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Pretty darn new to dosing..

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by KentCurtis, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    Hello everyone. I have been reading here for a little less than a month trying to pick up odds and ends. I posted in another thread with a question of mine but decided here would probably be more appropriate. I took the 'newbie' route by buying the flourish line of fertilizers (Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus). I was wondering if by using these supplements if I will notice any difference, besides running out much much quicker, than if I mixed my own? I have had my planted tank setup for around 2 months now ( 20 gallon high, 55 watt PC w/ AHSupply reflector, DIY co2 in a gatorade bottle ). I guess I don't really know what kind of results to expect to see with using these products. I have currently: Dwarf Hairgrass (in 1 week, not spreading really), Rotalla wallichii (in 1 week, tops are pinkish/purple bu rest are green), a Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae I believe, in 1 week not spreading), and Rotala nanjenshan (in 1 week, sending laterals I believe).

    My DIY co2 puts out a bubble about every 2 seconds and I have it pointing into the intake of my HOB aquaclear filter. Was wondering how I should dose the product I have bought and what to expect. Thanks in advance.

    -Kent Curtis
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Kent,

    Welcome!

    Using these products MAY improve growth rates as opposed to not using any products. However, ferts like these are only some of the factors in play. Light and c02 play important roles in the plants ability to EXTRACT and utilize these provided nutrients.

    You have a lot of light for a small tank. High light equals high c02 and nutrient demand. You may want to use less light with your DIY c02. DIY is not as stable as using a pressurized system and stability of c02 is as or more important than sufficient levels.

    Also, an HOB filter by design will aerate the water on the return to the tank, so c02 is lost there as well.

    You may want to get your goals in mind and decide on a light fixture and go from there. A DIY c02 will not provide enough c02 for the lighting you now have.

    Here are a couple of useful threads. Please give them a read and then come back.

    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/42-ei-light-those-less-techy-folks.html

    http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-index/

    Dose the products as per the directions either daily or several times a week.

    Dry ferts such as nitrate and phosphate are available on-line. I can find you a link later. Just mix the powder with a bit of water and dump it in the tank. Much cheaper and works as well/better than the expensive bottled products.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    Thanks Gerryd that does help a lot. So 55 watts over a 20 gallon high would be considered a lot of light? I thought it was barely moderate, but then again I am fairly new. I do not really have the money to run a pressurized system right now, but maybe adding another bottle of DIY would suffice at least for the time being? Im not quite certain how to monitor my co2 levels either.
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Judging by what I use in a tank about twice the size of yours I would shoot for about 2 bubbles per second, or a bit more, on CO2. And, I would get three bottles running, with a week between their start dates, then renew the oldest one each week. That might get you up to an adequate and more stable supply of CO2. If you get a drop checker, and use it with 4 dKH distilled water in it, you can see when you have about the right amount of CO2 in the water. That is always a good thing to know.

    It doesn't seem that you have many plants in the tank either. Did you separate the bunches of Rotala into individual stems? You should do that, and plant them about an inch or less apart. That will ensure that each stem gets good light and good CO2. By doing those two things you should be ok with the light - assuming it isn't an AH Supply bright kit. Those have such good reflectors they give more light than most PC fixtures.
     
  5. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    My reflector is an AH Supply reflector, is this a bad thing? I will brew up 2 more gatorade bottles of co2 a week apart and give that a shot. I also did seperate the Rotala into seperate stems.
     
  6. KentCurtis

    KentCurtis Junior Poster

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    I have been dosing 2x the recommended dosage on the flourish bottles, as Vaughn mentioned to me they were guidelines for lower light tanks. I have just been doing N,P,K every other day and Traces on the days in between with a big water change on the weekend. Does this seem ok for the products im using? Just trying to get a feel for it.
     
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