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Re: The NH4+ and PO4

> Can anyone else report experience fertilizing their tank with
> urea, or
> other forms of ammonia?
> Roger Miller

I think Steve is threatening to do it and I might. He was
thinking about using Ammonium sulfate which would be good.
It's worth a look anyhow. I want to get a real good low range
test kit though. I have generally approached the N from a more
"fish in the tank" approach. Need more N? Add more fish and or
food. I run my tanks very low on N and very high on P. Most
folks run the reverse. My ratios are 1+ppm:1ppm or 1+ppm:2ppm
P:N. These levels drop off alittle but I've been maintaining the
high P low NO3 levels for sometime. My notion is if I feed the
fish heavy, I can have less NO3's and still not have N deficency
while having lots of P. Certain plants are good as indicators of
N limitations. Mic. umbrosum is one such plant.It will show
signs before most plants.

I have added some small amount of KNO3 but a switch to Ammonium
sulfate may be interesting to try out in place of it. 
I'll do it ...but I'm not sure when.

Regarding P04,
I talked to Steve today and I add more to my 20 gallon tank than
he does to his 175 gallon tank and I add this amount 4-5 times a
week compared to his 2 times week pulses. So I'm adding over 4x
times the amount in a tank that's 9 times smaller. He would need
some 150+ shrimps and a trillion snails and 50+ SAE's also to
match the cleaner crew density:)He has almost RO tap water and
builds it up while I have almost polar opposite liquid rock tap.
Roger's got some funny tap water:) 

An intresting thing is after playing with methodically
eliminating and driving it to extremes (the macro nutrients) one
can gain much insight if they test carefully over a long period.
You also gain much insight into plant deficiencies, what exactly
does a N limited tanks look like? Or P? or K? Or Fe? Is there a
difference between a NO3 and a NH4 dosed tank from inorganic
sources? Worth a look. Many test kits are very poor for really
analyzing nutrients. This takes time and testing.  Otherwise
folks are still just guessing and not really knowing what is
going on and why. 
Tom Barr       

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