Ferts Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by johnny70, 4 Dec 2007.

  1. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    I have setup a 30x15x12" tank for Apisto's. I have a Tetra Plants Complete planting medium topped with sand.

    I am fitting 1 x T5 Lumilux® High Output 24watt daylight & 1 x T5 Lumilux® High Output 24watt cool white lamps.

    I have a pH of 6.6 and a kH of 1-2, so I don't want to add co2.

    I have been dosing 10ml of Seachem Excel 2ml Seachem Flourish and 2ml Seachem Iron, every 7 days, after a 30ltr water change.

    My plants are very simple, Swords, Cabomba and some Crypts(not sure of type) and some java fern.

    The plants have only been getting 24w light from a arcadia daylight bulb for 10hours a day for the last 3 weeks, plant growth has been not so good, swords aren't doing well, cabomba is ok as is the crypts but they are flourishing. so i decided to upgrade the lighting first, which I'll be doing on sunday.

    Can you suggest a ferts regime that only requires 1 dosing a week? if so what? and buy from where? sould i be using powders as I've seen described?

    Cheers for any advice, I'm only just getting into planted tanks :?

    Thanks
    JOHNNY
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    IMO, I think you really need to look at adding some CO2 first. I use simlar water conditions to you in all my tanks and have pressurised CO2 in one and DIY CO2 in another. Both are fine. In fact my water is usually less than 1dKH. Please bear in mind that if you up the light you'll need to up everything else to keep a balance. No CO2 with lower light and nutrients can work well, but up the light and you need to up the others as well.

    BTW, I have a 2' with wild A.eremnopyge that has only 1 24W power compact and that gets by ok, but, apart from the cabomba, growth isn't exactly great! I also use the Tetra
    Complete in another tank and like it but it doesn't seem to supply a lot of nutrients IME.

    Others can give you more advice on the dosing - I imagine you'll have to use something along the lines of Tropica ferts that has some good chelators to keep the nutrients in solution for as long as possible. Once a week may be pushing it though...
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Johnny,
    I figure that tank is about 20 gallons more or less. 48 watts of T5 (with reflectors?) is quite a bit of lighting for that size tank :wideyed: I don't think a once a week dosing of a paltry 2 ml of Flourish is going to do at all. With that much light you've probably quintupled your nutrient demand ( I say quintupled because I don't know what the higher "*upled" are called :rolleyes: )

    Gandalf's magic calculator shows the following dry salts dosing:
    1/4th teaspoon KNO3 3X per week
    1/16th teaspoon KH2PO4 3X per week
    1/16th teaspoon CSM+B (or 4 ml TPN) on alternate days
    5/8th teaspoon MgSO4 3X per week

    I've never tried adding all of one weeks worth of nutrients once per week in a high light tank. It's not an issue of toxicity at all but more an issue of nutrient stability.

    I've also never tried dosing only Excel as a sole carbon source in a high light tank but I've read that Excel is only good for a day or two as it biodegrades, so I predict that you'll need to add CO2 with that much light. On the other hand I have bred and raised Apistos using adjusted RO water in a high light tank with injected CO2 and I've never had a problem (either with hatching yield or stunted growth) so unless you have some really specific requirements I don't see what the big deal is about adding CO2 to this type of tank. Apsitos also do fine in 5 KH water (I'm using tap water) so theres no problem in adding a bit of Bicarbonates or adding tap water if you are afraid of pH stability problems. Again, breeding may be a different story but for general keeping there is no problem to either adding CO2 or using mixing tap water in with your RO.


    Cheers,
     
  4. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Thanks for the replies, not using RO water its that low a kH straight out the tap!! Are there any guides to use the dry ferts? never used them only the liquid ones below.

    Will look at co2 but everything I read sems to say the same think, don't add it with such a low kH. will see on that one :D

    What would be your suggestions on using just seachem stuff( or should i steer clear)??

    Thanks
    JOHNNY
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I listed a starting dosage for the dry ferts in my previous post. We haven't done an official guide but essentially, just throw the salts in the tank using a teaspoon. They all dissolve very easily. There are no complications at all.

    Seachem makes excellent stuff, but like all commercial fertilizers you pay for products that are something like 96% water. :wideyed:

    The most highly recommended all in one commercial product is Tropica "TPN+". http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/

    It's also very difficult to suggest a dosing with the Seachem and any commercial product because of their low concentration. Low light tanks are easy because you can just follow the directions on the label. As you add more light though the plants demand much more nutrients so there is no simple formula. It's also likely to be very expensive.

    Commercial ferts use exactly the same ingredients as found in the dry ferts so the only difference is convenience, concentration and cost.

    If you want to avoid having to inject CO2 then cut your lighting by half. It's exactly as Ed mentioned. If you think of your tank as a car then light is the accelerator pedal. Back off the lighting and everything happens more slowly. If you insist on high lighting without adding CO2 then there is a strong likelihood you'll have an algae farm.

    As Ed said, adding CO2 with water as low as 1 dkh is not a problem.

    Cheers,
     
  6. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. I was just unsure of using dry ferts and was wondering about having to premix or whatever, but chuck it in the tank I can do :lol: Thought i'm not sure that i can measure 1/16th of a teaspoon that well, whats the secret to that then?????????????

