This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Am I off on the good foot?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by DocB, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    I have been reading many forums as I am slowly sucked deeper into this deep dark pool of voodoo art called planted aquariums. This forum is encyclopedic and I can only hope to absorb a fraction of the information here. I especially appreciate the experienced mature tone of the posts.

    I have a planted tank (started 4/4/09) with the following specs:
    • 55g Plexiglas flat back hex
    • Aqua Clear 70 HOB – no carbon but I just put in a bag of Purigen (Wow!)
    • Aqua Clear powerhead with 2 filter cartridges
    • Coralife 48” compact fluorescents 2-65 watt actinic (which I keep turned off) and 2 65watt 10,000k bulbs running eight hours per day.
    • I also have a 29g QT, sponge filter and uv sterilizer waiting in the wings.

    I originally put in Aqua Soil – Amazonia and enjoyed a panted tank for several months.
    I was using excel flourih, ADA Brighty K and Green Brighty Step 1.
    Then hair algae invaded and two discus died. The discus are still in the QT and I took out all the plants and have just replanted. I will probably keep the three remaining discus in QT for a few more weeks.
    I replanted with hydrocotyle Leucocephala (pennywort), bondo grass and several other unidentified plants, I will post pictures to see if you can help identify. I am still using flourish excel and Brighty K but the newly installed plants are already showing signs of distress.
    I have ordered the CO2 system from Greenleaf: http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co2-regulators/gla-co2-regulator.html
    And diffuser:
    http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co2-diffusers/diffuser-5000.html
    They should arrive next week. I’ll dive into that and the plants should improve.

    I plan to use the EI method to fertilize. I have just ordered dry fert from AquariumFertilizer.com : Mono Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Potassium Nitrate, Barrs GH Booster and CSM+B Plantex.
    I plan to dose per Greg Watson recommendations:
    +/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/- 3/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
    +/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
    50% weekly water change

    I have 3 discuss, 5 rummy nose tetras (hope to add many more), a small clown loach, 2 corydoras julii, 1 chinese algae eater and 1 emerald cory.
    I keep the water at 83 degrees, about 60-70% WC from aged, preheated, primed water.
    Water Specs:
    Ph 7.9, Gh/Kh 175 ppm, NH3/NH4,NO2 and NO3=0

    Sooo… Does it appear I am on the right track?
     
    #1 DocB, Jan 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2010
  2. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Hmm...
    I got my fertilizers from Aquariumfertilizer.com
    my original plan was to start by following forum directions:
    +/- ¼ tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/-- 1/16 tsp K2SO4 3x a week
    +/- 1/2 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
    +/- 1/16 tsp (5ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
    50% weekly water change


    Most of their packages say: For AquariumFertilizer's PMDD formula:
    1 part KNO3, 1 Part K2SO4, 1 part MgSO4 and 1 part CSM+B - mix with 500 ml H2O dose @ 1-4 drops per gal/day

    How does this compare with the original dosing plan?
    Naive question: If I stick with the original dosing - Can I just mix the first three ingredients in that ratio then dose 3/8 tsp 3x per week? I understand I am not to dose the CSM+B on the same day as KH2PO4 to prevent cloudiness.
     
    #2 DocB, Jan 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2010
  3. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Stay away from the PMDD dosing. It is old technology and it doesn't include any phosphate. Plus you can't mix phosphate and CSM+B together as you know.

    This is the dosing for a 55g. Your plan is about 50% of this and it includes potassium sulfate. Is there a reason?

    40-60 Gallon Aquariums
    +/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/- 3/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
    +/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
    50% weekly water change

    my original plan was to start by following forum directions:
    +/- ¼ tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/-- 1/16 tsp K2SO4 3x a week
    +/- 1/2 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)
    +/- 1/16 tsp (5ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
    50% weekly water change
    You may want to avoid adding the extra potassium from the potassium sulfate unless you see potassium deficiencies. There is usually enough potassium in potassium nitrate and GH Booster.
     
  4. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Yes I have a very good reason: I screwed up!:) In my enthusiasm I cut and pasted the wrong paragraph. Good catch.
    I do intend to dose the 40-60 gal portions.

