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trace nutrients PMDD

Well recall it is a TRACE. Not that much is really needed. The
recommendations always tend towards the conservative side both from the
makers and the recipes. Also consider that lighting has gotten much
since much of this has been written about and studied.
Most folks' common issue when trying to optimize a tank seem to lie in
1) CO2 (like I have not said anything about that one prior:-) (KH)
2) Macro nutrients NPK and sometimes Ca (GH issues).

So if your confident of CO2 levels being at 20-30ppm(even low lighting
seem to benefit greatly from this level) and you think that the traces
fine all that's left is the macro's. K doesn't need to tested really but

simply added to excess(K from KNO3, K2SO4, KH2PO4 or KCL etc) and then
a matter of ratios with N and P.

Perhaps a few plants benefit from a high N to low P ratio. Most seem to
a preference to lower NO3 and higher PO4 ration IME. You will get high
growth rates on some plants like Eusteralis/swords etc with the higher
NO3's. But you'll get better crypt growth with high PO4 and low NO3
with nice red colors. I don't care for Sword plants as they get totally
of hand and turn into trees but this does slow them down a great deal.
such as chain swords and the smaller ones are fine though.

In higher lighted tanks I found that the P is used up very fast and
maintaining a high level of either N or P seems to be much easier using
N rather than the P. I can get a few days out of a dosing of NO3
compared to
trying to keep a low residual level of PO4. I've watched my tanks go
1.0ppm in a steady linear line right down to zero in multiple runs with
.2ppm average a day.

I'm not sure what optimal level of P is, perhaps .1 to .3 or so for a P
limited tank. It doesn't not seem to be an issue what it is in a NO3
tank. 1.5ppm 1.0ppm or even 2.0ppm is some non conservative people(s). I

doubt anyone needs more than 1.0ppm for a week's worth of P.

It's okay to run at 0.00ppm for a day. *I don't want to run low for more

than day with these two. P is preferred if you do but get to it within 3


I would suggest to add some PO4 source and watch what happens then you
me if I'm nuts or not. I know I am and admit it:)
Try adding enough KNO3 to get a reading of about 5ppm and a PO4 of about

.5ppm. Add more traces. Everything is going to be used faster as you add

of this and growth will also increase. Not necessarily more mass but
greens/different difficult plants will grow as easily as the easy plants

You have great light/substrate hopefully CO2 and you may wish to have
current push the CO2 off that bar of the carbo plus unit to mix the CO2
your tank well if you don't already. If you use a pH probe turn the
CO2/lights off before taking a reading. They can often effect the

Well it's probably more than you wanted to hear:) But your answer likely

lies in there. Try PO4 first. Add enough NO3 to 5ppm. Excess K. Check
the CO2. If things look like they are doing well then add more of the
The Flourish trace does not contain iron! This makes ideal for non CO2
tanks/fish only but I still have not done much in that area with it. But

will need  a source of iron to be added to your tank at that high level
lighting. I use the SeaChem Flourish line or Tropica Master Grow for
Lots easier, not to mention more consistent when comparing notes with
and my own mixing errors so I can focus more on the macro nutrients
are used in greater amounts.
Tom Barr
Thanks for the promt response Tom, this was interesting i certainly will

want to try out that method. Any suggestions what i can use for a
controllable PO4 source?, would this be safe for the fish?