
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 11:13 PM
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Once Fe bonds with PO4, a solid is formed and the Fe and PO4 both no longer register on test kits, nor are they available to plants. Whether this is entirely responsible for the low PO4 readings, I'm not sure. But IMO it's worth considering and making small adjustments, rather then just dumping more stuff in.

No information about what the ADA stuff contains. But reading the marketing suggests it uses a chelated Fe. In this case, I would dose the ADA every other day separate to the PO4. Then source a supply of DTPA Fe.

I just realized you were also dosing comprehensive. That's a lot of Fe going into that tank. Personally, I would adjust to this.

Code:
M
Flourish Nitrogen 4.73 ml
Flourish Phosphorus 13.52 ml
Flourish Potassium 4.4 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml


T
Flourish 1.95 ml
ADA ECA (equal to 0.1ppm)
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml

W
Flourish Nitrogen 4.73 ml
Flourish Phosphorus 13.52 ml
Flourish Potassium 4.4 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml


TH
Flourish 1.95 ml
ADA ECA (equal to 0.1ppm)
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml



F
Flourish Nitrogen 4.73 ml
Flourish Phosphorus 13.52 ml
Flourish Potassium 4.4 ml
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml


SAT
Flourish 1.95 ml
ADA ECA (equal to 0.1ppm)
Flourish Excel 1.0 ml


SUN
50% WATER CHANGE

When it comes to elements that precipitate easily, and using non-chelated sources of these elements, less is more.

Feel free to edit.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audionut View Post
There's no way to determine how much of the urea will be uptaken by plants, and how much will get converted by bacteria. Zorfox planted tank calc will give a NO3 result that is if all of the N converts to NO3.
Ahh, didnt realize the "other nitrogen" was urea, makes sense now


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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-17-2016, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. You don't think I'll have issues with changing the flourish from 6.51 to 1.95 ? Is that enough micros for ei dosing comparative to my macros ?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 12:01 AM
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No, I don't think you will have issues. If my maths is right, you were dosing 0.25 ppm Fe daily from flourish iron, plus 0.5 ppm Fe every other day from comprehensive. To put it mildly, that is way to much.

The good news is, since you were using Gluconate form of iron, you'll have enough precipitated Fe in your substrate to keep things going for quite some time. Seriously!!!

Flourish comprehensive is good because it contains a large ratio between iron and the other trace elements. But I still wouldn't dose anymore then what I listed.
The recommended dose is equal to 0.064 ppm of Fe once or twice a week. The dose I listed is giving you 0.15 ppm Fe three times a week. Plenty.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11...xperiment.html

Feel free to edit.

Last edited by Audionut; 01-18-2016 at 12:16 AM. Reason: add link
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audionut View Post

Flourish comprehensive is good because it contains a large ratio between iron and the other trace elements. But I still wouldn't dose anymore then what I listed.
Thank you very much.

By the way, here was the thread where zorfox came up with my original numbers:
"Don't forget the trace elements as well. If your'e using Flourish comprehensive the dose is 6.51 ml."
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11...g-numbers.html

So once we get Flourish Iron out of the equation I should see my phosphate levels rise to normal levels?

I keep coming across Iron Chelate with 10% DTPA, is that what I'm looking for?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VDHA16W/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1944687582&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00AYK9ZLG&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0TTKTZDZMXACHW96MTPB

Here is the tank in question as of tonight: http://i.imgur.com/ZCq4emz.jpg
Done a bit of hacking to my BG plants recently as well as planting many new ones, but they should look awesome once filled in.

Last edited by sl3xx; 01-18-2016 at 05:32 AM. Reason: -
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