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Dosing Question

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by catalyst, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. catalyst

    catalyst Junior Poster

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    I am new to planted aquariums and want to know what I really need to add. I have a 125 gallon tank with pool filter sand. It has all t5 powerglows (2 4'@54watts, 2 2'@24watts, and 2 3'@39watts). I only have Vallisneria plants they have been growing about one new bunch a month with about 4 leaves in a bunch. They usually take about 3 to 4 weeks to hit the surface. I have been avoiding adding anything to the water, but the plants are not deep green and some leaves are a light brown. They also fray and tear easily.

    I don't want to use CO2 and I would like to not have to add a lot of testing to my routine. I was reading this http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/433-Non-CO2-methods

    Forgive me if I don't know what I am talking about. The article said to add KNO3, KH2PO4, and SeaChem Equilibrium. Seeing my plants are growing do I really need to add all of those? If so would I use the same amounts with my situation? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Your plants are growing, but they seem to be limited by some deficiency.

    In most cases a planted tank doesn't generate enough nutrition for the plants, coming from fish waste, food etc. So if you don't add, basically you are starving your plants. Maybe the amount of plants increased over time and what was enough yesterday, is a deficiency today. The only way to prevent that, and your problems, is to add the nutrition they need, as mentioned in the non CO2 article.

    Another point is that you are using too much light, almost 2 WPG, without adding CO2. You will have less problems using less light, since less light = less demand for nutrition and the scarce CO2 that is present in a non CO2 tank. You can cut back to just using two rows of T5, and no more than 8 hours duration.

    You would need the substances as described in the article, and don't forget about trace elements.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  3. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    This advice is right on! One question, though, for the thread's creator...
    Why have you decided against CO2 injection?
     
  4. pat w

    pat w Member

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    If not CO2 ... Excel ... or more economical in the case of the larger tank ... Glutaraldehyde ... in the form of Metricide 14 (Same stuff, got mine from Dealmed.com for less than $26 delivered for a gal). A gallon should last you about a year at normal dosing rates. M14 is a 2.6% solution as opposed to the Excel concentration of 1.5% so reduce the dose accordingly. I resisted Excel because of the cost for my 90g but I found the results to be well worth it.


    Edit: Wrong Wrong Wrong This stuff is not I repeat not good for Vals ... my bad ... Sorry
    Pat
     
    #4 pat w, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2011
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have a non CO2 tank with all Vals.
    They frayed some initially.
    I dose about the routine listed above, 1x a week.

    Realize thos elights might be a bit intense for the tank.
    If you have say 8x30 W T'8, that's plenty and about 1/2 as intense.
    125 gal tanks are often 5-6ft, so 2x 39w T 5 per 3 ft section, or 4x 39W is more trhan enough light.

    You have a lot more, 234 vs 178.
    I'd shut off the 39W lights and use the 4ft and the 2ft lights only.

    Excel works in my Val tank also, some say it will not, but they will adapt well.
    You could use this to start the plants off and beat back any issues, then once the tank fills in good, stop adding it.

    I use dolomite sand for my tank with Vals.
    High fish load, wet/dry filter etc.

    Light 1.5w/gal of T5, but it's 36-24" away from the tops of the Vals.
     
  6. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Whew! Good to know I didn't almost fry his Val's. I had read in more than one place that they stunted when dosed with Excel/Glut.

    I gotta stop answering posts berfore my second cup.

    Pat
     
  7. catalyst

    catalyst Junior Poster

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    Thanks for all the info.

    To reply to the why no CO2 question. I had read something way before I added plants that CO2 can really mess with the water parameters, and hurt or even kill the fish. I understand their are probably regulators. However to avoid adding a ton of frequent testing and the risk of hurting the fish I wanted to stay away from it.

    I probably should have mentioned that my lights are on a coralife timer. Only the 4 footers and the 2 footers are running the whole day. The three footers in front are only on part of the day. They are also in a canopy about 7 inches above the water. I don't know if any of that matters.

    So reduce lights. Then either use excel or the combination of KNO3, KH2PO4, and SeaChem Equilibrium. The latter seems cheaper for the size of my tank. Do I need any extra testing besides the basics ph, water hardness, nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia? Also I understand Equilibrium is a GH booster. If I have hard tap water should I use it? I also have to do weekly water changes as I have large fish with large waste. Is that a problem with this plan?

    Thanks again.
     
    #7 catalyst, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2011
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