Understanding dosing perfectly

Discussion in 'Aquarium Fert Dosing' started by kshitij, 26 Dec 2009.

  1. kshitij

    kshitij Newly Registered

    Joined:
    25 Dec 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Hello to all members,
    Its great to join you all.

    My first post and a mojor question on planted tank:
    How to understand dosing perfectly according to your local water chemistry ?

    I have read various threads and articles related to dosing but all fail to perfect it and am not able to get very healthy plants :( .With a lot of reading and help i am able to understand doing to a certain extent and my dosing routine and quantity is:

    Tank is 55 gallon which is planted not very densly , but has many varities of mosses.The tank is 45 days old.
    Fishes are just 5 siamese algae eater and some red cherry shrimps.(will add black neons soon).
    Specifications are:
    substrate - Laterite + sera substrate + litte peat + gravel sand.
    Light - Philips fluorescent x 4 tubes = 2.6 watt/gallon. 8-10 hours a day.
    Filter - External canister filter which has capacity of 1200 Litre/hour.
    Co2 - DIY co2 diffused therough diffusor.

    KNO3 - 40gms + 500 ml water.
    K2SO4 - 40gms + 500 ml water
    KH2PO4 - 15gms + 500ml water
    "Fertilon combi - 15gms + 1000ml water

    KNO3- 15 ml X 3 times
    K2SO4 - 15ml X 3 times
    KH2PO4 - 3 ml X 3 times
    "Fertilon combi " which contains the following mix:
    4.0% maganese
    4.0% Fe (iron)
    1.5% Cu-(copper)
    1.5% Zinc
    0.5% Boron
    0.10% Molybdenum
    9.0% Magnssium
    3.0% Sulphur - 10 ml X 3 times a week.


    The schedule is:
    Sunday - 50% water changes + dose macros
    Monday - dose micros
    Tuesday - Dose macros
    Wednesday - Dose Micros
    Thursday - Dose Macros
    Friday - Dose Micros
    Saturday - Rest Day

    The tank history is:
    When it was set up i was just dosing some sera fertilizer therefore i was not getting response at all. I was just dosing 2 ml - 4 ml sera fertilizer everyday :lol: also the tank was not densly planted at all.Naturally due to this the tank developed various kinds of algae and at last after around 1 month i had to redo the tank. At this point i did a blackout for 3 days and removed all the water and let the substrate dry out and gave a bleach dip to all plants, stones , and wood.Till this time there were no fishes at all.

    Later after i started my doing routine as stated above Java ferns and "some" plants are showing good response and are growing but still the plants in my tank are not so green and many plants have lost its colour and are showing some leaves are showing up yellow colour . Was little bit happy because some response and growth is better than algae.

    Even a new canister filter was installed at this stage and the siamese algae eaters and RCS were inrtoduced after 20 days of redoing the tank.

    Now my major doubts are that why are the plants not so lush green in my tank also the growth is also not good. Many plants are showing pale leaves and the growth is very slow. Do i need any more chemicals to be added to my dosing routine ? . My local water already has calcium in it (i can see white calcium layers when the vessels dry out in the kitchen).
    Therefore wat other chemicals are lacking in my dosing routine and where am i making a mistake ??

    Can anyone help me out with this ???? :? :(
     
  2. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2007
    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    There is a few question that light up in my head when I read through your specs.

    1. 2.6 wpg in 55 gallon tank is a lot of light if you are only using it to grow mainly moss. Which type of light are we talking about here? T5 or T8? Might want to start cutting down on the light bring it to 1.5-2 in a tank of your size. Reduced the hour of lighting makes a big difference with algae too. Cut it down to no more than 8 when you are struggling with algae.
    2. Diy Co2 diffused through diffuser. Yeast or Diy Fe CO2 kit as shown in the tutorial here? I am not saying CO2 injection is a must but with the amount of light you are providing, your plant will be starved of CO2 hence the poor growth and algae thriving. (You have the option to drop the light down or up the CO2 here.)
    3. Flow rate of 1200L/hour is not a lot for your tank. We encourage water circulation to deliver the nutrient and CO2. Looking at the very possible lack of CO2 in your tank setup, this flow rate will only make it worse. Aimed for 10x flow rate at least and take no noticed of what the recommended flow rate is. Manufacturer flow rate recommendation is only half as accurate when the filter is filled with media. So roughly saying 600L/hour in your tank of 200L. You can up with by installing another filter such as powerhead or koralia pump.
    4. You keep SAE in a moss growing tank? They munch on the moss like it's all you can eat meal. You'll be left with moss that has no leaves in minutes! Probably why they left the algae alone then. I find mine go for mosses first before going for the algae.

    There is these issues that you need to address before coming to your fertilisation regime. Upping your fertilisation without correcting the fundamental flaws will not change the outcome. Hopefully this helps.
     
  3. kshitij

    kshitij Newly Registered

    Joined:
    25 Dec 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Hello daniel19831123,
    I think you are quite right:
    1.For the light, i am thinking of reducing the photo period to 6 hours only, that shall do otherwise i shall remove 1 tubelight so that it somes down to around 1.8-2 watts/ gallon. The tubelighrs are 6500k. they are not t5 or t8.

    2.The co2 shall get adjusted once i cut down the light otherwise i shall install another one.

    3.I shall install another 800 litre/hr powerhead filter to get a proper flowrate for better circulation.

