Fertilzer regimen for slow growing plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Fertilzer regimen for slow growing plants

I recently rescaped two 45 gallon Hagen Osaka tanks and am letting them run for a bit before introducing fauna.


Plants include Blyxa japonica, E. Vietnam, needle leaf Java fern, H. pinnatifida, Pogostemon, and various Anubias and Buce. Tank #2 has a lot of fissidens moss that may or may not stay depending on how it looks after settling in. Tank #1 has 4 species of stems that also may not stay.

Tanks are injected with a .8 pH drop during the day -though are both running off of one CO2 tank and controller. I'm currently dosing the GLA ferts daily as directed for PPS Pro*. And after a few weeks on tank #1, I don't think there's enough plant growth to warrant this regimen. I can test more thoroughly when I get home, but over the weekend both showed NO3 (nearing 20 PPM, yes I shook the bottles) and PO4 (2 PPM -though on well-expired reagents) on API test kits before adding macros. For this reason, I'm currently cutting back to dosing every other day.

My plans for these tanks are to stock very lightly with micro fish and shrimp. The goal is not lightening fast plant growth and weekly large water changes. I'd prefer something along the lines of 10% partial water changes per week for the shrimp. I worry that even at this lean dosage that the plants I've chosen simply won't uptake the nutrients at the level that I am adding them. For what its worth, tank #1 has lighting turned up significantly higher than the moss tank, peaking at about 60% on a Fluval 3.0. Tank #2 maxes around 40%, and even lower on warm white and pure white.

*per 500 ML bottle dosing 30 ML daily
Macros

K2SO4 -29g
KNO3 -33g
KH2PO4 -was 3g, changing to 6g
MGSO4 25g

Micros

CSM+B -40g

Tank #1 is getting film algae on the glass, which isn't a shocker considering a very old tank was torn down completely. NH4 nor NO2 has ever shown in either tank since their respective tear down, though I haven't tested daily. I tried to be thorough but if I'm leaving out any other information, please ask. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.



Link to tank journal on these: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-makeover.html

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2020, 10:53 PM
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Those tanks are similar to my current one in that they are mostly the so-called "slow growers" and your using co2. You'll get alot of different answers to your question, but unless the ferts get go way, way north I don't think there's much of an issue with the ferts sitting in the water. They don't seem to affect water quality for fish / plants (that I've had anyway.) My no3 numbers are routinely at 40-60ppm and fish are colorful and my Neos are breeding.

What is your main concern?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Main concern is nutrient imbalances, infestations of various algae that can result from that, dead shrimp.. not necessarily in that order. If these go the direction I'm intending, I'd like to try my luck with more fragile tigers (supers in one, OEBTs in the other) in addition to the Neos that will go in first. At a 2-3 KH, it really should be doable, but I've managed to kill a few tigers in other tanks either via acclimation or other human error. Just feels fundamentally wrong dumping fertilizer salts into a Caridina tank to begin with and I figured that a leaner dosage should be safer. And since there is no way to realistically determine what is being used by the plants, I'm hoping to come up with a recipe that would provide enough to avoid any real deficiency but would take a long time of daily dosing to throw anything too out of whack. Am I overthinking this?

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 01:19 AM
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I just reread your post, if your only going to do a small water change with the Tigers and you have those slow growers than there's going to be room to reduce ferts some. Maybe just cut it in half and take measurements and see where you are. I personally haven't raised tigers, so I don't want to give advice where i don't have first hand experience. I've always dosed heavy in my soft water and never had a problem with fish/shrimp. My neos now are starting to bread out of control with high no3, po4, etc. But the tank is very "clean" and gets at least 50% WC per week, but again they are not tigers.


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