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#### kidgrave

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So I went online and read how to fertilize a low-tech planted tank. This is the website where I read how to dose: http://www.sudeepmandal.com/hobbies/planted-aquarium/low-tech-planted-tank-guide/#dosingfertilizer.

According to that website, to dose for a 20 gallon tank, you need to do the following "
As per Tom’s recommendations, dose the following once a week or once in two weeks for a 20 gallon tank. If you have a different sized tank, calculate the required fert dose accordingly.
1/4 Teaspoon of Seachem Equilibrium (for traces and Calcium + Magnesium). (1.42 ppm Ca, 0.42 ppm Mg, 3.43 ppm K and 0.02 ppm Fe)
1/8 Teaspoon of KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) (5.27 ppm NO3 and 3.32 ppm K)
1/32 Teaspoon of KH2PO4 (Potassium Mono Phosphate) (1.61 ppm PO4 and 0.66 ppm K."

The thing is that I have 37 gallon tank, which is 30 long, 12 inches wide, and 24 inches deep. As far as my lights go, I have some Fluval LED. I have been reading a lot about how to dose, and I am getting really confused. I already purchased Seachem Equilibrium, KNO3, and KH2P04. I was wondering if someone could please help me figure out how often and how much ferts I dose into my thank. Thanks.

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#### kidgrave

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Dosing calculator can do the work for you.

http://calc.petalphile.com/
Thank you so much for the link. :icon_cool That calculator is asking me what I'm calculating for. Which option would be the best one for me to select if I only want to dose once a week, or every two weeks? I want to dose similarly like that link I posted on my original post, but I don't know which method is the one they utilized. I am new to this whole concept of EI, EI Daily, and etc I want to go for a dosing option like that because I'm a fairly busy person. I'd really appreciate some advise on this because I'm a bit confused.

#### BruceF

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You could just start with the 20g formula once a week and see how it goes. there are too many variables for us to tell you exactly. For instance we have no idea how many plants you have or what the substrate is or what your tap water is like. What plants are you trying to grow?

#### Hoppy

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Fertilizing doesn't need to be done accurately. As long as you dose enough so none of the nutrients is in short supply, thus limiting the growth rate of the plants, you are ok. However, if you dose more than the plants are using, the excess will eventually build up in the water to the point where it is harmful to the fish, and eventually to the plants. That doesn't happen in a week or two, but it can eventually happen. To avoid this just replace about half the water in the tank every week or two. That removes enough of the excess to prevent it ever being a problem. In a nutshell that is the Estimative Index method of dosing fertilizers.

#### kidgrave

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You could just start with the 20g formula once a week and see how it goes. there are too many variables for us to tell you exactly. For instance we have no idea how many plants you have or what the substrate is or what your tap water is like. What plants are you trying to grow?
Good idea, and I was thinking of just using the 20g formula. Since I have a 37 gallon tank, which is close to 40, I was thinking about using close to twice of that formula. As far as substrate goes, the one that I have at the moment does not provide any nutrients. When it comes to plants, I have Trident Java Fern, Java Fern, Philippine Java Fern, Java Moss, Anubia, and Jungle Val. Which information about my tap water would you need? All I know about my tap water is that the PH is at 7.6

I don't want to sound dumb about my following question. Is the substrate only important when you have plants that are rooted? What about if I didn't have the Jungle Val plant, would a substrate with nutrients still be needed for my setup?

I almost forgot to say, but I think my tank is heavily planted.

Fertilizing doesn't need to be done accurately. As long as you dose enough so none of the nutrients is in short supply, thus limiting the growth rate of the plants, you are ok. However, if you dose more than the plants are using, the excess will eventually build up in the water to the point where it is harmful to the fish, and eventually to the plants. That doesn't happen in a week or two, but it can eventually happen. To avoid this just replace about half the water in the tank every week or two. That removes enough of the excess to prevent it ever being a problem. In a nutshell that is the Estimative Index method of dosing fertilizers.
Thank you for your reply. Someone told me that having too much iron could be bad for the fish, is that true? Is there some type of website that gives an ideal of how much ppm I need for Macronutrients and Micronutrients?

#### Zorfox

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+1 on Hoppy's comment. In my opinion low tech tanks with no water changes are harder to manage especially when you throw fertilizers in the mix. Water changes eliminate most nutrient level issues without the need for testing.

Here is a post you may find helpful. The EI concept explained. It lists the target ranges for macro and secondary nutrients.

