Fertilization and Testing kits

By Amit Bapat on May 7, 2009 — 2 mins read


My source of Nitrates is Grant’s Stump remover from Home Depot. Bought this after reading a few articles online as this one is one of the purest forms of Nitrate.

I prepare a solution which i store in a plastic squeeze bottle (lemon juice bottle). 4 tablespoons dissolved in 250ml of warm water. Dosing is approx 1-2ml each day. 15ppm of Nitrate level maintained.

NOTE: with the recent black beard algae bloom, i noticed my levels had dropped down to 5ppm which is one of the major causes!

2 good articles which i found beneficial are:

Chuck’s Planted Aquarium Pages:Introduction to Fertilizers for a Planted Tank

Chuck’s Planted Aquarium Pages:Adding Nitrate to a Planted Tank


Macro nutrients supplied by API’s leaf zone. Dosing is approx 1-2ml each day. I don’t know my levels, just figure out and dose more if i see any symptoms in my plants due to low levels of Potassium and Iron.


Micro Nutrients were dosed by Sera’s Florena. I was much impressed by the result as the product is of top notch quality. I recently shifted to Tropica’s Plant Nutrition after reading thousands of articles and sagas about how great the product is. I luv the innovative design and might simply use it just for the sake of some awesome product design (cons of being a product designer!) Dosing is approx 1-2ml each day.

Sera is expensive and not readily avaialable (i got mine from a local fish store LFS). Tropica was bought from BigAlsonline. com > the cheapest place to buy stuff.


CO2 testing done by this relatively cheap test kit. The instructions are a little confusing but after a few trials you master the procedure. the test results are quite accurate.

I use this online calculator to measure CO2 levels. Its quick and easy. This website has some other cool gadgets as well.


another good article is Chuck’s Planted Aquarium: Measuring CO2 levels in tanks.

My readings are between 7.5 to 8 dKH. Ph is 7.2 which results in 15-18 ppm of CO@. good but still low~


API’s Master Kit: the best! Though i will confess i don’t use all of them. Specially high range pH and ammonia and nitrites. The most use comes from Nitrates and pH. $13 on BigAlsonline..the cheapest. Individual kits are more expensive. I check any where between once a week to once a month.

Ammonia Levels: 0 ppm

Nitrite: 0 ppm

Nitrate: 15ppm

pH: 7.2 ( i wish i had a pinpoint pH controller for a more accurate reading, the color is in-between the color card levels and hence an approximation)

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