Would it be possible to create a dosing regiment that would allow for changing water every other week as opposed to every week or twice a week? From everything I've read so far I know I'm asking a lot, but still, I must ask.
The effect of changing the water every other week is that the maximum buildup of each fertilizer would be double wnat it is for one week changes, given the same dosage schedule. If your tank is a high light one, with good CO2, and lots of healthy growing plants, there won't be much left over fertilizer to build up anyway. So, for that case, you could just use the normal EI dosages and change the half the water every other week. If your tank isn't a high light tank, etc. you could just cut the dosages in half, and change half the water every other week.
Generally, if you can get into the habit of weekly, things do better, some can get away with 2-4 week changes. But such tanks also tend to look better and do better if well tended weekly or 2x a week etc.
It's a trade off how much effort you want vs what you get out of it.
Some put into 2-3x a week and do not get much results............
Others put in 1/4 or less the effort, frequency etc, and have much better results.
Depends on a few factors, light intensity, sediment type(enriched vs inert), plant species, say L pantanal vs Anubias, density, fish load/feeding, balance of food, algae eaters etc.
You do not have to do a weekly water change etc, however, simply because you do not HAVE TO, does not imply you also do not get some gain from it either until you learn better light, algae eaters, balancing fish and plant species.
It's not some dosing of nutrients alone that allows you to have some grand results.
Many like to imply this, but there's a lot more involved that one simple thing they are rattling on and on over. When pressed, they will say as much, but only after a protracted argument. Then only passing reference rather than anything nitty gritty.
I'm always amazed at how "everything is nutrient related" even though it's a small fraction of the things we do. Ironically, some of the same group suggest I claim everything is CO2 related, but I discuss a lot more than merely that, and I already have a method to rule out nutrient limitations and excesses
Well, first of all, this is my first time posting on this website. I have never used EI, or any means of dosing other than once a week with water changes(I have been using seachem but I want to switch to dry fertilizers). After reading many posts on this forum along with several others, I realize I'm not even close to doing it right. So for the simple answer, I'm lazy, living on a college budget( or at least trying to), and only started keeping fish a year ago. I have two tanks(a 60 gallon mbuna w/ some plants and a 29 gallon which I want to be a planted tank), so I alternate water changes every week.
My main interest for now is the 29 gallon. I have pressurized CO2 going into the Red Sea 500 co2 'reactor'.
Things I am considering/planning on getting:
1) Dry Ferts
2) A cheap co2 drop checker(and a cheaper way to make 4 dh water than RO)
3) Something to raise my lights higher(if you think I should raise them)
4) More plants(which I will get in 2-3 weeks)
Quite honestly as Tom Barr said, it really depends on what you want out of the tank.
I guess I was just trying to be tactful.
Nevertheless, I have to say, Wow that is a lot o’ light! I would definitely go with one light, that, I think will make life a lot easier for you.
Nevertheless, it is what you want, I just can’t think of too many plants that require that kind of light. Light really does drive the process, more light generally more nutrients, think of CO2 as a nutrient, more need for trimming and so forth.
Dry fertilizers are easy, I like Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - Home. You may wish to look at the whole Estimative Index (EI) at http://www.barrreport.com/estimative-index/ don’t get too hung up on the hows and whys (unless that is your interest). For most of us, all we need to know is that we are providing our plants with a bit more of everything than they need; this is where frequent water changes really come into play.
I confess I am a water change freak. With a 29-gallon tank, water changes shouldn’t be that big a deal.
Drop checkers; I use test tubes and a little vinyl hose. Depending on the role aesthetics play in your life, you could get creative and use interesting bottles, or take up glass blowing, bending or slumping.
I don’t know any way of making a reference solution (4dKH water) without starting with distilled or deionized (DI) water.
Raising the lights up to you, even with only one bulb that is a pretty good bit of light, again, it depends on what is available and how important aesthetics are to you.
As far as plants, what do want? Are you a creative designer, an artist? Do want to keep certain kinds of or families of plants?
I do believe in starting out with many plants, I think it make the early stages go easier.
For 4dKH water, you can get a gallon of distilled water at many grocery stores for about a dollar. That should remove any economic considerations from that equation. For a drop checker it isn't necessary to have exactly 4 dKH, since the ppm of CO2 derived from the color of the solutiion is directly proportional to the KH. If your 4 dKH water is really 3.5 or 4.5 dKH, the error is only about 12%, but the accuracy of the drop checker at best is about 20-45 ppm when it is green, so a 12% error means nothing.
I could go on for hours with questions, but I promise I'll start posting them on their respective forums after this.
I have turned off one of the bulbs. Is 9 hours a good photo period or should I increase it?
I will probably use that website for buying dry ferts. I have seen other sites that list that CSM + B also has iron in it, is this something they add or is this always the case?
My tap water comes out with 7 Kh and 14 GH, so yes I will stop by and pick up a gallon of DI water. Does my hard water put my at a disadvantage with certain plants? I found a cheap drop checker on ebay. Do I have to worry about getting solution in the water, it look like it's bound to happen.
Is it a bad idea to mix dwarf hairgrass and dwarf sag(have dwarf hairgrass in the foreground and dwarf sag slightly behind it)? I want to get dwarf hairgrass, and I have about 10 dwarf sag plants.
I'm not going for a specific look or group of plants, no. I was given a bunch of free cuttings of some amazon plant, and every plant I have in there now was from a 10 gallon, and it's an interesting mix. Right now I don't have the tank arranged how I want it, I am leaving for a week so I am waiting until after to order plants. I really like the carpet look, and I have a piece of driftwood, but I can't tell if it's ok to have in the tank. What would wood rot look like exactly? I tried to google this, no such luck.
If you want to read all that, you have more patience than I do. If you don't, I underlined the questions I thought were more important.
If you'd like some of what I think is dwarf sag let me know. I have it in my tank and try to contain it to an area about 18" x 6". Because of that I have to pull out runners at least monthly. I made 4 pots with about 5-6 plants each last week and trashed just as much. Just pay the shipping. Kinda depends on where you are but it's been over 100° here a lot lately so I don't think right now is a good time to ship.
Back on topic... I'd like a fert schedule that only required a 25g water change on my 90g. Weekly isn't a problem but I'm still using buckets and RO. I can't break that habit after 20 years of SW. lol