When to start fertilzing - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Question When to start fertilzing

I have just planted out an 80gal tank and am have installed the new lights (Catalina 4 x 54), no fish yet but was wondering when I shouls start with the EI ferts. I am hopeing the water will clear more before I add any fish. The tank is running pressurized co2 and the bubble counter is a nice green color. Substrate is flourite with an aquabase by Ferka. Obviously the tank is not cycled yet and I am measuring .25ppm ammonia (due to the substrate I think)
Should I start immediately on the EI dry ferts or wait until the tank has settled down a little.

Sorry for such a newbie question, but I really want this tank to get a good start.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 02:55 PM
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Right away, the plants/fertz will help cycle the tank faster.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 03:01 PM
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I, on the other hand, wait a couple of weeks. Many plants take some time to get established after planting. And initially you have some nutrients (like NH4) in the water column, so it's not like they will starve.

I usually start in the third week with some micros, and later gradually increase NPK.

Everyone does that a bit different. I also start with lower light intensities until the first round of algae starts to recede.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Brad. I will start this morning. Can't wait to see my plants start to grow and green up.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 03:16 PM
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You will still need to focus strongly on CO2 in the initial stages and perhaps do more frequent water changes till things settle in.

Watch plants good and make sure to have enough to start with.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I, on the other hand, wait a couple of weeks. Many plants take some time to get established after planting. And initially you have some nutrients (like NH4) in the water column, so it's not like they will starve.

I usually start in the third week with some micros, and later gradually increase NPK.

Everyone does that a bit different. I also start with lower light intensities until the first round of algae starts to recede.
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Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
You will still need to focus strongly on CO2 in the initial stages and perhaps do more frequent water changes till things settle in.

Watch plants good and make sure to have enough to start with.

Regards,
Tom Barr
Now I think I'll wait for a few days at least and really work on trying to get the water clear and really up the co2 while I can overdrive it since I don't have any fish in there yet. Once the waer clears I'll trun down the co2 until I get it in the light green/yellow and add a few fish.
Does this sound like a plan?
Also any suggestions on how to get the water to clear up? I have done several waterchanges and have had it filled for about 4 days.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binders View Post
Does this sound like a plan?

Also any suggestions on how to get the water to clear up? I have done several waterchanges and have had it filled for about 4 days.
Sure that sounds OK, like Tom said it's not an exact science so watching your plants is the best way to go.

Just do daily 50% water changes until it clears is the best method. There is products you can buy that help but the only thing I might use is Cycle and that won't help with the cloudiness just makes a faster cycle by a bit.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradac56 View Post
Sure that sounds OK, like Tom said it's not an exact science so watching your plants is the best way to go.

Just do daily 50% water changes until it clears is the best method. There are products you can buy that help but the only thing I might use is Cycle and that won't help with the cloudiness just makes a faster cycle by a bit.

- Brad
I agree that it best to start slow on fertilization. Logically speaking, that is. For it would decrease chance of algae bloom. This is what I have seen with those whom use mineralized substrate. Algae didn't affect plants in that setup. Main thing is to balance the Co2 with the lights. There is a chart available on line. Also need good circulation.

I have used cycle. Yet when had a dust storm found that nutrafin bio-clear helped. It helped for dust storm was due to adding sand. If it is algae water changes is the key.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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I agree that it best to start slow on fertilization. Yet when had a dust storm found that nutrafin bio-clear helped. It helped for dust storm was due to adding sand. If it is algae water changes is the key.
Definately dust storm not algae or ammonia. Am worried that algae will become a problem before that plants have really grown up.

Nutrafin bio-clear - what is this? Is it a liquid that you had or something to put into the filter?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
I agree that it best to start slow on fertilization. Logically speaking, that is. For it would decrease chance of algae bloom. This is what I have seen with those whom use mineralized substrate. Algae didn't affect plants in that setup. Main thing is to balance the Co2 with the lights. There is a chart available on line. Also need good circulation.