    As to the potassium sulfate question - I will have to look at my notes back at the office in the morning. I don't recall offhand but there must have been a good reason..... something I read on this forum somewhere.

    So excepting the phospate/CSM+B conflict I assume its cool to mix the other ingredients together in a jar in the this ratio for say a month supply then just dose the total of 3/4 tsp (assuming I do need the potassium sulfate)

    One other question: further in the EI for non techies thread Tom Barr says:
    "You can play around with a range of %'s or dose less or more, the police will not come and get you
    These are just generalized ranges. If the tap has consistently high NO3, say 30ppm, then you do not add KNO3, instead, use K2SO4 etc.
    Common sense stuff really."


    My common sense has been questioned before. And all I remember of high school chemistry was the girl sitting next to me.
    I can guess that if the tap has high NO3 you should not add KNO3 but why do I use K2SO4 in this scenario?
    (Her name was Maggie)

    Thanks LeftC
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,657
    Likes Received:
    583
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    We use K2SO4 to add the K+, but not NO3.
    KNO3 will add that NO3 part and K+.

    This way we add plenty f K+, without the NO3 which may come from the tap water supplies, eg, the UK's tap water in many locations has high NO3, so they use K2SO4 in place of KNO3 often times.

    K+ can be added over a wide range without issues, NO3 we tend to try and keep a bit more control on.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
     
  7. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    In your context above, the ‘OK’ level of NO3 means, ‘It's OK to add KNO3’.
    And that means there is too less NO3 in your water. So you must add KNO3
    and can't use K2SO4 in place of KNO3 because K2SO4 has no NO3.

    It's not about preference.

    Or may be I get your question wrong...
     
    #7 nipat, Jan 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2010
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,657
    Likes Received:
    583
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Determining if the NO3 ppm's are "okay", say in the 10-30ppm range is debatable.
    Testing is not so simple either.

    Lamotte makes a good test kit. Fish and tap water are also other sources.
    But with water changes, CO2 etc, this level drops fairly rapidly.

    Test kits need to be verified to ensure they are correct before basing any management decision.
    pH meters use a 2 point calibration, the same is true for any and every test kit, but the nutrients we use for dosing tend to be the biggest problems with accuracy.

    See LeftC's how to make a NO3 and PO4 reference solution here in the forums(search).

    Fairly easy way to do it.

    Testing is not this simple method that's 5$ and a few minutes.
    Most assume it is.........

    You also do not really gain a lot of insight from testing once a week etc, you get some monitoring, but unless you also know the light PAR, all the other nutrients, and CO2/current issues, there's not a lot of predictive value.
    I've bemoaned this point and argued this for about 12 years now, mostly waging a "perception battle" with lovers of test kits suggesting to me, how to and why there's this huge need to use them for testing.... all for Science.

    Hack, cough(up comes a hairball).

    I'm being sarcastic.

    Problem is, few even know how to use a test kit.
    While some will acknowledge the calibration requirement, few really actually do this step, thinking they can skirt and ride the shirt tails of others and their results of such calibrations.
    So while you are new to all this, and happy to see how much cheaper the cost is, it opens up more questions and also more information that you can learn about.

    My goal would be for you to learn what is important to you to get the answers you really want.
    For most, it's just how to grow plants effectively, simply, minimal labor, and of course, cheaply.

    If Science is really the game............then the levels goes way up for the bar, or chemistry, or CO2 gas tank systems, or Botany, Plant Physiology, there are many interesting areas to some, but many do not care one bit about.
    So there are many folks coming at this from many different areas, keep that in mind and do not get confused or bogged down by it.

    Ask yourself what it is that is your goal here and realize that it might change as you gain more experience.

    I'd add KNO3 initially and see, then back off very slow and progressively. If the tap is loaded(ask the tap water company for the NO3, or tell folks where you live, they often will find it on line etc), then you might modify it to suit the tap.
    NO3 is not particularly toxic, which is why we use it in place of NH4, which comes mostly from fish waste for the NH4 fraction which we try and keep low as possible.

    So over dosing it a little is generally the goal for that and most nutrients.
    Nothing to worry too much about, no one has ever killed a fish with KNO3 dosing I can ever recall which means 10's of thousand's of folks.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    My water is slightly hard -175 ppm, 10dGH- so I interpret this to mean I didn't need to get the GH booster, correct? One less thing to worry about.

