Estimative index

My indigenous aquarium has been running just fine for a few months, and then developed a problem. The plant growth slowed down a lot, until they dwindled and slowly died. I knew I wasn’t feeding them properly, so I needed to give them some nutrients. But I want to avoid using test kits to measure the different nutrient levels in the tank. Enter the Estimative Index.

Nutrients come in two fashions: macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. I like to look at them like this: macro-nutrients are the carbs, proteins and fats in your food; and micro-nutrients are the seasoning. I am already adding micro-nutrients when giving Easy-Life Profito, so my plants must be short in some macro-nutrient. I’ve decided to start adding nitrates first, and if that doesn’t work, try adding phosphates.

As a source of nitrate I’ll be using KNO3, which conveniently is an ingredient of the rocket fuel I make. This means that I am either feeding rocket fuel to my aquarium plants, or make rocket fuel out of plant food. Go figure. Anyway, I have a big bag ofK NO3.

To determine the dose of nitrate to add, I’ve used this Estimative Index calculator. Most convenient is to use a solution of nitrate in water. I decided to use a 2L water bottle for making the solution, and dosing using a 10ml syringe.

This means I dissolved 440g of KNO3 in 2L of hot water, and then, 3 times a week, I fill a 10ml syringe of this solution and add it to my tank and do a weekly water change . Let’s see if this improves my plant growth.