Tests and Ferts? - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 429
Tests and Ferts?

Hi all,


Since I am new to this wonderful hobby and still waiting for some of my equipment to arrive. I started thinking about what test kits I would need? Which test kits are reliable I thought to myself? Why not ask the people who know?

Figured I would need a good nitrate test kit and a phosphate test kit at the minimum. I already have a gh....kh...ph.....nitrite and few others already. My current nitrate is about empty.

1. So I ask you all what Test products you think are reliable? I think I have read seachem is but want to get your input. Also what if any other tests are crucial? plz lemme know.


I have been reading and think I will be going with the EI method for dosing. I now know that I should be testing during my cycle to decide when to start dosing. Thanks to this board I checked out Gregg Watson fert site and it appears to be a great resource for chemicals. A one stop shop. I thought I should start with just the basics (I am still trying to digest all of this reading I have been doing) and not go with the premixed.

2. Are these the mainstay of ferts? This is what I am thinking of buying. If you have anything to add plz lemme know.


Once again thanks you all for your participation in this forum. I have learned a great deal reading here. In fact I spent so many hours in front of this computer reading my wife might have me sleeping on the couch soon!

riverrat is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 12:13 PM
Planted Tank Guru
Rex Grigg's Avatar
PTrader: (65/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Portland Orygun
Posts: 9,600
If you are going to add CO2 then you really don't need the Flourish Excel.

If you want the gold standard of test kits then you want Lamotte or Hach.
Rex Grigg is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 01:59 PM
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 2,647
On the inexpensive kits.

I like Aquarium Pharaceuticals nitrate test kit. It's pretty accurate and cheap. For Phosphates I like the Seachems phosphate kit.

I use lamottes kits now but they are rather pricy. Since I've been using the EI method, I've found really no need to have the kind of accuracy a lamottes kit brings. Tom Barrs' method has proven to me that "excess nutrients" is way better than walking that tight rope of "just barely enough".

m.lemay is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 03:59 PM
Planted Tank Guru
plantbrain's Avatar
PTrader: (267/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The swamp
Posts: 13,609
Well the EI method can easily add just enough by watching the plants and reducing down one by one each nutrient of interest down a notch each 2-3 weeks and noting plant health, when a negative response is noted, add more from the previous dosing volume, bumop back up the last 2-3 week's amount.

After a few weeks, you have targeted the individual tank's need without a test kit.

For new folks I suggest pH(red sea narrow range kits, never use a wide range pH test kit!!!), of a pH pen(19-40$) or a pH meter if they are into things(70-95$).

A KH and GH test kit.
Most brands are fine for this.
You can double the mls in the sample from 5 to 10 mls, this gives you 2x more accuracy so you can measure 0.5 units of GH/KH.

I do not suggest other test kits such as PO4/NO3/Fe/K+.
If you must test these, get good test kits but this is quite optional.

Does not matter if it's a CO2 enriched tank or a non CO2 tank.
Actually non CO2 tanks do fine without any testing of any kind other than viewing the plants.

Tom Barr

plantbrain is offline  


Quick Reply

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


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

Email Address:


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