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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I have been aquascaping for about 2.5 years now. I have been running a 20 gallon nano cube, with eco-complete substrate, 72 watts of light and regulated co2(30ppms)-but just recently became interested in the whole fertilization aspect after a severe outbreak of BBA.

I recently purchased K2SO4, KNO3, KH2PO4, and 10% iron chelate from Greg Watson - I also have a 2 liter jug of Flourish. Also, I used Chucks Plant Calculator and made up some bottles of solution last night.

I have not started to dose, but my projected schedule looks like this:

Sunday:50% water change, Seachem alkaine buffer (get KH up to 5), Nitrate, phosphate, potassium.
Monday:4ml Flourish, 1ml iron chelate solution (1 tablespoon added to 250ml)
Tuesday:macro
Wednesday:trace
Thursday:macro
Friday:trace
Saturday:Off

I have sifted through this site for hours and if anyone could give me some recommended ppms per day, that would be great! I have tested my nitrate and it is consistently 0 with a 50% weekly water change. I do not have a phosphate kit, but plan to get one soon. Regarding my trace(is Flourish the same thing?) doses-do they seem normal (I am basing them off of Tom Barrs recommendation of 10ml trace per 50 gallons)? Also, I do not seem much information about adding k2SO4-should this be added once a week or 3 times a week with the macros???
 

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if you have MS Excel, you would make a good tester for my dosing schedule creator. it will ensure that you are inline with the EI Method of dosing, show you the ppm's dosing, etc. The answers to your ppm question is at the bottom of the spreadsheet in the "EI Recommendations" section. Let me know if this helps you.

http://www.fwstingrays.com/DosingCalculator.htm

the reason EI does not mention K2SO4 is because you already get enough K from KNO3 assuming you dose the 1/4 per 20g's 3x per week amount.
 

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The routine looks good to me. You don't necessarily have to dose the iron every other day...I normally just give my tank a shot or two (shot as in about 2-3 ml) each week...and I've got a 65g.

I'm not familiar with Seachem's alkaline buffer...buffer usually means phosphate too...is that just an overpriced baking soda which will raise your kH also?

You probably don't need a phosphate kit...take a TAP water sample to your lfs and see if they can test it for you. You can go off that.

As far as the BBA...if its still there you need to break out the pruning scissors and to a nice hack job to visibly remove as much as you can...bleach any hardware that has it, and replant with some fast growers to get things settled back down again.

Keep that co2 at 30+, along with the new dosing schedule, you should see great results soon. :)
 

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Thats alot of light, the BBA is telling on you and is usually associated with low/inefficient C02, double check that, with that amount of light you will need good C02.
Why do you need the KH @5? if tap is 3 or more you are fine without adding a buffer, also if you are adding the buffer and testing ph to get C02 content, that would most likely explain the BBA. The test is off.

Suggested ppm
KN03-10~25
KH2P04-2
K+-15~30
Trace, usually 5ml to each 20 gal seems to work good.
This being for a highlight C02 tank (which you have) running well.
Although I have a 10g that gets 3ml trace and 1ml Fe Chelate 3x aweek, ( I just recently bumped it up to 4ml trace 2 ml Fe).
adds a nice sparkle to the plants. :wink:
Also I add the mAcro's dry, simple, fast, effective! no need for testing.

As GD said I wouldn't worry about getting a P04 test, simply dose a set amount to a known volume of water 3x a week with consistancy and good C02, you should be fine.
Manually remove the BBA get the C02 & nutrient's up, it will stop it from growing, but will not remove it.

For simplicity's sake you could dose that 20g dry like this

Sunday:50% water change, Seachem alkaine buffer (get KH up to 5), ??? 1/4Tsp Nitrate, 1/16Tsp phosphate, and or (1/4Tsp potassium once a week or 1/16 or so Tsp 3x aweek.
Monday:5ml Flourish, 1ml iron chelate solution (1 tablespoon added to 250ml)
Tuesday:macro
Wednesday:trace
Thursday:macro
Friday:trace
Saturday:Off

Before you started dosing this rich, I question the plant mass of the tank!
Plant heavy and you will be fine.

Good day!
 

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If your tap water is very soft, less than say 2KH, GH, I add abkign soda for KH.

For GH, Greg now sells poor man's SeaChem equilibrium, a slightly different ratio than SeaChem. But it has K2SO4 in it also. So if you added a 1/2 teaspoon after the water change, that would cover all you need there.

Also, your NO3 test kit is likely bad.

Take a standard known solution(dissolve a known weight of KNO3 into a known voume of water) and test your kit against that.

I'd add a lot more CO2, I'd add KNO3 at 1/4 teaspoon 2-3x a week, 1/16th on the KH2PO4 3x a week, traces stay with what you are doing and add ther GH/KH after water change.

CO2
K+
NO3
PO4
Traces
GH
KH

Nothing left really.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the responses. As for my tank-the plant mass is insane-i would call it more of a planted jungle than a planted tank. Tons of java ferns, xmas moss, glosso, ludwigia. The only way that i have been able to get my nitrates to 10pp, was doing 20% water changes once every 2 weeks. I just think that it would be easier and more benficial to my german rams to change the water weekly and add the nitrates instead. My test kit is accurate-i dosed 10ppms of nitrates and then tested 10ppms.

Anyways, my tap has a KH of 2 and only after reading posts on this board have i decided to up it to the 3-5 range. I purchased the Seachem a while back and figured i would use that because i think it is 100% baking soda(not sure). Also, regarding the KH, I have noticed that the KH rises slightly once in my tank-could this be due to the buffering of the eco-complete substrate???
 

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If you add 1/4 teaspoon 3x a week, it's nearly impossible(I've had one day runs up to 8ppm but this reduced down after a few days) that the plants would use it all up. That's 33ppm of NO3 and nearly 5ppm per day of uptake would be required and nothing left by week's end consistently.

I have a 20 gallon with lots of stem plants etc, 3x a week was never exceeded, but you can do it 4x a week also, might try that and rap up the PO4 as well, add 1/16th each time you add the KNO3.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My nitrates were at zero before dosing. What i was trying to say is that i have been able to get my nitrates up to a measurable level by not doing water changes and letting the fish do their part. Anyways, I did a major cleanup of the tank, pruned all my plants, and starting dosing. I also cranked up the co2. Things are looking good so far, everything is pearling!
 
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