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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am still very new to this. I have been following the GLA suggestions in terms of dosing. On the second day of dosing (so 3 days since the start) I went from 0ppm to 80+ppm. I got rather worried and did a water change today (I needed to do it for ich treatment as well). I tested the water before and after and had what looked like 40ppm go to about 10ppm. I have no idea if the spikes and drops are expected, and I can only test for ammonia and nitrates atm. Should I just blindly continue with the EI dosing or halve it? The fish seem fine overall (no gasping or clamping).

Thanks for your help; sorry for what is definitely a novice question.
 

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When you say you went from 0 to 80+ppm you mean by test result correct? What should your dosing have given you? If you add enough nitrate to raise the level to 40ppm then test and get an 80ppm test result it can only be correct if (1) another source of nitrate was added at the same time or (2) you dosed incorrectly or (3) the test result is incorrect.

2nd part - how big was your water change? If it was a 50% water change and your replacement water has zero nitrates, then a starting 40ppm would be cut to 20ppm. If your replacement water has some nitrates in it then you'd have more than 20ppm after the water change.

Outside of water changes and fertilizer additions, your nitrate levels should increase if there is a high fish load, excess food or decaying organic matter like dead plants or fish or decrease if you have lots of plants that are growing really well.

Kevin
 

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Make sure you are using the true gallons of your tank. When I first started, I was using the 75 gallon range. Turns out my 75 was actually only about 66 gallons. I was assuming it was about 73 gallons.
Also, after double checking for correct gallons, make sure to use level teaspoons. Going from 0 to 80ppm in 3 days definitely indicates a problem either in testing or dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When you say you went from 0 to 80+ppm you mean by test result correct? What should your dosing have given you? If you add enough nitrate to raise the level to 40ppm then test and get an 80ppm test result it can only be correct if (1) another source of nitrate was added at the same time or (2) you dosed incorrectly or (3) the test result is incorrect.

2nd part - how big was your water change? If it was a 50% water change and your replacement water has zero nitrates, then a starting 40ppm would be cut to 20ppm. If your replacement water has some nitrates in it then you'd have more than 20ppm after the water change.

Outside of water changes and fertilizer additions, your nitrate levels should increase if there is a high fish load, excess food or decaying organic matter like dead plants or fish or decrease if you have lots of plants that are growing really well.

Kevin
The algae and plants in my tank had kept the nitrates down to 0-5ppm for a while. The 80ppm was after 2 doses of the fertilizer. I believe the tests are correct as I have been using the kit for my 10 gallon tank rather reliably. I am dosing based on the 50-60 range, but the other commenter mentioned making adjustments. The volume is likely under 50 with my rather deep sand.

It was a 50% WC. There are no nitrates in the water. This part makes sense, I was simply curious if this was the expected cycle with the EI dosing, as it is suggested to do a 50% WC at the end of the week.

I feel I am still understocked, but I am overfeeding. There was plenty of fecal matter this last time (I tend not to vacuu the mulm as the nitrates remained so low). My plants are pretty stagnant, although the hair algae has grown excessively, so essentially a net positive in terms of plants. That definitely explains the low initial nitrate readings.

Thanks for the feedback!

Make sure you are using the true gallons of your tank. When I first started, I was using the 75 gallon range. Turns out my 75 was actually only about 66 gallons. I was assuming it was about 73 gallons.
Also, after double checking for correct gallons, make sure to use level teaspoons. Going from 0 to 80ppm in 3 days definitely indicates a problem either in testing or dosing.
The dimensions are right for a 55, but the driftwood and sand is likely taking up a decent portion of the volume. The dosage is set for 40-60 gallons, so I assume that the dosing is correct even with the adjustments?
 

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The dimensions are right for a 55, but the driftwood and sand is likely taking up a decent portion of the volume. The dosage is set for 40-60 gallons, so I assume that the dosing is correct even with the adjustments?
LxWxH=?/231
Measure from the top of the substrate to water line. Then guestimate your scape, plants, filters and livestock.
 

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To give you an example, using the new gallons you calculated. Dosing the 40-60 gallon chart:
43ppm NO3
10.2ppm PO4
39.1ppm K
.73ppm Fe(proxy)

That's an accumulation total (with 50% Water Changes):
86ppm NO3
20.4ppm PO4
80ppm K
That's way way too much.
 

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To give you an example, using the new gallons you calculated. Dosing the 40-60 gallon chart:
43ppm NO3
10.2ppm PO4
39.1ppm K
.73ppm Fe(proxy)

That's an accumulation total (with 50% Water Changes):
86ppm NO3
20.4ppm PO4
80ppm K
That's way way too much.
Yep that suggested dosing does more harm than good. The levels are crazy. And it makes no sense to have a listing for a 20-40 or 40-60 gallon tank. You dose to your actual water column volume.

Everyone who begins dosing should learn either the Rotalabutterfly or Zorfox planted tank calculators and start thinking in terms of ppm of dosing.
 
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