How to find the balance between light/co2/fertilizer? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Question How to find the balance between light/co2/fertilizer?

Question is in title... how do I find the balance between lighting, co2, and fertilizer?

I have 2 T5HO bulbs, one brand new and one faded (3 years old) over my 50 gal.

I'm just doing DIY CO2 to mainly lower the pH, since the water from my tap comes out in really high pH. Just 1 bubble/second.

I'm getting hair algae growing again. I did notice a bit after adding the new bulb, but it's still spreading after I added co2. I'm not sure which one made the bigger difference, if at all.

Fertilization is one capful of Flourish every week. Should I decrease or increase this?

Any specific tests/charts I should follow to tell?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 05:07 AM
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Short answer: experience, knowledge, and experimentation.

Your specific issue: you need to dose more of the right stuff - check out stickies in the Fertilization part of the forum.

After that, read up on the role of co2 in the planted tank.

It just takes time and perseverance.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 05:20 AM
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Flourish comp is good for micros, not so much for macros. Depending on your source water, stocking, and other factors you may be deficient on NPK.

I also don't think DIY is worth the hassle on that size tank. No CO2 can be better than inconsistent CO2.

Any specific reason you want to drop the pH? Within the range of most taps is fine for tank bred fish, outside of the very picky ones.

My first thought is that you have a higher demand tank based off of the lighting than your current CO2 and fert dosing can sustain. It's not a perfect science, which makes it a difficult balancing act. Like mentioned above, the more reading you do the better you'll do. The literature here is a great start.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Short answer: experience, knowledge, and experimentation.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 03:34 PM
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For light and CO2:

You can then apply ferts to that matrix they use in Table 1 and in figure 4.
Read the conclusion.

This was done using non limiting fertilizers.
You can start high and manage with water changes for dosing ferts, then progressively and slowly back off till you note a negative growth response in the plants.

That's the critical point.

You can then back off the water changes and likely hit a pretty happy balance between maximization of the light and CO2 usage.

Tom Barr
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