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Tropica specialized dosing rules of thumb

Garuf

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Alright gang.
I trust you are all well.
Unlike my plants.
Card carrying fert nerds please lend your insight.

I use tropica specialized to dose my tanks which are, for ease, lets call 20,30&40litres.

For one reason, here in Denmark it’s very easy to get and two I trade my cherry shrimp culls for store credit so it’s essentially free.
The rule of thumb I back ward engineered from the tropica recommended is 1ml per 10l a WEEK, or 1.2ml per 10l per week if you take the websites guide rather than the bottle.
Even if you take tropica’s caveat of you might need more it strikes my eyes as very lean.

Using rotala butterfly’s calculator for ei daily I get 1.4ml per DAY per 10l or for ease let’s call it 7x more than recommended which strikes me as rather a lot.
If I set things to pmdd or pps I still get 1.4ml but its unclear if it wants to to add that weekly or daily...

What sort of worked for me has been 2ml in the 20 a day, and 4ml a day in the 40l. The 30l I dose 4ml every other day. I say sort of because of the not 10/10 look.
However, I would say my stems aren’t really 10/10 in health and seem somewhat yellow in the new growth with some pin-holing. I also get dead internodes so that the tips will just break and float up. No stunting, just not quite right.
I expected this to be my jbl diffusers which were dog eggs and their wandering injection rate (the check valve was prone to sticking closed, and the bubbles weren't exactly fine, since you're asking). But now they’re gone I’m still noticing yellowing which says to me I need a bit more something, however I'm reluctant to just keep chucking more ferts in.

Now, let’s say I want to circle the square and run a leaner regime akin to ADA or even say, tropicas own dosing and sort out the issues. The goal being to slow down growth, so I'm not trimming stems every other week. I'm not interested in this mythical red plants, just slowing things back.
What are the rules of thumb I can apply to "clone" these leaner approaches'?
Or Another way, how do I make sense of what I'm adding to justify adding more or address underlying things with a clear conscience rather than just upping blindly?
I know you're all already screaming "less light, dingus", but I'm already running half power and my R. orange juice stays green soooo...
 

Zeus.

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All good here and good to hear you are well too :thumbup:

pin-holing. I also get dead internodes so that the tips will just break and float up

Classic signs of lack of CO2/insufficient flow, so if plants are not getting enough CO2 already reducing to leaner times -less CO2 will make it worse.

As for leaner ferts
1629230855900.png


TSN is already low in PO4 & K and as for ADA being lean dosing we have to remember its for use with ADA AS which is packed with nutrients.
The main drive for plants is light - photons packed with energy, if plants don't have the right nutrients which is Carbon in CO2 mainly we get pinholes etc if there is ample CO2 it may be other nutrients.
IMO poor needle valves are the cause of many a CO2 issue, esp with tanks less than 100l and the smaller the harder to get CO2 right, but good needle valves are not cheap.
So some floating plants may help as your light will be the same but plants will get less.
what colour is your DC (Drop Checker) M8 ?
 

Garuf

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When you say not cheap are we talking £100 each or… I’m not adverse to spending money to get the right thing. Buy the best, cry once etc. I currently use the oxyturbo ones from green aqua.
The drop checker is lime at lights out, I will change the solution now and report with a photo tomorrow.
It comes on at 11 at the same time as the lights click on starting their two hour ramp up to 50%. Lights go off at 7 and ramp down over the course of an hour.
I use a eheim 2213 on the 20, an experience 150 on the 30 and a experience 250 on the 40. Mist is visible through the whole water column running along the back wall and then pulled along the front to the intake. Again - I’ll post a photo tomorrow.
The cube as an outlier is actually pretty good looking at it this evening. Needs a good ‘ol trim though.
 

Zeus.

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When you say not cheap are we talking £100 each or
Needle Valves, think your talking £100 second hand
It comes on at 11 at the same time as the lights click on starting their two hour ramp up to 50%. Lights go off at 7 and ramp down over the course of an hour.

So 8hrs with 7hrs at 50% so not to long by any means.

I use to dose 6ml per day of tropica in my 45 liter. and water collumn was still fairly lean. you could up the dosing way more without issues. cheers,

Yes, I would double dose the TSN, however with it being an ammonium based fert I would dose your daily dose twice at different times so tank/bacteria has time to convert the ammonium to nitrates safely without peaks in nitrites. I am using a TSN clone ATM using Urea and have it being dosed a little very often, so the weekly dose is delivered in about 100 little doses, the auto doser I have has great flexibility that way.

