fertilizers, water changes, grow out tanks
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:41 AM   #1
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fertilizers, water changes, grow out tanks

hey i was thinking about starting sort of a grow out tank because i always feel like i can do something with my trimmings instead of throwing them away. anyways, if i were to start a grow out tank, would it be necessary to do water changes on it? i was thinking of possibly putting goldfish in it because they provide a lot of poop but i was also thinking of doing just fertilizers. so, if i went just fertilizer rout, would it be necessary to change the water ever?
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:29 AM   #2
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Goldfish would likely eat your plants.

With most fertilization regimens, there is still a need to do water changes (e.g. with Estimative Index (EI) you must do 50% water changes on a weekly basis).

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Old 07-11-2013, 02:47 AM   #3
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Do not put Golds in there. The waste from a fish is not just poop, but also ammonia from the gills and other things. If you need mosquito control for the tanks then use smaller fish that do not eat plants. Liberty Mollies are good, Guppies, Endlers or similar small fish.

The actual source of the ammonia and everything else the fish produces is fish food.

So skip the middleman, and just use fish food as a fertilizer. It has N, P and most traces, but not much potassium.

But wait! We can do better than that!

Fish food is decomposed by microorganisms before the plants get the benefit.

Skip the middleman! Add the pure chemicals the plants need.

You can figure out the EI method so fewer and smaller water changes are needed. Here is how:
1) Set up the tank, and begin running the EI method. Monitor it for several weeks or a month. If you need to adjust light or CO2, do it now. Get the levels right while following one method of fertilizing.

2) Cut the recipe in half, and cut the water change % in half. Monitor it for several more weeks or so. Are things still going OK? Is 25% water change once a week OK for you? (at least temporarily)
Now is the time to adjust fertilizer ratios. Make one change, run it for a week or two, then make another change until you and the plants are happy with it.

3) Now that you have the N-P-K and micros ratios set, you can cut down again on the dosing and do fewer or smaller water changes. When you reach the right level of work and the right dosing, it should all be easy. For a non-fish tank, plants only, I think you could get by with once a month water changes, or less. Just enough to generate some water to clean the filter media. And the filters won't need much cleaning with no fish in the tank. Of course if you need mosquito eaters in the tank, or algae eaters (fish or shrimp) then do enough water changes to keep them happy.
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