im fertilizing correctly?

flyhawk

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30 Dec 2009
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i have a 55 galllon aquarium that i just cant get co2 for
so, to acomidate that, i have 2 t-12 lights-1 planted aquarium light that is 40w and one daylight that is 40w to equal
80w
this is about 1.6wpg
so i was thinking with low light levels i dont nedd to dose co2
i do want to start dosing macro nutrients, though, when i saw that my nitrate reading is down to 3-4ppm
i have a pound of potassium nitrate and a pound of potassium phosphate
i didnt by anything to dose potassium because i was told that the potassium in the 2 previous chemicals is enough
my question is -is this going to be enough to sustain my plants?
i have only ever used seachem flourish, and once i found out hat it was trace, i had an idea why some of my plants were showing deficincies
i also looked on the sight Aqua Botanic, and they have a diagnosing problems article that explains some deficiencies
nitrogen and phosphate are the deficincies that match my tank
 

CeeJay

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3 May 2009
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Surrey UK
Hi flyhawk
flyhawk said:
my question is -is this going to be enough to sustain my plants?
You do have the correct ingredients in your Potassium Nitrate (KN03) and Potassium Phosphate (KH2P04) but you will still need to add the Trace. Some people add MgS04 (in the form of Epsom Salts) but if you are in the UK, there's a good chance you won't need it as there is plenty in most tap water.
Check out this excellent tutorial to give you an idea of the concentrations you need viewtopic.php?f=34&t=1211 but please bear in mind these figures are for maximum uptake rates with high light and CO2 injection so you will need far less than the quoted figures.
On a low light/low uptake set up you will also get away with feeding the plants once a week as opposed to daily :D
Hope that's of use ;)
 

flyhawk

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30 Dec 2009
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this is my schedule that i want to use
Monday-dose 1/2 tsp of potassium nitrate
Tuesday- dose 1/8 tsp of potassium phosphate
Wednesday - dose 1/2 capful seachem flourish and 25% water change
Thursday-dose 1/2 tsp of potassium nitrate
friday-dose 1/8 tsp of potassium phosphate
Saturday- dose a 1/2 capful of seachem flourish and 25% water change
 

CeeJay

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3 May 2009
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Surrey UK
Hi flyhawk
Whilst it is good to get into a routine with a planted tank, I would be inclined multiply your numbers by 4 and mix up your KN03 and KH2P04 into a bottle with some tap water, say 400ml and dose 100ml once a week. You could do 50ml twice a week if you fancied it. The choice is yours. This 400ml of solution will then last you 4 weeks. Then dose the Trace the next day. We do this because the iron in the Trace reacts with the Phosphates and the iron becomes insoluble (no use to plants) so we tend to dose the Traces on different days to the Phosphates. You could do it on the same day if you wished, just leave a bit of time between dosing the two to allow things to circulate and dilute.

Another point to note if you are not adding CO2 of any sort is you must drop the water changes completely, yes completely :D
The reason is this:
Plants just love CO2 but do adapt when CO2 levels are low. Your tap water has some CO2 in it. When you change your water you will introduce this CO2 into your tank. The plants now adapt to this higher level of CO2. When the plants have used most of this CO2 up, they will then have to adapt to the lower CO2 environment. Then you come along and do your water change and the CO2 levels rise again, now the plants have to adapt to the higher CO2 level again. The plants will spend all of their life adapting up and down to this varying CO2 level and will not grow properly as all their effort is being diverted into adapting to the fluctuating CO2 levels. On top of all that you will more than likely get algae of some sort :( .
Sounds mad I know, but I have 1 hi tech and 2 low tech tanks in my house and the low techs haven't seen a water change in about 9 months. Both plants and fish doing fine.
My maintenance regime on my low techs are:
Dose ferts once a week
Clean filter once a month
Voila! :lol:
How simple is that :D

Oh, and I almost forgot. Congratulations are in order. 1st post of 2010 on UKAPS :thumbup:
 

flyhawk

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30 Dec 2009
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really?
well its only 7:48pm in the us so i have a ways to go
i am worried about my rams
i am worried that those low water changes will kill the fish!!!
 

CeeJay

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3 May 2009
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Surrey UK
Hi flyhawk
No water changes hasn't killed any of my fish.
If you have enough plants they will deal with the fish waste for you :D
 

flyhawk

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30 Dec 2009
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21
well i got the ferts, and did my first dosing

not that difficult
 

CeeJay

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3 May 2009
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Surrey UK
Hi flyhawk
Now all you have to do is keep an eye on your plants ;)
Your own eyeballs are the best indicator you've got to tell you whether anything is wrong with your plants or fish :D
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
Your tap water has some CO2 in it. When you change your water you will introduce this CO2 into your tank. The plants now adapt to this higher level of CO2. When the plants have used most of this CO2 up, they will then have to adapt to the lower CO2 environment. Then you come along and do your water change and the CO2 levels rise again, now the plants have to adapt to the higher CO2 level again. The plants will spend all of their life adapting up and down to this varying CO2 level and will not grow properly as all their effort is being diverted into adapting to the fluctuating CO2 levels.
I'd carry on changing some water, all aquarium will have fluctuating CO2 levels, because the respiration of the plants and fish will add CO2 to the water when the plants are below their photosynthetic compensation point, and even after "lights on" it will take some time for the CO2 to be depleted. You can get around the fluctuating CO2 levels by using a "wet and dry" trickle filter. If you are not adding CO2, trickle filters will maintain a higher level of CO2 (and O2) in your tank water than other types of filter, as the thin film of water flowing through the filter will be equilibrate with atmospheric gas levels. This is also the reason why added CO2 will be outgassed efficiently by this type of filter.

cheers Darrel.
 
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