How to get dirt-like growth with sand/gravel and DIY ferts? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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How to get dirt-like growth with sand/gravel and DIY ferts?

Hi everyone,

I have a 125 low tech planted. Basic plants like swords, vals, java ferns, etc nothing crazy. Originally was a low tech dirt (miracle grow organic) capped with gravel, no other ferts. could not BELIEVE the growth (see 1st pic)... swords pushing my lids off, etc. It was incredible.

Well, the soil became depleted after 1.5 years or so and was just inert and messy at that point, so several months ago re-did the tank and now use pool filter sand capped with gravel. I fertilize roots with seachem tabs and osmocote + tabs every couple months, once in a while add some mag sulfate (epsom salt) to water column.

Problem is, growth is no where NEAR that of when I had dirt substrate. Minimal growth at all, actually (see second pic) from either rooted plants or water column feeders. Im a big fan of DIY... what are some DIY ferts I could/should add to re-create the conditions of the dirted tank? I have heard fleet enema or stump remover might be a good place to start for increased phos and K.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 07:07 PM
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What you need to purchase is some Macros and Micro fertilizers. Go to Green Leaf Aquariums, Fertilizers,. Order the The GLA PPS-Pro Fertilizer Package package. I've assumed you don't want to use the EI method for ferts which requires 50% water changes, so the PP-Pro approach is recommended. Following GLA's instructions here and you're good to go.


By the way, your tank looks great! The ferts will definately help you get back to where you were before.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Keating1 View Post
What you need to purchase is some Macros and Micro fertilizers. Go to Green Leaf Aquariums, Fertilizers,. Order the The GLA PPS-Pro Fertilizer Package package. I've assumed you don't want to use the EI method for ferts which requires 50% water changes, so the PP-Pro approach is recommended. Following GLA's instructions here and you're good to go.


By the way, your tank looks great! The ferts will definately help you get back to where you were before.

Thank you very much, that is very helpful! looks like a great place to start and very reasonable. I will look more into the dosing, but it seems like you get quite a bit for the price... How long would that package fertilize the tank for? 6-12 months or so?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Keating1 View Post
What you need to purchase is some Macros and Micro fertilizers. Go to Green Leaf Aquariums, Fertilizers,. Order the The GLA PPS-Pro Fertilizer Package package. I've assumed you don't want to use the EI method for ferts which requires 50% water changes, so the PP-Pro approach is recommended. Following GLA's instructions here and you're good to go.


By the way, your tank looks great! The ferts will definately help you get back to where you were before.

Sorry... forgot to ask... Is is possible to dose this product once per week instead of every day?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 04:17 AM
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For a 125 Gal tank, the amount in package would probably last at least six months.

Initially I would follow the recommended dosing schedule per GLA's instruction. Also, in lieu of the mixing solution, you can dry dose the ferts directly into the tank. For another supplier of ferts and dry dosing instructions see Nilocg's site here.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Keating1 View Post
For a 125 Gal tank, the amount in package would probably last at least six months.

Initially I would follow the recommended dosing schedule per GLA's instruction. Also, in lieu of the mixing solution, you can dry dose the ferts directly into the tank. For another supplier of ferts and dry dosing instructions see Nilocg's site here.
I am going to give the GLA a try, seems like a great comprehensive package. Typically, I only do a 30 percent water change once a month or every other month - my ammonia / nitrite / nitrate remain undetectable thanks to a good colony of bacteria and plants that gobble (happy thanksgiving) up the nitrate. Would adhering to this infrequent water change schedule while dosing ferts cause a toxic level of them to build up or anything?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 08:28 PM
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PPS-Pro is designed for minimal to no water changes, so you should have no toxic buildup with your water change schedule.


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