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Dry dosing a 125gallon with NPK, CSM+B, & GH Booster

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Hi All,
I am new to dry dosing and have been reading all I can on the subject. I would like to use the EI method. My set up is as follows... 125 gallon tank, 4 96 watt power compacts (2 6500/10000k, 2 color enhancing/6500k), 10lb co2 w/controller, flourite & gravel substrate. My tap water... KH--72.5 mg/L, GH--8.0 mg/L, Phosphate 1-2 ppm. PH from the tap is 6.3, but once degassed rises to about 7.2
For the dosing I have purchased KN03, K2S04, KH2P04, CSM+B, and Ultimate GH booster.
This is what I am thinking for dose...
3X per week 11/2 tsp. KN03, 1/4 tsp. k2s04, 1/4 tsp kh2p04, 1/2 tsp csm+b
1X per week 11/2 tsp GH booster
50% water change
Does this sound about right? Lots of fish in the tank, tetras & apistos. Thanks for any help:fish:
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I dose the same amount of P as CSM+B in my 100 gallon tank and don't use additional K. Remember this is just a starting point and you may need more or less of any of these now and may need to adjust if conditions in your tanks change. My 2x150 MH lit tank needs more than you are planning at the moment, may need less in weeks following. You may not need the additional GH booster if you are doing the big water changes but my water is GH 4 and I use it and it seems to help the plants.
 

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Did you get these amounts from the EI method?

I am not sure you will be OK for the potassium with the other items you are adding. The KNO3 and KH2PO4 add little, with that small a dose, but the GH booster is probably more K than other minerals, if it is like Seachem Equilibrium or Barr's GH Booster. If you only need to add it once a week at water change time, you may not be adding as much potassium as the plants will need. I would still use K2SO4. I use either of the 2 GH boosters for a Lake Tanganyikan tank, at a much higher rate, but still dose K for the plants.
Have you tested the dose of GH Booster with your water? Does it give you the level you want? 80 mg/l (=ppm, = 4.4 German degrees of hardness) is already pretty good. You will not likely be adding very much for soft water fish, just enough to hold it stable if the plants are using Ca and Mg in enough quantity to need a supplement. Do the plants use so much Ca and Mg that you might have to add more through the week?

With that much light and CO2, I am sure you will need to dose NO3, but I am not sure how much. That seems a good amount to start with, then test and fine tune it.

With the tap water already introducing some P, I would dose less P than is suggested in the EI method, so MAYBE your KH2PO4 number is too high. Try it. Test for P and see how much the plants use. You might be right on. There is phosphates in fish food, too, and you are 'dosing' this daily, too.

When your tap water is so soft then it is highly likely also deficient in other minerals and elements that the plants use, too. I have found that the CSM+B seems a little light in the iron.
I would add some chelated iron to the CSM+B:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Dose macros (N-P-K)
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: Dose micros (CSM+B and chelated Iron) GH Booster if needed.
Sunday: water change including GH booster.

Try it for a couple of weeks, testing with all the tests you have. Within the first week the plants should start perking up, and looking better, growing better.
By the second week you might have to start pruning.
Water tests should show the nutrient levels vary somewhat, but stay within the optimum values.
Algae (if there is any there now) may persist, and you might have to manually remove it before the fertilizer regime keeps it under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply. This tank has been set up for over a year, it is almost exclusively planted with different types of echinodorus. In the past I have allways ran the tank with half the lighting and very little fertilization other than the fish. The plants are full and doing well but grow slowly under half lighting. Once I begin dosing dry ferts I plan on running half lighting for maybe 10hrs and full for 4-5hrs. Is this too much? Not enough?
Or all for nothing, can sword plants pull the ferts from the water or will this all just be food for algae?
 

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Swords do just fine with water dosing. I don't *believe* in rich substrates as you see results with water column fertilizing so quickly and a rich substrate influences plant growth more subtly.

Be careful what you wish for. I no longer have swords, they out grow the tank and each succeeding replanting of baby plants just grew faster and stronger. One E. 'Rose' filled half a 5' tank and was so pretty.
 
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