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Beginner help in setting up liquid carbon and fert dosing regime.

Discussion in 'Non-CO2 Methods' started by GAZ_XB9R, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. GAZ_XB9R

    GAZ_XB9R Junior Poster

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    Hi folks.

    Looks like there are some very knowledgeable folks on here wrt ferts etc. Hopefully you can help me establish a dosing regime.

    Iknow there is the EI method that's favoured but I can't deal with weekly WC due to working away for 14 days at atime and SWMBO is busy enough with two kids.

    I'll set out my basics.

    Juwel Vision 260ltr tank.
    Twin 54W T5 lighting - No reflectors at present but have them ordered.
    Standard Juwel Internal filter + Eheim Ecco Pro 2036 canister filter.
    Inert gravel substrate at present. Big slate rock.

    Flora so far -
    3pots - Eleocharis parvula
    3pots - Cryptocoryne beckettii 'petchii'
    3pots - Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
    3bunches - Egeria densa

    Plants on order-
    1 x Cladophora aegagropila
    2 x Bacopa monnieri
    4 x Lilaeopsis mauritiana
    1 x Ludwigia repens diamond red
    4 x Egeria densa
    1 x Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Mi Oya'
    1 x Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'
    1 x Echinodorus quadricostatus
    1 x Tropica 1-2-Grow Nymphoides sp.''Taiwan''

    That should hopefully fill things out a bit.

    Fauna so far -
    2- Golden Barbs
    8- Neon Tetra
    2- Small Danio
    3- Panda Corydoras
    3- Sterei Corydoras
    4- Otocinclus
    4- Swordtail (2M+2F)
    4- Amano Shrimp
    2- Golden Apple Snail
    2- Zebra Nerite Snail
    I'd like more Amano shrimps and hopefully a matched pair of Kribensis Pulcher

    Fauna all appear to be doing fine. Plants don't seem to be doing much.

    My dillema-
    I work away for 2 weeks at a time so am looking for monthly WC's. (EI dosing is out)
    I will not be using CO2 but will dose liquid carbon. (I am using Easylife Easycarbo at the moment)
    I intend dosing liquid ferts. (I have 2 peristalic pumps that I intend setting up for auto dosing of ferts and easycarbo.

    I have 4 bags of Akadama substrate that I intend replacing the inert gravel with. This will give me a store for dosed ferts etc as they are absorbed by the Akadama.

    I am thinking at most my lighting would be classed as low-medium. Photoperiod 13:00 to 20:00hrs (7hrs).

    I am dosing 5mls of Easycarbo daily
    I am dosing 1 squirt of ADA Brighty K daily
    I am dosing 25 mls of TNC Complete weekly

    Plants look weak.
    Minimal algae at present (Little bit on glass and small amount of BBS on rock) Otto's and Amano's appear to be handling it for the most part.

    Also want to ensure stable conditions for shrimp and snails eg hardness etc for shell/exoskeleton.

    Water Parameters
    Testing took place at 00:30hrs (4.5hrs after the end of the lighting period) Easycarbo and Brighty K dosed at 22:00hrs.

    Temp - 25.5 C / 78 F
    pH - 7.1
    KH - 30 mg/l (1.7 dKH)
    GH - 80 mg/l (4.5 dGH)
    NH3 - NIL
    NO2 - NIL
    NO3 - 5 mg/l
    PO4 - 1 to 2.5 mg/l
    TDS - 160 ppm
    O2 - 5 mg/l

    Rotala Wallichii is looking pretty sorry for itself. See through leaves and dying off.

    I will do another full round of testing including tap water for reference and update soon.

    Sorry for the long post by the way.
     
    #1 GAZ_XB9R, Sep 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2012
  2. GAZ_XB9R

    GAZ_XB9R Junior Poster

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    Ok, quick update.

    Testing late evening before dosing Easycarbo + Brighty K.
    Weekly TNC Complete last dose was Friday 21st (4 days ago)

    [table="width: 500"]
    [tr]
    [td][/td]
    [td]TANK[/td]
    [td]TAP WATER[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]GH[/td]
    [td]80 mg/l[/td]
    [td]40 mg/l[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]KH[/td]
    [td]30 mg/l[/td]
    [td]20 mg/l[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]pH[/td]
    [td]7.2[/td]
    [td]7.1[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]TDS[/td]
    [td]160[/td]
    [td]44[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]NITRATE[/td]
    [td]5 mg/l[/td]
    [td]8 mg/l[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]PHOSPHATE[/td]
    [td]3-4 mg/l[/td]
    [td]0 mg/l[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]IRON (free)[/td]
    [td]NIL[/td]
    [td]NIL[/td]
    [/tr]
    [tr]
    [td]IRON (chelated)[/td]
    [td]NIL[/td]
    [td]NIL[/td]
    [/tr]
    [/table]

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Looks like I could definitely do with some extra iron. (Its on order juat awaiting delivery along with the rest of my plants)

    What about Calcium and Magnesium?
    What would be the signs of deficiencies?

