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Planted tank and nitrates
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2003.08.04(Mon)8:47    Post subject: KCl water softener pellets Reply with quote

I think the cheapest source for KCl is the 40 pound bag of water softener pellets sold locally at Sears Hardware here. Is there something like that in Australia?
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Garrett
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2003.08.13(Wed)7:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to update everyone. I finally got my new Seachem nitrite/nitrate tester kit in yesterday. As it turns out, my nitrate tested to be about 0.1 ppm, so I've started to add nitrogen to my tank. I'll let everyone know how it turns out. I'm shooting to hit the 5-15ppm range that Steve suggested. I also got a phospate tester and found that the phosphate level in my tank was at or about 3 ppm. Is this good/bad? I've looked online but can't find anything defniite that says what the optimum range for phosphate is.
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Garrett

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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.08.13(Wed)8:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrett wrote:
got a phospate tester and found that the phosphate level in my tank was at or about 3 ppm. Is this good/bad? I've looked online but can't find anything defniite that says what the optimum range for phosphate is.


That's quite high, most likely the result of not having sufficient nitrate for the plants. I would expect that the phosphate level will dramatically reduce once the plants are no longer nitrogen starved. The range to shoot for with medium light tanks is 0.2 to 0.5ppm of phosphate. For high light tanks 0.5 to 1.0ppm seems better. With your elevated phosphate levels you will want to slowly increase the nitrate levels, otherwise a sudden nitrate increase combined with the elevated phosphate levels could cause an algae problem. Also, limit any substrate disturbance until you reduce the phosphate level to less than 1.0ppm.
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Garrett
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2003.08.13(Wed)15:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, what do you consider a slow increase in nitrate levels? The manufacturer suggest the use of 0.5-1 ml twice a week. Which should, again, according to the manufacturer (0.05*volume of tank*amount that you want the nitrate level increased = amount of fert to add to tank), increase my nitrate level by 0.83 mg/L to 1.6 mg/L. Is this a good suggest? Should I do less/more? Thanks again for all of your help.
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Garrett

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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.08.13(Wed)20:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Garrett wrote:
Steve, what do you consider a slow increase in nitrate levels? The manufacturer suggest the use of 0.5-1 ml twice a week. Which should, again, according to the manufacturer (0.05*volume of tank*amount that you want the nitrate level increased = amount of fert to add to tank), increase my nitrate level by 0.83 mg/L to 1.6 mg/L. Is this a good suggest? Should I do less/more? Thanks again for all of your help.


Add the maximum amount, 1ml twice per week, and see if your nitrate level increases any. As an illustration, my high light, pressurized CO2 injected tanks consume 1-2ppm per day. But, it depends on total plant mass, plant species, etc. so all one can do is make a "best guess", then add, test, add, test, and adjust on what the consumption rates are for your tank. But, you should be fine since you have basically zero NO3 to start.
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Garrett
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Joined: 01 May 2003
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: 2003.08.14(Thu)7:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve. I'll give that a try and let you know how it works out. Oh, and btw, I checked my nitrate and phosphate levels again yesterday, the nitrates were about the same but the phosphate level seems to have dropped to about 2.5 (instead of 3), so maybe its already working. Thanks again.
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