    Also, I read advice that says to add more or back off of different ferts as necessary but what are the visual signs of too much or too little K, Fe etc etc.
    Has anyone gathered pictures of plants in various stages of various deficiencies?

    I just started the ferts and CO2 - I am assuming three weeks or so to begin to realize benefits.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,657
    Likes Received:
    583
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    There are no visual signed of excess nutrients I know of in aquariums for algae or plants. Shrimps perhaps at 10X suggested levels, but that's about it and only for traces(due to copper mostly) and NO3 perhaps(still unconfirmed).
    Hoagland's solutions are used for growign aquatic plants commercially:


    About 1014 years ago, Paul and I had this to say to eachother:
    Looking at the solution and the compounds that make up the solution I see
    > that KNO3 is the main source of N but the ratio of NH4 to NO4 is about 1.75
    > NO3 to 1 NH4. (Source: Epstein 1972)

    > KNO3: 1M 6.0mls N 224ppm
    > Ca(NO3)2*4H2O 1M 4.0mls K 235ppm
    > NH4H2PO4 1M 2.0mls Ca 160ppm
    > MgSO4*7H2O 1M 1.0mls P 62ppm
    S 32ppm
    Mg 24ppm

    The formula I used in the '60s (Hoagland and Snyder, 1933) was as follows:

    KNO3 1M 5.0mls N 210 ppm
    Ca(NO3)2*4H20 1M 5.0mls K 235 ppm
    MgSO4*7H20 1M 2.0mls Ca 200 ppm
    KH2PO4 1M 1.0mls P 31 ppm
    S 64 ppm
    Mg 48 ppm

    When growing the aquatic plants I used 1/5 the above concentrations plus
    micronutrients plus iron EDTA. The plants grew very well for me in the 1/5
    Hoaglands. Compared to the more recent formula (Epstein, 1972) this
    fromula has no ammonium, twice as much sulfur and magnesium, and half as
    much phosphorus. Species that I grew successfully included Ceratophyllum
    demersum, Vallisneria americana, Zosterella dubia, Elodea occidentalis, and
    Aponogeton madagascariensis.

    Iron EDTA did not keep well in the nutrient solution. Light and phosphate
    precipitated some of the iron out. I had to play a balancing act between
    the iron and the phosphate levels. That was the main reason why I settled
    on 1/5 strength Hoaglands. If I tried 1/2 strength, I had a lot of iron
    precipitated out by the higher phosphate levels. Besides, I got enough
    growth to pretty much fill the flask with plants with the 1/5 strength.
    Today, we have better chelating agents available, such as DPTA, which is
    much more stable and lasts for weeks in the aquarium.




    Paul Krombholz in warm, humid, central Mississippi,"

    This is Paul's paper from 1966:
    http://www.new.aslo.org/lo/toc/vol_11/issue_4/0529.pdf

    So it's basic well know stuff that's been freely available off the web for decades now.

    Idiots like to suggest excess is bad based on myths, fear, speculation etc.
    Not Science, not research, heck........the these blow hards cannot even bother to do a background check and look a darn thing up.
    I suppose homework is not their strong suit, while preaching "belief" is more their thing?

    So do not worry too much about excess harm/risk.

    You need not add more, or go really high etc, but it's a long way off, low risk and a huge range that's effective.

    I'd really suggest focusing on CO2/lower light etc, and good filtration, current etc.
    Get some experience using those etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Ok got it - I'll read Paul's paper.
    Thanks

    What about deficiencies?
    ie lack of iron =yellowing leaves.
    What other signs are the plants giving me regarding lacking each of these ferts I am giving them?
     
    #11 DocB, Jan 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2010
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Nutrient Guy Alert

    HI,

    Nutrient Guy Alert: Warning , Warning Will Robinson, Nutrient Guy On The Loose. :eek:

    Based on your stated water parameters (first post) you definitely need KNO3 as Nipat points out and Tom Barr follows up using KSO4 in place of KNO3 is not an option.:)

    As Tom Barr, who apparently is adapting my dosing philosophy, points out all this silly talk about being parsimonious with nutrients is pure rubbish. I routinely run much higher nutrients with no ill affect, to plants or critters. :cool:

    Justus von Liebig and his law of the minimum: if one crop nutrient is missing or deficient, plant growth will be poor, even if the other elements are abundant, rule to this day. ;) http://www.avocadosource.com/tools/FertCalc_files/liebigs_law.htm, http://www.microsoil.com/liebigs_law_of_the_minimum.htm.

