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Re: KNO3 dosing

>My KNO3 is in the form of small round spheres. I've been dosing dry
>ingredients and the KNO3 sits on the tank bottom for about a day after which
>they are completely dissolved. I've been thinking that dosing this way has
>caused an increase in my beard algae problem on my aquarium gravel. Could
>the high concentration of nitrate prior to water column absorption be
>causing the beard algae to flourish? Should I grind the KNO3 pellets up
>first then dose? Maybe I should dissolve it first in a separate container
>(kind of eliminates the ease of dry dosing though). I assume there is a
>finer ground powder form of KNO3 available?

The "little sphere" form is pretty common. I never put the stuff directly 
into the tank for fear that some fish might try to eat one. What I have 
been doing is to put the desired amount of KNO3 into a small vial, which I 
then fill about 2/3 full with *HOT* water. Then I just shake the vial until 
the KNO3 dissolves, which is usually only maybe 20-30 seconds when using 
hot water and enough of it (if you use a lot of KNO3 and not much water you 
get to the point where the water can not dissolve any more KNO3, so you 
have to pour some water out and add more to finish the job). The idea is to 
make the KNO3 into a liquid solution that can be more easily dosed and that 
is impossible for fish to eat.

BTW, if you use a mortar and pestle to grind the KNO3 into a powder before 
dissolving it things will go faster. The more surface area you have the 
faster the material will dissolve. I don't usually bother though since it 
goes fast enough just using hot water. If I was using tank-temp water I'd 
probably grind the stuff to a powder. Since I'm only using maybe a few cc's 
of water, I have no problem using water that is in the 160F or so range 
(whatever comes from the hot water heater -- haven't actually checked in a 
while), the hot water has for all practical purposes no affect on the tank 
water temps in these very low quantities

Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator