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Daily dosing and Seachem products
I've tried various fertiliser approaches over the years and around 2
years ago ended up back with Seachem using Flourish and occasionally
their iron and potassium. My tank is relatively small, a 3 footer of 30
or so Australian (same as UK) rather than the smaller US gallons, and
dosage was about 0.5 to 1 ml once or twice a week. Somehow I never
quite seemed to get it right and while the plants grew fine, I also
tended to get a bit of persistent and unwelcome algae here and there.
The tank has relatively high lighting - 110 watts of 5000 degrees
Kelvin compact fluoro - and has a manually controlled Dupla CO2 system.
A couple of months ago I purchased a few eye dropper bottles from the
local pharmacist (drug store) and started a daily dosing regime with
Flourish and the Seachem Potassium and Nitrogen. I assumed 1 ml to
equal 20 drops and started with 3 drops a day, a dose I've maintained.
Plant growth remains good, possibly even better than before, and my
problem algae has diminished. Tom Barr has recently spoken of heavy
dosing on the day before a water change, something I haven't tried at
any stage, but I wonder whether weekly dosing of nutrients may not be
advantageous to algae and whether they may adapt better to "boom then
bust" dosing than the plants do while the plants may react better to
low, daily doses and outcompete the algae as a result.
I realise that my suppositions about what is going on with the change
in dosing style are just that - suppositions - which may or may not be
right. On the other hand the tank is running better than it ever has
and I see no reason to swap my dosing strategy to return to weekly
dosing, though I may decide to add a bit of Phosphorous also on a daily
basis and see what happens.
In the meantime, I thought I'd toss out the option of daily dosing with
Seachem products for others to experiment with and comment on.
I'll add that I shifted house last May and had to break the tank down
to shift. When I re-established it, I swapped from gravel and laterite
to Fluorite and am extremely impressed with the way the plants have
adapted to the Fluorite and have grown since. Fluorite may be expensive
- at least here in Australia where we seem to end up paying about
50-100% more on US products after taking the exchange rate into account
- but I'm more than happy with the results in my tank.