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[APD] RE: Optimum nutrient levels

"Now I am searching for the "right" nutrient levels. I know it is like
searching the Holy Grail, but there must be studies of the optimal
conditions for aquatic plants. You can find the basic things from the
internet, for example: NO3 3-5ppm, Fe 0.1ppm. But what about the rest?
Does anyone know any good sites?
I know that it is hard to do anything even if I know the perfect mylybdenium
level and I would be able to measure it. But I could still choose the best
source of Mo.

This is starting to sound more and more ridicilous with every line I write,
but well, someone has to ask the stupid questions too :)

-Satu Jäske

http://www.aquatic-plants.org/ under "articles"
www.sfbaaps.com under "references" 

I would not worry over such a narrow range and I know you will not find a
correlation with the Fe lebvels and anything you might test, in other
words.......don't bother testing for Fe.
You can serach here on the APD  archives if you'd like to hear more
discussion about Fe etc.

Plants do not need to "fed" 24/7 and you do not have to dose daily/keep
narrow ranges on the nutients, plants do well with a relatively wide range
of nutrients.
As long as plants are not out of nutrients for too long, they do quite
well. Generally, about one to two days.
Lower lighting may means you have longer times that you can get away with
not dosing/it will have less of an impact when you skip a dosing etc.

Without testing at all, you can keep a range of NO3, KH, GH, K+, PO4, Fe
etc that is great for the plants.You still need to measure the pH for the
CO2 levels, but not much else.
By doing regular weekly water changes of about 50%.
Then dose the nutrients back afterwards.
Estimate/guess the amount of nutrients needed mid week.

This method will allow you to estimate the NO3 to within about 1-2ppm,
which is more accurate than any test kit.

The large weekly water change re sets the tank each week, removes any build
up or excess, and removes any organic nutrient interferences.

The regular dosing 2-3x a week makes sure nothing runs out.

And it's easy, does not require testing. A quick water change takes about
15 minutes or so.
Testing 2 parameters takes longer in many cases.

2-3 x a week dosing will do it for most CO2 plant tanks. Higher light? =>
increase the frequency of dosing.
Less light => decrease the dosing.

So it keep your tank supplied with the right amount of nutrients, there is
no test kit error(which has caused many people to assume the test kits are
right and worry about things that are not there), it's easy, cheap,
effective, accurate and fast.

Sample routine:

For a 20 gal tank with high light/CO2:

Prune/trim remove algae etc FIRST.
Clean filter if needed
50% water change

Add the following back:

1/4 teaspoon of KNO3
1/4 teaspoon of K2SO4
2 rice grain's worth, or around 200mgs of KH2PO4
5 mls of Trace( Tropica master grow, SeaChem Flourish etc)

Repeat this except for the K2SO4 every 2-3  days.

You also can mega dose right before the water change day.
You add 2-3x the amount of KNO3 and KH2PO4 24-12 hrs before you do a water
The water changes removes the excess and the plants get very well fed.

Just make sure your CO2 is 20-30ppm. 

Tom Barr






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