Time of day to dose Ferts.? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-11-2014, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
Time of day to dose Ferts.?

So, I was wandering if there is a preferable time of day to dose ferts. First thing after lights come on or last thing before lights out or sometime in between? Or does it matter at all? I'm currently dosing Flourish Comprehensive, 2X a week, and using Flourish Root Tabs in my gravel. My tank is 55 Gallon, inert gravel (Will be switching to Flourite in the future). Moderate to slightly heavy fish load. Lighting is 2 T8 flourescent 18', 15 watt bulbs(side by side) Hagen Life-Glo 6500K bulbs. Plants are mostly Anubias and Java Ferns (Heavily planted) along with Anacharis, Wisteria and some small Moneywort that does'nt seem to be doing anything. Will also be upgrading my lighting to dual T5's fixture when I switch to Flourite (Unfortunately, may be a few months) Also am unable to use CO2 or Excel due to extremely low KH(3dkh) and cannot add buffers because my PH is already 8.0. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-12-2014, 12:59 AM
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For a second I thought we were talking ferrets, me and several others call them "Ferts" lol

No, it doesn't matter much. Except I'm not sure how well it'll work if you do it before lights out, plants are typically "Awake" when the lights are on and will take it in. However, I'm sure they can absorb some in "Sleep" as well. I used to do it around lights on once a week, two or three days after a water change, and my plants absolutely flourished(I no longer use fertilizers or tabs since I keep shrimp and snails and they seem to have nasty effects on them, so they no longer flourish as brilliantly as they used to, but they still look VERY good). =)

Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 05-12-2014 at 01:03 AM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-12-2014, 04:16 PM
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According to Mrs Walstad book, photosynthesis is at its peak by mid-morning. By noon, all available CO2 is depleted and photosynthesis ceases even if CO2 levels recover and lights continue. It make sense to fertilize in the morning, have the nutrients ready if needed.
With your low alkalinity, it will be interesting to watch the pH swings due to photosynthesis. According to the same book, soft water lakes can see the swing close to 4 full pH units.
I am not aware that Excel is not advised in low Kh waters.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-12-2014, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
Thanks Corina and Sylverclaws; dosing in the morning makes sense, kinda what my "gut" was telling me. Also, Corina, I was under the impression Excel is some form of liquid CO2 or Carbon? If so, does'nt that produce carbonic acid, in turn chipping away at my DKH?
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-12-2014, 07:29 PM
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No, Excel is a source of carbon but is not CO2. It's in an organic form (CO2 is considered inorganic), not as good as real CO2 but an substitute. For some reasons it works against algae and it is dosed for this reason in top of pressurized CO2. It is highly toxic if overdosed. It does not affect pH.
Now, because you mentioned....I inject CO2 in a tank with very low kH. Fish don't care. The pH goes down by a full unit in 15 minutes. My friend has a pH controller that confirmed it. A drop checker takes some time, its not fast enough.
Like a lot of other information in this hobby, this is another example of "good observation but wrong conclusion" Natural waters are either soft and acidic or hard and alkaline. Fish are stressed when moved from one to the other (especially from hard to soft, I don't know why) because of the hardness change not the pH change...Something to do with osmotic pressure re-adjustment.
Take home message is that: fish are not affected by the pH swings due to fluctuating CO2 level because there is no change in osmotic pressure. Very high levels of CO2 however kills fish by interfering with their own ability to eliminate CO2 thru their gills.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-12-2014, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
Thanks Corina!! That is alot of good info. I've always wanted to use CO2, but thought I could'nt. But it makes me realize that I have ALOT more to learn. Maybe by the time I can change substrate and lighting I'll be ready for it, Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction, I really appreciate it......
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