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Dry Dosing Advantage ?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Joetee, May 27, 2007.

  1. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    I've read on many forums and also looked at different firt calculators about dosing.
    They seem to all be a little different and have different idea's.
    I really like Quentons Nutri-Calc found on this forum.

    My questions are:

    Is there any advantage to making solutions for dosing over just dry dosing all my firts. I have been dumping into my tank everything dry right off the spoon.
    I have a 29 gallon tank thats about 1 1/2 years old, lots of plants & fish, medium light, pressurized C02, and Flourite.

    I dose three times a week:
    Kno3 1/4 tsp
    K2s04 1/8 tsp
    KH2PO4 1/16 tsp
    off days CSM+B 1/8 tsp and just recently started dosing just a little extra Iron.
    This is based on the preset targets set in Quentons Nutri-Calc of:
    Nitrate 20, Phosphate 3.0, Potassium 30, & Traces .5

    My KH is 5.5
    PH 6.6
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate about 20
    GH 150 ppm with a dip stick test

    Another question:
    I have some plants with twisted leaves. I read that this could be do to low Calcium. I believe it was suggested that I add Calcium chloride, But with my water parameters, would I still want to add this? I don't even know what that it. and if so, how much and when?

    Thank you
    Joe
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    It is GH, not KH, that measures the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water. So, what is your GH? When I had a 29 gallon tank on EI I dosed just about what you are, except I didn't dose K2SO4, or did you mean MgSO4? I think it is very rarely necessary to do so. Your KH is fine now, and baking soda doesn't add calcium anyway, so I don't see a reason to add baking soda. You didn't mention CO2, which is very important for plant growth. How do you dose CO2?
     
  3. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    My GH is 150 ppm I think its about 8.3 degrees. I think this sound good don't you? concerning calcium. And I have pressurized C02 with a reactor. C02 is over 30 maybe 40 ppm.
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well, since I can't answer the question you just asked, I will answer the one you previously asked! I dose everything dry, and have been doing so for some time now, with no apparent problems. The fish chase the bits of dissolving salts for awhile, but I see that as similar to dangling a string for a cat to play with. So, I haven't found a good reason to pre-mix my ferts with water, and it is very convenient to dose them dry.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    How are you measuring CO2?

    I never measured it in the past about 15 years ago, I just watched the plants and stopped when the plants no longer did better with more. You may use the drop checker method.

    Ruling out a nutrient is easy....if you have good control of CO2 which is far more ephemeral than NO3/Ca etc.

    Adding a little MgSO4 in place of a GH booster will rule out the most likely issue there.
    Most have plenty of Ca relative to Mg. Otyher wise, keep a very good eye on the CO2 for the entire day cycle.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    Hi Tom
    I normally check C02 with the c02 chart. But I usually just bump it up a bit at a time until I start to see some fish start to gasp at the surface and then turn it down a bit until everyone is happy. By the chart it has been between 50 and 70 ppm c02 so I recently turned it down and aimed for 40 ppm by the chart.

    I use no GH booster etc.

    Do you think that using carbon in my filter will remove the Calcium?

    Thanks
    Joe
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You don't have enough CO2 in the water. The chart almost always badly overstates the amount in the water, and is not useful for determining the actual amount, unless you use it with a drop checker having known KH water made from distilled or deionized water. I was running 80+ ppm using the chart, but when I started using a drop checker I had to up the bubble rate some to get to an actual 30 ppm. That chart is only useful when there are no other sources of alkalinity or acidity in the water except carbonates and CO2. Our tank water almost never fits that requirement.
     
  8. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    Hoppy,

    I turned up my C02 just a little and within 5 hours my fish were gasping at the surface so I think it is still high, over 40 ppm. Now I don't get much purling. I use to get a lot. I don't know what else besides C02 that would get my purling going again. I'm going to try and increase surface movement and turn the C02 up again and see if this helps. Any other suggestions?

    Joe
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Always use good surface movement.
    Gasping fish are sign most are not adding enough current etc. You should easily be able to get plenty of CO2 and still have healthy non gasping fish and no algae.

    Activated carbon does not remove Ca++.
    It targets mainly organics/color etc

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    Well I lifted my water return from my filter up just below the surface. It is high enough to cause a ripple. I then turned up my C02. Well I had to turn it back down because the fish were gasping again. I really think it is just below the point of gasping fish which tells me that it is real high.

    I tried putting my Rubber Lipped Pleco in this tank from my 10 gal. This was the third time that I have tried this. After about 4 or 5 days, I find him on his side on the bottom. I know he is getting enough to eat since I have wood in there and have seen him eating on it. I think maybe the PH is to low for him. I put him back in the 10 gal which has added C02 but also a HOB filter. He seems happy in this tank.

    Joe
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, seems like CO2 is ruled out.

    Thing is, it takes time for the expression of curled leaves to happen/occur, then time for them to respond to the changes.

    If you are trying to induce things on purpose, that is a far more experimentally powerful tool.

    While you might want to see a rapid/immediate response and try and correlate it, often times a little patience and see what you may have done in the past that affected CO2, or general care of the tank.

    I've dosed many years and have never seen any curled leaf expression from too much anything. Ever.

    Now I've seen plenty of curled leaves...............but they are always from too little something, not too much.

    Adding more is an easy process.
    Adding less and trying to induce a condition is also an easy process.
    Interpreting the time lag can cause folks troubles though.

    If you rely solely on observation alone and do no experiments with an otherwise healthy plant, then you will never show cause.

    Only that there may be a relationship.

    So try to rule out the other, GH, add some Mg SO4.

    Epsom salt, it's cheap and locally available.
    It'll take awhile but you should see some differences in some plants fairly fast.

    I'll ask one more thing: the Trace, try Tropica master grow, it has some added Mg as well, not a lot mind you, but that + the chelator used is good.

    That will help rule out some other issues.

    Try those two things and see, give it no less than 3 weeks, you should see better health, better growth etc.

    Your pleco is certainly getting gassed.
    It's nothing to do with pH.

    Watch the pH carefully and write down that amount and also look at the bubble rate.

    Measure the KH at that time also.

    That will prevent gassing your fish, that's a very bad thing I do not suggest and hate to see.

    It's the type of thing that keeps more folks away from the hobby and from using CO2.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. Joetee

    Joetee Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom,

    You give me some good idea's that I'll have to try. I'll let you know the results.

    Joe
     
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