    The people who produce most of the plants for the hobby run much higher rates, nutrients are cheap. The limiting factor for nutrients are not the plants, but the critters and the most sensitive can sustain at least double Estimative Index rates :) (unless you dose in milliliters :eek:).

    Do yourself a favor, do not worry about testing or parts per million or formulas, gain experience and observe.

    Start with 3⁄4 teaspoon GH booster on water change day, then:
    On water change, third and sixth day dose:

    • KNO3 ½ teaspoon
    • Fleet Enema 1 milliliter
    • Epsom Salt 1⁄3 teaspoon

    On the second, fourth and seventh day dos:

    • CSM+B ¼ teaspoon
    • (If you have 10% iron chelated, preferably DPTA add 1⁄16 teaspoon)

    This is a good starting point, when in doubt do a big water change, fifty percent is the minimum. :)

    Observe, patiently and over time raise or lower your dosing, continue the Excel, even after you get your carbon dioxide set-up continue the Excel and back off gradually as you get the carbon dioxide going.;)

    Do not be abrupt with the carbon dioxide, easy does it as you bring it up, pay careful attention to the critters, Discus in particular.;)

    Have fun, this is a hobby, after all, not, well, er-ah… golf. :eek:

    Biollante
     
    #12 Biollante, Jan 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2010
  13. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    still dont get my question : what are the deficiencies?
    "GAIN EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVE" what am I suppose to observe? What if I get yellow tips, stunted growth etc etc? What nutrient is lacking?
     
    #13 DocB, Jan 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2010
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Hi,

    Honestly, I am not trying to be rude, just how I am. :eek:

    If I were to give my somewhat-better-than-a-guess at what the exact deficiency is, Jonny or Tom Barr or half a dozen others would jump in to tell you how stupid I am for thinking I or anyone else can diagnose nutrient deficiencies. :( Moreover, I largely agree with them. ;)

    Thankfully, it does not matter. Just as we do not have to test or do much math or for that matter really has to know much at all about plants, it is the beauty of Justus von Liebig and his law of the minimum and the Estimative Index that derives for aquatic plants.

    Let us say for example, we determine with great precision and beyond any doubt, even Jonny’s that Molybdenum is the deficient micronutrient. Are you really going to go buy Molybdenum? Then attempt to dose .0042 ppm Molybdenum? Alternatively, are you going to increase the amount of Plantex CSM+B? :confused:

    The object is to make sure that for a given amount of light, we have sufficient plant friendly carbon, usually CO2 and more than enough nutrients to allow are plants to be very happy, while not being so high as to harm our critters. :)

    What, in my ever-humble potted plant opinion, you are watching for is the health and happiness of your aquarium, over time making small adjustments to the plant friendly carbon, to the nutrients, all the while observing good practices in maintaining the aquarium.

    Lower light makes this easier.

    Yellow tips, increase incrementally your plant friendly carbon and follow the dosing advised earlier. :cool:

    Biollante
     
    #14 Biollante, Jan 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2010
  15. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    OK so I am slowly coming around to the concept: Dont woory 'bout it!

    If there are nutrients lacking, they will eventually be made up.

    It's kinda like my child rearing philosophy:
    Give em an incredible amount of loving, don't sweat the small stuff then in a little while stand back and behold what a wonderful thing you have created!
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Bingo!!!

    Hi,

    Bingo!!! As they to say! :D

    Planted tanks seem to invite an incredible level of over thinking.:cool:

    In answer to your original question, yes you are off on the right foot. :)

    Biollante
     
  17. DocB

    DocB Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    Actually this is a good philosophy for most aspects of life :cool:
     
  18. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    9:52 PM
    T'is True!

    Hi,

    T'is true! :cool:

    Life and planted tanks are as complicated as you wish to make them!:gw

    The ever philosophical, :eek:
    Biollante
     
Loading...

Share This Page