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Re: dosing solutions and pumps/ u.v.
While I use a dosing pump (LiterMeter), I still dose a few things at each
water change: baking soda, calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate, since I
can be less than regular with my changes. Also, I know what quantities to
add for the amount of water I change. I've also found that there is less
green spot algae on the tank walls and anubias leaves if I "pulse" the iron
every week or two, rather than include it in my dosing-pump brew, as I used
to. An advantage of making up a more dilute fertilizer solution for dosing
is that you replace some of your evaporate with the dosing.
With regard to UVs, we had an 8-watt unit running since our start up. We
got it before we knew the possible drawbacks. Never had a problem with
green water. However, when I tried turning it off in the past, we had some
cloudiness, probably bacterial bloom. In any case, about two months ago I
noticed our bulb had burned out yet the water was clear as ever (I don't
know how long it's been off). My feeling now is that one does need more of
some nutrients with a UV. While I would think that some of the nutrients
precipitating out of solution will make their way into the plants via the
roots, I think it's wise to avoid a UV unless you really need it, and try
to phase it out thereafter.