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Re: [APD] General Tank Update:

Just keep in mind the margin of error when you go from the
pH readings to the pH/KH/CO2 table.  some low range test
kits are in 0.2 units and cover the values you're
interested in. I never liked pH color tests, myself, and
finaly went to an electronic pH meter. But meters are
necessary. Just shoot for a target CO2 level of about 15-30
max, and you should be able to get within that.

That should be close enough forgardening purposes.

Scott H.
--- Tim Walker <twalker at swiftdsl_com.au> wrote:
> I don't hugely trust the test kit. But there seems to be
> limited
> availability in the shops around here, perhaps I should
> look further afield.
> The kit just says "ph indicator range 6.0 - 7.6" and the
> colour chart is in
> jumps of .2,.3 or .4.
> e.g. 
> 6.0 6.3 6.6 7.0 7.3 7.5 7.8
> So to be .1 off... well I don't see it as very hard at
> all, and 20 sounds
> like a decent CO2 level to me :-) Go figure. I'll shop
> around...
> --
> It's been suggested in another forum that with my Fe
> fertiliser, low
> Nitrates, 

I think nitrates are fine at 5 ppm in a slow grow lower
light level tank like yours. I'd want to keep the nitrate
and phosphate at about a 10 to 1 ratio. So about 05. ppm
phosphate -- takes a good test kit to measure that well. I
recommend SeaChem or Hac or LMotte if you can afford it.
CO2 and 2watts/gal I may be being limited in my
> plant growth by
> possibly phosphates or nitrates and there is a suggestion
> that I add
> potassium nitrate to the tank..

An easy way to remember is 20-10-1 for ppm potassium,
nitrate, phosphate respectively. Add traces from a good
trace mix like Seachem's or Tropica's.

You can get dry potassium sulfate, potassium nitrate and
potassium phosphate from litemanu.com -- pretty cheap and a
pound will last a long long time.

Fish food/poop can provide a lot of nitrates and some
phosphate so you might need to adjust dosing to the amount
of plants (plant mass) you have and the amount of fish food
you put in to the aquarium. If you can measure the nitrate
and phosphates within a ppm or two, then you can use the
results to decide how to adjust your dosing.

For Nitrate: a 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium Nitrate per 35
gallons of water yields roughly 6 ppm of NO3, so add this
amount every 2-3 days, and do 50% weekly water changes to
prevent excess nutrients.

Measuring the postassium isn't necessary -- it's not such a
fussy nutrient and most test for it are very expensive. But
there is one kit I know of available for measuring
potassium for about $30 plus shipping-- from fishvet.  Add
about the same amount of potassium sulfate and potassium

Phosphate, about 1/32 tsp is you have a measuring spoon
that small. ;-)  Or break the lead off the end of your
pencil and put that in a spoon for reference and put an
equal amount of potassium phoshate in the spoon, hten
remove the pencil point and dose the potasium phosphate.
Measure with a test kit if you can  and then adjust the
dose next time

> I expected to see some decent pearling with those specs
> but the pearling
> (while being definitely there) is quite limited...

Don't worry about pearling unless that't your end goal. If
your goal is plants, then just be concnerend with how the
plants look. Pearling only means the water is O2 saturated
and you don't have to have the water O2 saturated for
healthy plants. Some folks find the pearling kind of a
visual annoyance, anyway.

Scott H.

-  -   -   -   -   -   -   -
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