I have used cycle. Yet when had a dust storm found that nutrafin bio-clear helped. It helped for dust storm was due to adding sand. If it is algae water changes is the key.
I've dosed for many years and have never found any correlation between ferts added at the initial stage vs not adding them.
Same for MS and ADA AS.......

It's not the ferts that lead or otherwise encourage algae, otherwise I should have rampant algae. That is simply not the case or true.

Hobbyists get some correlation then like to think they know more than they really do. Not adding ferts and having a decent result proves nothing.

The question is specific.
Does adding ferts in the initial stage induces or encourages algae?

The answer under a controlled tank where light and CO2 are optimal is a resounding "no".

If you louse up CO2, add too much light, do not have enough current, flow, don't do enough water changes, do not add enough healthy plants to start off with...........and those things are not accounted for, you cannot say a darn thing about the issue of ferts.

Aquariums that do not add any ferts get algae as well..............

Adding ferts is fine, you may not need/require them in some cases, and adding more than enough/non limiting amounts also may not be required either, however doing so will not lead to algae in and of itself and implying otherwise is false.

I've not seen any evidence that it is a direct cause for algae.
There are indirect causes, such as strongly limiting PO4 etc, thereby reducing the demand for CO2 down but if the CO2 was good to begin, there would be no issue in the first place, since CO2 was a confounding factor. This is the old PO4 limitation argument but poor methods led to a poor conclusions that was shown to be false.

It was not the algae where limited, rather, that the plants did not have enough CO2 for a given light and nutrient level.

Big difference.

This same observation also applies to non CO2 aquariums.

For sediments:
Sediment ferts are added right away and a richer than sin.
Why not add them later and use this argument?
Why is the shoe on the other foot there, but not in the water column in other words?

MS should already be very low in NH4, that's why it's pre soaked, or why the Worm castings are boiled prior, or baked for 1 hour etc. ADA's suggestion is multi water changes for the first 1-2 months, or you can do the DSM and flush a few times at the initial filling.

Same types of issues, but they all have the same problems and frequencies with algae, because it's less to do with nutrients and more to do with the other issues mentioned prior above, CO2/light, enough plants, good frequent water changes etc etc........

I add ferts right away for the exact same reason I also add light and CO2............think about that.

If plants have reserves.........then why add light or CO2 either?
Same type of thing.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 08:01 PM
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It's a liquid you can get at petsmart/drfosters/etc.

The thing with plants is most people do not realize that they are under planting the tank you really need to start with allot of fast growers and then spread them out to other tanks after it fully cycles ... at least that's what I tell my wife for the upcoming new fish room

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Tom, thanks for your thoughts. It makes sense that adding fertz will not hurt anyting and definately may help the plants get a good start. I will keep the CO2 levels up high and will try not to overdo the lights. I am loving looking at this tank though and want the lights on alllll the time. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradac56 View Post
It's a liquid you can get at petsmart/drfosters/etc.

The thing with plants is most people do not realize that they are under planting the tank you really need to start with allot of fast growers and then spread them out to other tanks after it fully cycles ... at least that's what I tell my wife for the upcoming new fish room

- Brad
I think I will transfer some wisteria from my 29 until the stems I have in the 80 grow up. There are a lot of them but they are in the back hidden by the java ferns. I will have to have a "serious talk" with my husband if I buy much more for this tank. (I still need fish)
Here is a link to the 80:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/tank-journals-photo-album/89733-80gal-1st-try-aquascaping.html

Will have to figure out how to put a link to it in my signiture. So much to learn! LOL
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2009, 06:07 PM
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Sorry to revive the thread, but again the conclusion is: to fert from the beggining or not? My tank has been running for a month now, itīs fully cycled and with a colony of small fish, and growing in plant population. Iīm changing 10 galons every other day (a 100 gal tank) so far. I have only added fertz once (the nutrafin brand, donīt recall the name - i wanted fluorish but couldnīt find it). Substrate is fluorite and lights right now are 1.6 wpg.

I bought plant fertilizers from azoo last night (a regular plant fertilizer and chelated iron) Are these good?
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