Think the OPs main issue is mainly CO2 related, but some extra ferts wont hurt even if you just dosed them for couple of months to see if it helps. Trouble is with three tanks is three needle valves potentially :eek: Chatting with @Hanuman he has said that adjusting the CO2 injection is much easier with the quality needle valves, plus there not affect by temps as much as the cheapo ones, so more consistent CO2 injection.
 

Garuf

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Okay, well I'll put money aside, you only buy these things once and I'll do some leg work on trying to find some better quality needle valves.

Lighting wise I double-checked my timer and the program and in reality it actually ramps up to 25% over the course of an hour, then over the course of two hours it ramps up to 45%, then over 2 hours it ramps up to 65%, then over 2 hours back down to 25% then off an hour later. I honestly thought I'd changed this program to a more simple one. I should probably actually now change it to the program I thought I was running of 2 hour ramp up. 1 hour ramp down.

Drop checkers, Lime green at lights off.

When dosing would splitting the dose between morning and night make sense? That would flatten the spikes so to speak, no?
 

Zeus.

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Choosing a lighting schedule with varying intensities will affect the CO2 uptake of plants and the pH /CO2 profile, having a slow ramp up of about 30 mins is useful as it takes plants about 30 mins for them to be ready to handle higher intensities, once the lights have been on for about 4-5 hrs with high intensity's they have had their fill and CO2 can go off then a slow dim down for extended viewing for our pleasure without CO2 bubbles is great too. but dont over do the extended periods as algae can make the most of low light low light as it doesn't need much.

When dosing would splitting the dose between morning and night make sense? That would flatten the spikes so to speak,

Yes and No.

No, as folk have been dosing tanks once a day and not having issues and plants have had their fill of nutrients in a couple of hours. Plants do have reserves also.

Yes, its does help flatten any peaks of nutrients. I have been dosing Urea for some time as a source of 'N' and with it being an Ammonium based fert which has converted to nitrites then nitrates by the micro flora/bacteria I dose very often with my timer, about 100 times a week - its a few drops about every 12 mins, but most timers will not have the ability to do these timings. For this I am using a Clone of TSN 'All IN One' fert

You can dose Macros and Micros on the same days as long as they are about 2 hrs apart, 12 hrs apart would be fine also
 

MichaelJ

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You can dose Macros and Micros on the same days as long as they are about 2 hrs apart, 12 hrs apart would be fine also
@Zeus. I am wondering why that is so? I've been doing it all at the same time, that is NPK mixed in with the WC water, and trace shortly after the WC (say within 10 mins) for a long time, with no adverse effect as far as I can tell...

Cheers,
Michael
 
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Kevin Eades

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Drop checkers, Lime green at lights off.
So the theory I have learnt off the forum is you want your drop checker like green at lights on. So the co2 runs before the lights are on. In one of my tanks that means 3 hours before lights on. The other 2.5 hours. Have you done a co2 profile to ensure you have a 1 pH drop from your degassed tank water at lights on which remains constant all photo period? My drop checkers run green to almost yellow. The fish are not adversely effected as the 02 is high. By end of photoperipd I see some of the plants starting to pearl. Do you have a full tank shot so the forum can see flow placement etc. You'll find normally with a picture one of the experts will spot something 😉
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
@Zeus. I am wondering why that is so? I've been doing it all at the same time, that is NPK mixed in with the WC water, and trace shortly after the WC (say within 10 mins) for a long time, with no adverse effect as far as I can tell...
It is just to do with the limited solubility of some compounds, particularly phosphates. If you have (PO4---) ions in solution at the same time as many multivalent captions insoluble compounds are formed.

Cheers Darrel
 

Zeus.

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@Zeus. I am wondering why that is so? I've been doing it all at the same time, that is NPK mixed in with the WC water, and trace shortly after the WC (say within 10 mins) for a long time, with no adverse effect as far as I can tell...