    Gaz
     
    #2 GAZ_XB9R, Sep 24, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2012
  3. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I'd look at your local tap water report and see how much Mg is there. This will tell you something. Calcium should be ok with your GH values, the slate releases Ca. into the water, not enough to cause problems though.

    Personally I think nitrate is too low, you might run in to deficiencies here or BGA if it runs out. Iron doesn't always show up on our test kits, just check if the traces you use contain any.
    Signs of deficiencies: Algae, yellow-, malformed- or discoloured leaves.

    You should dose Easycarbo in the morning, not in the evening. By the time the plants need it, it doesn't work anymore.

    Be careful with adding reflectors. First add one, two weeks later the other.
     
    #3 dutchy, Sep 25, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2012
  4. GAZ_XB9R

    GAZ_XB9R Junior Poster

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    All I am dosing at present is -
    10mls/day Easycarbo
    10mls/day ADA Brighty K (1 squirt from dispensing bottle)

    25mls/week TNC Complete

    TNC Complete analysis
    1.5% N, 0.2%P, 5% K, 0.8% Mg, 0.08% Fe, 0.018% Mn, 0.002% Cu, 0.01% B, 0.01% Zn, 0.001% Mo, EDTA.

    I have an order in for an iron suppliment.

    If I am getting the jist of the discussions on here right (and please tell me if I am wrong here)

    1. The best for plant growth is not to be limited by anything. (Light, Carbon or ferts and trace)
    2. If a slower growth is desired or less maintenance intensive regime, it is best to be light limited and the carbon, ferts and trace to be sufficient.

    I am now running the following:-

    260lts tank probably 240lts water = 63.4 US gallons
    2 x 54W T5 tubes (new) with reflectors = 108W of light
    Approx = 1.70 Watts per gallon.

    10 mls Easycarbo per day
    10 mls ADA Brighty K per day
    25 mls TNC Complete per week

    I will start adding some extra iron once my order gets here

    Does this sound relatively balanced?

    So far the plants seem to be doing ok but the Egeria densa is melting / very weak. (might this be due to the inert substrate I have at present?)

    Gaz
     
  5. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Sounds good to me, but as I said, add the Easycarbo in the morning. The Egeria is melting because you use Easycarbo. Take care that plants also need NO3 and PO4 to grow well, not just K+ and traces.
     
  6. GAZ_XB9R

    GAZ_XB9R Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the heads up about the volatility of Easycarbo.

    I didn't realise that it would degrade so quickly. I am now dosing mid morning prior to the lights coming on.

    How much Nitrate and Phosphate would you suggest? Is there a level that you could suggest for me to test for?
    That way I can creep up on the ideal levels without the need for major WC's.

    The TNC Complete gives 1.5% N and 0.2% P.

    If you think the rest of the trace levels are ok, should I also dose with Nitrate and Phosphate from KNO3 and KH2PO4.

    Would these also be a daily dose?

    I'm off to re-read all the EI dosing stuff.

    Gaz
     
    #6 GAZ_XB9R, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2012
  7. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Keep NO3 at least 20 ppm and PO4 2 ppm. This will prevent deficiencies and keep you out of the range were GSA grows. After some time you'll know how much the tank uses and you can stop testing.

    Easycarbo degrades by 50% in 12 hours.
     
  8. GAZ_XB9R

    GAZ_XB9R Junior Poster

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    Thanks again.

    Gaz

    One of these days I may have a tank I'm proud enough to post a picture of.
     
  9. Yo-han

    Yo-han Guru Class Expert

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    Isn't it impossible to have a TDS of 44 with a GH of 40, a KH of 20 and a NO3 of 8 in yourtapwater? I always understood that although you measure uS (u=micro) it is the same as ppm, so TDS would be at least 68 and all the other stuff dissolved in the water. Am I right, or doesn't such conversion excist?
     
  10. Arto Ylioja

    Arto Ylioja Junior Poster

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    Artie58

    Was exing to read of the CO2 interactions in plantlife and liquid Carbon as well...does liquid carbon replace the need for Co2 nozzle gas? at any rate I got really stoked by not getting the PH down to neutral and say below 6.8 even trying for a week every day squirting 5-6 eyedropper fulls of HCL
    (pool hydrochloric liquid) into 35 gal.tank, and having good plant grow and a large drift wood stump in there....and today I replaced 6 buckets of fresh rainwater (which is ab.6.0PH) and still reagent shows nice blue! Evan the syphon gave me a nasty after taste of HCL, ie. a fare amount of
    acid....so, maybe the earlier mention of KH interference affects the chem.reaction of acid (HCL). My large Clowns and black cardinals+2 neons
    seem to be OK: ;(maybe its time to take out the KH kit? thanks to all. a great site.
     
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