Help me learn to dose my tank!
So I have had a planted aquarium for about 1.5 years but have never had it really flourish. I really think that I could do better, but everything I try doesn't seem to work that well. I have pretty common plants for the most part, all of them came from the LFS except my duckweed and my java moss, I bought those on eBay about a month ago. The main thing I want help with is learning how to properly dose both of my tanks, I think that if I can figure out the correct way to do this I'll be able to grow my plants how I have hoped to be able to.
I have a 75 gallon aquarium with Activ-flora substrate. I am using so sorta odyssea canister filter, but I am only using mechanical filtration there is no chemical media being used in my filtration, I've read that some chemical media, like carbon, can remove trace elements from the water that plants need. For lighting on this aquarium, I have a custom built T5 ballast which holds four HO 58 watt bulbs, I have two 10,000k bulbs I'm not sure of the brand of these bulbs, and two Zoo Med Flora Sun 5,000k bulbs. I also have a small powerhead in the aquarium for circulation, it is either a Penguin 550 or 660 cannot remember, I used to use a korilia 4 but I thought this was too much flow because my fish would all hug the bottom and never swam around much until I swapped to the smaller pump. This tank does have a fair amount of fish in it, not sure if that could be why my plants are not doing as good as they should. Currently this tank houses 2 angelfish, 7 neon tetras, 6 roseline sharks, 2 cory, 3 glofish, and 1 snail. These fish are all still really small, the biggest being about 2-3 inches.
My second tank is a 10 gallon planted aquarium, it also has Activ-Flora substrate. I am using a HUGE cfl bulb for this aquarium, I believe it is rated at 42 watts, I'm not sure of the exact color but if I had to guess I would say 5,500-6000k it has the red/yellow hue but not as pink as a 5,000k. This is my grow out tank so there's no filtration on this tank, just a penguin 550 with the elbow on it to help break the flow, without the elbow the current seems too strong. I also have a few critters in here, like four snails and a crayfish. This tank also has a custom made Mylar back ground that surround 3/4 of the tank and directs light down onto the plants.
I do use plant supplements in my tank, currently I use:
Flourish Excel -- it contains organic carbon used instead of co2
API, Leaf Zone -- it contains soluble potash k2o 3.00%, iron fe 0.10% it also says 0.10% chelated iron derived from potassium sulfate and iron EDTA
Plant GRO -- it contains nitrogen 0.15%, boron 0.0005%, copper 0.0005%, iron 0.26%, maganese 0.05%, molybdenum 0.0007%, and zinc 0.003%
Kent Marine, Iron & Manganese -- it contains soluble potash 3%, iron 0.24%, manganese 0.01%, molybdenum 0.000005%, zinc 0.00014%
I try and stick with the dose amount on the label but I have noticed in the past when I used as much of the flourish excel as suggested on the bottle and was using it everyday ( 3ml in a 30 gallon ) my water would turn a foggy white. So I stopped using as much excel but still dosed every day and it had the same effect now I only use the excel about twice a week. I also use one of the Iron supplements a week, I vary it weekly, so one week I'll use the API then the next I'll use the Plant GRO then the next week the Kent's. I always add the supplements after a water change, for the most part I am using 5ml per 10 gallons weekly, so that would be about 35-40ml of supplements weekly.
A lot of what I see in my aquarium is some of the plants leaves will start to go clear and then die off, I try and remove as much of these leaves as possible. I have noticed much more of this happening since I moved my plants into my 75 gallon. I am willing to change all my supplements if needed, I just want my plants to grow! So if anyone has any suggestions on what I could do please let me know! Also if anyone knows a good line of supplements that are easy to use let me know, I would like to get a full line of supplements and have them all the same brand.
Last edited by aquarist; 08-30-2012 at 09:11 PM.
Reason: Added photos