Noob Fert Questions... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Noob Fert Questions...

I've had my low-tech 10 gallon set up for a couple of months now, and I've been having issues with plants melting. I've had to completely remove all of my bacopa, pygmy chain sword, and pennywort after they suffered heavy melting and I just couldn't take the sad, pathetic look of them anymore. The rest of my plants seem to be doing fine minus some black spotting on my java fern and holes in the dwarf lily plant. My Italian Vals seems to be melting a teeny tiny bit as well. It's only stocked with 1 betta, 5 amano shrimp, 1 nerite snail, and a bunch of tiny hitchhiker snails that I can't bring myself to kill...

I dose with seachem liquid ferts once a week, water change every other week, top off with DO water once a week. I'll put my specs below. Any suggestions for improvement would be much appreciated.

Dosing: I really have no idea if this is the correct amount for my tank. I did a calculator on some site but I don't know if I followed the directions correctly. I also put in 5 Seachem root tabs.
Nitrogen: 10/16 tsp
Phosphorus: 2 3/4 tsp
Potassium: 7/16 tsp
Equilibrium: 7/64

Equipment:
10 gallon tank
Neotherm 50 Watt heater
1 15Wt8 bulb
Eco-Complete substrate
ZooMed Nano 10 canister filter

Parameters:
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 5 ppm
pH - 7.74 (we have really hard water here in Nebraska)


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 08:30 PM
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Seems like the light is super low. I could be wrong since I have never run a low tech tank before. I have never seem a planted tank with 1 single T8 bulb. If that can grow plants well, I would be shocked.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allaunis View Post
Dosing: I really have no idea if this is the correct amount for my tank. I did a calculator on some site but I don't know if I followed the directions correctly. I also put in 5 Seachem root tabs.
Nitrogen: 10/16 tsp
Phosphorus: 2 3/4 tsp
Potassium: 7/16 tsp
Equilibrium: 7/64
Well, tsp amounts really dont tell us much without knowing what it translates to in ppms. But I assume you're just following the label directions? That should be fine for your set up.

However, plants need mico nutrients and Fe, along with macros. Currently you're only dosing macros, and some Ca and Mg in the Equilibrium.

If you're going to stick with the Seachem liquid routine, you need to include Flourish Comprehensive as well. It provides the Fe and other micros.

You could also go with Flourish Trace for micros, but it doesnt have any Fe so you'd need to buy their iron as well.

Speaking of Equilibrium, that's a general hardness (GH) booster. If your water is pretty hard like you mentioned, then you probably dont need that.


As far as light and what Dempsy said, it might be an issue with some of those plants, the bacopa and chain sword, pennywort maybe.

But if the hood is brand new with a nice white reflector, it should be enough to keep most low light plants healthy. They just wont grow very fast.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 10:02 PM
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Like others said, you may have to resign yourself to not being able to grow that many different plants given your current lighting.

Bacopa, pennywort, chain swords...all probably need a bit more light than you have. Pennywort might be ok floating since it'll be closer to the light, but I imagine you'll have trouble getting most stem or foreground/carpet plants to grow well.

I'd also be careful trying to micromanage (pun intended) ferts too much on a low light, low tech tank...1) that kinda defeats the purpose, and 2) plant growth is going to be VERY slow, and thus their needs for nutrients as well. Algae are always going to respond quicker to a change in dosing regime.

On smaller, low tech tanks, I've usually gone with NPK+micros 1x weekly at most (if I'm adding anything). You could continue with the Seachem line and as mentioned, Fluorish Comp will help with micros.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 10:10 PM
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That seems like a lot of ferts for plants that aren't growing.

Is the light something you could change, or is there room to add an LED light in there?
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