A little help on ferts.
I am sure everyone is a little tired of this, but I am a bit on the confused side.
I have been basically lurking for the past few weeks (months?) trying to get a grasp on what to do with my tank. I have a 20G that I have had running for about 7 years. It has been pretty much abused over that time, and I was left with one fish. I decided I wanted to change things.
Starting in April, I purchased a new light (68 Watt Coralife) and plants from my LFS. My current list of plants are (I think):
Echinodorus bleheri - Amazon Sword
Frogbit of some sort?
A small lotus of some sort.
My current fauna:
4 Otocinclus catfish
1 Striped Raphael Catfish
15-18 Endler Guppies
My whole intent on adding the plants was to make things a bit easier on myself. I wanted to more create a cycle in the tank for the fish, plus make it a bit easier on myself for upkeep. Of course as everyone reading this knows, this is a complete and utter falsehood.
So. After reading for this time, I have gone through the dosing regimes, Rex's guide, Tom Barr's info on non-CO2 tanks, and everything else that I can find to figure out the best method to keep my tank up. Currently, my setup is like this:
Lighting at about 2.4ish WPG
pH at 7.6 (tap water)
NO3 at 20-30ppm (from fish waste)
Plain gravel substrate with lots of mulm!
25% water change / weekly
I purchased all of the recommended ferts from Greg Watson, and started with dosing Excel Flourish and CSM+B. I have not wandered into dosing anything else, as I don't have the additional test kits, and am worried about harming the fish.
My plan is this:
25% water change weekly
5ml dose CMS+B twice weekly
Excel Flourish 5mL at water change plus 2mL every other day.
I know I need to get Potassium and Phosphates into the tank, but I am not sure how much to do and when. I am a bit nervous, as I do have a lot of fish in a small tank.
Any advise on this? I haven't turned to the complete "EI Method" as I do not plan on running CO2 and the thread on "Dosing Regime" seems to be based upon that.
Plus, I am going to be brining up a 10G sometime soon with a good substrate and plants. Hopefully, I can do that one correctly from the beginning!
Thanks for anything you can offer.