Cheers,
Michael

Well from my reading around I don't thin it matters too much as plants have their fill in a couple of hours and the compounds which Darrel is posting about will take time, its not like a block of sodium landing in water. Plus the true test of the pudding is in the eating and like you say no ill effects. having more time between macros and micros just give more time for the plants to mop up the nutrients. @ceg4048 did say that the plants do have other mechanisms to get their hands on the nutrients even when these interactions have taken place, after all we do use AIO ( All In One) ferts as well, but the ferts are in lower concentrations so interactions take longer. The AIO are acidified and the lower pH prevents the interactions taking place in the fert.
 

Zeus.

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you want your drop checker like green at lights on.
No- DC take time to change colour, one of mine takes 3hrs, hence we advise a pH pen/papers. Once the pH is stable the final colour of the DC gives a good indication of approximate [CO2].
 

Kevin Eades

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No- DC take time to change colour, one of mine takes 3hrs, hence we advise a pH pen/papers. Once the pH is stable the final colour of the DC gives a good indication of approximate [CO2].
Thanks zeus I'm still learning tbh with my profile is what I've used and I glance at the drop checker occasionally I don't think my tank degasses too much overnight even with heavy surface agitation through spraybar and skimmer. I only need a low injection rate anyway
 

Zeus.

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I only need a low injection rate anyway

Any injection rate will help, we dont need the 30 ppm CO2 -DC lime green with 1.0pH drop, ant pH drop will help as long as its stable from lights on till CO2 off.

some folk use very low injection rates on big tanks 1 or 2 BPS per min and have it on 24/7
 

MichaelJ

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Hi all,
It is just to do with the limited solubility of some compounds, particularly phosphates. If you have (PO4---) ions in solution at the same time as many multivalent captions insoluble compounds are formed.
@dw1305 Now that I think about it, back in the day when I was dosing iron separately at a relatively high dose, my water would occasionally get really cloudy for half a day or so if I would dose it too quickly after the WC - supposedly due to my high phosphate levels.
Well from my reading around I don't thin it matters too much as plants have their fill in a couple of hours and the compounds which Darrel is posting about will take time, its not like a block of sodium landing in water. Plus the true test of the pudding is in the eating and like you say no ill effects. having more time between macros and micros just give more time for the plants to mop up the nutrients.
@Zeus. Even though I don't see any ill effects on my end, I will follow your advice and wait a day before dosing the trace in order to avoid the interaction now that I know.

@ceg4048 did say that the plants do have other mechanisms to get their hands on the nutrients even when these interactions have taken place, after all we do use AIO ( All In One) ferts as well, but the ferts are in lower concentrations so interactions take longer. The AIO are acidified and the lower pH prevents the interactions taking place in the fert.
Yes, that make sense.

Cheers,
Michael
 

Garuf

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Ahh right okay, I must have learned this at some point a decade ago when I last had a proper high tech tank as this all rings the right bells.

In regard to the lighting, I have now changed it to ramp up to 50% over 2 hours and then back down to "night light" one hour after the co2 goes off, 6hours at 50%. The thought for 2 hour ramp up is it gives plenty of time for co2 to come to saturation as it's needed.

My rational for the previous program was that when the old 45f was stable I could keep growth of the carpet slow and then have a period of very high light that would be at the time co2 was most saturated so I'd still keep red growth, just, everything slowed down a bit. It worked but the tank was also very mature compared to this one which is only recently restarted.

I haven't done the 1ph drop test thing, this is a newer methodology to me. I tend to just add, watch, add, watch, add, watch, if shrimps seemed lethargic or showed stress or snails came to the surface, back off. The drop checker was little more than an if something has gone off warning sign at a glance.
 

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dw1305

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Hi all,
when I was dosing iron separately at a relatively high dose, my water would occasionally get really cloudy for half a day or so if I would dose it too quickly after the WC - supposedly due to my high phosphate levels.
That is how <"phosphate strippers"> at wastewater plants work. They continually introduce <"iron (ferric) chloride (FeCl3) into waste stream"> and the Fe+++ and PO4--- ions precipitate out as <"insoluble iron III phosphate">.

cheers Darrel
 

Garuf

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To update, changed the co2 to come on an hour earlier and upped the injection rate to counter the also upped surface agitation now the tank has had a really big trim. I have started to dose 2ml every evening as again a further 2ml before work, don’t know if it makes a huge difference to 4ml at once but at least all 4ml is in the water before the lights come on. I also upped the light intensity now that I’m confident there’s a good plant density in the cube and the 45p.
The ug is giving me grief in the 45f so I’m just keeping that stable and resisting tinkering.
 

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