I have confused myself enough!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-16-2012, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
JImi's Avatar
I have confused myself enough!!

I need a straight answer on this please someone!

I am having trouble figuring out Potassium.

According to a website I bought the following products to feed my plants

Potassium Sulphate
Mono Potassium Phosphate
Potassium Nitrate
Plantex CSM + B

So can someone tell me, when someone says K, which potassium are they referring to?!

For instance, one forum says that he makes sure that he has 30ppm of Potassium per week

Nitrate (NO3) 20ppm per week.
Potassium (K) 30ppm per week.
Phosphate (PO4) 3ppm per week
Magnesium (Mg) 10ppm per week
Iron (Fe) 0.5ppm per week

Ok thats fine but which Potassium?! This is confuding the hell out of me no matter how much I read and I am sure my tank is suffering for it!

My levels must be all over the place so I started testing again. Check this out....

My phosphate is through the roof at 5 to 10 ppm. So i stopped dosing Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4)...is this the correct one to stop dosing to bring that down?

My Nitrate was through the roof so I stopped dosing Potassium Nitrate (KNO3)....is this the correct one to stop dosing to bring that down?

I have no idea about my Pottasium Sulphate (K2SO4) level because i couldnt find a potassium test that was for sulphate until someone pointed one out on here which is like 30 which i cant afford at the minute.

The only one I feel comfortable with is CSM + B because that is easy and they all have different names! So confused even after nearly 2 years...please help a frustrated fishy man out!

In hope

P.S I have just seen this.....

"Potassium is an important macronutrient, and it is commonly in short supply in an aquarium. The amount of potassium from food and waste is often much less than the amounts of nitrogen or phosphorus. So adding potassium is often a good idea."

But isnt adding Nitrate adding Potassium because it is Potassium Nitrate??! I am so confused!

Last edited by JImi; 09-16-2012 at 06:21 AM. Reason: Adding bits I just seen
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-17-2012, 09:22 AM
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I have no experience with saltwater but I know those potassium compounds will breakdown. I would add the potassium phosphate to get the approbiate levels of phosphate then add the potassium nitrate to fulfill the rest, as for the csm +b no clue.
One thing people with salt water aquariums around here forget is chelated mean bound to an organic molecule once the desired element is free the organic molecule is free to decay adding to your nitrate load.

55gallon T5 lighting 2 54w bulbs one daylight 10k, one actnic.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-17-2012, 09:56 AM
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K (K2SO4) potasium sulfate.
If you are using KH2PO4 Monopotasium phosphate,and KNO3 potasium nitrate,then you don't need the K2SO4 for there is enough potasium in the other two ingredient's.
Doesn't hurt to use it,,but it's normally not needed and many don't use it for the afore mentioned reason.
CSM+B = trace mineral's .

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-02-2012, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thankyou for that answer.

Turns out my water has 2ppm of phosphate so I have stopped dosing that as the tap water doses it. Also my Nitrate level just sits at 5-10ppm all the time so I have stopped dosing that too. I did carry on dosing sulphate in the form of flourish stuff but stopped that as well as the algae started coming back

So I stopped dosing all but the micros and the tank is now flourishing and I am winning the war against the algae slow but sure. Seems like I have very agreeable tap water and didnt need to dose macros at all!


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