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Old 03-04-2018, 12:35 PM   #1
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Dosing schedule question

I know theres a lot of different guidelines on how much nitrate/ferts to dose but thought id ask the experts here if my plan sounds good.

My tank is fairly low maintenance right now, lighting right under the border of being considered medium light by the WPG estimation. Plants are mostly slow growers. Details about the tank are on my about me page if you want more info.

Lately Ive gotten very slack with dosing any kind of nutrients mostly counting on root tabs and fish food to keep some nutrients in the system. Eventually as expected, I got a nice crop of spot algae on the glass/ older leaves. When I tested for phosphates unsurprisingly they had zeroed out. My nitrates always stay low, the tank is pretty understocked. When I tested I only had about 5 to less than 10 ppm of nitrates in the water even after slacking off on water changes for a while so I dosed phosphates to bring it to .5 to see how theyd do. A day later phosphates were zero again. I kept the nitrate to phosphate ratio at 10:1 for a few days and within a week both nitrates and phosphates were reading at basically 0. So clearly I have to start dosing macros again.

Im using the seachem line, And yes, I know Im paying for water but I already have them so Im planning on using them until theyre gone.

Current plan is to get back in the habit of daily excel dosing, add new root tabs for the swords, flourish comprehensive and trace alternating once a week each and dose N and P to 10ppm and 1ppm respectively. I do also have K Sulphate if I see any signs of K deficiency and I usually dose that once a week as well.

Is 10ppm high enough for a relatively slow growth tank? Obviously I will keep testing for both nitrate and phosphate as I get used to the schedule and if they disappear too fast will increase dosing.

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Old 03-05-2018, 01:54 AM   #2
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I'd say 10ppm is high enough as long as the test kit is accurate. Since these are hobby test kits they can over/under-read so if you are still seeing issues, just try increasing the dose a little. But sounds good and if anything, would dose the K more regularly.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:29 PM   #3
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thanks.

I could test the kit with RO or DI water and then water dosed with a particular amount of nitrate though, yes?

Speaking of test kits, this is barely related but my pH test kit seems to be rather nonsensical. I can take multiple tests back to back and get the very bottom and the very top of the color range back to back. Doesn't seem to matter how much I mix the bottle. Is there some kind of trick I am missing, or are liquid ph test kits known to be unreliable as well?
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:44 AM   #4
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I ran into this problem as well. My pH on the test bottles reads 8.6 yet my water quality report sent by the city states it 7.9 out of the tap. I don't know where the difference is coming from or if their is one. Fish are ok so I don't worry much about it.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:22 AM   #5
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Could be a dud test kit - Im not aware of too much that can go wrong with a ph kit.

The nitrate test is apparently more difficult.

I find here ph meters, pens and pool / tank test kits all within say 0.2 of each other.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:23 AM   #6
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This was my dosing schedule for high tech setup. I didn't use nitrogen or phosphorus ever because ada soil is good for long.

Excel daily

flourish comprehensive once a week. On Saturday and Seachem potassium too on Saturday.

Then On Wednesday Seachem Potassium and Iron.

Have great success with this combination. Flourish comprehensive has iron so I use iron once a week only. According to my findings potassium is used by plants like crazy. I solved many times plant issues like yellowing of leaves and dead leaves by potassium and Iron. Mainly potassium. Seachem line is amazing than any.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:28 PM   #7
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Some can depend on how the testing is done. Straight out of the tap mine reads around 7.2 ppm but after I do a 24 hour tap test, with an air stone, it's actually more like 8.2. Lots of things can play havoc with tap parameters. Some things are as simple as old ceramic pipes leaching which can raise TDS.
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitabout View Post
Some can depend on how the testing is done. Straight out of the tap mine reads around 7.2 ppm but after I do a 24 hour tap test, with an air stone, it's actually more like 8.2. Lots of things can play havoc with tap parameters. Some things are as simple as old ceramic pipes leaching which can raise TDS.
Side note.... running airstones can potentially raise pH. For example.... Pumping air into swimming pools is a technique used to raise pH. Same principal.
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Old 03-08-2018, 03:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flitabout View Post
Some can depend on how the testing is done. Straight out of the tap mine reads around 7.2 ppm but after I do a 24 hour tap test, with an air stone, it's actually more like 8.2. Lots of things can play havoc with tap parameters. Some things are as simple as old ceramic pipes leaching which can raise TDS.
Well I don't think it's any kind of real change in pH. If anything it's to do with not shaking the bottle enough or something. When I say testing back to back I don't mean before and after adding to the tank. I mean taking several test tube samples of water from the tank at the same time and doing the same thing to all of them. and getting different readings each time. And again, not just a slight variation. We're talking top of the scale to bottom of the scale differences. I was just going to throw out the kit unless someone can clue me in that I'm doing something wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kashif314 View Post
This was my dosing schedule for high tech setup. I didn't use nitrogen or phosphorus ever because ada soil is good for long.

Excel daily
flourish comprehensive once a week. On Saturday and Seachem potassium too on Saturday.
Then On Wednesday Seachem Potassium and Iron.

Have great success with this combination. Flourish comprehensive has iron so I use iron once a week only. According to my findings potassium is used by plants like crazy. I solved many times plant issues like yellowing of leaves and dead leaves by potassium and Iron. Mainly potassium. Seachem line is amazing than any.
Likewise, K was the first macro fert I got and it made a big difference just on its own. It's also the only one I have dry so it's cheap for me to increase that dose. I didn't notice until recently that between relatively low stocking levels and feeding every other day or so my other macros had bottomed out too. I've upped the feedings to every day again and my fish probably like that!

Upon dosing N & P with seachem, I've (re) discovered that it is really really hard to tell between low ppm color readings of both nitrate and phosphate test kits! I think those kits are great for telling zero vs low vs high but not so great for telling exact numbers. I think for now I'll start with a baseline dose of one cap of each weekly which based on the concentrations of the solutions would be dosing at a 5:1 N:P ratio ratio and just see how the plants respond over time. If I find the phosphates are creeping up or either is zeroing out I can adjust accordingly.
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Old 03-08-2018, 04:48 PM   #10
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Nothing unusual about your tank that might through off the test kit? Personally I cant think of much but just in case some sort of strange well water or something.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:01 AM   #11
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Nope, just relatively soft prime treated tap water. PH runs around 6.5 and is stable according to test strips and the seachem ph alert I used to have in the tank.

Like I said, Ill probably just toss the kit.

I cant think of any reasonable explanation except for faulty test kit that would allow me to take two samples at the same time test them at the same time and get two extremely different answers
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