Dosing Strategy


Junior Poster
May 27, 2005
I have an established 20 gal tank. It is heavily planted and stocked in anticipation of a much larger tank. I expect the new tank to become reality this summer. We are still looking for a compromise between my desire to start a larger tank and my wife’s interest in renovating the bathrooms. W/ patience I expect to prevail.:D

Everything seems to be doing well but I would like to learn more about ferts and dosing so I purchased a set of ferts from GW and would appreciate some guidance from the group on a dosing strategy.

Tom’s article provides a dosing schedule for a typical 20 gallon. What would you suggest for mine as it is slightly different. Details are as follows:

20 gallons.
6.5 wpg (Coralife 2 x 65 watt PC 6700K)
Pressurized CO2 (controlled w/ an electronic PH meter and solenoid)
PH 6.9
Nitrate 5 – 10 ppm after the water change
Don’t know the KH or GH (test kits are on order)
Normal gravel substrate
Lots of plants and lots (>20 fish) of fish
10 or so shrimp
25% water change weekly
8:2 RO/tap mix w/ 1/2 tsp Kent RO Right

Let me know what you think.



Mar 13, 2005
Eastern Kentucky
Re: Dosing Strategy

As I have a 20gal that is heavy with plants and sounds just like yours I will tell you what has worked for me.
First get a KH kit so you can set your CO2 levels somewhere between 30 and 40ppm.
cut the light in half. With that much you will have trouble keep up with uptake and battle algae.
Start out dosing just like Tom recommended for the 20 and after a few weeks take a look at what is going on and make some adjustments. Take your time as changes can be slow.

Hope this helps. I am no expert but have just tried to follow the advice have read here and it seems to work great.