Soil tank just planted, ferts? bacteria ?
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
paul195
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Soil tank just planted, ferts? bacteria ?


Hi

Now that I have my tank planted up and the filter running, should I be adding any ferts? I have heard conflicting advice, some saying that the soil has plenty of nutrients in it for the first 6-12 months, but others saying to add ferts just to make sure the plants get off to a good start. Can it hurt ?

Also should I add any sort of bacteria supplement to help the filter establish? I don't plan on getting the first fish for a week or two.

Cheers

Paul
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:40 PM   #2
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Default Soil tank just planted, ferts? bacteria ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul195 View Post
Hi

Now that I have my tank planted up and the filter running, should I be adding any ferts? I have heard conflicting advice, some saying that the soil has plenty of nutrients in it for the first 6-12 months, but others saying to add ferts just to make sure the plants get off to a good start. Can it hurt ?

Also should I add any sort of bacteria supplement to help the filter establish? I don't plan on getting the first fish for a week or two.

Cheers

Paul
I've added ferts like a week or two after I set up, just to give the tank some time to balance out, if you add ferts right off the bat your parameters might get out of line, I'm sure someone with more knowledge will know more but in my experience that is what has happened


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Old 04-04-2013, 12:17 AM   #3
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As long as you plant heavy and don't mind a little green water to ahead. If you trying to keep fish I'd recommend very little till the tank has settled. If no fish or don't care much for fish. Start small and increase weekly till you achieve what your aiming more
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Thanks for your time
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for your reply's,

I will let the tank settle for a few weeks, and see how the plants are doing.

If I start to dose ferts to give the plants a boost, does that mean that I should dose from then on? Is it a problem to start dosing and then stop?

Many thanks

Paul
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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you have a good plan in my opinion

Watch parameters for a few weeks and load up on plants setting the tank.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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I think it would depend on how heavily you planted, the type of soil (MGOPM or mineralized soil), whether you're using pressurized CO2 and your lighting. Regardless, I would personally monitor basic parameters as well as phosphates before I indiscriminately dosed fertilizer. I recently used MGOPM and the phosphates were literally off the charts (over 10) from day one. I finally removed it and the phosphates are normal now. Probably just an isolated bad batch but I would have never known if I didn't check the basics while it was cycling. After the tank has stabilized water tests are less important IMO.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:37 PM   #7
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Yes I have planted the tank fairly heavily, and I am using John Innes 3 soil compost (which I'm guessing is similar to MGOPM). I have low lighting (58W with reflector = 1.35WPG) and will not be adding any C02.

I bought an API master test kit + GH + KH tests, but I dont have a test for phosphates. Is that a test which I should have as a planted tank owner?

I would be very grateful if you could guide me on the 'must test' parameters so I can get the right test kits?

thanks

Paul
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:11 PM   #8
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I'm not familiar with that brand of soil. Basically most non-mineralized composted soil will have a large amount of organics initially. Mineralizing reduces the initial release of nutrients. After several weeks the nutrient levels generally stabilize. Even with no CO2 or high lighting I think the nutrient level would be high. Unfortunately, it won't be as balanced for the first few weeks which may lead to algae outbreaks. Planting heavily will help a lot.

As far as water testing I only use the API master kit, GH/KH and phosphate. I've never tried the iron tests but hear they are far from reliable. I test nitrates and phosphates since they are two of three three macro nutrients. Those two can cause problems in excess. As far as I know too much potassium is of less concern and again not reliable for home testing. Keeping nitrates between 10-30ppm and phosphates around 2ppm is pretty good. So if you're seeing over that I would not use ferts until they drop. I would venture to guess you wont need any macro fertilizers in the coming weeks. It would be a good time to get your hands on the dry ferts for future use however. That's just been my experiences. I'm just a beginner like you. So take what I say with a grain of salt and follow up with lot of reading. In the last 10 months I have probably read many books worth of material on the subject and still feel far from where I should be lol
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:32 AM   #9
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One of my soil tanks has gone for over a year with no fertz. Plants are still growing like mad. No fish.
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