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K on the way!!!

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  • K on the way!!!

    Hi and thanks for the super informative,swift response!
    given the um... new isolation measures we’re all under, the tank’s had some nice recent attention I’m glad to say. Sparkling gravel, filter clean( one of two), water change rigour, lower nitrates, good fert dosing and some solid hours of late night aqua- google homework and online supply stocking lol !!!
    So I have equilibrium, ferts, and a PO4 test kit on the way. Ran out of K 10 days ago, so keen for that. Will definitely look into the matrix thanks ;)
    When I first set up I was advised to use phosguard for the rain water algae possibly, and did so but removed it after a couple of months due to poor plant performance. Things got better but got a visit from old Blackbeard the aqua- pirate until I learned of excel !!!. Also once plants thickened up that helped a lot too. That said I’m keen now to test for and monitor these levels. Ok some questions:
    when I use the API nitrate test, if I hold the test tube hard against the white card (between colours) it shows a lot darker than if it’s off a bit... which should I judge off ? - is it ok to rinse filter media in my (rain) tap water ? (I’ve always done this without issues as it’s not treated, and I rotate the cleaning between two filters so one always has a bio colony going). -is there any overdosing issues I should be wary of with Macros or micros ?(heard of K,Ca,Mg concerns) - can nitrogen ‘burn’ as it can with terrestrial plants ? And finally is there Ca and Mg test kits to buy??? I’d like to get properly set up now. As I said earlier we live semi- isolated so a quick trip to the local pet store ain’t real quick haha thanks again !

  • #2
    Good morning Gwokky,

    I'm glad to hear your tank's been getting the love it deserves. That's one of the silver linings of this whole situation, no doubt. Blackbeard, the aqua-pirate! That's hysterical. I think I'll be using that in the future.

    I normally hold the tube lightly next to the color sheet for the first reference then upright, perpendicular to the sheet, for a second one for good measure (no pun intended). I find that gives me a tighter range than just the first reading. Make sure you're getting good illumination on both counts as shading will throw your comparisons off.

    Yes, it's ok to rinse your filter media in rain water as it's not been treated with chlorine or chloramines. Old tank water is best though to be on the safe side.

    Yes, it's possible to overdose any supplement. The key is keeping everything in balance; too much of a good thing can throw the tank's ecosystem out of whack. There's usually not a huge problem if Ca, Mg, and K get a bit extra since the plants will take that up fairly quickly. If you do end up going a little heavy on them just delay the next dose by a day or two. Remember, everything you're adding is now a plant nutrient and should be dosed according to your plants' needs. As Amano used to say "Healthy plants, healthy fish.'. Maintaining the consistency and water quality needed for optimal plant growth will keep your water chemistry below levels that fish-only keepers do massive water changes to achieve.

    You won't get "burn" per se, but too much nitrogen will throw things out of balance and may make your plants and fish unhappy. There again, if you do dose a bit more than is needed, just delay the next dose to give your plants the chance to take it up and get your chemistry back on track.

    If you're looking for the best Ca and Mg tests on the market, our Multi-Tests will serve you well. I used those regularly when I was a curator and found them to be very useful. They're a bit more complex than the standard hobby-grade tests, but the results are much more accurate. In fact, I'd recommend all of our test kits over things like API or other similar tests. Here's a link to the list of what we offer: water-testing.php Potassium kits are actually fairly complex beasts and testing for it isn't really necessary so you probably won't find one without looking to high-end kits used by field scientists. I'd add Flourish Potassium as directed and pay attention to your plants and checking the list of deficiencies I linked to previously you'll be in good stead. If they start showing signs of needing more then up the dose by 1/4 or increase the frequency of your regular dose until they improve. Make sure to only change one thing at a time, and give each change at least two weeks to show changes, as some symptoms are common for multiple deficiencies.

    I hope this helps. If you've got any more questions I'm happy to answer them.

    Kind regards,


    • #3
      Post removed for inappropriate link.
      Last edited by Tech Support PE; 05-14-2020, 08:37.