Newbie To High Tech. Need Someone To Review My Method For Peace Of Mind Before I Start This Tank.

thelordofthefish

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Apr 22, 2017
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I am in the process of setting up my first high tech tank and I have a bunch of questions about water and fertilizing. My setup will be a heavily planted 55 gallon forest style tank. I plan to run CO2, RO water (I live in LA with liquid rock water) and 2x current satellite pro + lights. I successfully ran heavily planted low tech tanks with very little need of fertilizers so this is all new to me. The more I read about it, the more I am starting to get confused so I just want to put something on paper and take it from there. The tank will go up in about a month so I got some time to figure this out.


Fertilizing

I figured I’d go with E.I. and calculate the dosing based on perhaps 45 instal of 55 gallons due to rocks, wood and substrate. If I do that, are my calculations correct? Also, I will run ADA Aquasoil. Do I start the regime right away or should I wait a few weeks?


KNO per rotala calculator:

To reach your target of 7.5ppm NO3 you will need to add 520.78 grams (equivalent to 25 tbsp + 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp + 1/16 tsp + 1/64 tsp ) of KNO3 to your 500mL dosing container. Add 2mL of that mix to your 45gal aquarium to yield:

Element

ppm/degree

NO3

7.5

N

1.69

K

4.73




KH2PO4:

To reach your target of 1.3ppm PO4 you will need to add 79.33 grams (equivalent to 4 tbsp + 2 tsp + 1/8 tsp + 1/32 tsp ) of KH2PO4 to your 500mL dosing container. Add 2mL of that mix to your 45gal aquarium to yield:

Element

ppm/degree

PO4

1.3

P

0.42

K

0.54


CSM+B

To reach your target of 0.2ppm Fe you will need to add 100.2 grams (equivalent to 7 tbsp + 2 tsp + 1/4 tsp + 1/32 tsp + 1/64 tsp ) of CSM - CHELATED SECONDARY MICRONUTRIENTS to your 500mL dosing container. Add 2mL of that mix to your 45gal aquarium to yield:

Element

ppm/degree

Fe

0.2

B

0.035

Mn

0.057

Mo

0.002

Zn

0.011

Cu

0.003



I dose 3x a week the macros and 3x a week the micros? I am aware this is just a jump off point and I will calibrate these dosings as I watch my plants grow. I’ve also followed the custom micro mix thread on planted tank so I am now unsure if CSM+B is the right way to go for me. I also plan to add 10ml of excel to the micro solution to avoid mold. Is that the correct approach?


RO water: this is where I get slightly confused. I will use mostly ADA substrate so the KH will be close to 0 I assume due to buffering. is there a GH I should aim for? I figured I’d use Seachem Equilibrium to get there but I also read Salty Bee would be a good alternative. Should I even attempt to raise the KH? What else do I need to add to the water besides the GH boosters? I’ll have an apex with PH probes to keep monitoring the swings so I guess I will have some time to figure this out and how much CO2 I will need until I add fish to the tank.


Anyway, any insight and comments appreciated. Eventually I plan to dial in the tank for 1 water change every two weeks but for now I’ll start with the old school 50% a week method.

thanks!
 

thelordofthefish

Subscriber
Apr 22, 2017
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I realized that dosing 2ml is a bit difficult mix wise so I'd adjust to 10-15ml doses per day for a heavier diluted solution.
 

burr740

Micros Spiller
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Feb 16, 2015
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10 ml doses would definitely be better.

10 ml of excel per 500 ml is good, I'd suggest using vinegar in the micro mix to adjust the PH, probably dont need the excel too if you're adding vinegar

Using 100% RO you'll need to add a GH booster, enough for a couple of degrees, or you can just add Ca and Mg individually something like 5 ppm Mg and 15 Ca (MgSO4 is epsom salt, for Ca you can use CaSO4)

And its best to have a degree or two of KH, for that you can use K2CO3
 

Phishless

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Jul 13, 2017
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There is a schedule somewhere online. Should be easy to search for.
First week so much daily, second week less, third week gets better. :rolleyes:
I figured an option would be to start it in buckets, much friendlier and similar to my soil experiments. :D
High ammonia can burn/melt plants. o_O

Dosing will be needed @ some point, first month or two not so much.
 

Slin

New Member
Jul 1, 2018
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Sydney
I recently started my tank with ADA amazon substrate.
I filled the tank with RO and completely drained it 3 days later, and filled it with tap water. My tap water is spot on for plants.
I planted heavy at week 1
Performed twice weekly WC of 20 percent for next two weeks.
Performed weekly 20 percent thereafter.
Ammonia was completely undetected at week 5
Plants are growing faster than ever at 8 week which is roughly now.
Bit of melt here and there and happened to loose all five “pogo h” plants with this method. But that’s part of a new nitrogen cycle.
No ferts added yet but might add some iron soon.
I am a beginner with planted tanks.
This is my first tweezers and scissors tank.

Light cycle 4 hours with 8 x 39 T5 daily. Increasing that to 5 this weekend. Fortunately had not algea battles yet and rarely had clean the glass.
 
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Righteous

Subscriber
Apr 10, 2017
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Definitely do lots of water changes with aquasoil in the beginning. I didn't do enough when I started my first tank, and the plants suffered from the ammonia. 50% daily on my next tank for the first week made a big difference.... tried to keep the ammonia under 0.5ppm.

Also... burr, just curious why you suggested K2CO3 for KH. I currently use baking soda for KH, so I was wondering if there's a good reason for me to switch. (I'm already dosing K with other ferts)
 

Greggz

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Jan 6, 2016
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Also... burr, just curious why you suggested K2CO3 for KH. I currently use baking soda for KH, so I was wondering if there's a good reason for me to switch. (I'm already dosing K with other ferts)
Burr does not use RO water, but I do.

And K2CO3 or NaHCO3 (baking soda) will work for raising KH.

Personally I use K2CO3. I raise KH 2.5 using 18.64G (about 1 1/3 tsp) which does provide plenty of K.

CO3 26.72948351
dKH 2.5
K 34.83067759

Using NaHCO3 it would the following:

dKH 2.5
HCO3 54.404255361
Na 20.498304424

So one adds K and the other adds Na (Sodium). Personally I prefer adding K.

That being said, I am sure there are lots of folks successful with each, and I doubt it's a game changer either way.
 
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