general questions i'd love some answers to. please? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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general questions i'd love some answers to. please?

so i have a 38 gallon which is pretty well planted, and right now i'm running diy co2 along with 2.5 wpg for 10-11 hours a day, and am dosing flourish comprehensive 2x weekly with eco-complete as bottom half of the substrate and pea gravel on top. i do weekly 15-20% wc's. so, here are my list of questions:

1. i am about to add pressurized co2, along with the ADA style diffuser. to get the co2 spread around the tank, i am thinking about placing it underneath a powerhead and let it spray the bubbles around. given the specs, what rate (bps) should i introduce into my tank? i'm not going to be using a ph controller, so i will more than likely be letting it run 24-7. is this alright for the tank/fish?

2. i am currently fighting the bb/fuzz algae. from what i have been reading, the idea is that enough co2 will increase the plant growth therefore using up the nutrients faster than the algae can and it will die off. is this correct? i'm also going to be switching to a 6700k spectrum from a 10000k/actinic which i have read that high of a temp plus the actinic will increase algae.

3. i am running a uv sterilizer for about 6 hours daily. is there anything i should change about this, and why?

4. i was wondering whether or not as to add other suppliment like potassium, nitrogen, iron, etc. if so, will i constantly have to be monitoring the levels of each and keep them between certain levels, or should the comprehensive supplement i use already be enough? to help you further answer my question, here is my list of plants: cobamba, rubin sword, rotala indica, misc. bacopa, crypt. spiralis, tiger lotus, crypt. wentii, anubias coffeefolia, anubias petite, and will shortly be adding cardinal plants, and glosso.

that's about all i can think of for now. if i have anymore questions, i'll just add. i appreciate anyone taking the time to help out. thanks.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 12:48 PM
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Take a few minutes and read my Guide.

Short answer. The Flourish is not enough. Read about the EI method of dosing. BPS is not how we measure CO2. PPM is what matters. You will need enough BPS to get to 30 ppm.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 01:40 PM
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Definitely start with Rex's guide. However to add a couple of notes to the questions:

1. Do this when you will be at home for a while (say 48 hours) and start slow. I went to this method a while back and started where my bps setting was previously. Within about an hour, all my fish were up at the top of the tank gasping. So, the approach (I just bubble mine in front of my XP3 vertically oriented spraybar) is much more efficient. Based on your initial (and hopefully stable) KH reading, shoot for a pH that is 1.0 lower than your aged (sitting out 24 hours) pH reading. That should get you in the 30 ppm range. Then make sure the pH is relatively stable running 7/24. You will get fluctuations, but they shouldn't be too great (I'd say in the <= 0.5 overnight).

2. IMO, bulbs are too variable to completely agree with your statements. Actually, if you use the same wattage as the current 50% actinic bulb, you could say that you will get ~50% increase in useable plant light, which will increase plant growth and nutrient uptake, which could lead to nutrient levels bottoming out, which could lead to even more algae .

3. I don't use one, so take this with a grain of salt. Is there a reason you are running a UV sterilizer? Some use them, some don't. I'd recommend going without it and turning it on when you have a reason (e.g. note the onset of green water). I've never had a need for one, and have never had green water. But, others likely can share other opposite stories.

4. I wouldn't say you'd have to constantly monitor levels. Though I'd recommend monitoring them relatively closely for the first month or so until you find a 'formula' that works for your setup. After that, periodic rechecks (unless you're good enough to 'read' the plants...a long-term goal of mine!) to determine if changes are needed.

Okay, so maybe a bit more than a couple of notes !
Brian.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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BSS to answer your question...
--i'm using a UV sterilizer because i just recently had a case of greenwater, and i'm running it 6 hrs a day to prevent it from happening again.

i also have another question. which other suppliments should i purchase to dose, and how many times weekly, etc...?

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 03:12 AM
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Read my Guide. The Nutrients and Dosing Dry Ferts sections. Then head to www.gregwatson.com and place your order.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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alright. i read your guide and although i'm HORRIBLE with math, i understand. i'm going to place an order with greg. now i just want to make sure we are on the same page. your doses are for every 10 gallons of liquid in the aquarium, correct? i dose once a week for the KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, and 3x weekly for the Plantex CSM, correct? dosing this as scheduled, i shouldn't have to worry about anything else? if i follow this diligently, all my levels should be right where they need and i should be fine? if not, what do i need to monitor, and how much water should i be taking out weekly (30%, 50%)?

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 12:55 PM
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There are dosing amounts in the Guide for both 10 and 20 gallon tanks. At your light levels I would suggest dosing macros twice a week. And then doing a 50% water change once a week.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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so then i need to double the amount of what you give in your guide i think. macros? i'm not that familiar with the lingo yet rex. can you elaborate?

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 01:28 AM
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Macros = Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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alright guys. i built my reactor today and hooked the co2 up. right now i'm only running 1 bps until i can get my hands on a test kit to test my hardness and such tomorrow. from there, i will adjust the co2. and my level of ppm should be at 30 correct? i'm not using a ph controller, so do you recommend putting the co2 on a timer, or letting it run 24-7?

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 03:55 AM
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I run mine 24/7/365.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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alright, i've read you dosing guide 149662851 times and i just can't seem to get it. i know, for only being a member of this forum for a few days, that your patience for ignorance is weak (no disrespect), but i'm going to ask you for a favor. you have all of the info for my tank. can you just do me the favor of telling me how much of each to mix and add to my tank each week and what amount of each i should be looking for when testing? you say mix the different ones, and then you say dose the K2SO4 dry yet you say dissolve it, and then something about keeping bottles, and i just don't understand. this is frustrating and i just can't seem to understand how it goes. i just want to do this right.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 04:36 AM
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I think this will help you out, its a stickie in the water prams section for dosing Here

If read through there and still have questions ask, dosing can be a little intimidating at first. Its nothing too critical, just growing weeds! And if you mess up a water change can usually fix that!


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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man, that's SO much easier to understand. but wait. on rex's guide, it seems as though you are dilluting the mixture a lot and using it over the course of time, and then not using as much as you would with the stickie guide. ok, so since the last post, i understand that you mix the solutions and keep them stored until use. and for the K2SO4, you just do it right then and there. i get that now. but now my question is how many ml do i add each time i dose? again, 38 gallon tank (i'd say there's about 30 gallons of water though), 2.5 wpg, pressurized co2.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 02:10 PM
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I would dose everything dry except the CSM+B
To make a solution of CSM+B mix 1 TABLESPOON in 250ml of water. To dose follow the this

50%H20 change-weekly
+/-1/4Tsp-KN03 3x a week
+/-1/16+Tsp-KH2P04 3x aweek
+/-1/16+Tsp K2S04 3x a week
+/-5ml Trace 3x a week


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