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Author Topic: Estimative Index  (Read 4815 times)
« on: April 12, 2006, 07:31:58 PM »

By Tom Barr:

Here's the math in the form of an example:

Suppose you dose 10ppm. of NO3 total to a tank per week. Assume you do a 50% weekly water change. If you do the math, you find out that:

If you assume that NONE of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 20ppm..

If you assume that 25% of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 16ppm..

If you assume that 50% of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 13.3ppm..

If you assume that 75% of it is used up, you can build up a maxiumum of 11.4ppm..

The concentration will not be 15ppm. with 25% weekly uptake because of the previous week?s build up if factored into the equation assuming that the % used/uptake is a stable rate and independent.

Your example does build up rather slowly to a 2x the weekly dose of 3. As it gets closer and closer to 6, the build up becomes infinitely smaller as your reiterations above have shown.

This will give you a log curve if you plot this build up and the uptake will flatline to a 2x the concentration added per week, in this case 3ppm and will build to max of 6ppm..

This range is very useful to know, since it means we will always be able to target a range within say 10-20ppm. of KNO3 with dosing without ever picking up a test kit if we are adding excess/non limiting nutrients.

Limiting nutrients is generally what causes algae.

This is true for non CO2 and CO2 enriched tanks. Plants adapt to non CO2 conditions with time and this does not cause algae issues if approached correctly, just like using CO2 correctly will not either.

The non CO2 approach is simple:

No water changes, moderate to low fish load. It will not work with overloaded tanks. You will always have algae.

The key is balancing the fish waste with the plant needs. That's often the goal folks seek to achieve. Now you can remove the fish or enhance this method further by a simple routine once a week. With low fish population, you can dose the KNO3, KH2PO4, traces, and gH once a week with good results. You can also dose a little less KNO3/KH2PO4 with a higher fish load. That's a balance you can strike easily since the plants will respond negatively if you are not adding enough.

Generally most plants do well with fish waste alone in a non CO2 tank. But you can enhance this by adding (to say a 20g. tank) SeaChem Equilibrium at 1/8-1/4 teaspoon once a week. Adding perhaps 1/8 teaspoon once a week of KNO3, and 1/2 a rice grain of KH2PO4 will do well once a week. You add 2-3 things once a week, no water changes. Pretty simple. Not many tanks need less than that much attention.

A good substrate, lots of plants added, a few surface floaters (10-25%) algae eaters, regular feeding of fish, top it off once/twice a week.

I like Onyx sand and leonardite, a light dusting of ground peat and of course mulm( the dirt from a gravel vacuuming after it settles on the bottom of the water change bucket).

I add the leonardite to the bottom along with the peat/mulm and mix. I cap with onyx sand to about 3-4". Plant very densely. Dose once a week. Feed every other day or daily.
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