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Re: Seachem Prime
- To: Aquatic Plants Digest <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
- Subject: Re: Seachem Prime
- From: Chuck H <grendel at usit_net>
- Date: Sun, 18 May 2003 09:37:21 -0400
Kirk M. responded to my request for more info on his tank:
75 gallons, 130 watts CF lighting, 40 watts fluorescent lighting,
Interesting. I guess I would consider this moderate light -- roughly
equivalent to 3W/gal NO on the whole.
30% water change 1x per week, CO2 injection - 1 bubble per 3 seconds,
KH = 8 dKH
GH = 5 dGH
pH = 7.0-7.2
CO2 looks ok.
Nitrate = approximately 8 ppm
Surprising. I was expecting less.
Nitrite = 0
Ammonia = 0
I have no idea about iron or potassium - don't own a test for it.
I have an Fe kit, but I rarely use it. In fact, I haven't touched it in a
year or more. I don't think a person really needs either test kit.
I base this on having approximately 60 gallons of water in the tank with
Seachem Flourish (1 mL, 2x per week)
Flourish Trace (approx. 15 mL, 2x per week)
You might want to boost the Flourish dose, but that can wait until you get
the current problem figured out.
Flourish Nitrogen (approx. 3 mL, 2x per week)
Using the "expert" formula on the label, and using your tank volume
approximation of 60gal, that would be the equivalent of 1 / ((0.05 * 60) /
3) = 1ppm NO3 each dose. So, you're adding the equivalent of 2ppm nitrate
each week. That's doubtfully enough and also doesn't seem to jibe well
with the 8ppm you mentioned above. Some discrepancy can be attributed to
testing error and the estimation of water volume, but a 6ppm gap seems
wider than those things can account for. Do you have nitrate in your tap
water or big/numerous fish (i.e., lots of nitrification)? Does the nitrate
level go down from day to day or does it seem to be building up?
Flourish Potassium (approx. 6 mL, 2x per week)
That's not much at all (~2ppm per week), and since you're using Flourish N
rather than KNO3, you won't be getting much extra. I add about 10ppm K
once a week to supplement the amount that comes from the KNO3 I add. The
total K added is around 20ppm, maybe a bit less in my moderate light
tanks. Excess potassium doesn't 'cause' algae or, within reason, harm
livestock, but K is critical in regard to the plants, so it's prudent to
keep a healthy supply in the water. In other words, overdosing K within
reason is preferable to underdosing.
Low potassium may help explain the problem you're having, too. Plants will
only grow as much as the least available nutrient allows. You definitely
don't want K to be that limiting nutrient, which may be the case. Try
increasing the amount of K you add and observe how the nitrate level
behaves (and plants, too!).
I use K2SO4 for potassium by the way. I like Seachem's product, but it can
get pricey when running large or multiple tanks. Ditto on Fe, but I
haven't yet gotten around to replacing that.
Flourish Iron (approx 6 mL, 1x per week)
In my experience, it's better to spread Fe dosing out across the week, at
least when using Seachem -- it doesn't seem to last very long in the water
column. I add extra Fe before the lights come on each day between doses of
Flourish Tabs, at roots of swords 1 time per 2 months, or Jobes, whatever
I have at the time.
Careful with those Jobes. The first time you dig one up may send you on an
Photoperiod is 12 hours.