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Re: Low PO4 Levels & Miracle-Gro house plant food

On Sat, 26 Feb 2000, Tom Herbruck wrote:
> My tank is finally starting to look good, thanks to the help many of you
> have provided to me.  However, I would greatly  appreciate any help that you
> experts can provide to me interpreting some test results, specifically the
> PO4 levels in my tank.  Results are as follows:
> PO4 = 0.20
> pH = 7.8
> GH = 7.5
> KH = 4
> Fe = undetectable
> Ammonia & Nitrite = 0
> CO2 injection (3 to 4 bubbles per second)

3-4 bubbles per second seems to me like quite a bit, but with a pH of 7.8
and a KH of 4, you either don't have an effective reactor or you're
driving the CO2 back out again with turbulence or aeration.  If you want
more growth then you might try to correct that.

> Should I be adding a fertilizer with PO4?

I doubt it.  0.2 ppm PO4 isn't especially low for a planted tank; you
probably don't need to raise it.  If you really want more growth then
after you find out how to get or keep more CO2 in your water you might try
adding some potassium nitrate.

> How about my liquid Miracle-Gro
> house plant food with Cleated Iron? (guaranteed analysis 8-7-6)

Bad idea.  This stuff is not meant to be used in an aquarium.  Most of us 
want animals to be able to live in the water so we need to be careful that
the fertilizers we add directly to the water don't contain nutrients in
toxic forms like ammonia or urea (which hydrolyzes to form ammonia). 

Roger Miller