I recently upgraded my lighting from about .7 wpg to 2.5 wpg and have started adding DIY CO2. I've turned the tide on the algae since starting the CO2 and now I'm ready to think about upgraded my fertilizing regimen along with the upgrade to the lights and CO2.
In the past, I dosed liquid bottled ferts readily available from the "big box" pet stores -- things like Flourish, ProPlant, LeafZone per the bottle instructions during once weekly water changes. That's probably not going to give me optimal growth with my new set up, so I want to switch to something better. I've read a lot of posts about PMDD and EI and I'm still a little bit confused -- I'm one of those people who has to DO something before it makes complete sense -- so I thought I would post and ask for some advice.
GH = ~18
KH = 11
PH = 7.0 to 7.1 with CO2 injection (8.0 out of the tap)
Nitrate = ~ 5-10
Nitrite = 0
Ammonia = 0
1. Is EI appropriate for this kind of tank? And how can I figure out how much of what I need to add for a 29 gallon with this kind of lighting level?
2. I need to order other items for my tank (filter media, etc.) and want to buy what I need to fertilize at the same time. With my liquid rock hard water and lighting levels, what should I buy? And if you recommend the dry ferts, what equipment do I need to mix, measure, etc.? Ideally, I'd like to know my options both in terms of what chemicals I could order from Greg Watson and in terms of what the Seachem or Kent's equivalents of those products are so that I can decide if I'd rather go with liquid or dry. (Is cost the only difference?)
3. What kind of dosing regimen would you recommend for starters with this tank? And are amounts the same whether you are using dry ferts or liquids?
4. Do I need any additional test kits? (Iron? Phosphate?)
5. I also have a 2.5 gallon nano with Excel and 10w of CF lighting. Could I just divide what I'm adding to the big tank by roughly 10 and add that to the little tank? Or create a dilute solution 10:1 with water and use the same schedule, or do things get different with the nanos? I do treat that tank with 1/4 of a Jungle Plant Care Water Conditioning Fizz Tab + Trace Elements once a week with the water change and dose Excel daily.
Thanks in advance -- I'm excited to be taking the tank to the next level and look forward to your advice.