Confused about Ferts - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2006, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Confused about Ferts

I have a 29 gallon right now with 2x55Watts from AH, and 2 Hagen Ladders Setup. So I guess the next step would to be adding some ferts. Because I had a massive algae outbreak before due to insufficient CO2 and overfeeding I guess, I don't want it to happen again. But I am very confused about how dosing dry ferts work. How do I check the ppm of the KH or PH or whatever that I am suppose to be checking. Doesn't test kit only provide color strips? Is there a very precise way of checking those? and what is ppm anywayz? Would anybody explain this to me? and how does Chuck's calculator work?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2006, 12:29 PM
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Do you have any test kits? If so, list all of the parameters that you are able to test.

KH and PH together will give you the co2 levels. The only other one I mainly test for is nitrates.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2006, 12:50 PM
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ppm is Parts Per Million.

go here to get Chuck calculator, to determine how much to mix & see what your levels should be near.

Also, you may want to take a look here: there a good write up on dosing.

HTH

Walter

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2006, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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so how do I tell the water parameter from testing kits? Is it because I have a sucky testing kit that's why it only comes with color testing strips? Is there any testing kit for water parameter that gives you a number like ughm... cuz usually my color always turns out not to match any... and sometimes I can tell which is closer... How do you guys test water parameters? Anybody recommand a good testing kit? hopefully cost-effective one.. since I just spent alot of money on a digital camera and a eheim filter..ughm.. probably should have gotten my water quality right before getting a camera tho, cuz I need plants to take pictures of... but it was too good of a deal to pass..
Any further suggestions are greatly appreciated. Still lost here...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2006, 08:03 PM
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You only need to test GH, KH and PH. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals has good kits at a reasonable price for those. The first two determine the value by a sudden change from blue to yellow, and the PH kit uses a little chart of colors you try to match your test tube sample to. They aren't precise measurements, but they don't have to be. As long as you verify that the KH is above 3, and that you have GH a bit higher or more, then all that's left is to find out how much CO2 you are putting into the water. For that you need PH. Just take a sample of the tank water, let it sit in a shallow glass for a few hours, then measure the PH of that water and the water in the tank. There should be a .8 to 1.1 difference in the two measurements if you have 30 - 45 PPM of CO2 in the water. If you use the EI fertilizing method, which is simply adding enough of all of the fertilizers to be sure you never run too low, then changing 50% of the water once a week or so to get rid of any excess, you don't need to measure any other parameters. Doing so is interesting, and if done carefully can help with troubleshooting, but isn't really essential.

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