    Cheers again

    JOHNNY
     
  7. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    The secret of mixing ridiculously small amounts of ferts is to make up a solution with RO water and use that for dosing. I've not done it, but I'm sure someone will clarify.

    As for the pH crash issue, I can understand your concern. However, as long as water changes are regular there shouldn't be a problem. pH crashes are usually drops down to 5.6 or so in serious cases, and I doubt your apistos would mind that much. It might trigger them to breed!
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    I pulled and scaled this from another thread. See if this makes sense:

    You add the 4 week cumulative dry weights to a solution of water, then divide that by the number of days in 4 weeks to get a value for daily dose. Hey Beeky, I don't think you need the trouble of using RO/DI. I'd just use tap.

    For a 20 USG tank, the total macros for 4 weeks is:
    3 tsp KNO3 + 1/2 tsp KH2PO4 + 500 milliliters of water / 28 days = 17mls per day. If you dose three times a week then a 20G would get (17ml/day)*(7day) / 3 = 40ml per dose.

    That exercise does not include the MgSO4 but you can add the 4 week dosing amount (7.5 teaspoon) to the water as well. The reason I left it out is that some people have enough Mg in their tap water so for them there is no need to add it, but there is no harm in adding it if you 're unsure of how much Mg you have in the tap.

    The only item you should not combine in this mix is the CSM+B. That's because the iron (Fe) in CSM+B can combine with the other products such as PO4 to form compounds which are insoluble. If you use CSM+B then just add it on alternate days.

    Cheers,
     
  9. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Thats great, starting to get a handle on this now :wideyed:

    So basically chuck everything in and mix with tap water (bar trace) and dose

    Tank is 18gal(uk) so the daily 17ml will still apply?

    Which of the dry ferts would you recommend from aquaessensials?

    Cheers
    JOHNNY
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    You got it johnny :idea: It's as simple as that.

    Yes, when I cut and pasted I adjusted it to 20 US gallons. Remember that this is called "Estimative" Index (EI) for a reason.We are just estimating what the maximum requirement of nutrients are going to be. But there are so many variables that affect how much is needed for maximum performance. You may find a month from now that you need more, or that you can do with less. Generally, as the plants increase their mass they need more, but if you were using much lower light they would need less. Always keep in mind that you are better off being on the high side with your 1) 2)estimate. That means that the plants will never run short of nutrients. You ought to be fine with these numbers.

    OK, check out this page: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... th=145_146

    I would order the 250gram bags of:

    1) Potassium Nitrate (KNO3)
    2) Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4)
    3) You've got soft water from tap so instead of getting only Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4) I would get the GH Booster which includes MgSO4 and is a 4-in-1 product. You could add 1/2 teaspoon of this into your solution.
    4) CSM+B trace. Remember you can make a stock solution of CSM in the same way as the macros. 4 week supply (1 teaspoon) in 1/2 litre with a daily dose of 17ml.


    Once again, I'm recommending that if you intend to use 48 watts T5 on this tank pay attention to CO2 :!:

    Cheers,
     
  11. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Once again thanks for the great info and patience in repllying to my thread :lol:

    Will post some before and after pics when it looks better.

    Thanks

    JOHNNY
     
  12. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Right, have ordered, potassium Nitrate, Potassium Phosphate, GH booster an d CSM+B trace. so I will dose 40ml of the first 3, 3x a week and the trace 3x a week on the days not using the other stuff, right? and 1 day off? should that be my water change day? usually a sunday.

    Cheers
    JOHNNY
     
  13. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    If your water change day is Sunday then your day off should be Saturday. Sunday is day 1 and includes water change followed by dosing macros (nitrates, phosphates). Day 2 or Monday is when you dose your traces. Follow this until day 6. Day 7 or Saturday is then rest day.

    James
     
  14. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Excellent, thanks

    JOHNNY
     
  15. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    I have got the bit for dosing, I'm planning to make them up tommorrow, how should I store? in the fridge or ambient? is it ok to make up a months fert at a time?

    Cheers
    JOHNNY
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    A month's supply is fine. Doesn't matter whether you store them warm or cold. Sometimes you get fungus growth inside the container if it's kept in a warm area so you can add a small amount of muriatic acid to arrest bacteria/fungus growth.

    Cheers,
     
  17. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Cheers for that:)

    JOHNNY
     
  18. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    At the moment I have not upgraded my lights to the 48w twin tubes, I'm going to carry on using the single 24w lamp see how things go with just the ferts. how much seachem excel should I dosing with with ferts? not going to go down the co2 route at the moment.

    And as for mixing the ferts do they dissolve easily in the water, not mixed them as i'm still waitng for 2 to be delivered.

    Thanks

    JOHNNY
     
  19. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Just use the instructions on the bottle for excel. On initial use or after a water change 1 capful per 40L. Thereafter, 1 capful per 200L daily. See how that goes for a few weeks and make adjustments afterwards. If you use the 48 watts T5 on that tank you may have to double or triple the dosages.

    Cheers,

    All the dry goods discussed dissolve easily. No worries.
     
  20. johnny70

    johnny70 Member

    Messages:
    636
    Location:
    Bakewell, Derbsyhire
    Thanks you once again, hopefully I'll get a nice looking natural tank :D that has great plant growth

    Regards
    JOHNNY
     

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