Lighting/Fert/Co2 Help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Lighting/Fert/Co2 Help

Ok, I have a 30 gallon tank with a t5-HO 39 watt single bulb light, I have ferts on hand, and just diy co2.. Now from what I'm hearing I can't get away with not dosing co2 which I'd rather not.. So, how do you guys go about adding ferts? EI is not for me, but how do I know what to add and when? Just by what the plants are showing me?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 02:52 AM
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If you want to do low tech, you can always raise the light fixture up to reduce intensity.

Full EI dosing is generally for high tech tanks.

What I would do, is add some pretermined amount of KNO3 to the tank and test to see how long it takes to reduce to zero. So if you dose 10ppm and it's zero in 2 days, you know your tank chews through 5ppm daily. That gives you a good starting point for figuring out how much to dose, and how often. If you have 10-20ppm nitrates without dosing, you probably don't need to dose KNO3. Then you figure out how much PO4 and K to add based on nitrate consumption and will likely have to tweak alittle to get it quite right. Generally, you are going to have to add K regardless of nitrate and phosphate consumption.

If you do use CO2 then you could EI dose which is much simpler and easier, but the doses are too high for a low tech tank IMO. What you want to do is figure out some modified EI with lower doses.

This is just one way of doing it. There are other methods of dosing, but I like some form of "dose and reset with 50% water change weekly" because it keeps parameters very stable, and if you do screw up figuring out your doses, you are knocking the fert levels in your tank down considerably with the water change every week.

If you don't want to use some form of EI, there are other methods, but they generally require either more testing, or a better "feel" for what you are doing. I'm curious why you don't think EI is for you. It's the easiest way to dose if you ask me.

I don't know of any dose chart for low tech tanks, but maybe someone else can chime in on that.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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I feel EI is very high maintenance.. I'd like the tank to be able to sustain itself for at least a couple weeks before doing a large water change..
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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I will try what you suggested with the fertilizer though, thanks..
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