Do any of you have any opinions on "Chuck's Planted Aquarium Calculator", which is available from Greg Watson's web site? I was looking at the "calculator" this week and plugging in my dosages and goals of dosages for my tank. The results greatly exceed his target levels and are consistent with my weekly testing. I do use Aquarium Pharmacuticals test kits (I know some of you really don't like them, but they have been consistent with Red Sea test kits).
I have a 125 gallon tank. My dosages are in mL and 5mL=1 teaspoon. Each water change, I add 15 mL of CaCO3 and 15 mL of Equilibrium; I have extremely soft water (tap water KH
is 0 and GH
<1). My goals are as follows:
KNO3 x 7.5mL 3x/week
KPO4 x 2.5 mL 3x/week
K2SO4 x 2.5 mL 3x/week
Trace x 2.5 mL 3x/week
iron x 1.2 or 2.5 mL 3x/week (plants look much better with the added iron)
Now, if I dose only 2.5 mL KNO3, then my NO3
level is 10 ppm
If I dose 5.0 mL KNO3, then my NO3
level increases to 40+ ppm
Dosing the 2.5 mL of KPO4, my PO4
level is 10+ ppm
These results are pretty consistent with "Chuck's Planted Aquarium Calculator" expectations and greatly exceed his target levels.
Also, my NH3
both run zero, my pH 6.4, KH
6, and CO2
via charts runs 24 ppm
. I also run CO2
I feel as though I am dosing too much via test kits, which was confirmed by the "calculator". What do you guys think about the "calculator" and my dosing? Should I back off on my dosing to the dosing regime recommonded by Chuck? Or continue to attempt to reach my target goals of actual doses?
Also, for those of you who do not like Aquarium Pharmacuticals test kits, do you have a better recommendation for the hobbyist?
Thanks for your advice, recommendations, and opinions.