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Redundant Questions & Strategies

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by weaverr3, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. weaverr3

    weaverr3 Junior Poster

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    First off, I just subscribed the other day so let me say hello. And before I pose my questions, rest assured, I've read a boat load of the current posts already. Many have been thoroughly helpful and I'd created different strategies off of them, then I'd read another and shift my strategy again. So, after doing this about a half dozen times, I thought I'd just go to you guys for help, even though the same advice has been requested countless times. I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me on a dosing strategy for a tank holding 50 gallons of water (not a "50 gallon tank").

    My current specs to the best of my knowledge and testing ability (I have trouble with the colors :/ ):
    Size: 50 gallons
    Plants: Many different kinds as I've simply been experimenting up til now to see which ones did well naturally. Overall I'd say its a moderate planted tank.
    Light: 120w of NO Flourescents
    pH: ~6.8
    kH: ~3 degrees
    gH: ~2-3 degrees
    CO2: Pressurized. Using Chuck's calc ~14ppm. I'm working on getting that up but I have a crappy diffuser currently.
    NO3: Hard to say... varies too much due to my feeding. Working on getting that stable as well but I think a rough but educated guess is about 10ppm before ferts.
    PO4: ~1ppm

    I'm thinking:
    Potassium Nitrage @ 1/4 tsp every other day.
    Potassium Sulfate @ 1/4 tsp every other day.
    Potassium Phosphate... well, an extremely small amount that I currently can't even measure :>
    Plantex CSM+B @ 1/2 tsp off days.

    I've gotten the ferts that I need from Greg Watson's and am ready to start dosing. So as soon as I get some feed back, I'm off and running. So, anyone want to take a stab at this schedule for me?

    On a bit of a side note, do you think I need to address the kH/gH issues? Mine seem to be at the bottom limit of things and perhaps this could help me get my CO2 levels up?

    Thanks for any help,
    Blake
     
  2. weaverr3

    weaverr3 Junior Poster

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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    No takers?

    How about at least a link to another thread with a similar setup? I'm sure its out there somewhere I just haven't crossed it.

    Greg Watson answered some of my hardness questions for me but I'd still love some guidance on the dosing side of things.

    Thanks again,
    Blake
     
  3. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    Blake, you do not need K2SO4 dosing unless you have a lot of fish and high NO3 tap water. You should have more than enough K from KNO3 dosing.

    Try doing 3/8 tsp of KNO3 2x a week and 1/16 tsp of KH2PO4 2x a week..not sure about the CSM+B stuff though. Main thing is to get the CO2 down before starting out on things. Nothing is going to work well without good CO2 levels if you use it. Tom has a DIY internal reactor up on this site which you could rig up.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
     
  4. weaverr3

    weaverr3 Junior Poster

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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    Totally agree on the CO2. I've got a HOB filter currently but a canister on the way so I'm going to plumb something inline which should help tremendously with the CO2.

    As for the KNO3... I think I read somewhere the N:K ratio could be almost 1:2, thats why I was dosing the K2SO4 (not getting hardly any K from the KH2PO4). Couldn't tell ya where I read it unfortunately, but do you think I read that wrong perhaps?

    Many thanks for the input though, I'll give it a shot.
    Blake
     
  5. Spar

    Spar Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    1/2t 3-4x per week of CSM+B is way overboard.

    You only need to do 5ml per 20g's (total of 12.5ml for 50g's of water) of 2T in 500ml stock.

    In "dry" this comes out to 1/8t for 40g's, so just barely over 1/8t (5/32t to be exact) in your case. Close to 1/6t. So... long math story short, you are dosing 3x too much right now by doing 1/2t.
     
  6. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    It is just my personal opinon ... but depending upon how concentrated your Plantex CSM+B solution is, I don't think 5 ml is enough ... in general, we tend to make a dosing solution that is not quite as concentrated as for example Flourish is ... thus I always recommend using a 1.25 multiplyer ... thus 5 ml of a commercial solution becomes 6.25 ml of a Plantex CSM+B solution ...

    Greg
     
  7. Spar

    Spar Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    so instead of saying to make a concentration of 2T in 500ml mix, wouldn't it be better to just say 2.5T in 500ml, and then no one would have to worry about the whole Flourish 1.25 factor? Would make more sense than worrying about that difference. What exactly does the 2T in 500ml mix infer, too little or equivalent to Flourish?

    I (and as per your recommendation I believe) do a 2/3 CSM+B 1/3 Flourish mix anyway, so I figure I am good.

    Does dosing too much CSM+B (or Flourish in that case) have the same effect as dosing too much anything else; of which excess is only "wasteful"? assuming you do at least a 50% WC each week?
     
  8. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    You know what ... you are absolutely right ... unequivocably absolutely right !!!!

    When you ask someone "why do you do something that way" ... all too often the answer is "because I have always done it that way" ...

    I've always tried to encourage people to make a less concentrated solution because to me the Plantex CSM+B is "gunky" and messy when you get to higher concentration levels ...

    I'll mix up a new batch this weekend and change back to manual dosing next week based upon **YOUR** recommendations ...

    Thanks,
    Greg
     
  9. Spar

    Spar Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    such hostility :D

    i personally like to 1/2 the amount anyway (i.e. 1T per 500ml) merely to go through a bottle quicker. my wife doses the tank in the morning, and her "shaking the bottle" doesn't quite seem like true shaking :)
     
  10. weaverr3

    weaverr3 Junior Poster

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    gH issues

    Let me revive this thread to further a previous question. I'm having some difficulty raising my gH. It is currently non-existant. I first tried dosing Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Sulfate. I ended dosing, if I recall correctly, about 6 tablespoons of Calcium Chloride and I think 4 Magnesium Sulfate. Still registered 0 on my test kit. (My kH is also zero but dosing some Baking Soda easily fixed that.) Well, I didn't want to dose anymore for the gH because I thought that would be too much.

    On my next water change I put about 2-3 cups of crushed coral in my filter housing. I let it run for a couple days just to make sure things had a chance to disolve as best they could, then tested. Pulled my kH up to 1 but still nothing on my gH.

    I'm not terribly worried with it since my plants are doing ok, but I want to turn this into a shrimp tank so I thought a little hardness would do some good. Now, if you guys think I should just let it ride, thats fine, but I'd still like to know why I can't get anything to register on my gH test. (I have used two different test kits to verify)

    Also, don't know if it affects anything, but I do add water straight from the tap and I'm on well water.

    Thanks again,
    Blake
     
  11. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    I would suggest using Equilibrium to raise GH. It contains magnesium and calcium, but also a lot of other good stuff for growing plants. Equilibrium does not affect KH, which is nice since it lets you can adjust them independently. It has a dosage recommendation on the back. It says x amount of the product per y gallons gives you a GH of 3. You could follow this recommendation and then test the mixup water to see what your testing kit reads. I add 10/8 tsp to my RO water to go from a GH of 0 to a GH of 5. Comparing my test kit to the recommendations on the container, my test kit is fairly accurate.
     
  12. weaverr3

    weaverr3 Junior Poster

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    Re: Redundant Questions & Strategies

    Yes, I was concidering the Equilibrium already and I guess I will go ahead and give it a shot. Hopefully it will do the trick, or like you said, at least confirm my test kits. I'll update in the next few days about the validity of the kits with the Equilibrium. If the kits pan out, I'm still interested why the CaCl2 and MgSO4 aren't raising the gH... we'll see.

    Thanks for the thoughts.

    Blake
     
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