Tests and Ferts? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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Tests and Ferts?

Hi all,

Tests-

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.

Ferts-

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.

KNO3
KH2PO4
K2SO4
FLOURISH EXCEL
FLOURISH



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
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 12:13 PM
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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.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 01:59 PM
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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".

Marcel
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-23-2005, 03:59 PM
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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.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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