My chems arrived! This is my first shipment so I need help.

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Aquarium Advice Activist
Nov 21, 2006
I'm so excited. My chems arrived! I've had my tank planted for some time and I recently had issues w/ fuzz algae and I found this site. Since then I've been super geeked about getting my tank in much better shape (so many great tanks here). I really ran my tank on little effort and it is ok but it is nothing like I want it to be.

I need assistance setting up a dosing schedule.

From the articles in the stickies I'm a little lost. I'd hate to guess and ruin everything so I'm turning to all of you.

From all the advice and articles I ordered/just rec'd the following:

Barr's GH Booster
CSM+B Plantex
Potassium Nitrate
Potassium Sulfate
Mono Potassium Phosphate

My Seachem phosphate test kits have yet to arrive...should be tomorrow.

That is everything that I was told I needed to take my tank seriously.

Ok my tank is the one in my sig...I'd show you a better starting picture but I haven't figured out how to paste it into the body of the post. My current setup is:

55 gal
root tabs currently for fert (just before I joined AA I retabbed *if thats' a word)
amonia 0
ph 6.7
nitrate 7ish
nitrite 0
lights are a CF that holds 2 55 W on 9 hours a day
temp 70

Stable IMO - had a recent battle w/ fuzz algae but that has cut way back w/ the addition of more CO2 (thanks AA!). No serious algae. Some Spot - some fuzz still - a couple spots of brush algae (i think they look cool). Nothing serious so I think the tank is fairly stable.

I currently do about 30-40% PWC per week.

By my pic you can see that how planted it is - and unorganized.

15 fish - 2 plecos sp? (algae eaters), 1 chinese algae eater, the rest are random and the biggest are some mollies...
12ish ghost shrimp
trumpet snails...ummm i don't even know how people guess...a lot is my guess!

Any help would be great. If you need more info to help let me know.

**I plan on making a picture progress thread eventually so I'll definitely keep anyone interested up to date.

Thanks in advance everyone.
To post pics scroll down to the filename button and hit browse, choose your pic as long as it is within the parameters allowed and hit submit. I'm going to move your post to general planted tanks as the main inquiry of your post is about the ferts and dosing, to better get you the answers you are looking for.
I don't see a filename button...

Is it here in the "quick reply" area?

** thanks for moving it to the best area...much appreciated
No you need to hit the post reply button.

Do you have a KH test? I am curious about your CO2 levels.
No I don't have a KH test kit.

I really don't know my CO2 levels...I never even thought about it until I joined. This is what I do...maybe this will help.

I have 6 bottles of DIY CO2 that run into a bubble stone (I don't really know what it's called). Each bottle is 2 C sugar and 1/4 TSP yeast. I change one set of 2 each week w/ my PWC (that is the new routince since i've upped the CO2).

LOL...I've never even seen the post reply button...I've always used the quick reply at the bottom.
Get a KH kit. That will give us your CO2 levels. Sounds like you have a good solid CO2 routine. The KH test combined with PH will tell us how well it is working. Has your PH dropped since you started your new CO2 routine?

Are you planning on doing EI dosing?
Yes the PH dropped to low sixes but seemed to go back to mid sixes. I have the test kit where it is a judgement call since it is based on the color so my ph is a best guess.

It deffenetly dropped but seems to be test 3 days ago and today are the same 6.6 -6.7ish

If i understand EI dosing it seems to be the easiest as far as getting the chems right but harder since it is a bigger PWC and has to be constant w/ no room to put off the PWC a few days...correct?

If how I understand it is correct then yes I plan on EI since i'm new to the chems and want to get that right...i don't mind a little work keep that part ok.
Good it is supposed to drop. What was it before you started injecting the CO2? Yes EI requires a 50% or so water change each week. A python makes easy work of it.
I really didn't test as often as I should have before. I changed the CO2 as needed (yes I know huge mistake)...then I got on a regiment but it wasn't frequent enough. My PH was always a huge fluctuation...I never really worried about it since it was in range for the fish. I was pretty lazy w/ mytank for some time and solved everything w/ a huge water change followed by more until algae bloom or whatever other issue was resolved...or just buy new plants. It was always a hobby but everything I'd read seemed so difficult so I didn't really try more than making sure there where bubbles and HWC's as a safetynet.
As Rich said, you don't have to get too exact about your water changes. About 50% about every week is good enough. Lots of people reset every couple of weeks after getting comfortable with dosing. Your 40% weekly mentioned in the first post is reasonable to me, fwiw.

Reasonable for your ~medium light tank is:
2 times a week:
~15ppm NO3 from KNO3
~1ppm PO4 from KH2PO4
0.1ppm Fe from Plantex

Then dose a third day or increase the dosing amounts if needed. I would add 10ppm K from K2SO4 once a week and not worry about it anymore. The Fertilization Sticky has calculators.
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