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Need some help with dosing?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by irena, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. irena

    irena Junior Poster

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    My tank has been runing for over a month now. I have a 10g set with mineralised soil, DIY CO2, lot's of plans that are doing great. I have 28w coralife light on top. With a 50/50 bulb for now, the new 10000k is on the way and should be here by next week.

    So now to my questions :D

    I know I need to start dosing with potassium my MS tank soon, but should I start adding anything else as well? Is it a good idea? If it is what should I start adding? :confused:

    I will be setting up 2 other tanks with flourite, what fertilizers do I need to get?

    Any info on dosing and ferts will be apriciated because I know nothing about them :eek:

    Thank you
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    We usually dose N (nitrogen), K (potassium), and P (phosphorous) as macro ferts and then some type of liquid micro fert like TPN....Some also add a gh/kh 'booster' once a week.

    Here is a thread that speaks to using dry fertilizers in a method called EI. These dry ferts can be easily measured and mixed with water, and dumped right into the tank. You can dose daily or several times a week as you need/can.

    The idea is to dose per tank size to get a non limiting amount of each nutrient available to the plants. A weekly 50% water change resets the nute values
    and prevents an unhealthy accumulation.

    They will not cause algae by themselves and will take a lot of overdosing to be dangerous... :)

    This thread has a summarized version and a lengthier one. Check out the summary first....

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/3205-fertilizer-routines-one.html

    Here is a place to get the dry ferts.

    Welcome to Planted Aquarium Fertilizer

    I and many others use EI and flourite to grow our plants. You will do better with your MS as the plants then have nutrients in the substrate and the water column.

    EI is for water column dosing, so if using flourite it is more important to dose regularly. MS and other nute rich soils are more forgiving of irregular water column dosing.

    Please come back with your questions after reviewing these threads :)

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might find EI dosing to your liking and it's relatively safety due to frequent water changes.

    You reset the tank each week basically and nothing ever builds up, it's simple and effective.

    Over time, you might back off the dosing, watch the plants and see if you can reduce the water changes if that gets old.

    Or use test kits and calibrate them and see.

    But most get curious after awhile and try things out, often causing them selves more hassle, but some feel otherwise and think water changes are horrible.

    Water changes are fast and easy if you make them that way, I use a simple hose attached to the shower head, that fills the tank, the same hose also drains the tank to 50% etc, takes a few minutes, while I clean and trim. By the time the tank is refilled and drained, I'm done with everything, typically 25 minutes for a 180 Gal tank.

    I just make a U shape PVC to hang on the tank, water goes out on the lawn/house plants, so I do not water my lawn.

    Simple and fast.

    I have a automated water changes and semi automated water changers for client's tanks, I turn a valve, the tank drains, I turn another, it fills.
    It's all hard plumbed, some use float valves in their sumps and the water drains and fills automatically.

    For all the crying moaning folks do over water changes, seems like a simple long term solution is best. Make it easier to do, then it's not an issue. You cannot automate test kits.

    Some like to test, they do not have my job or line of work where I do it all the time however. They still think it's fun and "Science", yea, right.........

    You basically set a ppm level you want for each nutrient, then dose based on what is removed over time. Then test to check and keep it there, dosing what is needed to keep with in that range of ppm's you want.

    You also need to calibrate the test kits with a set of reference solutions, which you also need to learn how to make. If you have been around and are familiar with test kits, and like that sort of thing, then this works well also, the trade off here is fewer water changes but more testing and managing nutrients.

    Neither method is better than the other, it's just a labor and technical trade off. For most hobbyists, a water change is a simple no tech no brainer method, testing, ppm;s reference solutions, chem, scares most. Some use the plants and algae to address issues also, but this takes experience.

    I use all three methods here and there.
    Depends on what is required for the question and the trade off.

    Many malign the other methods because they have had success at one of them but they all work and the individual tanks and goals that folks have require a human factor to help correct and tweak things, no one method will do it all for all issues. A real person helping you is better than the best written method. People are part of this, not just methods or aquariums.

    Dosing is rather easy overall, a very strong focus on CO2 and having moderate to low light is helpful.

    Most old timers stick with nice plants, lower light, good CO2 and good routines that are straight forward and easy.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. irena

    irena Junior Poster

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    Thank you guys for all the info :D
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Given the MS, I'd use about 1/4 EI dosing, you should go likely 2 weeks between water changes, if you want to stay on top of things more, then weekly.
    Water change is a good way to re set things if it gets away or you see any negative signs.

    Most likely, it will be due to poor CO2, particularly when you think the CO2 has not changed.

    So watch CO2 like a hawk and tweak it as needed.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. irena

    irena Junior Poster

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    Sounds easy enough for me to handle :)
    I think I will be doing weekly water changes since that is my routine already.

    But what kind of ferts should I get I was looking at the aquariumfertilizer.com and I do not know what should I get. Is PMDD pre mix good or what should I get with instead? I want to keep my plants happy and healthy.

    Thanks:D
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You can do very well buying just potassium nitrate (KNO3) and mono potassium phosphate (KH2PO4). If you are one of the few that has high nitrates in your tap water you would want to also get potassium sulphate (K2SO4). KNO3 gives you the K and the N you need, and KH2PO4 gives you the P you need. With high nitrates in the tap water, some people choose to dose K2SO4 instead of KNO3 to avoid adding more nitrates. Read up on Estimative Index dosing to see how much and how often to dose them. You can use Flourish or almost any of the commercial trace element mixes for dosing trace elements, or buy CSM+B and use it instead.
     
  8. irena

    irena Junior Poster

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    Thanks so much for the reply :)
    And Im not sure what nitrates level I got in the tap water, I think when I tested my tap water awhile ago it was at 0, I should have wrriten it down. And every time I test my tank water nitrate test reads 0. So I should be fine using KNO3 and KH2PO4 right?

    Thanks again for all the help :D
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Go with those and you should be fine. For the traces just snag one of the plant formulas at the fish store. Flourish is pretty good and generally easy to find, but there are others like Kent or Florapride or whatnot. You can follow the instructions on the bottle for dosing if you like. However, most of the instructions assume low light tanks, so doubling the amount may be a good idea when you dose every other day. If you get one of the REALLY expensive ones you can dose much less since they aren't as watered down.

    For a while I was following the dosage in EI in TSP for the traces. Turns out that was more for the concentrated stuff so once I upped things a bit things got a lot better for me in that tank. Read up on the EI stuff and don't be afraid to adjust as needed.

    -
    S

     
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