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Old 06-02-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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The Right Dosing? Questions

Hello,

Well my 75gal first planted tank nothing really special. Currently stocked with some beginner plants: Java Fern (12) tied to driftwood, Anubis Nana (2), and Java Moss. I will be adding Amazon Swords as soon as I can get my hands on some decently sized ones (LFS carries smaller sized). I wont be using CO2 on this tank simply don't have the funds to setup a automatic CO2 system which is what I would like. In the future I am sure I will (MTS) :p My lighting is 2X54w T5 HO 10k spectrum (running only 6hrs) which I will be replacing with 1X54w 6700K lighting and 1X54w T5 HO "Plant Grow" on either 6-8hrs times. I hope my lighting isn't over kill which I am scared it is ?

I am currently dosing with Hagen "Plant Gro Iron Enriched"
Schedule is 2 cap fulls (5mL) nightly every other day. Water changes are every 5 days 50%. I am most likely going to switch over after this bottle to Seachem's Flourish Excel. What should the dosing be? Should I be dosing with anything else?

My parameters are: (API Liquid Test)
pH: 7.5
KH: 3 drops chart says "0-50PPM"
GH: 6 drops chart says "50-100PPM"
NH3: 0PPM
NO2: 0PPM
NO3: 5PPM

If you guys gave ANY suggestions please feel free to school me, and I am sure you all will!

OH Yea pictures...

I layered the java moss to thick so the upper portion is dieing but new moss is growing in nicely.

FTS



LS


RS


Let me know what you guys think.
J

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Old 06-02-2008, 10:08 PM   #2
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Your tank looks great. very nicely done. I am kind of new to planted tanks myself so I will let others answer your questions.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:43 PM   #3
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Your tank looks good, I really like that.

At your lighting level and plant selection, you've really got quite the easy setup going there. Your plants aren't going to demand lots of fertilization, so make sure to go easy and not overdose, as the excess will cause algae issues.

A little excel won't hurt anything, may help keep algae's at bay as well. Other than that, I wouldn't dose anything for a while and see how things develop. Your plants are fairly slow growers and not demanding at all.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:23 PM   #4
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Keep in mind that the Hagen Plant Gro Iron Enriched provides micronutrients while the Flourish Excel is a carbon supplement. If you want to replace the Hagen product, you'd be looking at Flourish "Comprehensive" not Flourish Excel. You could dose the Flourish Excel as well, but it isn't necessary.

Your Nitrates are rather low, you'll probably find that you need to start dosing Nitrates if the Swords do at all well for you. Either that or may be able to back off on your water changes enough to ensure that the Nitrates don't bottom out.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for your replies! I'll cut down the dosage on the "Plant Gro" until at NO dosages and see how things go from there.

As for the nitrates I use "Seachem's Purigen" which pretty much keeps my nitrates at either 0ppm or 5ppm consistently will this be an issue? Should I remove the Purigen? Too add Nitrates, what product should I use? And will the Purigen remove what I dose? I'll extend my water changes to weekly 30% (thought I'd never say that :P ) and see how things go.

What are the signs or "nitrate deficiency?"

Thanks again for your help its much appreciated!
J
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:45 AM   #6
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Your plants need Nitrates to thrive, remove the Purigen.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:58 AM   #7
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Hi,

I've been running my tanks with purigen since i started EI without any issue. It removes nitrates not by absorbing them from the water but by trapping inorganics which would eventually break down into ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Although you loose some of the free fert's from the fish poo using it i'd say it shouldnt effect your dosing, or at least it hasnt effected mine.

I would however seed to Purrbox if she know's something i don't. Which is often the case.



Best Regards,

John
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:49 AM   #8
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I recommended simply removing the Purigen since it will allow the plants to use the Nitrates and may allow J-Aqua to avoid having to dose Nitrates since it's a low light setup with fairly undemading plants. Why pay for both Purigen and Nitrates, when removing the Purigen could end up providing the plants with what they need?
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:44 AM   #9
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Thanks purrbox. I'll run down to the fish store today and pick up some filter floss to replace the purigen that I have.

You guys recommend any ferts that I should be using to help assist in healthy plant growth and look? Besides CO2
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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Traces/Micronutrients - Flourish "Comprehensive", Tropica Plant Nutrition, or CSM+B
Potassium - Flourish Potassium, K2SO4, or KCl (NoSalt - Salt Alternative)
Nitrate - Flourish Nitrogen, or KNO3 (Certain Stump Removers)
Phosphate - Flourish Phosphorus, KH2PO4 (Fleet Enema)
Carbon - Flourish Excel or CO2 Injection

The above nutrients are the main things that any planted aquarium needs besides light. I've also listed the most commonly recommended sources. Keep in mind that the Flourish Fertilizers for Potassium, Nitrate, and Phosphate are fairly dilute, so they'll get expensive over time. The products in paranthesis are products that can often be located locally and used as fertilizers. Since you don't have a lot of light over your aquarium, you may only need a good Trace Mix and Potassium. Just keep an eye on the Nitrates, and if they bottom out start dosing Nitrates (and probably Phosphates too). Carbon supplementation will help you plants grow better, but isn't required.
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:51 PM   #11
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Should I pick up any other test kits to test and monitor iron, phos, CO2 ect?

Since this tank is in my living room as my "show tank" i want it to be in tip-top condition and not have any plants welt away. Thanks again purrbox.

J
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:41 PM   #12
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Don't bother with an Iron or Potassium test kit as you'd have to pay a pretty penny to get one accurate enough for the levels in our aquariums. For those you just need to learn to recognize the symptoms, so you can adjust dosing as necessary.

For CO2, there's no need unless you're going to inject CO2. If you aren't injecting CO2 it will always be pretty close to 3ppm. If you do start injecting CO2 then you need a kit for KH and pH, the results are plugged into a Formula/Chart/Calculator to determine the CO2 levels. This is accurate as long as there aren't other buffers in your water.

You might want a Phosphate Kit, but for your aquarium it's not strictly necessary. If you do pick one up you want the one by SeaChem. It's a bit more expensive than other hobby grade kits, BUT it's as accurate as the professional kits.
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