Fertilization advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Fertilization advice

Hello,

I just finished cycling my 45 gallon tank. I am not new to fish keeping but never had much success in the past with plants. They were either dying or algaes would bloom. I never used CO2 and donít intend to.

This time Iím trying to do things right.

Here is my set-up

Age of tank : 30 days
Substrate : mostly flourite dark, 1 bag of eco complete and Carib sand on top. About 2-3 inches in the front, sloping to 4-5 inches in the back.
Light : Fluval 3.0 : 0900-1200 : 6% intensity (whites). 1200-1800 : about 20%-25% (whites). 1800-2100 : 2% intensity (whites). 2100-0900 : OFF. Intensity of blue light is always very low (2%-5%) since it is said to cause algae. Reds around 10%. I have learned from a video I should slowly increase the intensity of whites up to 50%, blue no more than 5% and reds around 30%, after the plants have started growing and I had to trim them once or twice.

I only have easy plants, like anubias java fern, Staurogyne repens, Hemianthus micranthemoides and others I forget.

In the past, when I added fertilizer, algaes would appear and overcome the tank. Which is why I am afraid to start. Iíve seen videos and read articles saying I shouldnít fertilize for the first month or two, since the plants already had nutrients in their pot. Since there are also nutrients in the flourite and Eco-complete, Iím even more confused.

I bought Thrive C for when Iím ready to start fertilizing. I also have some old Flourish complete left.

I have a little bit of brown algae (2 otos, 1 nerite snail and 1 SAE to help with algae in general). The plants donít seem to be growing much, if at all.

My questions :

- is my lighting regimen okay ?
- when do I start fertilizing ?

Here is a picture of my tank a days ago. Thank you !
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 01:36 AM
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Welcome! Your tank looks nice! I like the composition of plants.

So a couple of things. Algae is caused by things being out of balance. Could be from too much light or from too little fertilizer or too much. It's all about balance. Finding balance is individual to the tank.

Regarding your substrate do not believe the marketing, there is no nutrients in the flourite or eco complete. They are both inert. You should add some thrive c. Start with it once a week with water change and find the balance. You may need more light or less. Again it's individual to the tank.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Welcome! Your tank looks nice! I like the composition of plants.

So a couple of things. Algae is caused by things being out of balance. Could be from too much light or from too little fertilizer or too much. It's all about balance. Finding balance is individual to the tank.

Regarding your substrate do not believe the marketing, there is no nutrients in the flourite or eco complete. They are both inert. You should add some thrive c. Start with it once a week with water change and find the balance. You may need more light or less. Again it's individual to the tank.
Thank you ! I’ll add Thrive C when I do my water change on Sunday. Do you always fertilize when doing water change ? Also, would you give the full dose or less ?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 02:12 AM
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Thank you ! Iíll add Thrive C when I do my water change on Sunday. Do you always fertilize when doing water change ? Also, would you give the full dose or less ?
No do it daily. Dose at 1/2 strength, figure out amount you should be adding to tank weekly, divide by 7 and add that amount to tank every day at beginning of light cycle. On low tech tanks you want levels lean but consistent every day of the week.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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No do it daily. Dose at 1/2 strength, figure out amount you should be adding to tank weekly, divide by 7 and add that amount to tank every day at beginning of light cycle. On low tech tanks you want levels lean but consistent every day of the week.
Thank you, I will try that !

Oh, and what do you think about my lighting regimen ?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 03:50 PM
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Thank you, I will try that !

Oh, and what do you think about my lighting regimen ?
Iíd shorten midday cycle down to 4hrs and lengthen the morn and afternoon to 4hr.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Iíd shorten midday cycle down to 4hrs and lengthen the morn and afternoon to 4hr.
Morning and afternoon 4 hours each or 4 hours total ? :-)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 03:01 AM
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Morning and afternoon 4 hours each or 4 hours total ? :-)
4+4+4=12 total

If algae shows up go to 3/4/3 (10 total) or 3/3/3 (9 total)
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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4+4+4=12 total

If algae shows up go to 3/4/3 (10 total) or 3/3/3 (9 total)
Thank you !
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
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Morning and afternoon 4 hours each or 4 hours total ? :-)
4+4+4=12 total

If algae shows up go to 3/4/3 (10 total) or 3/3/3 (9 total)
I don't know. 12 hours in a new tank is not something I've heard recommended. I'd say 9 hrs tops, or less if you have algae issues.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know. 12 hours in a new tank is not something I've heard recommended. I'd say 9 hrs tops, or less if you have algae issues.
I know thatís what is recommended, but since I can tweak the light intensity very low (6% in the morning, 2-3% at night) I figure it should be okay.

I just started fertilizing so Iíll probably have to adjust going along. Iíll keep that in mind too.
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