Liquid excel: to use or not to use?
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #1
annewaldron
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Liquid excel: to use or not to use?


I have a 30 galling planted tank that I am readying for a 3 month absence and in that time the tank will be visited/cleaned/fertilized once per week.

I'm working to get the fertilizers stabilized so that the plants have the nutrients they need for the whole week when they're added. I run an air stone 4x/day for added O2/circulation. I also use a powerhead (low flo)

Historically I added excel liquid carbon daily, but since I have started working to get the tank closer to self-sufficient, I have tried going without the carbon. Not sure if adding 1x/week is even worth it to try- I know I can only put in so much at one time.

What's the thinking on this?

Tank is stocked with:
10 espei rasboras
6 flame tetras
1 oto
3 amano shrimp
MTS

Marble queen swords (2 med plants)
Wendtii (about 7 healthy bunches)
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:08 PM   #2
BruceF
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I don't think that is a problem at all. Just try and ease the transition. Those are pretty easy plants.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #3
TorontoPlantMan
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You don't have any plants in which require high amounts of CO2 or even any CO2 for that matter if you have adequate lighting and ferts so i'd ease off of the CO2 if you're plants are already well established and have a nice root system. Maybe throw in a root tab before you go and just do your regular weekly doses. I don't think CO2 is necessary for your set up though, it can be done without it.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:55 AM   #4
annewaldron
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Yes, I forgot to add that I've also been doing root tabs every month or so. I was just thinking today that my plants are actually looking really good. I just got done treating a blue-green algae outbreak and it seems to be gone for now. The green spot algae has backed off to being almost nonexistent, and there doesn't seem to be really any other kind of algae growing at all. It's funny, when I was over fertilizing I got algae (BBA), and when I was under fertilizing I got algae (green spot and cyano). It's amazing what just a little bit of fertilizer can do. Now if I can just keep it stable 'til I get back!
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
TorontoPlantMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annewaldron View Post
Yes, I forgot to add that I've also been doing root tabs every month or so. I was just thinking today that my plants are actually looking really good. I just got done treating a blue-green algae outbreak and it seems to be gone for now. The green spot algae has backed off to being almost nonexistent, and there doesn't seem to be really any other kind of algae growing at all. It's funny, when I was over fertilizing I got algae (BBA), and when I was under fertilizing I got algae (green spot and cyano). It's amazing what just a little bit of fertilizer can do. Now if I can just keep it stable 'til I get back!

You should get a water test kit, this way you'll always know your water parameters. Algae is something like a love hate relationship for me. People always think algae is such a horrible thing but truth is it's a very normal, natural part of an eco system. It's just ugly to the human eye
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:04 PM   #6
PeterN1986
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Algae is indeed a normal part of the ecosystem - just think of it as an additional food source for your oto/amanos. They'll poop it out and then your plants in turn will use that as nutrients. So in a way, your algae is indirectly feeding your plants
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:28 AM   #7
annewaldron
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I do have an API test kit and while I'm getting things stabilized, I'm testing every day to get the best idea of how much ferts the plants are using so that I can adjust to the perfect weekly dose.
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:52 AM   #8
cmichaelcooper
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On the subject of test kits, is there a specific test kit you should get, or is testing nitrogen cycle what needs to be done?
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:04 AM   #9
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Once a tank is cycled proper and up and running, test kits are used mostly in case of emergency such as trying to find a cause of death etc. I Maybe test once every month. I have a few tests for plants, then those for fish. Such as phosphates, kh, gh, ph, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia. The api liquid test kit is the most widely used.
If you're just setting up a tank for the first time, and plan on keeping fish in it, you want to test daily to see how the cycle is going and make sure your parameters are safe for fish and if you need water changes. If cycling without fish, you just test every few days to see how the cycle is coming along.
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