2 new guy questions if you please - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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2 new guy questions if you please

Hello everyone Im slowly working toward my first planted tank and have a couple questions Im hoping someone can help me with.

1. What is/are SAEs? Im thinking some type of algae eater?

2. Can a low tech tank work without fertilization? and if so how much light is good? (Im thinking 2wpg?)

Thanks for any help that may be forthcoming
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 10:44 PM
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#1....Siamese Algae Eater
#2.....Yes.....most of the needed ferts will come from over feeding fish food. 2wpg is about the highest you want to go with the lighting.


Last edited by aquamoon; 08-18-2006 at 08:04 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 10:53 PM
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1. SAE stands for siamese algae eater - you were correct

2. Yes, low tech tanks CAN work without fertilization, but not every type of plant will grow in them. If you go low tech with plants like Anubias, Java moss, Bolibitus and Java fern, I'm sure you'd be able to do it low-tech. BUT you'll have to do regular water changes at least monthly, you'd need a decent number of fish, and there's no guarantee that you'll be able to provide EVERYTHING the plants need without fertilization.

Plants need both macro and micro nutrients. Micro nutrients are generally present in tap water, and your tap water might provide enough for your plants given regular water changes. Macros are Potassium, Nitrate, Phosphate, and to some degree CO2. Potassium can be found in tap water, which is why the water changes are important. Fish will produce your nitrate and phosphate will come from the fish food. On the nutrition labels of fish food there should be "ash content", normally < 10%. Ash basically breaks down into phosphate in the water. Feeding fish (note: do NOT overfeed fish, make sure they eat everything you put in there!) daily could provide enough phosphate for the tank. Notice I said "could". You'll have to keep your eye out for signs of nutrient deficiencies (holes in leaves, plants turning to mush, stunted growth, pale new leaves, etc.) and be ready to supplement if needed.

I'm currently running a low light low tech 12 gallon on a coworkers desk with no fertilization. I do water changes about once a month or sometimes less. The only problems I have with it is brown diatom algae, which is most likely from the lack of good filtration (it is an eclipse) and some overfeeding on my coworker's part. My bolbitus is growing new leaves and looks fantastic. The java fern is bright green and thriving and the anubias is doing very well. Any stem plants, even lower light ones, that I've thrown in there have withered and died.

You may have to play around with how many and what types of plants will work for you - sometimes it is hit or miss and you have to just keep trying new things until you find the sweet spot. Hope this is helpful

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the responses, this gives me a good place to start!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 10:16 PM
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low tech tanks

the advice given so far is great. but if you want to continue a algae free tank ,excell is a geat additive to use.you DO NOT have to overdose this product.if you use it as directed,starting with a new tank setup it will work great.i still change water 50% every week,(for the benefit of the fish) not the plants as i stock my tanks heavily.
55 gal tank
five capfuls of excell after water change,then two capfuls every other day till next water change
1/4 tsp kno3 /
1/4 tsp po4 / dry mix
1 tsp k2so4 /
15 mls micros /
NO algae on glass to clean off every week,and also the plumbing.
this program will not work on an allready algae infilltrated tank,unless you clean every thing good.then overdosing comes into play.
just don't try to grow red plants,you will be dissapointed.

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