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[APD] Re: 1st Planted Tank questions

Cut the lights to something closer to 110W. Once the tank is stable, maybe go up to 150W.

Cut it to 130 this afternoon

That should work for the duration, 11 hours a day or so. And I'm assuming that the lights are right on top of the tank? Not suspended up a foot or more above? And, given the high light intensity, if this setup was originally designed for a reef tank be sure most of the remaining lights are the daylights not the blue actinics, if any. Assuming the lights are on the tank, the reason I suggested cutting them is because you'll have an easier time closer to 2 watts per gallon (WPG) than 5 WPG. Sure, you can run at 5 WPG, but '1st Planted Tank' and 5 WPG is begging for trouble.

Dose ferts to get to this:


It should need ferts at 1 week given macros from cycling and the new substrate?

Plants need what they need, why not provide it from the start? Also, go to:

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forum/fertilator.php and find the products/chemicals you are dosing for each nutrient. Once you've made the big water change, test and then dose to get to the recommended levels using this calculator. If you don't have some of the needed chemicals, go here: http://www.gregwatson.com/

Don't have P04 kit, KH = 8.4, nitrate = 15 (5 from tap), nitrite = 5, ammonia = 1, GH = 6.2. Am aware these are high but are they high for a tank that is in a reasonably early stage of cycling?

You'll want a PO4 test kit, the one I suggested earlier is perfect for our needs but will probably have to be mail ordered. Make the big water change and, as others suggested, don't worry about cycling issues. Set CO2 levels using the pH/KH/CO2 charts: http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/kh-ph-co2-chart.html

Use new growth on the water sprite (h. difformis) as an indicator for low Fe (iron) and dose CSM+B or another product accordingly. It will grow in pale if low on Fe. The only real wild card in all this is K+ (potassium) since there isn't a reliable hobbyist-level test kit. Look at the posts earlier this month on K+/potassium to see what people are doing. I do a weekly 20% water change, test for NO3 and PO4 then dose KNO3 and monosodium phosphate (Discus Buffer)accordingly to get to the recommended levels. If NO3 doesn't drop much during the week, I'll dose K2SO4 for K+ at about 5 ppm. It's looking like a twice weekly dose of CSM+B at .1 Fe is working.



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