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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #59

In a message dated 98-01-31 16:10:32 EST, Mark writes:

<< My 55g planted discus tank is doing quite well thanks in large part
 >to information from this list.  It is doing so well, in fact, that is is
 >using up nitrates faster than my fish can produce them.  As a matter of
 >fact, my nitrates read zero with a Red Sea test kit. >>

As Chetlen suspected in her reply to Mark, my experiences suggest that adding
KNO3 is a good way to dose extra nitrogen.  I'm using the "standard" PMDD
formulation in our planted aquariums and have found that in my particular set-
up (150 gallon with lots of Amazon swords, Rotala, and Hygro with 2 175 watt
5500K MH lamps and CO2 ) nitrogen is used up very quickly and weekly tests
were often showing ~0 ppm.  I made up a second nutrient additive just
containing the same concentration of KNO3 used in PMDD.  Right now I'm adding
equal amounts (5 ml) of the two solutions daily (doubling the original KNO3
dose) and this appears to have solved the problem.  Prior to this the plants
had been showing signs of a deficiency and the usual new growth and associated
bubbling on the amazons had halted.  Use of a few Jobes spikes around some
plants had improved the situation for those individuals, and since phosphate
and potassium were always measurable in the tank (and not limiting), we tried
the KNO3 addition.  Plant growth resumed immediately, the hair algae that had
taken hold in a few spots is on the retreat, and nitrate levels now run about
1 ppm.

Pete Mohan