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[APD] Re: Non CO2 and dosing

"Tom said, in part:

"Part of the point of non CO2 tanks is not using test kits."

I had a very successful non-CO2 tank for about 6 months.  Both stem and
rooted plants grew very well in it and in required minimal care, except for
some pruning of the stem plants.

The I noticed that the stem plants seemed to be in decline.  Closer
inspection also showed a huge mass of  filamentous algae in the middle and
rear of the tank.

I pulled out my trusty, inexpensive test kits and found that the nitrates
and phosphates were both near zero.  I (choke) started dosing and removing
the algae manually. Now it is just about gone and the plant growth is
gradually improving.

Under Ms. Walstad's theory, the fish are supposed to convert their food to
plant nutrients.  Apparently I didn't have enough fish or I didn't feed them
enough.   Now there are more fish and they are being fed more, and I don't
have to dose as much, although I still do a little, as required.


Yea, but I could told you that without the test kits:)
I dose SeaChem equlibrium and KNO3/KH2PO4 to my non CO2 tanks.

Unlike many that keep fish(ahem, "bait"), I am interested in the rates of uptake in non CO2 planted tanks.
Some removal is par for the course, hair algae is not particularly troublesome as it grows slow. 
So upon finding it, you know you can improve something in the tank.

Poorer stem plants growth=> PO4 and then NO3.
Why? Many folks experience the SAME thing when limiting their tanks with PO4. This was very common years ago, still is for many.

I know that the non CO2 has the same needs and mechanisms that a CO2 tank does........just slower and the plants adapt to low CO2 levels as do the algae.

The balance part is the fish food, but as we know with our higher rate CO2 tanks, the PO4 is lacking in the fish food as are Fe, Ca/Mg, Mn etc.

The SeaChem EQ adds that.

I add roughly 1/4 teaspoon once a week or two per 20 gal.
I add about 1/2 the rec's for the same CO2 enriched tank BUT only once every week or two.
If you have fish, add less KNO3.

You have to adjust things with the fish load to find the balance, this can be done by eye or by test kits if you wish.
I know enough about the plants with low CO2 and alae to know what's missing.
Similarly, the same is true with CO2 tanks.

But if you focus on these nutirents a little and watch the plants well, you can dose without any test kits and watch for the plant's response afterwards. When in doubt, add a little KNO3, KH2PO4 traces/GH etc and see.This routine works very well and has a great deal of flexibility. Things happen much slower.
It does not hurt and the non CO2 is not NO3/PO4/ nor Fe limited.
That much I do know. I've dose them far beyond any algae needs and the plants suffer as you mentiojed and the algae flourished when the nutrients were TOO LOW, not too high.

While many folks see radical differences, I have found they are far closer methods that many want to assume.

Tom Barr


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