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Dry Ferts, Dosing, Plant Growth & Stunned Algae Growth

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Info:
DIY LED light (Light PAR is good i'd say. 6500k w/ whites, red, and blue. on for four hours twice a day with time between to cool down.)
40 gallon medium planted
dosing 3-5mL/day of macro micro mix i bought. (My dry ferts came pre mixed with KNO3, K2SO4, MgSO4 and CSM+B all proportionally together.)
High tech CO2 (1-1.5 bubbles per second)
Do 35-50% water changes every week and a half or two weeks.

Water Parameters:
pH: 7.2
Nitrates: about 80-100 ppm
Phosphates: between 0-0.25 ppm
KH & GH: Both read about 200 ppm (11 drops with the API test kits)

I'm getting what seems to be lots of pearling so i thought i'd ask,
If i stop dosing ferts, will the pearling stop when the ferts run out or will pearling keep going as long as there is light and co2 with dense o2 saturation?

only reason i ask is i want to starve out algae (or stun it's growth substantially). Some i have seen in my tank before cleaning recently are in links below
This kind on the glass:
http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i2...potalgae-2.jpg
That wasn't the only kind on glass. There was other kind that just made the glass less transparent. Almost as if it had to do with calcium because it was hard to take off. I still see streaks where it stayed on from scraping the glass with razor. (GH supports this as hard water?)

and this kind on my rock:
http://www.loaches.com/articles/imag.../image_preview
It is pretty short and fussy and not like hair grass. Doesn't look that color green either. has few brown spots.

Basically i want to know if i'm dosing too much ferts? (Sometimes 3mL/day sometimes 5mL/day) Is there any way i can know which type KNO3, K2SO4, or MgSO4 i need more or less of in the tank? Any suggestions would be helpful.
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Nick, Sac tap water is extremely soft.
American river water basically.
A few areas might get other source, but not likely.
East up 50/80, same deal, super soft, you need GH booster.

Do a large water change, say 60-70%, then dose after.

Most of the issues once you add ferts: CO2.
 

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Nick, Sac tap water is extremely soft.
American river water basically.
A few areas might get other source, but not likely.
East up 50/80, same deal, super soft, you need GH booster.

Do a large water change, say 60-70%, then dose after.

Most of the issues once you add ferts: CO2.
So true, i live in folsom, i think we share same if not similar water. Although API test kits aren't accurate, fact that they change after the first drop for testing GH and KH leads me to believe I have very soft water.
 

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When I lived in the county of Sacramento, the Arden-Arcade district, not the city, much of the water supply came from wells, scattered over that water district. My water then was much harder than it is now. I hate Seachem Equilibrium, so I quit using it. I think I need to buy a different GH bulder and see if that makes a difference in my low light tank.
 

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What is the proper gH for a planted tank?
Hello, I will try to answer. If I am mistaken please correct me.

Not sure there is a proper GH, depends on what kind of plants you have. Some will grow better in soft water, some will prefer hard water.

As for me, my tap water is soft (GH of 2-3). I have 2 little calcareaous rocks in my 65G tank, that make the GH go higher (now it is at 6), for 2 reasons.

If the GH is not too soft (at least 3), there should be enough calcium and magnesium in the water for most plants, it is commonly belived.
If the GH is not too soft, the risk of pH fluctuations is less risky.

Forgive my english, it is not my native language.

Michel.
 

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Hello, I will try to answer. If I am mistaken please correct me.

Not sure there is a proper GH, depends on what kind of plants you have. Some will grow better in soft water, some will prefer hard water.

As for me, my tap water is soft (GH of 2-3). I have 2 little calcareaous rocks in my 65G tank, that make the GH go higher (now it is at 6), for 2 reasons.

If the GH is not too soft (at least 3), there should be enough calcium and magnesium in the water for most plants, it is commonly belived.
If the GH is not too soft, the risk of pH fluctuations is less risky.

Forgive my english, it is not my native language.

Michel.
KH determines the buffering capabilities of the ph not GH. But everything else seems right. You also may want harder water if you have snails or other inverts because they need more calcium for their shells.
I wish I lived where there was soft water. Just moved and my gh is 17 out of the tap and kh is 13. Waiting on RO water is a pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
As far as dosing the Macro & Micro Mix i have, do i still need to dose if my nitrate levels are high enough or should i only dose when the levels get too low? Or does it not have anything to do with nitrates?
 

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Tom i thought your water already have a GH from tap
Yes, 2 degrees, about 35 ppm or thereabouts.
I still add more Gh booster.

Shalu used to go nuts with GH booster, hitting 9-10 degrees, his colors and fish looked awesome.

I do not know, I suppose I could lard more in there, but I'm not really going to get more growth, eg, the ppm's are non limiting, but they may enhance coloration more in some species.

I tend to dose a KNOWN Gh booster for the Mg and the added K+, less for the Ca and SO4 etc.

Now I could add MgSO4 to the trace mix and then mix some K2SO4 into the KNO3, but it's not much hassle and added Ca++ never did no harm in any plant species I've ever kept. Or I could test the tap all the time and dose based on those results, which frankly, its way too much hassle when a simpler solution is available. I'm good at knowing what Mg limitation looks like, I learned the hard way 15 years ago. PMDD helped me a lot.
 
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