I want to give my plants the TLC they deserve, but looking into dry ferts has left me more than a little confused. I'm hoping somebody here can help guide me towards what's right for my setup.
I have a 20gal long that is, I think, medium planted.
Substrate is just inert sand, I've had it since the tank was set up about 7 -8, maybe longer, years ago.
Lighting is a Deep Blue Professional 36" Solarmax Dual Daylight T5 Lighting System (yes, it's longer than the tank - when I first bought a 30" fixture it had about 3" of black plastic at each end and used 24" bulbs, so when it broke I decided to get a longer one only to find the new model has full length bulbs.... ah well, at least I'm covered for a bigger tank someday!)
2x Amazon Swords
~5 Crypt lutea, which has spread well
Water sprite, floating and planted
1x Java fern
1x Banana plant (Nymphoides aquatica)
Micro sword in the foreground.
FTS from today:
Crypt lutea. Hopefully it is visible in the photo but it is showing leaf tip hooking.
Micro sword etc: This is from a week ago and already the Amazon swords in the back are a lot bigger with the new ferts.
I'm currently dosing with Aquavitro Propel and Envy, 2.5mL each every 3 days. I also add Flourish root tabs around the swords and crypts every 3 months. I do a 5gal water change weekly, and I would prefer not to have a fertilizer system which would require me to significantly increase this.
I would like to get the rest of my ferts dry, and I have been looking at the packages on nilocg's website but I'm not sure which would be right for me. I suspect I don't want to be using a lot of fertilizer, as I don't have a CO2 system, but my plants have definitely responded well to what I have been adding, where they had been deteriorating previously.
From looking at other threads on here, I suspect I have a Ca or Mg deficiency, likely both as my water is very soft. None of the fertilizer packs on nilocg seemed to include either of these though, which threw me off a little.
Also not really visible in the photos is the BBA growing on my sand substrate. I am hoping that with better plant health, this problem will resolve itself, but in the meantime I've been trying to clean it off leaves. I'm not sure how to tackle it on the sand, though.