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N and P dosing...

Thanks Tom,

The information you pointed me to was _very_ helpful.

Things have been out of whack since I had the EOT CO2 failure that killed my
fish, and have been battleing one form of algae ever since. Right no, the
tank is moving into the 'brite-green thread-like algae' phase. Some of this
was due to my stupidity in adding _way_ too much TMG a few weeks ago. Now I
have the Fe down to reasonable levels (slightly pink after 2+ hour test of
Sera) and used LaMotte to test NO3 (which was, litterally, unreadable). PO4
is (Lamotte) at zero.

I figured that if I knew the starting point, I could add known quantities of
KNO3 & K2SO4 (never measureing K, just assuming I get it used up... have a
rough rate at which this is consumed (or, just tell me I'm cheap and to go
buy the damn test kit!)).

Without the data/calculations in the past, I was adding anywhere between 1/4
TSP to 1 TBLS (wow, now I know) of KNO3 per week (although, with the algae
outbreak over the last month, I flat out stopped becaues a little BGA was
getting a foothold and I Myacin'ed it to oblivion).

The only confusing part in the information was the amount of P to add:

Steve's article says:"One-quarter of a 1/10th gram teaspoon per 50 gallons
(total tank size) once or twice per week" which is about as clear as mud.

I have a 1g spoon in my Lamotte Nitrate test kit which is the 1/4 the size
of a pea. I cannot fathom how small a 1/10th gram 'teaspoon' is, and trying
to get a quarter of that would be almost impossible.

Your article is a little clearer states "Steve Dixon adds it by using K2PO4
at the rate of .2ppm or so or about an 1/8 of a gram (about one spoon full
of those NO3 power reagent spoons in test kits) for each 1/4 teaspoon of

So I added one little 1/16" micro-pebble of PO4 from Lilly Miller's P205
(@45%) "Super-phosphate".

- Jeff

Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2001 15:55:14 -0800
From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
Subject: Re: N and P

<Major snippage>
> Some of us have not done any chemistry addition since
> high-school (and some of us have never done it).

And you thought you'd never need it after you got out of school eh?:)

There's some good(?) advice on www.sfbaaps.com site under Reference by Steve
Dixon's and my yacking about it.
You can not really just say generally in many cases but just plain need to
test if you wish to keep thing in a narrow range. At least till you get a
good fell for things. Steve and I have a lot of experience testing and
keeping all kinds of things/plants. We therefore can get away with much and
also see signs WHEN we need to test. Most folks that have been at it for
some time are this way. But when using these two nutrients, I strongly urge
testing. Then you'll know exactly how much you need and use.
Your tap may have lots of P therefore you don't need to add any etc.
You need to test first on some things to idea where your at first. Don't
blindly go into this.
Tom Barr