Your plant list are low light plants. Using 1/4 of EI dosing with water changes would be about right. The dosing depends on water change frequency though. There is a link in that post for a calculator that models nutrient accumulation over time. Playing around with that will show you how to target those ranges and balance them with water changes.

#### sleepswithdafishez

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I too am new to the calculator.I chose to dose for 5.5 gallon ,for an actual amount of about 6(water column only) - EI low light/weekly.Tank is 10 gallon capacity.30 % weekly WC. Not so sure I am doing it right ,anymore ,after reading this.

#### kidgrave

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+1 on Hoppy's comment. In my opinion low tech tanks with no water changes are harder to manage especially when you throw fertilizers in the mix. Water changes eliminate most nutrient level issues without the need for testing.

Here is a post you may find helpful. The EI concept explained. It lists the target ranges for macro and secondary nutrients.

Your plant list are low light plants. Using 1/4 of EI dosing with water changes would be about right. The dosing depends on water change frequency though. There is a link in that post for a calculator that models nutrient accumulation over time. Playing around with that will show you how to target those ranges and balance them with water changes.
I just want to say thank you so much for your article. I found it very useful and informative. I have a question, so for this formula that I found online below, are there micronutrients missing there? I don't think that dosing method provides stuff such as Boron, Zinc, and etc.

1/4 Teaspoon of Seachem Equilibrium (for traces and Calcium + Magnesium). (1.42 ppm Ca, 0.42 ppm Mg, 3.43 ppm K and 0.02 ppm Fe)
1/8 Teaspoon of KNO3 (Potassium Nitrate) (5.27 ppm NO3 and 3.32 ppm K)
1/32 Teaspoon of KH2PO4 (Potassium Mono Phosphate) (1.61 ppm PO4 and 0.66 ppm K.

Do you use Plantex CSM + B for micros?

Fertilizing doesn't need to be done accurately. As long as you dose enough so none of the nutrients is in short supply, thus limiting the growth rate of the plants, you are ok. However, if you dose more than the plants are using, the excess will eventually build up in the water to the point where it is harmful to the fish, and eventually to the plants. That doesn't happen in a week or two, but it can eventually happen. To avoid this just replace about half the water in the tank every week or two. That removes enough of the excess to prevent it ever being a problem. In a nutshell that is the Estimative Index method of dosing fertilizers.
Do excess nutrients cause algea? I am a newbie so I hope I am not asking dumb question. I think the EI method sounds a bit of a hassle for me because of the water bill and because sometimes I am busy studying on the weekend. I was reading about the PPS Pro dosing method; what's your opinion about that dosing method? I'd like to know about the pros and cons about it. I have read a lot of your opinions, and I think you give great advise. :red_mouth

#### Raymond S.

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I consider myself to be a nubie to keep my thinking able to accept at least most of what people tell me as being worth looking into.
I do like things in my tank(s) to be a bit different looking so at times people don't understand why I'm reluctant to use one of their suggestions though.
But to answer one of your questions excess light causes algae but poor water condition/poor plant health is a contributing factor in lots of case also.
As Hoppy mentioned(I think it was he) some plants(not one that you listed) use
higher levels of certain ferts. When I say a fert imbalance here I'm talking not
having enough of that particular kind in a tank/w one or more of those plants.
So a tank/w that kind of fert imbalance will have poor growth and cause one of the conditions which help algae growth. That could easilly be labeled excess ferts.
This is why I stress curing the cause of algae instead of the algae.
But to get the focus back on the light thing...it usually start out with excess light.
And BTW...too much can be because of not enough plants to use what you have.
A tank/w one bulb of T8 may get GSA for example if thereis only one or two plants in
it but how long the light is on is also under the category of "excess" at times.

#### Zorfox

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I have a question, so for this formula that I found online below, are there micronutrients missing there?
Yes, they are missing. Many low tech tanks use a nutrient rich substrate which contains many trace elements. If you're using an inert substrate adding traces may be beneficial. In the article Tom Barr wrote about non CO2 methods he does mention you can add traces if you like. However he chose not to and seemed to have good results.

If you decide to add traces I would suggest monthly water changes. The reason for this is I have no idea what the uptake ratios are for all the trace elements. Without knowing this and having the ability to test for them they can build up over time. If you decide to go with monthly water changes I think adding enough Plantex to raise iron to 0.17ppm would be plenty. That would be 2 tsp. of Plantex in 500ml of water and dose 20ml of that once a week. If you won't be doing water changes I honestly couldn't tell you the appropriate amount to add.

Do you use Plantex CSM + B for micros?
Yup

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