Do I need to fertilize? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Do I need to fertilize?

I've done a lot of changes to my 10g tank lately, among these was to upgrade the lighting, a lot, and I am switching my substrate to Flourite.

Since then, the plants have been growing more, and faster and producing oxygen like mad. (Still love to watch the bubbles under the leaves. )

But with the growth spurt, there has been a drop in the nutrients. Specifically, the nitrates and phosphates were almost 0 last week when we tested. This week, 0 phosphate and approx 3 nitrate ... though that's probably to do with all the organic matter I stirred up when I changed the gravel.

At the same time, I've got a pretty big problem with green hairy algae ... so I don't want to add ferts if it'll just cause an even bigger algae bloom.

ATM I have 1x26w and 1x13w CF lights and I dose with an iron supplement and Flourish Excel. I have 4 platies, 1 oto, 1 small catfish and 5 Amano shrimp. It's planted with Hygrophila polysperma, crypt wendtii and some java fern.

Do I need to add NPK ferts? Will my plants to OK without them? Will letting them get so low reduce algae growth ... or make it worst?

Also, I've heard that an overdose of Flourish Excel will kill algae ... How much of an overdose?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 04:37 PM
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I'm new to planted tanks but from what I understand (I think LoL) is that nitrates will always be low in a planted tank. Nitrates come from excess food and fish waste.

With my main planted tank, which is a 20 gallon high with class N Endler's in it, I just dose with Flourish Excel. I do have a DIY Co2 system on there also but I don't think it helps much. Since I've started using Excel I have noticed increased growth in my plants. I have a total of 65 watts over the tank plus any additional sun light that comes in the windows in that room.

To answer your question though... If you're using Flourite substrate and dosing with iron and Excel I wouldn't think you'd need any additional fertilizers.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 05:26 PM
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You need to balance light and nutrients. If you increased lighting and do not supply CO2 or macro nutrients (NPK), you will probably lose the alga battle.

Excel can work as a CO2 replacement if you are dosing it without fail.

All about balance...


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 05:05 AM
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With 49 watts over a 10gal tank you will need to fertilize- and fertilize heavily! Proper fertilization is key to managing algae, since given the right balance of nutrients the plants will be able to outcompete algae. If the plants are not properly fertilized, that's when you get algae issues.

If you're wanting to run a low-maintenance tank with minimal algae issues you need to get your wattage down to 1.5-2 watts per gallon (wpg).

I'm only running 24watts over my 10gal with no ferts and have tons of algae even though it's well planted (I just don't care b/c the purpose of the tank is to colonize RCS).

I highly recommend that you do some thorough research on www.RexGrigg.com; and possbily also get some dry ferts there... good place to help explain proper balance in growing aquatic plants.





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