What testkits needed for non EI dosing? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-10-2008, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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What testkits needed for non EI dosing?

I'm wondering what testkits i should have for non EI dosing. I do want to dose a few times a week, if not daily with macros and micros, but i'm not fond of such a large frequent water change as my tap water has a high PH so i would like to test often and only add what i need. As of now i have the usual testkits: PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, GH, KH, and Fe. What else should i get? I am placing an order with green leafs for a co2 system and want to buy dry ferts at the same time. What do i need, just their combo package?? Thanks

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-10-2008, 03:44 AM
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You should read up on PPS-pro or something similar:

You need lots of test kits, and many are not acurate. So you need to buy the expensive ones and prob make some solutions to test to make sure that they are accurate.

I think you should just use peat in your filter, or run your water change water through that and not worry as much
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-10-2008, 04:30 AM
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NO3 (nitrate)
PO4 (phosphate)
Fe (Iron)

Those are the main ones to watch

I use API kits for nitrate and phosphate, you can calibrate them using this method to create reference solutions. Doesn't matter how inaccurate reagents are, once you calibrate them correctly, you'll know what the colors are really saying. I personally found both API kits to be very close to accurate, but there's a lot of individual user error when it comes to using reagents, plus they're not all made the same or have been sitting around a while at the store, so you'll want to calibrate anyway, IMHO.

I use a Hagen kit for Iron I believe. Have no way to calibrate it, but I'm not seeing Iron deficiencies. Getting any kind of decent color response should be good enough with an Fe kit, then you can watch the plants for signs of deficiency, or experiment with larger doses.

Potassium is another one you should be dosing, but the safe range is very flexible, and the kits are insanely expensive.

So in short, all you need is a PO4 kit, some confirmation with reference solutions, and you're good to go.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-10-2008, 05:07 AM
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Traditional Target Nutrient Levels:
PPM* Nutrient
5.0 - 10.0 Nitrate
0.5 – 1.0 Phosphate
0.1 Iron
*1 ppm = 1 mg/l

Chuck Gadd’s dosing calculator to determine how much for your tank size.


75g, pair of gold rams , ABN, 1 adult 2 young discus, 2oto's, 6ADF's, 3 anglefish. 96w 6700k-light 6hrs raised, No C02, Excel, EI dry macro's and micro's, Eheim 2126, 18w UV, 2 Nano 270 powerhead. wall of bubbles for more O2 for such a deep tank.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-10-2008, 04:13 PM
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Lamotte have the bets hobby grade track record, they are borderline research monitoring grade.

Still, even the best test kits and methods need to be calibrated.
LeftC has a simple easy to understand way to do that, search here on TPT and it'll pop up.

Cheap test kits, you get what you pay for.

If you plan on doing routine regular testing, it really pays and makes your life much easier to spend a few more $.

I was ever really able to convince folks of this, mostly because no one ever bothered to use references for calibrations.........so I figured I'd argue for EI dosing.......

You can still test and modify your EI type dosing.
This is essentially what I suggested in mid 1990's.

A step up from Lamotte are the Hanna colorimeters which are pretty nice, but going from 50$ to 175$ starts to be quite a hit for most.

For PO4/NO3, I'd go with a minimum of a Lamotte.
the other stuff you can use other brands etc.

CO2 is the most critical thing and the worst one as far variation, impact on your tank, algae issues(90-95% at least), rate at which is can change- NO3/PO4 are rather slow, even Fe is slow in comparison, and fish deaths.

Yes, more folks kill fish with CO2 than any other single thing they add in this planted hobby.

Ironically, very few folks focus much on CO2 and testing it carefully.
All the nutrient testing for NO3, PO4 will not matter one bit if the CO2 is loused up and pH/KH tables do not get you that far in many situations.

So keep that in mind before running forth with the test kit like it's some sort of "knowledge" and that you are learning.

Test kits just tell you information(provided you use them correctly and account for errors- most hobbyists do not), how you draw conclusions from that info and rational makes all the difference however.

The latter part is how you learn and gain knowlegde, not by monitoring and testing water in and of itself.

I personally did not get into this hobby to spend a lot of time and $ to test the water, I suppose it's a hobby for some..............

I do more than my share at the lab.
I call it work, not a hobby and it's not much fun to tell the truth after the 178 th sample

I think some think they ought to do it, and would like to know how and gain the experience, this is a good reason to test. But most get tired over time and stop anyway and rely mostly on plants, algae etc as bio indicators, the plants, algae etc are the test kits.

Takes time to learn how, but it's cheap, fast, more accurate and more specific to answering what we would like to know about the planted tank.

Tom Barr

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeedEuphoria View Post
You should read up on PPS-pro or something similar:

You need lots of test kits, and many are not acurate.
You do not need any test kits with PPS-Pro, that simple.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-12-2008, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Edward View Post
You do not need any test kits with PPS-Pro, that simple.

I should have separated my thoughts better.

If your going to test you should have all the test kits you can get.

If you want less water changes then a good proven method is PPS-pro
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reagent, test kit

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