    4.The SAE's soon shall be replaced by Black neon tetras , thanks for the warning , till now they are not eating moss but still shall not take any risk.

    All things shall be done and shall observe the results.

    Thanks for helping me out but still there are lot of things to be cleared in my mind specially the dosing part bro :( , i am very unhappy with the results and was even thinking of leaving planted tanks but lets give it one last shot :thumbup:

    The dosing routine and the amount , is it right ? or i am missing something ?
     
  4. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2007
    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    I'm not the expert here when it comes to EI method but according to the aquaticplantcentral fertilator program, your weekly regime will add 10.59ppm of No3, 4.53ppm of Phosphate, 16.32ppm of K. Looks a little low to me. Follow clive EI dosing regime in the sticky section and you won't be far wrong.

    Assuming we are aiming for

    Nitrate (NO3) 20ppm per week.
    Potassium (K) 30ppm per week.
    Phosphate (PO4) 3ppm per week

    You will need to double your Nitrate and Potassium.

    can't really advise on the fertilon combi as I'm not familiar with it. Sure someone with a chemistry background will help out here.
     
  5. kshitij

    kshitij Newly Registered

    Joined:
    25 Dec 2009
    Messages:
    12
    thankyou again daniel19831123 :thumbup: ,

    Lets wait for the experts now :)
     
  6. kshitij

    kshitij Newly Registered

    Joined:
    25 Dec 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Let me post it on apc also, shall ask all experts for some help :)
     
  7. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Joined:
    27 Dec 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Hi,

    Im cetainly no 'expert' either but I am running a heavily planted 250Litre tank with EI and have no algae at all after going through the pain barier on here over the last year.

    First you have to realise that your tank isn't mature yet and that as such the nitrogen cycle hasn't had time to properly establish itself yet. During the filters cycling process you would have experienced levels of high ammonia due to the denitrifying bacteria having not established themselves yet.

    Algae lives in two states in a tank firstly as spores waiting for the right trigger to make them bloom into its second stage fagatelle (plant like growth) which are the various greens, browns, reds and blacks stuff that you see with many differing forms. There are many types of algae that thrive under differing circumstances once understood the type of algae growing can point towards the problem. Once the spore has bloomed into fagatelle it will feed on any nutriets available and will release even more spores into the water excasperating an existing problem. The trigger which causes algal spores to bloom is AMMONIA+LIGHT. You have an immature filter (i.e. high ammonia) and very high lighting, and not suprisingly algae issues.

    Your lights are way to high at this stage it would be more advisable to be setting up the tank with around 1wpg on for about 8 hours a day given that you don't have co2 injection. Co2 and its relationship with light and plants is a complete subject in its own right and its importance should never be underestimated. I cannot possibly even begin to do it justice here. Surfice to say that on a tank of your size diy co2 is at best uncontrolable and more than likely inadequate coupled with your lighting regime. IMO you need to take time out to research and understand the relationship between the two before you even try to continue as you will just end up with the same problem/s again until you do.

    There are some excellent articles in the tutorials section of this forum and some sticky posts at the top of both the lighting and the co2 sections.

    Regards, Chris.
     
  8. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2007
    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    45 days old tank should be matured enough. My tank only take about 1 month to fully cycle the ammonia to nitrate. That is however based on a low bio load (tank used for CRS). I thought that once your filter is able to convert ammonia to nitrate, the bacteria should be able to multiply quickly considering that there is plenty of ammonia and nitrite product in the tank?
     
  9. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Joined:
    27 Dec 2008
    Messages:
    565
    45 days old but stripped down and started again after 1 month.....Or did I misunderstand?

    Even a 45 day old tank isn't really fully mature, it often takes several months before the diatoms disapear. The point I was trying to make though is that all through this kshitij has had high ammonia and high lighting which is why he's suffering from algal blooms which lead to him stripping the tank down and starting again.

    Fact of the matter is that algae really don't need very much ammonia at all to trigger a full blown algal bloom if other factors aren't also right especially in a high light situation. There is nearly always some risidual ammonia present even in mature tanks that would be undetectable with home test kits. The lower the light the higher the ammonia you can get away with and vice versa. If the plants are unhealthy and have started to decay they give off ammonia directly at the leaf surface which is why algae often appears there first or appears to be attacking the plants, when in fact its just that algae are very good oportunist ammonia scavengers.


    You'll need an awfull lot more patience than this my friend if you want to master planted tanks. Plain ordinary fishkeeping is childs play in comparison. But I can assure you that if you stick with it the rewards are there to be had.


    Regards, Chris.
     
  10. kshitij

    kshitij Newly Registered

    Joined:
    25 Dec 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Thankyou chris1004 for explaning it so nicely, i think i will have to wait a lot more and gradually improve my dosing routine ......
     
  11. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Joined:
    27 Dec 2008
    Messages:
    565
    Hi,

    Reduce your lighting and sort out your co2. Get a drop checker (there's a tutorial article for this too) so you can moniter what your co2 levels actually are and ensure you have enough flow and that its evenly distributed throughout the tank.

    Then when your sure you have all these right you can tweek your ferts to suit. Until these points are correct there is little or no point in playing about with your ferts because if any one of the other aformentioned more important issues is wrong it will cause you to fail everytime no matter what fert mix you use.

    I cannot emphasise enough the importance of understanding the co2-light relationship. Its not a pre-requisite that you have to have co2 injection but if you don't you must reduce your lighting accordingly.

    Regards, Chris.
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice