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Thread: Dicussion on successful tank with minimum test kits - Part

  1. #1
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    Dicussion on successful tank with minimum test kits - Part

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    Dear readers,

    (Part I)

    I realized recently that many have problem dealing with fertilizers and controlling the NO3/PO4 and end up having poor growth or algae. Many of us have test kits but some, including myself, are either:
    1) lazy to use them,
    2) test results are not easy to distinguish against the reference chart,
    3) results are inaccurate or
    4) does not have the full range of test kits (very common) to know the water column condition at finger tip.

    In all cases, test kits are expensive and tedious to use. I have all the essential ones; they are very helpful but not absolutely necessary. At minimum, I personally think that PH & KH testers are a must to have, and NO3 & PO4 testers are highly recommended.

    So, with just the above 2 or better 4 test kits, can one control all the water parameters with confident? I believe it is possible. That is what I wish to invite discussions and hope that we are able to find a good solution to it, together.

    Let us be very FOCUS and cover only "how to administer fertilizer with minmum test kits" and no others, unless worth mentioning.

    I am not a scientist and the below administration suggestions are gathered from my own experiences, observations and reading other hobbyists’ and researchers’ findings. I just wish to share with everyone and hopefully through it, I get to learn more from you guys who would be kind to correct me.


    Here we go...

    Basic requirement (necessary to have, otherwise, the fertilizer take up rate would be difficult to predict):

    CO2:
    It should be maintain at minimum 15 mg/l and up to 35 mg/l.
    KH should range between 3 to 6.

    Light:
    At least 0.5 watts per litre of aquarium’s water volume.

    Filter:
    Flow rate should be sufficient to cycle the tank’s total water 2 to 3 times in 1 hour.

    Water Change:
    Should be done at least once every 2 weeks to:
    1)dilute the excess NO3 & PO4
    2)dilute excess inconsumable nutrients from past liquid fertilization
    3)get rid of the still unexplained fish wastes’ contents that causes algae
    4)polish the water
    5)add natural nutrients


    <Fertilizer administration with minimum test kits>

    Commercial one-for-all fertilizer:

    For most brands:
    One can follow the instructions or up to double the recommended dosage. The dosage can be splited to daily but the 1st dose after the water change should be heavier in proportion. Reason being that the fresh water need that dose to cover its’ deficiency and the rest of the daily doses are just to replenish exhausted micronutrients.

    E.g., If you change water every week at 20% (say 100L) and instructions says 25ml for that. Then you may split them into:
    Day 1: 10ml after water change
    Day 2 to 6: 3ml each day
    Day 7: nothing
    Day 1: change water and repeat

    Or if you want to go the middle way, then:
    Day 1: 15ml after water change
    Day 3: 5ml
    Day 5: 5ml
    Day 1: change water and repeat

    That should maintain typically about 0.1 mg/l of Iron (Fe), taking plant consumption into consideration. I mentioned Fe because it is the important benchmark for all comprehensive fert mix, that is, makers often add the rest of the minerals using Fe level/concentration as reference. If you wish to maintain a higher Fe level, increase the dose but max double only unless you are sure your plants need more. Any higher would need separate Fe only liquid like Seachem Flourish Iron, which increase 0.1 mg/l for every 1ml added to 100L water.

    Addition of potassium (see Part II that would be posted later) is highly recommended.


    I will mention Seachem and Mallick’s Lushgro Aqua below because I knew their compositions and that they are not so straightforward to use.

    For Seachem Flourish:
    Same as above but addition of Fe may be necessary because the recommended 1 to 2 ml per 200L and dose twice a week will not add enough Fe (Flourish contains 0.39% Fe) where else the rest of the nutrients are sufficient. Use, eg, Flourish Fe (contains 1% Fe) to dose in such a way that it give about 0.15 ppm extra to the fresh water.

    E,g. Total Fe (the bench mark) added for 100L

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    vely good! Can i have a second helping of Dr. Mallick's secret recipe?

    Simon, put in FAQ leh!

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    it's a good read for those who like to micromanage their tanks
    it'll be interesting to see the rest of the article

    for me though, i find it too exhausting to play around with calculating how much of what goes where
    i just dose haphazardly
    and hope it works

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    FC,

    I hope you don't worship those numbers you put in. It may work for some but not for others. Having a healthy tank isn't an exact science where one number fit all.

    DEA,

    I would think it difficult, if not impossible, to micromanage a tank of living organism. Clearly, at the end, and I agree with you, will be very exhaustive to do so.

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    I think this thread shld be put up for discussion first.

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    FC...go ahead with the second portion...interesting stuff...nice to read...[]
    Plant Physiology by Taiz and Zeiger

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    FC,

    It's gonna take some time to digest...
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
    Why use punctuation? See what a difference it makes:
    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

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    Well done! Thanks for the effort!

    But I must say that the part about the chelating agent contains ingredient in human supplement is a bit far-fetched. Simply too expensive to use for plants. Not to mention the use of EDTA in food.
    I will go with the latter two reasons.

    Regrading test kits, you can do without them expect for maybe the pH. All the rest of the parameters can be agar-agar-ed from plant response.

    e.g. If the leaves turns yellow with green veins= Mg. If new leaves pale, transparent= Fe...., pin-holes in leaves = K, If duckweed slows down growth = NO3/PO4. Algae everywhere = can be anything.

    but all takes a bit of experience, and of course easier to use test kits lah, no need to guess. Allow the person feels that "he is in control". []

    ck

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    I agree with you on your choice of test kits... ph, kh, then NO3... Certainly I use these the most often. As for PO4, it depends... the higher your bioload the greater its importance... also, it gets more important if you start to use more terrestrial ferts.

    As for changing fertilization regime to a daily regime, I'm currently experimenting with my tank... I used to those the full dose each week after a water change, but have changed to a method similar to what you stated roughly 2 weeks ago... My main reason for doing this is to see if I can more effectively counter spot algae which for me is the only algae I'm battling with. My rationale is similar... less excess nutrients in the water mean less nutrients for the spot algae.
    Allen

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    Hi repliers,

    Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it. Below are my replies for you.

    “Can i have a second helping of Dr. Mallick's secret recipe?#8220;
    - See below:
    LUSHGro-AQUA
    g/L
    N = 7.179
    K = 51.711
    S = 16.667
    Mg = 2.942
    Fe-EDTA = 1.683
    Mn = 0.612
    B = 0.314
    Zn = 0.092
    Cu = 0.025
    Mo = 0.016

    “I hope you don't worship those numbers you put in. It may work for some but not for others. Having a healthy tank isn't an exact science where one number fit all.”
    - Sorry, I do not agree with this. One of the main reasons why many are here in AQ is to FIND out the numbers and USE them.
    - One number does not fit all; the idea is not to achieve that but to get one that everyone can use with success and minimum side effect.

    “I would think it difficult, if not impossible, to micromanage a tank of living organism. Clearly, at the end, and I agree with you, will be very exhaustive to do so.”
    - It is not what anyone would try to do but to certain degree, we are heading towards that direction. Otherwise, how do we improve? No one would appreciate CO2 then.
    - This is a hobby to enjoy and “play” with, if we “play”, we find fun, otherwise, it is just works, lots of works. Do you sit by and wait for things to happen? Certainly you don’t.


    “FC...go ahead with the second portion...interesting stuff...nice to read... “
    - Thanks; I just wish that they helped but I am not convinced yet that they are.


    “It's gonna take some time to digest...”
    - Yes, that is a good sign. You are thinking about it, I am glad.


    “Well done! Thanks for the effort!”
    - Thanks.


    “e.g. If the leaves turns yellow with green veins= Mg. If new leaves pale, transparent= Fe...., pin-holes in leaves = K, If duckweed slows down growth = NO3/PO4. Algae everywhere = can be anything.“
    - Thank you for the inputs. We are in the same tune: to provide all necessities but not over doing it.


    “but all takes a bit of experience, and of course easier to use test kits lah, no need to guess. Allow the person feels that "he is in control". “
    - Good point. However, I believe strongly it can be done without. I had survived for the first 1.5 years without them and it makes little difference to my plants by having all the essential kits later. The idea is how to administer them correctly which I am trying to improve on.


    “I'm currently experimenting with my tank... I used to those the full dose each week after a water change, but have changed to a method similar to what you stated roughly 2 weeks ago... My main reason for doing this is to see if I can more effectively counter spot algae which for me is the only algae I'm battling with. My rationale is similar... less excess nutrients in the water mean less nutrients for the spot algae.”
    - Good to hear that, we are in the same boat. Allen, I would be glad if you could give me some feedback (in detail if possible).


    Have fun.

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    Hi Allen,

    Regarding my previous reply to you on battling on our only algae enemy, spot algae, I think I had got the solution. My tank is totally out of it for the past 2 weeks with glass wall crystal clean too. The plants are also doing extra ordinary well. I am not totally sure yet, will monitor for another 1 month.

    Have fun.

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    errr whats your solution?
    Allen

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    heh.. coating the glass with vaseline.. hah.

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    Sorry for the late reply.

    Till now, my tank status remain very good. There are several factors contributing to it (not confirm yet, to wait for a month). Basically, there are changes in the timing of:
    1) turning on the UV light
    2) fish feeding
    3) dosing fertilizers

    In addition,
    1) control of nitrification bacteria growth (location)
    2) corrected dosage of Potassium, Nitrate, etc.


    PART II:
    I had completed my Part II of this discussion which would cover:
    1) addition of potassium, nitrate and magnesium
    2) boosting plant growth
    3) control of algae

    However, I did not see any real interest in this present part I discussion; there were very little inputs. Therefore, I think I would end this discussion here.


    Have fun.

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