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Re: no test kit dosing

> My tank has been up for almost a year now. 50 gallon water column;
> Heavily planted; 165W CF, 11 hour photo period; approx. 45 inch fish
> load; Flourite; Dupla heating cables; PMDD fertilizer mixed and dosed
> based on Sears/Conlin and occasional 1/3 Jobes spike for swords; DIY CO2
> injection (yeast method - changed weekly to maintain around 15 - 20
> mg/l); reverse osmosis water reconstituted with Kent R/O right and
> sodium bicarbonate; KH: 4.5  PH: 6.5 to 6.9 or so; Eheim 2215 cannister
> filter; 2 Aquaclear 201 powerheads for improved circulation; 20% weekly
> water changes. I think that covers it.

Whoa, Dupla cables, RO water, Ehiem filter but no gas tank CO2? Where do you
think the system is weak?

> Rotala continues to grow well while my crypt is melting. I read
> somewhere that clear patches on leaves could be a sign of K deficiency
> so as stated above I am adding K daily (for about a month now). I/m not
> seeing any improvement in either species.

I'd say NO3, not K. Crypts do well unless you mess with the lighting, move
them, or add too much or too little(some species) NO3.
> I feel better about my dosing regimen since algae has decreased from its
> high point by about 90% and plants are all doing pretty well with the
> noted exceptions. Still, I read the posts on this list and it seems like
> people are dosing much more than I do. I don't overfeed my fish (one
> daily feeding - an amount they can consume in about 3 minutes). I know,
> I know - buy reliable NO3 and Fe kits (I'm thinking LaMotte but they're
> awfully expensive and money is tight).

Sell the Cables:-) I did. Then you can buy all the kits you want and a gas
CO2 system.
> Does my regimen sound reasonable or am I underdosing? Could my plants be
> doing better? Are the problems with my Rotala and Crypt indicative of a
> nutrient deficiency? Are test kits absolutely essential to achieve
> optimum growing conditions for aquatic plants?

I have trouble when you say DIY CO2. I know if you really keep upon it it
does work well, but if you don't.....that allows algae to come in and get a
foot hold. Once there and after you improve the CO2 situation etc, it still
hangs out for a few days weeks etc. Then you slack off again and get another
I'm afraid you need to keep looking at that one again and again before
looking at the NO3 etc. Always double check the CO2 when something is not

I don't mix the the PMDD in liquid except for the traces. I add the KNO3
dry, 1/4 teaspoon 2-3x a week is about right for your tank. 50% water
changes weekly, if you want to make that much RO. Many folks don't, another
reason not to use RO water, pain in the a for doing water changes then you
have add the RO right etc.
K2SO4 also can be added at 1/4 teaspoon weekly. PO4 additions can help if
the CO2 is good and the PO4 out of the tap is very low etc.

I would not use the jobe sticks on heating cables or generally. Why? Well
think about it with cables.........
It's also what I use to culture algae, a stick to the water column and I get
GW in a day or two. Works great.
Tom Barr