Max Dosing for Planted Tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Max Dosing for Planted Tank?

I set up a 5.5 gallon planted tank yesterday with Flourite Black, two pieces of driftwood and some plants. I plan to cycle it for a month before considering what to add fish-wise very much.

Today I bought some Flourish Comprehensive... Until I add fish to the tank, how much can I dose and how often? I'd do a hefty water change before adding any fish. I just want the plants to grow out a bit.

Over the 5.5 gallon tank, I have a 14W = 60W CFL bulb (not a fancy fixture, it holds a room lightbulb) and on the darkest side of the tank I have a lamp with a 13W = 40W CFL bulb. They're both around 5000K.

Aside from CO2, what else can I do to make my plants grow as fast as possible?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 07:01 AM
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Add a complete fertilizer, including N, P and K.
Comprehensive (I think) has low to no macros, it is more of a micros fert.

Here is the maximum dose of nitrogen you can give a tank:
Cycle the tank by adding ammonia, but not higher than about 1 ppm. Many plants are OK a bit higher (some are OK a lot higher), but many are not. 1 ppm will grow plenty of bacteria, though. You can test and bring the level up to 1 ppm twice a day.

You can dose P in a ratio with the N. Something like 1 part P to 10 parts N, though the exact ratio is not that critical. So whatever source of P you are using, you will have to do some math to figure it out.

K can be dosed a lot, too. Easily equal to the amount of N.

The nitrifying bacteria will be using the ammonia and carbonates, so keep these up. They probably use a very small amount of the trace minerals, so whatever dose is the maximum on the label, use that.

What are the actual wavelengths of the bulbs you are using?
The K value is a sort of average of how our eyes see the light. Not really applicable to plants. Get an accurate PAR reading for those bulbs. You might invest in a PAR meter, or join a club that has one available and borrow it.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Add a complete fertilizer, including N, P and K.
Comprehensive (I think) has low to no macros, it is more of a micros fert.

Here is the maximum dose of nitrogen you can give a tank:
Cycle the tank by adding ammonia, but not higher than about 1 ppm. Many plants are OK a bit higher (some are OK a lot higher), but many are not. 1 ppm will grow plenty of bacteria, though. You can test and bring the level up to 1 ppm twice a day.

You can dose P in a ratio with the N. Something like 1 part P to 10 parts N, though the exact ratio is not that critical. So whatever source of P you are using, you will have to do some math to figure it out.

K can be dosed a lot, too. Easily equal to the amount of N.

The nitrifying bacteria will be using the ammonia and carbonates, so keep these up. They probably use a very small amount of the trace minerals, so whatever dose is the maximum on the label, use that.

What are the actual wavelengths of the bulbs you are using?
The K value is a sort of average of how our eyes see the light. Not really applicable to plants. Get an accurate PAR reading for those bulbs. You might invest in a PAR meter, or join a club that has one available and borrow it.
So I can add pure ammonia to the tank while it cycles to boost plant growth? Can I continue adding it up until I decide to get fish, or only while the tank cycles?
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