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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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I am new to the "Planted Tank" community. I have built up what I would consider an okdecent setup almost completely DIY. I couldn't bring myselft to putting in a more plant-friendly substrate, but I plan on doing that in my next tank. I just recenly have jumped into CO2 and fertilization. I bought the PMDD makings from Greg Watson (Great person to work with!!!). Although I am still in the process of slowly raising my Nitrate levels, my plants are pearling about 4 hours into my light cycle.

I do have lots of questions that I am still searching through past posts before asking, but a simple one on the PMDD. I mixed up a batch according to the following article: http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertilizer/pmdd-tim.html

I am sure most will consider this a dumb question or just a silly observation.

After mixing a batch according to the 500ml recipe, my mixture still precipitates out of solution after sitting. Each day when I go to dose my tank, I have to shake the bottle for several (like 5 or 6) minutes before it becomes mostly dissolved. As per the article, I store it in a dark glass bottle in the refrigerator. I know the temperature helps force more of the solids out of the solution.

So... Wouldn't it make more sense to multiply the amount of water added to the solution, or divide the amount of solids added to the water, and then have a more dilluted solution. After all, according to the article, when figuring out the dosing, we are dealing with fractions of ml... For my 75g tank, I am adding approximately 1ml per day (which I know may change after I stabilize things)... But I would think it would be better to further dillute the mixture by adding another liter of water, and then be able to use a 3ml dose. As I would need to adjust my dosages, I think it would be easier to deal with the fractional amount with the larger volumes... And quite simply I think I would have to shake the bottle a whole lot less if there was more water!

My first DIY Planted Tank:
75 Gallons
4x & 2x ODNO Flourescent Lighting (2-6500k, 1-5000k, 1 P&A)
Homebuilt Pressurized CO2 Injection
Rena XP3 Filtration
Still using my original gravel substrate
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 01:42 PM
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You have several very good points, and to (imperfectly) quote the movie Pirates of the Caribbean "The Code isn't really a set of rules, it's more like a set of guidelines." Don't think that the PMDD recipe is set in stone, it is a baseline for someone to start at and tweak to fit their needs. If you want to dilute the solution and dose larger volumes then feel free, no one is going to arrive at your door demanding an explanation.

Sean

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 04:51 PM
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Or you could just take the next step and dose nutrients as needed when needed. Stay away from the one size fits all formula. I dose my tank about three times a week. I test nitrates and phosphates each time and dose to bring the tank back up to needed levels. I dose traces/iron three times a week. For the amount of light you have over the tank you are going to find that 1 ml a day of PMDD just doesn't cut it.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 05:04 PM
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I'm sure he'll get there, he's already questioning the recipe after all.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2004, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Or you could just take the next step and dose nutrients as needed when needed. Stay away from the one size fits all formula. I dose my tank about three times a week. I test nitrates and phosphates each time and dose to bring the tank back up to needed levels. I dose traces/iron three times a week. For the amount of light you have over the tank you are going to find that 1 ml a day of PMDD just doesn't cut it.
Following this advice, I decided to start adding stuff individually. Did some calculating, and figure out what I need to get my nitrate levels up to 5 and started adding diluted mixes to the aquarium. After several days of adding, my nitrate level still was at 0. After reading several posts on other threads, I began to question the validity of my test kit. Took some water with me to LFS and asked the to test it... My Nitrate levels are over 20.

Bought a new test kit. I did a partial (25%) water change immediately. Should I do some more water changes over the next few days, or should I just let the plants consume the extra nitrates? My fish don't show any signs of stress.

My first DIY Planted Tank:
75 Gallons
4x & 2x ODNO Flourescent Lighting (2-6500k, 1-5000k, 1 P&A)
Homebuilt Pressurized CO2 Injection
Rena XP3 Filtration
Still using my original gravel substrate
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-08-2004, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Bought a new test kit. I did a partial (25%) water change immediately. Should I do some more water changes over the next few days, or should I just let the plants consume the extra nitrates? My fish don't show any signs of stress.
Along with fertilizing a 30-50% weekly water change is reccomended to keep any possible excess nutrient buildup under control. It seems like you've been doing some reading which is very good. Like the others have said, PMDD is more of a starting point, it's better to determine the needs of your particular tank and dose accordingly. After a while you'll get comfortable and want to experiment with different dosages.

Marcel
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