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Re: Nutrient Uptake Response time

Neil Frank Asked:
 <<  Do you test for the other ions? BTW, what was your reason for running 
the water thru charcoal instead of just doing a large water change. >>
 Neil, et al,
I did do a major water change before hand in addition to adding the charcoal. 
My reason for such extreme measures is that I had dosed this mostly plant 
tank quite heavily with copper three months prior to wipe out snails and 
When the girls bugged me to put some fish in this tank - I settled on M. 
praecox aka "Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish" as the best choice. Since I don't own a 
copper test kit - I just added a massive amount of charcoal to hopefully 
absorb any remaining copper, which I understand can be quite persistent. I 
figure that even if Cu doesn't flat out kill a creature, that doesn't mean it 
wouldn't negatively impact its system in other ways - like causing 
reproductive or fertility problems, F. I.
I don't own a test kit for K, last I heard there isn't a reasonably priced, 
accurate one available. Plus dosing K in excess was said to cause few, if any 
problems so that's what I do. 
I do have a LaMotte low range P test kit ($70.00) and I typically limit this 
nutrient as per the literature, but with Tom Barr expounding on the benefits 
of a little P, this may change. I just need to find a small amount of the 
right source for PO4 to try this variable next. Anybody have a little they 
want to trade for some, say... Eusteralis/Pogostemon s.,Tom? 
I have the opportunity here to change one variable at a time having wiped the 
slate clean as it were. Well, I still injected CO2 - but nutrient wise I 
Nitrate: I use a cheap Tetra kit. Usually maintain it at 10ppm or so.
Other than pH, GH, KH and NO2 that's the extent of my test kits -- no Fe or 
Ca, Cu, DO, NH4, NH2 or CO2.
So, I guess I really wasn't "seeing things" and the addition(s) of a needed 
nutrient, in this case N, can cause rapid and profound changes in at least 
some aquarium plant's color and appearance. It sure was fast.
Still, on a hot summer day, we've all seen wilted terrestrials regain 
turbidity pretty quickly and that's through the root system - the slowest 
means of transport I should think. Adding nutrients to the actual water that 
plants are suspended and growing in - in a closed system, being well 
circulated to boot...
Tom had commented previously on how quickly P effected things. Since I 
didn't, and still don't have any P and I added only KNO3, everything else 
being equal, it seems to work for N too. However, this is only the crudest of 
observations and needs repeating under more controlled conditions to be taken 
more seriously. 

Bob Olesen
West Palm Beach