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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this is my first planted tank and this whole dosing thing really confuses me a lot. I don't quite understand it and would like some advice. To start out, here are my tank specs:

60G Specs:
Tank - 60G Marineland (48"x12"x24")
Filter - Aquaclear 70 along with a powerhead
Lighting - 2x32W T8 6500k
Co2 - None
Heater - 200W (forgot the name brand)
Substrate - Miracle Grow Organic Choice capped with Flourite/Pea Gravel mix
Flora - Hornwort, Anubias Nana, Java Fern, Red Leaf Ludwigia, Anacharis, Amazon Sword, Compact Sword, Dwarf Sag, Val, Wisteria, Crypt Wendtii
Faune - None as of yet (most likely within the next day or so though)

I put plants in my tank on Friday and they seem to be doing alright. I put in some API Leaf Zone as described on the bottle, but I don't know how often I will have to do this (once a week or more)? I am going to pick up a bottle of Flourish Excel to help with Co2 and also a bottle of Flourish Iron as I have some plants with red leaves.

Are there any other fertilizers I should pick up as well?
 

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Get Root Tabs or Osmocote + in gel caps. You can buy some here or see what your store carries.

Heavy root feeders like Swords appreciate it. Though dirt may be enough ???

I dose Leaf Zone weekly after water changes.


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Completely understandable to be confused about it with so much noise and many, many options add to that all the ad blah blah wanting your money too.

Really tough call on how to lend this advice. You should limit the amounts you add without seeing a need for it.
Once levels are set how much to add weekly or monthly without testing or knowing enough to simply read the plants (imo) is a tough call. Add the fact limiting water changes seems to reduce Algae on NPT tanks. No two tanks will be the same on uptake so your walking the line between non limiting and the balanced approach.

You have an excellent mix of plants listed and actually very similar to the mix I used on my first dirt tank. The soil will provide a solid base without any supplements to grow the plants you listed. I say this because mine did with only scattered and very random dosing and a lot less water changes. I currently add a trace mix/Fe home brew and some Excel like (glut) solution to my tanks and the soils do all the rest.

You're buying mostly water with a very small mineral and chemical component and paying a lot of money over time buying those products.

Checking you journal I don't see how thick the soil and capping layers are or any source water information but the tank looks to be nicely started.
 

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source water: Mainly referring to general hardness in this post. If the water is soft like SoCal soft Ca and Mg can be too low and need to be added.
D. Walstad wrote many times about not being concerned about providing minerals for the plants with average to hard water conditions but with naturally soft water or RO it can be a factor over time. Using RO my tanks became calcium deficient over time until I adjusted for it.
 

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are you supplied by a private well or central system?
 

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WOW! liquid rock LOL
171mg/l = 9.5dH
307.8 = 17dH

you'll have plenty of Ca and Mg but I wouldn't top off for replacing evaporation without resetting with a big water change for very long. If you have a few dollars to spare I would pick up API (or another brand) GH and KH chemical test kits to see how this breaks down but that's hard water indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When I first started with this hobby, I picked up one of those test strips (which I won't use anymore) and I remember the hardness being around 180ish. I knew we had hard water but damn that's hard.

Will I still need to get the Flourish Iron and Excel though?
 

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much better to use CSM+B or Millers Micro to mix your own.
I mix my trace so others can dose it when I'm gone.

I dose a CSM+B plus Fe solution almost daily. (do forget from time to time)
500ml bottle (I double everything but the Glut for the 1000ml bottles)
14.4g CSM+B
35g GLA Fe 11% DPTA
30ml Excel (actually 1.5% Glut)
Mixed with distilled water (gal costs like .60)
Mixing a new bottle of soup it takes about two days for everything to stay in solution.
I shake the bottle a couple of times a day and turn it upside down to see if anything settles.
Currently doing about 5ml/20g per day.

GLA sell bottles with dosing chambers and ordered once without the water the cost savings will shock you. Buy 2 bottles and the powder then watch for sales on Excel and after learning more switch that to Glutaraldehyde and you will save a small fortune.

I can convert the gram weights to leveled teaspoon measurements if that would help.

The way I spend money it would be hard to call me cheap but what exactly is 'extra' cash?

HTH and doesn't confuse you more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was able to find these ferts on Green Leaf Aquariums website and they seem rather cheap (compared to the premixed bottles at the LFS). I might have to go this route then.

Now when you mix a bottle, I'm assuming you are mixing this into one of the 500ml bottles or 2 (I'm assuming 1 bottle for CSM+B and 1 bottle for Fe)? How long will a mixture like that last you?

I know that 14.4g = 3 teaspoons, so then 35g = 2.3333 tablespoons (let me know if I'm wrong here).

Yes it's a big help and thank you for putting this into idiot's terms for me (somewhat, I figured out some of it as well)
 

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All mixed in one bottle following the recipe listed above.
Either as listed for 500ml size or double the volume for the larger 1000ml bottle.

I only recommended two bottles as it does not increase shipping cost to have an extra and even stored long term once mixed the addition of the Excel and the nearly sterile distilled water nothing grows inside the bottle.

edit; Figure your tank volume /20g/5ml to guess on how long it lasts LOL I'm dosing 24 tanks and mixing a new bottle once a month
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
24 tanks?! Wow you have MTS! :hihi:

Is the GLA Fe 11% DPTA called Iron Chelate on GLA's site? (I'm assuming it is)

When you say figure my tank volume /20g/5ml, are you saying 20 gallons per 5ml?
 

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That's the iron on the site.

dosing: 55g tank, rocks, wood, etc. when filled it actually holds 43g of water so I dose 10ml of this solution. 5ml for each 20g of actual volume. This is an arbitrary figure I came up with mixing over time and is very heavy on the Fe. Plants only need small amounts of trace.

Things have developed to where I'm play raising several types of fish mostly Angelfish.
 

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Since I don't see it mentioned here, I experienced a long slow melt of both my vals and wendtii crypts while using excel at below the recommended dosage. Raising to the recommended dose worsened the problem. Both of those plants started doing significantly better when I swapped the excel for CO2.
 
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