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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do I front load an amount that is fully consumed by weeks end, or do I dose an amount that would account for an accumulation total. Say I want 20ppm NO3 accumulation, my tank consumes 20ppm a week, so dose 40ppm up front? Or do as 1st stated, just dose 20ppm, which kind of acts like an accumulation total because each new week starts with 20ppm?

Did I make sense?
 

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The answer is......it depends.

It's tricky to account for plant uptake and tank generated nutrients. Requires taking good records and good accurate testing to dial it in.

In my case, my plant uptake and tank generated nutrients are very close. So I have been front end loading all macros for years. The idea is to keep a stable nutrient level avoiding peaks and valleys.

Here is a pretty close approximation of what takes place in my tank. The number to key in on is the Daily NO3 level in week 11. And keep in mind my water change percentage is 70%.

Rectangle Font Line Slope Parallel


My NO3 reads right about 20 ppm any day of the week. And my TDS is pretty much the same any day of week as well.

Now your tank might be different. In general you want to think about dosing to a "target". That is dosing the the incoming water to the level you want to have in the water column. So if your target is 20 ppm, and your remove 50 gallons of water, then calculate dosing to bring 50 gallons to 20 ppm. If you have a light fish load and lots of plant mass, you might find you need another smaller dose sometime mid week. Would look something like this.

Rectangle Slope Font Line Parallel


I hope that helps. Let me know if you have questions about your particular tank. I'd be glad to help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The answer is......it depends.

It's tricky to account for plant uptake and tank generated nutrients. Requires taking good records and good accurate testing to dial it in.

In my case, my plant uptake and tank generated nutrients are very close. So I have been front end loading all macros for years. The idea is to keep a stable nutrient level avoiding peaks and valleys.

Here is a pretty close approximation of what takes place in my tank. The number to key in on is the Daily NO3 level in week 11. And keep in mind my water change percentage is 70%.

View attachment 1033259

My NO3 reads right about 20 ppm any day of the week. And my TDS is pretty much the same any day of week as well.

Now your tank might be different. In general you want to think about dosing to a "target". That is dosing the the incoming water to the level you want to have in the water column. So if your target is 20 ppm, and your remove 50 gallons of water, then calculate dosing to bring 50 gallons to 20 ppm. If you have a light fish load and lots of plant mass, you might find you need another smaller dose sometime mid week. Would look something like this.

View attachment 1033261

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have questions about your particular tank. I'd be glad to help.
Thank you. This makes sense for sure. On the surface, it seems the first week front load is a bit disruptive, but going forward it is consistent.
I will need to get a better test kit. I calibrated my API kit but it's still difficult to read. I can't tell if my accumulation is 10ppm or 20ppm. It looks lower than 20, but too close to tell.

But in a nutshell, dose the incoming water to the values I want the tank to be and adjust for fish load and plant mass? Am I understanding you correctly?

Here's my dosing now.
Rectangle Font Material property Parallel Pattern
 

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Thank you. This makes sense for sure. On the surface, it seems the first week front load is a bit disruptive, but going forward it is consistent.
I will need to get a better test kit. I calibrated my API kit but it's still difficult to read. I can't tell if my accumulation is 10ppm or 20ppm. It looks lower than 20, but too close to tell.
API Nitrate test kit is really hit and miss. Once it's off it's worthless. And as it ages, readings change. Get the Salifert kit. Very consistent.

But in a nutshell, dose the incoming water to the values I want the tank to be and adjust for fish load and plant mass? Am I understanding you correctly?

Here's my dosing now.
View attachment 1033262
Yes. If your target NO3 level is 25 ppm, then dose the incoming new 33 gallons to 25 ppm. Test right after dosing then test again right before the next water change. You will get an idea of what is going on with NO3 uptake. Then you can adjust accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
API Nitrate test kit is really hit and miss. Once it's off it's worthless. And as it ages, readings change. Get the Salifert kit. Very consistent.


Yes. If your target NO3 level is 25 ppm, then dose the incoming new 33 gallons to 25 ppm. Test right after dosing then test again right before the next water change. You will get an idea of what is going on with NO3 uptake. Then you can adjust accordingly.
Thank you Greggz!

I forgot to ask. Would I keep dosing Micros 3 days a week, or adjust and dose 6 times a week?
 
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