Dosing, test kits, algae, plant growth, and more......... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Dosing, test kits, algae, plant growth, and more.........

Okay, it's time to settle in to getting all the "Current" plants in my 125G growing, getting rid of all Algae in the tank, getting Co2 straight, and getting to dosing.

I recieved my "Rex Grigg" reactor today and installed it, along with ferts, and needle valve.

Other than not being able to locate some shrimp and 3 Oto cats, I seem to have yet to lose a fish in the 125 ( ). This is a far cry better than what was going on in the 46 Gallon.

So, now I need to get this tank under control and here is what I have:

1.) 3 x 96W (2x96W on one side that is an off brand after market, but it actually seems to function decent and 1x96 Current USA on the other side) set at 6 Hours per day. The schedule is 9AM to 12PM and 9:30PM to 12:30AM due to my work schedule and wanting to see the tank lit up when I get home. The tank gets relatively little, if any, natural sunlight during the day due to blinds.

2.) Pressurized Co2 using a full Rex Grigg Setup combined with a Milwaukee SMS 122 Controller. Base PH of tap water is around 7.6/7.8, and I currently have the SMS 122 set at 6.5. I lowered this slowly testing it with the fish.

3.) I have a full set of Ferts from rex grigg. After testing with a strip (I know, not the best) I went ahead and dosed roughly 29.9PPM of Nitrates to the tank (since I can't get it to read anything and I had the same issue with all my test kits.).

Now, I have no idea what to dose the other ferts, nor how to test for them. I do have a Red Sea test kit which includes an iron test, but that is it for the other ferts. My other test kit is an API which doesn't include Iron, etc...

The plants in the tank are: (if my memory serves me well)

Bacopa
Cabomba
Moneywort
Foxtail
Red Ludwigia
Java Fern
Rotala Indica
Hornwort (temporary to help use up excess trace elements and outcompete algae)
1 - Lilly from bulb at walmart
Java Moss
Sword Plant (can't remember type, but not Amazon).
1 - Unidintified plant but believe it is possible a rotala (will post pictures another time and find out).

So, all advice welcome now.

Please note, most of these plants are probable somewhat "Temporary". I'm using them to primarily stabilize the tank and then will be changing them out one at a time as I better lay out the tank.

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 05:55 PM
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Read the sticky in the "nutrient" section on Dosing.

You are going to do EI right? "Estimative Index", its what most folks do around here...do a search for "what is ei" or "what is estimative index". That will tell you more about EI, the philosophy on what to dose and when, then follow the directions in the sticky to get started. Remember the CSM+B is supposed to be made into a liquid (1x=8oz etc, can't remember) and then dose Xml of that liquid).

Regarding the split light schedule, I really don't know, I can't remember if someone said its bad for plants and they'd rather have it for 6 hours straight, like 5pm-11pm or what, I really don't know, something to look into.

NOTE: To do a *SEARCH* and get the answer you want, its often best to go to "Advanced Search" and search in the title only.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 06:14 PM
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Just so you know, iron tests are useless. They won't give you a good reading. It's best to not attempt that.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2007, 06:32 PM
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There are many methods of dosing. Many people here use EI, estimate index, which basically has you dose a little more, possibly extra, of everything to ensure you are not lacking anything. Then, at the end of the week, you do a large water change to ensure you are not building up too much of anything.

Another way is PPS-Pro or any of the other variations. Basically, it is like PMDD (poor man's dosing drops). It is some ratio of fertilizers that is fairly good for a variety of plants. Some people say that it won't solve nutrient issues, but it has been working fine for me.

Go to water parameters and click dosing regimes. You can get an idea of what other people might be dosing.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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I'm mainly looking at EI, but I also would rather get to a point of doing water changes every two weeks to a month rather than weekly, which is probably going to make this harder.

I did get the reactor installed correctly tonight though (had it upside down). Now to see how it does in holding the PH down to 6.4.

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 07:08 AM
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That's fine, but you probably need to sacrifice growth a little. I'm not saying your plants won't grow, I'm just saying you need to be careful not to get algae if you are doing fewer water changes. High light drives high CO2 consumption, which is then followed by macro and trace nutrients. Algae happens when there is some limiting factor for the plants (something that there is not enough of), so the other nutrients/light/CO2 is not used by the plants. Algae can take advantage of these things that the plant cannot use, and take hold. If you were somehow able to determine exactly how much your plants needed of everything, you would be able to do fewer water changes while still having massive growth. However, this would require a lot of testing, and even then, several of the nutrients do not have reliable (or reasonably priced) tests. This is why EI is actually a lazier method of doing things. Instead of doing tests, you can do a rough estimate of how much your plants will need. Then, to make sure there isn't extra that algae can take advantage of, you do the big water change.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2007, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, I see your point. But, in regards to the testing, practice does make perfect. I'm thinking I could probably try various dosages while slowly extending water changes until I have a problem, then do the water changes. This method I would think I could eventually find the right dosage to do the water changes every two or three weeks instead of weekly.......

Opinions on that?

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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