5/4/2016 - See Algae on 55g w/UV
Today I'm seeing algae grow on all of my plants in the 55g. The UV has kept the algae out of the water column, but it is growing on the plants. I hate nitrates.
So the good news is, I have learned that I added too much nitrate. I can easily break the tanks down, pull the coir and plants out, do another water change, and start all over again.
The bad news is, I blew up some fish. The second big mistake is 'dry dosing'. I think my piggish bettas ate some of the crystals before my swirling them made them dissolve completely. So the honest truth is their bellies 'exploded', and their bodies bent, nose up into almost a V. Sad. UPDATE: I think these Bettas that 'blew up', are dying from being full of eggs, and not absorbing them properly. Another female betta has died the same way, but was not in the tank with ferts. All were very very full of eggs. I'll have to look into this.
Rummy's, white clouds, gouramis, otos, many other bettas, and one lonely cory are the sole survivors of my latest experiment with fertilizers. But I'm not giving up on making my own ferts. I know I can get this right. It would be nice to feel comfortable fertilizing my tanks without worry of algae, lack of nutrient, etc. But I have a feeling it can never be perfect, because the target will always be moving. So it's better to err on the side of too few nutrients, than too many. I can understand why the ferts that are made for aquariums, are indeed MADE FOR AQUARIUMS. Attempting to give the plants the amount of nutrient they need, but still adding typically less than they need so you don't harm livestock, is the issue. How do we get the nutrients to the plants in high enough doses, that we don't cause algae blooms and livestock harm?
CO2 is probably the way to do it. I've read where adding co2 liquid (soda w/o salts) to terrestrial plants helps them absorb nutrients at a higher rate. If this is true, then adding fewer ferts but more often with a co2 system may be the ultimate growing medium in the aquarium.
I'm not going the CO2 route for now, so instead of adding enough ferts weekly, I'll add miniscule amounts of ferts daily when I feed.
Over the next couple of weeks I'll make a liquid of those four (Fe (fully chelated), KCl, NO3, MgSO4). I may leave out the calcium nitrate, but I still think I need calcium so I'm not sure. This will be my PMDD (poor mans dosing drops).
For now the plants looks so green/red and healthy. Fish, some not so good.
Last edited by AWolf; 05-11-2016 at 05:02 PM.