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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I've been seeing a lot of what I think is phosphate deficiency in my plants.. I tested my phosphates and they are low, really low like .05.. So I gave it a pretty good dose of phosphate and checked the level an hour or two later and it was about the same, so I dosed a bit more.. Now the following day I tested and am reading 0 phosphate?!? The kit is relatively new, how could this be? Was it in such demand that the plants ate it up that fast? Do i dose more or get a new test kit? It's a R*d Sea kit and only about a month old. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Really? I pay for the company to do that at a lab, do these test kits come defective often? I've tested with this kit before and have gotten higher/lower readings, it does work.. I don't understand fully how to calibrate it.
 

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Since having a lot more phosphate (or nitrate or potassium or trace elements) in the water than the plants really need does no harm, it makes little sense to play around with test kits. Just follow the dosing method given in the sticky, and spend your efforts on getting the CO2 set up right.

Even the most expensive test device, gauge, or kit needs to be calibrated if you really need it to be accurate. And, the calibration needs to be repeated often. Everyone who does testing professionally does that.
 

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does that mean no need to add P through dry fertilizer in ADA soil tanks?
No, it just means there's a source of P in the soil, it does not imply that adding PO4 to the water is bad/good indifferent etc.

ADA's tap is loaded with PO4 and they do large frequent water changes.

So P is located in both locations: sediment and the water column.
This covers all the bases and is synergistic.
Water column + sediment will yield the best growth and the easiest management.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Any information on calibrating test kits? Trying alternatives to EI, the tank is med light and not Co2 enriched. Really just trying to learn how to read the plants but it's nice to have a solid test that I could fall back on but that is seeming intangible. And I understand how extra fertilizers and elements in the water are not necessarily harmful but really don't have time for the intense pruning and weekly water changes that comes hand in hand with that method..
 

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Any information on calibrating test kits? Trying alternatives to EI, the tank is med light and not Co2 enriched. Really just trying to learn how to read the plants but it's nice to have a solid test that I could fall back on but that is seeming intangible. And I understand how extra fertilizers and elements in the water are not necessarily harmful but really don't have time for the intense pruning and weekly water changes that comes hand in hand with that method..
That''s why I suggest using less, not more light, all plant growth begins with light, so everything like CO2 and ferts downstream from there is much easier to manage.

This is how you can control growth rates much much easier than limiting ferts. Light is 100X more stable, make that 1000X more stable:icon_cool

Then CO2 demand is reduced, this is the one thing that kills and stresses fish more than any other. So both ferts and CO2 are easier.

Growth does NOT start with N and P........it starts with light.

I've long noticed many trying to poo poo EI use the weedy growth as a weak sorry excuse to NOT suggest or use EI, however, these people have a poor understanding of the very basics about how a plant grows. I suppose they where not awake in 7 th grade Science class when they had to learn the photosynthesis equation??

We can control growth rates much easier with light and with CO2.
We may also chose plants that do not require trimming as much, or have innate slow growth.

These are very basic horticultural skills that many seem not to possess, then tell other folks their misinformation........ahh, and a myth is born on the internet.

I would suggest you read Tropica's article on light and CO2:
http://www.tropica.com/advising/technical-articles/biology-of-aquatic-plants/co2-and-light.aspx

It is far more informative and helpful than most articles you will find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hmm, interesting article.. Learned a little German as well.. From what I gathered from the article though, one can limit Co2 or light to minimize growth (light having a larger impact). It explains the relationship between Co2 uptake and light utilization in an understandable way. Now... They touched on how nutrients, iron/micros, can be harvested in other ways if low amount is present by the plant using one to make the other. So what is the major downfall with not keeping a ton of nutrients available (solely intended to minimize the need for a weekly water change)? The plants are biologically cleaning the water for the fish, but the WC is to reset the ferts, correct? Co2 is starting to look better just trying to cover all my bases here.
 

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I find this part of the Tropica article interesting:

" Starting with the nutrients, an average plant aquarium with a decent fish population usually has sufficient nitrogen and phosphorus. When it comes to iron, potassium, manganese and other micronutrients it is often a trickier thing. Some aquaria are well planned from the beginning with, for example, laterite and other fertilizers in the substrate whereas others are not. In most cases, however, an aquarium plant fertilizer without nitrogen and phosphorus may safely be added to maintain healthy growth. It is often a much more difficult and expensive task to provide adequate light over the plant aquarium. Both fluorescent light and highpressure-quicksilver lamps may produce sufficient light if supplied with effective reflectors but in deep aquaria (more than 50 cm) is very difficult to offer enough light to small light demanding foreground plants. Based on our experiments, we suggest commencing CO2 addition before any other action is taken! We believe that even at very modest light intensities you will experience a conspicuous change in plant performance in your aquarium. The exact amount CO2 may always be discussed but if you do not have very sensitive fishes in your fish stock, concentrations from 25 and up to 50 mg/l will only improve plant growth. You will probably see that plants, which were barely able to survive before now, thrive in the presence of CO2."

Am I wrong or does is it say that there are usually sufficient levels of N and P in the typical planted tank without the need for supplementation and that light, CO2 and micros are the areas that need more attention?
 

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I find this part of the Tropica article interesting:

Am I wrong or does is it say that there are usually sufficient levels of N and P in the typical planted tank without the need for supplementation and that light, CO2 and micros are the areas that need more attention?
Yes it does say that but I don't think they accounted for everybody here having high light disease and the variations from tank to tank etc.
 
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