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Old 12-29-2010, 05:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

My 30 gallon officially has zero nitrates as of my water testing this afternoon. This is 2 days after a 50% PWC, and the nitrate reading before the PWC was 5 ppm. Should I dose some KNO3 that I've got chillin in my fertz drawer?

Iron was at 0 ppm as well, so I'm debating whether to up my Plantex CSM+B dosing or my Flourish Excel. Thoughts on that as well?
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Excell won't make much difference on your iron, need to dose that seperately. Iron test kits aren't really that accurate anyway. Best way for me to see if its getting enough iron is by looking at a plant with red leaves. If the color starts fading and you have enough light, need to add more iron. I would dose some nitrate and keep at about 5 to 10 just for the plant uptake of it.
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

I would just wait and see if nitrates return before your next water change

FWIW I have dosed ferris gluconate from wall greens. A bottle of 100 240 mg capsules are like $6 or so. I just dissolved a capsule in an old coke bottle (12oz) then dosed a capful each week. this did seem to help my saltwaterautolinker.com autolinking image macros and the dose was so low it did not affect the corals. So I also dosed the fw planted which didn't seem to hurt anything.

As long as you are not getting cyano don't worry about the nitrates.

my .02
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Old 12-29-2010, 11:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Sounds good. I'll give it a few days. Just kinda surprised me - I've NEVER had zero nitrates. Kinda trippy, considering the bio-load in my tank (see below for the 30 gallon).
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

I have been trying to EI dose my tank but im a bit confused on how to do it.I dose the KNO3 and another every other day,three days,and the CSM+B every other day,for three days.35% PWC once a week then start over.Plants seem ok and fish seem ok as well.I did dose all daily,but i was getting some algae.All seems well.Now to figure out why my plants are getting holes.Snails maybe?
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Snails will do it, Also what other ferts are you using, my dry ferts has 4 different ones.
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Old 12-30-2010, 06:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

I just switched over to pfertz myself. Pretty happy with them so far.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

I definitely love dry fertz, I dose KH2PO4 (phosphates), K2SO4 (sulfates), and Plantex CSM+B (traces). I dose Flourish chelated iron as well once a week during my PWC's, and I add Flourish root tabs once a month.

Should I be dosing anything else besides *possibly* resuming my KNO3 regimen? (Gonna test the water tomorrow and see if the nitrates have gone up)
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by majerah1 View Post
I have been trying to EI dose my tank but im a bit confused on how to do it.
EI means you estimate the consumption of your plants and then plan a calculated overdose which will build up in your tank until you do a 50% PWC to thin out the excess. This guarantees that your plants will be getting everything they need, while keeping the potential for an algae outbreak to a minimum by keeping the excess in the tank from building too much.

Most fertz sellers will have general dosing guidelines for various sized tanks, but if you want to get really exact, you'll need the following:

The fertilizer (duh).
Measuring spoons.
Testing kit for that nutrient.

You start by dosing a ballpark amount into the tank on a set schedule and watch your nutrient level. If the level increases, you're dosing too much. If it decreases, too little (this is over the course of a few days to a week, mind you).

You should figure out an amount that suits your plants` consumption and then add a little extra. Don't dose all in one day either, or you will overdose the tank and cause that algae bloom. Instead, develop a regimen (like you already have) where you build up the excess concentration over the course of the week, then lower it with a PWC.

As your plants grow healthier, they will gradually consume the excess you add to the tank, in which case you need to up the dosages.

My regimen is as follows:
During a PWC, a capful of Flourish Iron
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 1 tsp (5mL) of Plantex CSM+B liquid solution (which I mix myself according to my supplier's specs).
Tuesdays, Thursdays and the day of the weekend I don't do my PWC, 1/8th tsp. K2SO4, 1/16th tsp. KH2PO4
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Most of the directions come with doses by a gram scale. You can find conversions to measuring spoons on the web.

The more plants you have the less nitrates will be there and you will need to dose them to keep the plants happy.

Also on the Iron I would get the chelated Iron in the dry ferts and mix yourself. Flourish iron is more water than iron to keep from overdosing, But I dose iron 3 times a week with no ill effects.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Yeah, I end up dosing about 4 capfuls of Flourish iron, in addition to the iron contained in my Plantex mix, to even get a reading above 5 ppm on my iron tests. Maybe I'll burn through that Flourish and look at chelated iron dry fertz.

Any idea where I can get chelated iron dry fert? Rex Grigg doesn't sell it.
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Old 12-31-2010, 04:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

He used to as that was where I got mine, try greenleaf they may have it.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

I have the CSM+B,Mono potassium phosphate and Potassium Nitrate.These were recommended by a user on UB,cant remember why.But the whole mixing and dosing is confusing,im terrible at math.Makes me feel dumb,haha.Im not exact on any of it,but the plants are growing,lol.I do think the snails are munching my leaves though because when i see them on plants,i find holes.I need some assassin snails.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by majerah1 View Post
I need some assassin snails.
Or a loach.

Don't worry about math. Just worry about testing. Get the test kit, dose what you think is the right amount, and see if the levels increase or decrease, then adjust accordingly. No math involved.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Not sure if i can house a loach with my macrostomas,lol.But i will get the kit and test when dosing.
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Old 12-31-2010, 09:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

No you don't want to get a loach, the tank isn't big enough. Assassin snails would do ok in the tank. But get more than one.

Exact measuring and testing levels of the nutrients in the water isn't really necessary if you are doing 50% water changes each week..The purpose of EI is to overdose then reset with the 50% wc.

Here is Rex's guide on measurements and dosing.

Dosing Directions | Basic Aquarium Fertilizer Dosing

According to his order page you can still get the iron from him.
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Old 12-31-2010, 10:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

I didnt think the tank was big enough,plus i worry about the loach bothering mouthbrooding males.These macs are my pride and i am trying to get some fry from them eventually.Will read up on that link,Susan.I thought though,the CSM+B has iron in it?Well if not then i need to get some.Does anyone know of a good source for assassin snails?
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

It does have iron in it, but basically not enough so you add more. Especially if you get red plants that require more.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Nitrates at 0 ppm, should I dose ferts?

Ah i see!Thanks for the info.The only plants i have that has a red tint is the sunset hygro and the dwarf lillies.The latter is more of a bronze color.
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