11-13-2012, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron
I recall recently reading a question/answer in PFK I think it was, related to this issue of how much nutrient supplementation is needed. The question asked there was about measuring for various minerals like copper, potassium, iron, phosphorus, etc., and the answer was to forget the tests and just observe the plants. The same principle applies here. If the plants are growing well--and algae is not a nuisance--they must be getting what they need. If the plants show obvious signs of problems, then something is missing.
I went down to once weekly with Flourish Comp for several months, but it was clear to me over this period that the plants were not doing all that well. And the floating plants were my chief indicator. Because floating plants are close to the light (so light intensity is not likely an issue for them), and because they can assimilate CO2 from the air faster than from water (so lack of CO2 is not going to be an issue), then any weakening in the floating plants must be due to nutrients in the water. I increased to twice weekly and within about 4-5 weeks noticed an improvement. This week I am experimenting (and will continue this for the next few weeks to get an accurate indication) with 3 doses per week, the second and third not being full but slightly under. I want to see if spreading out the supplementation will benefit.
One also has to consider the GH in all this too. The prime source of hard minerals (the macro nutrients calcium and magnesium primarily) is the water, as these minerals are less than what is sufficient in all commercial fertilizers which are designed for the "average" aquarist with medium hard to fairly hard tap water. I have very soft water (near zero GH) and this makes a difference not only in having to supplement the hard minerals (via Equilibrium or similar) but balancing the trace minerals with this.
Appreciate it, please let us know. For the past 2 weeks I have been dosing 2 times a week. I will continue to do so, but on a more strict schedule, now Tuesday and Thursdays.